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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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January 16, 2017 Africa: Electoral Landscapes
Ghana, Gambia, and Gabon are all small African countries with names beginning with the letter "G," which held presidential elections in 2016. But neither the electoral landscapes nor the electoral outcomes can fruitfully be analyzed without giving greater weight to the contrasts than to the similarities. The same applies to the even wider set of 14 African countries with presidential elections last year, or the 8 so far scheduled to hold elections in 2017.
December 6, 2016 Gambia: Sudden Hope in a Small Country
"The bells of freedoms are ringing in the four corners of the Gambia. We are free at last and the thousands of Gambians who were forced into exile can now return home and help rebuild their country. We shall no longer be afraid to hold political discussions in the open. We can now sleep peacefully at night without the men in black breaking in our homes and take us away in front of our children. We are indeed really free. ... Alhamdulillah, change has happened in the Gambia." - Jollof News editorial, December 2, 2016
November 28, 2016 Africa/Global: Overcoming the Shadow Economy
"Knowledge of beneficial ownership of companies and bank accounts is fundamental, both to ensure taxation and also to prevent and prosecute crime and the money laundering that so often is associated with it. ... Corporations, trusts, and foundations are creations of the state--and as such, they have no inalienable rights. They are created to facilitate societal welfare, and to ensure that they do so, they need to be globally regulated--regulated in ways which ensure full knowledge of beneficial ownership and full compliance with all tax laws." - Joseph Stiglitz, in testimony to European Parliament Panama Papers inquiry
November 17, 2016 Somalia: Rising Threats to Dadaab Refugees
"The priority of donors and UN agencies should be on improving conditions in Somalia, not succumbing to political pressure from Kenya to speed up the pace of returns through monetary inducements. Kenya faces very real and very serious security challenges. But it is harmful and wrong to blame the Somali refugee population – people who themselves fled to Kenya seeking refuge from violence, persecution, and turmoil at home." - Refugees International
November 10, 2016 Africa/Global: Climate Threat, Action Tracks
"Africa is already burning. The election of Trump is a disaster for our continent. The United States, if it follows through on its new President's rash words about withdrawing from the international climate regime, will become a pariah state in global efforts for climate action. This is a moment where the rest of the world must not waver and must redouble commitments to tackle dangerous climate change," Geoffrey Kamese from Friends of the Earth Africa.
October 26, 2016 Congo (Kinshasa): "No Elections" Reports
Central Africa's largest and most populous country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is bordered by nine countries: the Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Angola. With the exception of Zambia and Tanzania, none can claim to be a consolidated competitive democracy. But most have at least managed to hold presidential elections within the last two years. In contrast, with this month's postponement of the scheduled election for 2016, the DRC has joined South Sudan and Angola in extending a "no elections" scenario.