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AfricaFocus Bulletins, by topic
Major Topic Areas: Economy & Development | Health | Peace & Security | Politics & Human Rights
Special Topics: Agriculture | Aid, Poverty, & Public Investment | Culture & the Media | Debt | Education
Environment & Climate Change | Information & Communication Technology (ICT) | Migration | Trade

Major Topic Areas

Economy and Development Go to full list on this topic
July 29, 2015  USA/Africa: Obama Visit Roundup http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/usaf1507.php
    In analyzing high-profile presidential visits, it is difficult to sort out symbolism from substance in the sheer volume of news coverage and commentary. And despite the flurry of announcement of "deals" at each stop, the main lines of policy are rarely altered and often reflect continuity not only within one presidential administration but also from one administration to another. The content of private conversations of lower-level officials as well as others involved in the visits may be just as significant as the formal meetings of presidents. Even more significant may be the issues not discussed because common assumptions go unquestioned on both sides.

Health Go to full list on this topic
June 22, 2015  Africa: AIDS Struggle Continues http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/hiv1506.php
    "Both globally and in Africa, there is good news. Our collective efforts to end the AIDS epidemic are paying off. Now more people living with HIV than ever before are accessing treatment, more people know their status, and AIDS-related deaths are declining. ... This progress, however, belies a dangerous reality: young African women and adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to HIV." - UNAIDS, June 2015

Peace and Security Go to full list on this topic
July 29, 2015  USA/Africa: Obama Visit Roundup http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/usaf1507.php
    In analyzing high-profile presidential visits, it is difficult to sort out symbolism from substance in the sheer volume of news coverage and commentary. And despite the flurry of announcement of "deals" at each stop, the main lines of policy are rarely altered and often reflect continuity not only within one presidential administration but also from one administration to another. The content of private conversations of lower-level officials as well as others involved in the visits may be just as significant as the formal meetings of presidents. Even more significant may be the issues not discussed because common assumptions go unquestioned on both sides.

Politcs and Human Rights Go to full list on this topic
July 29, 2015  USA/Africa: Obama Visit Roundup http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/usaf1507.php
    In analyzing high-profile presidential visits, it is difficult to sort out symbolism from substance in the sheer volume of news coverage and commentary. And despite the flurry of announcement of "deals" at each stop, the main lines of policy are rarely altered and often reflect continuity not only within one presidential administration but also from one administration to another. The content of private conversations of lower-level officials as well as others involved in the visits may be just as significant as the formal meetings of presidents. Even more significant may be the issues not discussed because common assumptions go unquestioned on both sides.

Special Topics

Agriculture Go to full list on this topic
February 18, 2015  Africa: Privatizing Land and Seeds http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/ag1502.php
    "The G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition was launched in 2012 by the eight most industrialised countries to mobilise private capital for investment in African agriculture. To be accepted into the programme, African governments are required to make important changes to their land and seed policies. ... [for example] Despite the fact that more than 80% of all seed in Africa is still produced and disseminated through 'informal' seed systems (on-farm seed saving and unregulated distribution between farmers), there is no recognition in the New Alliance programme of the importance of farmer-based systems of saving, sharing, exchanging and selling seeds." - Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and GRAIN, January 2015

Aid, Poverty & Public Investment Go to full list on this topic
March 10, 2015  Africa/Global: Falling Short on Climate Finance http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/clim1503.php
    Africa, the continent with warming deviating most rapidly from "normal" conditions, could see climate change adaptation costs rise to US$50 billion per year by 2050, even assuming international efforts keep global warming below 2 degrees C this century, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

Culture & the Media Go to full list on this topic
March 17, 2015  Africa: Higher Education Must Be Higher Priority http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/educ1503.php
    "In 2011, the average gross rate of tertiary education enrolment in Africa was 8% against a world average of 27%. Even with those low figures, demand for university admission continues to exceed capacity, and public universities are under increasing pressure to admit more students than current staff and infrastructure would allow. ... [even so] In most African countries, the increase in tertiary enrolment has not translated into a comparable improvement in employment opportunities. ... Indeed, there are growing complaints by employers that graduates are poorly prepared for the workplace." - Concept paper for African Higher Education Summit

Debt Go to full list on this topic
July 21, 2015  Africa/Global: "Stop The Bleeding" http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/iff1507.php
    With the exception of inclusion of a statement promising to address "illicit financial flows," the outcome document of the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa (July 13-16) broke little new ground. Significantly, rich countries vetoed action on a greater role for the United Nations in setting international tax standards, preserving that role for the club of the OECD countries dominated by the United States and Europe. But civil society momentum for more significant action is continuing to grow, as was marked by the launch of the "Stop The Bleeding" campaign at a continent-wide gathering in Nairobi in June.

Education Go to full list on this topic
October 27, 2013  Nigeria: Cycle of Violence in Northeast http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/nig1310.php
    The cycle of violence in northeastern Nigeria, confirm two new Amnesty International reports this month, is fueled by indiscriminate killings both by Boko Haram and by the Nigerian military's Joint Task Force (JTF). More than 950 people are reported to have died while in detention by the JTF in the first six months of 2013, while Boko Haram has continued deadly attacks on schoolchildren and teachers.

Environment & Climate Change Go to full list on this topic
July 6, 2015  Africa/Global: People's Test on Climate http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/clim1507.php
    With less than six months before this year's UN Climate Change conference in Paris, it is clear that commitments by governments to action on climate change will fall short of that necessary to keep global warming under the internationally agreed target of 2 degrees Celsius, despite recent new pledges by the United States, Brazil, and China (http://tinyurl.com/qhtfdk9; http://tinyurl.com/q8g3srl). But, beyond national governments, there are signs of growing momentum for more rapid "transformational" action. Particularly notable is the recognition that such action must simultaneously address economic inequality and development as well as the natural environment.

Information & Communication Technology Go to full list on this topic
July 10, 2014  Africa: Rapid Growth in Mobile Money http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/mob1407.php
    "The mobile money landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, and this is especially true in Sub-Saharan Africa where mobile money is already available in 36 of 47 countries in the region. ... [For one example], Tanzania has witnessed unprecedented uptake of mobile financial services (MFS) in the span of five years. After a humble beginning, when less than 1% of the adult population had access to mobile financial services in 2008, 90% had access by September 2013 - an exponential increase. Likewise, active usage has shown similar improvement, with 43% of the adult population actively using this service in September 2013." - GSM Association reports

Migration Go to full list on this topic
June 15, 2015  Eritrea: "Rule of Fear, Not Law" http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/er1506.php
    "Citing an array of human rights violations on a scope and scale seldom witnessed elsewhere, the report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea describes a totalitarian state bent on controlling Eritreans through a vast security apparatus that has penetrated all levels of society. 'Information gathered through the pervasive control system is used in absolute arbitrariness to keep the population in a state of permanent anxiety,' the 500-page report says. 'It is not law that rules Eritreans - but fear.' - Press release, Office of UN High Commissioner on Human Rights

Trade Go to full list on this topic
June 1, 2014  South Africa: Disappearing Diamond Revenue http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/dia1406.php
    "In 2011, South Africa produced diamonds whose uncut, or rough, value was $1.73 billion, or 12 percent of global production, according to the most recent government data available. Yet from 2010 to 2011, diamond-producing companies paid South Africa's government just $11 million in mining royalties, according to the latest Tax Statistics report, produced by the South African Treasury and the South African Revenue Service." - Khadija Sharife