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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
May 18, 2015  Africa/Global: Decarbonizing Development? http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/wb1505.php
    Decarbonizing Development, a new report from the World Bank, lays out a target of "zero carbon future" by the end of the century. The target year goal is the most conservative of the options laid out for negotiations in the climate summit in Paris in December. Such a long transition can rightly be criticized by climate activists and scientists as falling far short, as can the Bank's own record of continued support for fossil fuels implicitly faulted in this report.

Health Go to full list on this topic
May 11, 2015  West Africa: Ebola Down But Not Out http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/eb1505.php
    "The [Ebola] epidemic is at its lowest but not over yet. The recent weeks have seen an important decrease in new confirmed Ebola cases across West Africa. Liberia is now close to being declared Ebolafree on 9 May, while Sierra Leone and Guinea are finally getting close to zero. However, the outbreak is not over until it's over at the regional level." - Doctors without Borders, May 6 update

Peace and Security Go to full list on this topic
April 27, 2015  Burundi: On the Brink? http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/bur1504.php
    "The prospect of a third term for President Nkurunziza calls into question the preservation of peace in Burundi. The president is risking it all by trying to force his name on the ballot, against the Catholic Church, civil society, a fraction of his own party and most external partners. The opposition's survival is at stake and the security forces are unsure how to react in case of violent crisis. The situation is much more serious than the failed 2010 elections: what lies behind this new electoral cycle is the upholding of the Arusha agreement as the foundation of Burundi's regime." - International Crisis Group

Politcs and Human Rights Go to full list on this topic
April 27, 2015  Burundi: On the Brink? http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/bur1504.php
    "The prospect of a third term for President Nkurunziza calls into question the preservation of peace in Burundi. The president is risking it all by trying to force his name on the ballot, against the Catholic Church, civil society, a fraction of his own party and most external partners. The opposition's survival is at stake and the security forces are unsure how to react in case of violent crisis. The situation is much more serious than the failed 2010 elections: what lies behind this new electoral cycle is the upholding of the Arusha agreement as the foundation of Burundi's regime." - International Crisis Group

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
March 23, 2015  Africa/Global: Swiss Connections http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/iff1503.php
    An investigation conducted by the Berne Declaration (BD) has revealed how Philia, a Swiss trading company, has been profiting at the expense of the Congo (Brazzaville) oil refinery, Coraf. Coraf is managed by the President's son, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, who is a close friend of Philia's sole shareholder, Jean-Philippe Amvame Ndong. The case is an unusually explicit and striking example of the links between corruption in Africa and the lack of transparency and regulation for companies located outside the continent.

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
May 18, 2015  Africa/Global: Decarbonizing Development? http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/wb1505.php
    Decarbonizing Development, a new report from the World Bank, lays out a target of "zero carbon future" by the end of the century. The target year goal is the most conservative of the options laid out for negotiations in the climate summit in Paris in December. Such a long transition can rightly be criticized by climate activists and scientists as falling far short, as can the Bank's own record of continued support for fossil fuels implicitly faulted in this report.

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
April 22, 2015  South Africa: Saying No to Xenophobia http://www.africafocus.org/docs15/sa1504.php
    "Finally, one word about 'foreigners' and 'migrants'. No African is a foreigner in Africa! No African is a migrant in Africa! Africa is where we all belong, notwithstanding the foolishness of our boundaries. No amount of national-chauvinism will erase this. No amount of deportations will erase this. Instead of spilling black blood on no other than Pixley ka Seme Avenue (!), we should all be making sure that we rebuild this Continent and bring to an end a long and painful history - that which, for too long, has dictated that to be black (it does not matter where or when), is a liability." - Achille Mbembe

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