Introducing AfricaFocus Bulletin
An independent e-mail bulletin on key issues affecting Africa
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Each issue of AfricaFocus Bulletin provides timely analysis and advocacy information on a single topic. The emphasis is on themes of continent-wide or regional relevance, or on selected country-specific topics.
Draws on the best African, international, and U.S. sources.
AfricaFocus Bulletin reposts selected statements, research reports, and conference presentations from a wide range of sources, including nongovernmental organizations, activist groups, international agencies, and governments. Links and contact information for the original sources are always provided, so you can follow up for more details.
Fast, convenient, and just the right length.
AfricaFocus Bulletin arrives in your e-mail 1 to 2 times a week. At about 8 to 10 pages (25K maximum e-mail size) - it's long enough to provide in-depth analysis, but short enough to skim quickly. Longer reports are included as executive summaries or excerpts only, with clickable links to the full texts. The whole bulletin comes in the body of the e-mail - no attachments to download.
An editor's note puts the information in context.
AfricaFocus Bulletin is edited by William Minter, a writer, researcher, and analyst and the former editor of Africa Policy E-Journal. Each issue of AfricaFocus Bulletin begins with a brief editor's note introducing the material and placing it in the context of current developments. A full archive, with additional news and information resources, is available at http://www.africafocus.org.
Most recent issues
June 6, 2017 South Africa: #Guptaleaks - Will Heads Roll?
"The Guptas have until now escaped investigation from the state agencies because they
have purchased indemnity. You have to hand it to the Guptas; the way they went about
capturing the state is quite impressive. Not only did they buy the president and his
son, they targeted key people in government that could act as their minions. When
people were resistant to their agenda, they scouted for bootlickers and had them
appointed. They paid off people in the security agencies to make sure they would not
be bothered with criminal investigations." - Daily Maverick, June 5, 2017
May 30, 2017 USA/Africa: "Pro-Death" Health Agendas Advance
"3.3 million more abortions. 15,000 more mothers dying. 8 million more unplanned
pregnancies. ... Those grim numbers from the Guttmacher Institute show the potential
real-world impact of the Trump administration's unprecedented proposed cuts to global
family planning efforts; the budget the White House released Tuesday would basically
eliminate those programs." - Sarah Wildman, Vox, May 24, 2017
May 24, 2017 Nigeria: Corruption Undercuts Boko Haram Fight
"Nigeria's corrupt elites have profited from conflict; with oil prices at a record
low, defence has provided new and lucrative opportunities for the country's corrupt
kleptocrats. Former military chiefs have stolen as much as US $15 billion – a sum
equivalent to half of Nigeria's foreign currency reserves – through fraudulent arms
procurement deals." - new report on "Weaponizing Tranparency"
May 17, 2017 Africa/Global: Whose Energy?
"We, the undersigned representatives of African civil society, express our deep
concern regarding efforts by the European Union and France to hijack the Africa
Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), an African-owned and African-led initiative
endorsed by all 55 African Heads of State to scale up renewable energy on our
continent." April 6 statement by Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and over 200
civil society networks and groups from 34 African countries.
May 8, 2017 Africa: World Bank Financing Land Grabs
"The World Bank Group has indirectly financed some of Africa's most notorious land
grabs, according to a report by a group of international development watchdogs. The
World Bank's private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is
enabling and profiting from these projects by outsourcing its development funds to
the financial sector." - Oakland Institute
April 25, 2017 Africa/Global: Media Repression 2.0
"In the days when news was printed on paper, censorship was a crude
practice involving government officials with black pens, the seizure
of printing presses and raids on newsrooms. The complexity and
centralization of broadcasting also made radio and television
vulnerable to censorship even when the governments didn't exercise
direct control of the airwaves. ... New information technologies--
the global, interconnected internet; ubiquitous social media
platforms; smart phones with cameras--were supposed to make
censorship obsolete. Instead, they have just made it more
complicated." - Joel Simon, Committee to Protect Journalists, April
April 25, 2017 Zambia: From Democracy to Dictatorship?
"Our country is now all, except in designation, a dictatorship
and if it is not yet, then we are not far from it. Our political
leaders in the ruling party often issue intimidating statements that
frighten people and make us fear for the immediate and future. This
must be stopped and reversed henceforth." - Zambia Conference of
Catholic Bishops, April 23, 2017
April 17, 2017 Africa/Global: New Reports Show Massive Tax Losses
On April 15, "tax day" in the United States, tens of thousands of
demonstrators in over 200 communities around the country marched to
demand that President Trump make public his tax returns (
http://taxmarch.org/home/). Protesters also denounced his use of
taxpayer funds for his personal profit and military escalation while
his administration continues its assault on spending for urgent
public needs at home and around the world. There is no sign that the
President will comply with the demand for transparency. But the
award of a Pulitzer Prize last week to the international consortium
that exposed the Panama Papers was only one indicator that the drive
to expose tax evasion, tax avoidance, and corruption around the
world will continue.
April 10, 2017 Africa: African Feminism Past and Present
"On February 18th I lost my grand aunt - my grandmother really ...
This incredible woman, May Kyomugasho Katebaka left us at the age of
97. We last met in 2014 when I visited her. She's a fierce woman.
Fierce in her religion but also fierce in her knowledge of what she
wanted from the world. And that is what moves me. Moves me every time
one claims feminism is foreign and for the educated, un-african. She
always came to mind when I met such arguments. I would tell myself
that if only they could hear half her life story, then they would
understand why I am such a rebellion." - Rosebell Kagumire
April 3, 2017 South Africa: Rising Outcry for Zuma to Go
"We call on Ministers and leaders of the ANC who care about the
future of democracy and the Constitution to speak up and call on the
President, in the best interests of the country, to step down. We
call on the parliamentary leadership of the ANC, supported by all
opposition parties, to insist that parliament be recalled
immediately to debate a motion of no-confidence, proposed by the ANC
leadership in parliament. We call on all members of Parliament to
unite and support a motion of no-confidence." - Statement by the
Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, March
March 28, 2017 Liberia: Mining, Displacement, and the World Bank
"The roots of the New Liberty Gold project stretch back before 1995,
when a resource extraction license was issued by former warlord
turned president Charles Taylor to a mysterious company called
KAFCO. The permit changed hands a few times and, today, Avesoro holds its
permit via a wholly-owned subsidiary, Bea Mountain Mining Corp – a
company created in 1996 by Keikurah B. Kpoto, one of Taylor's
closest associates. In 1998, foreign interests bought Bea Mountain
Mining. The beneficiaries of the sale were well hidden. According to
a document IRIN procured, three quarters of its capital belonged to
a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. The rest was
held by owners of bearer shares." - IRIN investigative report, March
March 21, 2017 Africa/Global: Scaling Up Solar
Even in the United States, where action on climate change is under
threat from aggressive assault by climate deniers in the Trump
administration and Congress, renewable energy is projected to
continue to advance rapidly, on the basis of its still
growing cost advantages over fossil fuels. According to a report
just released by GTM research, the US total solar market, already
supplying the largest share of new power production, is poised to
triple over the next five years. The prospect for renewable energy
to power increased access to electricity in Africa is also dramatic,
according to a new report from the Africa Progress Panel.
March 14, 2017 Africa/Global: Invisible Crises, Failing Safety Nets
"Famine 'largest humanitarian crisis in history of UN': UN
humanitarian chief says 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan,
Somalia and Nigeria face starvation and famine," says the headline
in Al Jazeera, echoed in the BBC and other international media, but
easily ignored without the high-intensity spotlight that
occasionally targets disasters with greater geostrategic centrality.
In the United States, while headlines rightly focus on the 24
million who would lose health care under the Republican Trumpcare
plan, no one has yet calculated the toll from a proposed 50% cut in
the U.S. budget for support of the UN.
March 6, 2017 South Africa: Targeting Immigrants, Again
"In the post-apartheid South Africa, resurgence of xenophobic
violence is a symptom of the deep leadership deficit. For the fourth
consecutive week now, South Africa is witnessing what many analysts
call a "resurgence" of xenophobic violence in parts of Johannesburg
and Pretoria, the country's capital city. The reality is that this
type of violence is a daily occurrence in the country, although it
does not always get media attention. It has, in fact, become a longstanding
feature in post-apartheid South Africa." - Jean Pierre
Misago, African Centre for Migration and Society, Johannesburg