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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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January 26, 2015 Burkina Faso: Hopes for New Beginnings
"Over the next year, the transition away from the Compaoré era [in Burkina Faso] will be full of uncertainties. The opposition leaders are focused on new elections, which they clearly hope to win. Others, closer to the activist networks, are also pushing for more fundamental changes: to improve people's economic and social conditions, root out corruption, reform state institutions, and bring to justice the worst criminals of the ancien régime." - Ernest Harsch
January 21, 2015 Africa/Global: Ebola Lessons & Questions
Media coverage of the Ebola epidemic, which took a sharp downward turn after a handful of patients in the United States recovered, has faded even further into the background as the battle against the epidemic has begun to succeed in the most-affected countries. But those on the front lines warn that complacency could easily allow the still-present virus to hold out and even expand. And although there are clear lessons to be learned, there are also unanswered questions, most notably about international will to implement the imperative of sustainable health systems for the future.
January 13, 2015 Nigeria: Elections/Security Disconnect
"These images from Northern Nigeria should be searing the conscience of the world. Some two thousand innocent children, women and elderly reportedly massacred in Baga. A young girl sent to her death with a bomb strapped to her chest in Maiduguri. And lest we forget, more than two hundred girls stolen from their families, still lost. Words alone can neither express our outrage nor ease the agony of all those suffering from the constant violence in northern Nigeria. But these images of recent days and all they imply for the future of Nigeria should galvanize effective action. For this cannot go on." - UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, January 11, 2015
January 6, 2015 Sierra Leone: Losing Out
According to World Bank estimates in December, Sierra Leone is the country that has suffered the greatest economic losses from the impact of Ebola. Economic growth, estimated at a 11.3% annual rate in the first half of 2014, contracted at a 2.8% annual rate in the second half of the year, and was projected to drop another 2% in 2015. Such massive losses not only illustrate the profound impact of Ebola; they also raise questions about the nature of the growth that left the country so vulnerable to the epidemic.
December 15, 2014 Africa/Global: Postponing Climate Decisions
"It was not hard for me to make the connection between the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, and the catalyst for my work to stop the climate crisis. ... In the wake of the climate disaster that was Hurricane Katrina almost ten years ago, I saw the same images of police, pointing war-zone weapons at unarmed black people with their hands in the air. ... When crisis hits, the underlying racism in our society comes to the surface in very clear ways." - Deirdre Smith, 350.org, August 20, 2014
December 8, 2014 Africa: Reflections from an Elder Statesman
"In recent years, Africa has had strong economic growth records largely attributed to the comparative advantage that we have on natural resources and the demands fuelled by the strong growth in the largest emerging economies in Latin America and Asia. However, this growth has not translated into further reduction of poverty nor income and wealth inequality as we expected. ... The wealth and resources of our countries must be used to serve our people and not benefit a few individuals." - H.E. Salim Ahmed Salim