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Africa Brief

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the White House in Washington on Sept. 16.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the White House in Washington on Sept. 16.

In Washington, Cyril Ramaphosa Defends South African Neutrality

South African leaders have consistently rejected U.S. efforts to punish African countries for nonalignment.

Gambian President Adama Barrow signs the condolence book for the late Queen Elizabeth II at the British ambassador’s residence in Banjul, Gambia, on Sept. 12.
Gambian President Adama Barrow signs the condolence book for the late Queen Elizabeth II at the British ambassador’s residence in Banjul, Gambia, on Sept. 12.

King Charles III Faces a Reckoning on Empire in Africa

Will a monarch known for voicing his personal views apologize for Britain’s crimes in Africa?

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Stanley Kasongo Kakubo on the sidelines of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Dakar, Senegal, on Nov. 30, 2021.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Stanley Kasongo Kakubo on the sidelines of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Dakar, Senegal, on Nov. 30, 2021.

Is China Responsible for Zambia’s Debt Crisis?

The first country to default in the COVID era makes a deal with the IMF.

A truck carrying grains to Tigray and belonging to the World Food Program burns out on a route almost 50 miles from Semera, Ethiopia, on June 10.
A truck carrying grains to Tigray and belonging to the World Food Program burns out on a route almost 50 miles from Semera, Ethiopia, on June 10.

Ethiopia’s Cease-Fire Collapses

After five months of relative calm, Tigray is once again under fire.

Angolan opposition party National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) leader and presidential candidate Adalberto Costa Júnior gestures as he delivers a speech during the UNITA final campaign rally ahead of general elections, in Luanda, Angola, on Aug. 22.
Angolan opposition party National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) leader and presidential candidate Adalberto Costa Júnior gestures as he delivers a speech during the UNITA final campaign rally ahead of general elections, in Luanda, Angola, on Aug. 22.

Will Angolan Voters Ditch the Party of Liberation?

President João Lourenço’s MPLA faces an unusually strong challenge from a united opposition.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Congolese Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula give a press conference at Cité de l’OUA (Organisation of African Unity) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Aug. 9.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Congolese Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula give a press conference at Cité de l’OUA (Organisation of African Unity) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Aug. 9.

Can Blinken Bring Peace in Eastern Congo?

The U.S. secretary of state is urging Kigali, Kinshasa, and others to stop backing militias in the region—but a lasting peace deal remains elusive.

Bystanders look on near a poster of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as his motorcade moves through the streets of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Aug. 9, ahead of a meeting with Congolese President Yoweri Museveni.
Bystanders look on near a poster of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as his motorcade moves through the streets of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Aug. 9, ahead of a meeting with Congolese President Yoweri Museveni.

Is the New U.S. Africa Strategy More of the Same?

The Biden administration insists it’s not focused on geopolitical competition, but its new document is full of references to Russia and China.

A man walks next to campaign posters ahead of Kenya's general election in Nairobi on Aug. 2.
A man walks next to campaign posters ahead of Kenya's general election in Nairobi on Aug. 2.

Odinga and Ruto Face Off in Kenya

Rivals become allies as outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta backs his old nemesis in a closely fought election.

Michael Mtoo looks on as his cattle drink water in Msomera, Tanzania, on July 15.
Michael Mtoo looks on as his cattle drink water in Msomera, Tanzania, on July 15.

Is Conservation Becoming Colonialism in Tanzania?

Tourism initiatives and conservation of UNESCO heritage sites have led to forced evictions of Indigenous peoples.

Senegalese President Macky Sall addresses a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Palace of the Republic of Senegal on May 22.
Senegalese President Macky Sall addresses a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Palace of the Republic of Senegal on May 22.

Africans Decry Europe’s Energy Hypocrisy

Wealthy European countries that sought to halt funding of fossil fuel projects across Africa are now scrambling to secure the continent’s oil and gas.

Protesters march on a street on the second day of a demonstration over soaring living costs in Accra, Ghana, on June 29.
Protesters march on a street on the second day of a demonstration over soaring living costs in Accra, Ghana, on June 29.

Ghana Goes to the IMF

After promising to prosper without international aid, Nana Akufo-Addo’s government is seeking international financial assistance to address an economic crisis.

Xue Bing, China’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, and Ethiopian National Security Advisor Redwan Hussein attend the first Horn of Africa peace conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 20.
Xue Bing, China’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, and Ethiopian National Security Advisor Redwan Hussein attend the first Horn of Africa peace conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 20.

What Does China Want in Ethiopia?

Beijing is stepping up its diplomatic efforts in the Horn of Africa as U.S. influence wanes.

Supporters of Nigeria’s ruling party All Progressive Congress and its presidential nominee, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, jubilate after the party announced him as the winner of its presidential primary at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria, on June 8.
Supporters of Nigeria’s ruling party All Progressive Congress and its presidential nominee, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, jubilate after the party announced him as the winner of its presidential primary at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria, on June 8.

Nigeria’s All-Male Gerontocracy Won’t Go Away

Africa’s largest democracy systematically excludes women and young people from politics in a country where the median age is 18.

Belgium’s King Philippe shakes hands with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi as he hands over a ceremonial mask during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Kinshasa on June 8.
Belgium’s King Philippe shakes hands with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi as he hands over a ceremonial mask during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Kinshasa on June 8.

Belgium Offers Regret—but No Reparations—to Congo

King Philippe stopped short of apologizing for colonial-era atrocities, angering the Congolese opposition and diaspora.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Nigerien Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou in Istanbul on Dec. 18, 2021.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Nigerien Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou in Istanbul on Dec. 18, 2021.

Turkey’s Newest African Ally

Ankara’s arms sales to Niger could make the country the center of counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel.

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