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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, 2014  USA/Africa: A Dubious Summit http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/sum1407.php
    "Starting August 4, the Obama Administration will host a mini replica of an African Union (AU) summit. As many as 40 heads of state from the continent will be on hand for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, a conference that will look at ways to boost trade and investment in the continent, tap into Africa's burgeoning youth population, and promote good governance. ... Unfortunately, unless a major change is made, the summit risks simply becoming an AU heads of state road trip with a photo-op at the end to confirm that they visited Washington before returning home." - Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International

Health Go to full list on this topic
April 14, 2014  Lesotho: "Model" Project Drains Health Budget http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/les1404.php
    A new hospital in Lesotho, touted as a model for public-private partnership by the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), is already draining the country's health budget and diverting resources from rural health, charges Oxfam International in a new report released on April 7. Cost overruns, high earnings by the private partner, and clauses imposing additional financial risks for the government offset the advantages of the new hospital in improved hospital care in the capital Maseru, the report contends.

Peace and Security Go to full list on this topic
July 14, 2014  Africa: Understanding Organized Crime http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/oc1407.php
    "We have concluded that drug use must be regarded primarily as a public health problem. Drug users need help, not punishment. We believe that the consumption and possession for personal use of drugs should not be criminalised. Experience shows that criminalisation of drug use worsens health and social problems, puts huge pressures on the criminal justice system and incites corruption. ... We caution that West Africa must not become a new front line in the failed "war on drugs," which has neither reduced drug consumption nor put traffickers out of business." - West Africa Commission on Drugs

Politcs and Human Rights Go to full list on this topic
July 29, 2014  USA/Africa: A Dubious Summit http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/sum1407.php
    "Starting August 4, the Obama Administration will host a mini replica of an African Union (AU) summit. As many as 40 heads of state from the continent will be on hand for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, a conference that will look at ways to boost trade and investment in the continent, tap into Africa's burgeoning youth population, and promote good governance. ... Unfortunately, unless a major change is made, the summit risks simply becoming an AU heads of state road trip with a photo-op at the end to confirm that they visited Washington before returning home." - Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International

Special Topics

Agriculture Go to full list on this topic
March 17, 2014  Africa/Global: The Right to Food http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/food1403.php
    "The right to food is the right of every individual, alone or in community with others, to have physical and economic access at all times to sufficient, adequate and culturally acceptable food that is produced and consumed sustainably, preserving access to food for future generations. ... Because of the various channels though which access to food can be achieved, the creation of decent jobs in the industry and services sectors plays an essential role in securing the right to food, as does the provision of social protection."- Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Final Report

Aid, Poverty & Public Investment Go to full list on this topic
May 13, 2013  Africa: Rise of the Global South http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/hdr1305.php
    "Although most developing countries have done well, a large number of countries have done particularly well -- what can be called the 'rise of the South'. Some of the largest countries have made rapid advances, notably Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey. But there has also been substantial progress in smaller economies, such as Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda and Tunisia. ... For the first time in 150 years, the combined output of the developing world's three leading economies -- Brazil, China and India -- is about equal to the combined GDP of the longstanding industrial powers of the North -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States." - UNDP Human Development Report, 2013

Culture & the Media Go to full list on this topic
Jan 31, 2013  Africa: Press Freedom Index http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/rsf1301.php
    Reporters Without Borders has just published their Press Freedom Index for 2013, with a brief review and ratings of conditions for journalists in 179 countries around the world. While some African countries rank at the bottom of the list (notably Somalia at 175 and Eritrea at 179), other African countries fall in the middle or even close to the top. Namibia (19) ranks above Canada (20). Cape Verde (25) ranks above Australia (26), and Ghana (30) above the United States (32).

Debt 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

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
June 30, 2014  Africa: Clean Energy Most Cost-Effective http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/ces1406.php
    "From off-grid LED lighting to 'Skinny Grids,' we can now provide energy access with a fraction of the amount of power we used to need. More importantly, we can unlock affordable initial interventions -- like lighting, mobile phone charging, fans, and TVs plus a small amount of agro processing -- to help people get onto the energy ladder today rather than forcing them to wait decades for a grid extension that may never come. ... It's important to understand that we aren't just imagining this clean energy market growth -- it's already happening." -- Justin Guay, Sierra Club

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
May 19, 2014  Kenya: Refugee Crackdown "Counter-productive" http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/ken1405.php
    "Harassment and forced repatriation [of Somali refugees in Kenya] is likely to incite acute hatred against Kenya and entice more youth to join the Al-Qaeda-linked extremist group. This strategy is counterproductive. The government's decision to take this route has provoked anger. Somalis, whether from Kenya or from Somalia, and the Muslim community have suffered brutal police actions. This suits Al-Shabaab propaganda and alienates a community that can help fight terrorism," Nuur Sheikh, expert on conflict in Horn of Africa, in interview with Inter Press Service.

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