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Sometimes, the best thing politicians can do to take a society forward is – nothing. This reality is key to understanding the prosecution on corruption charges of the secretary-general of South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule. Magashule, a leader in the ANC faction which supported former president Jacob Zuma, is the highest-ranking politician besides Zuma […]

After decades of underfunding its military, Nigeria’s defence budget has increased substantially  during the past 10 years. Yet the performance of the country’s military remains poor. And the country’s security challenges continue. One measure of this is that the latest data from the Global Terrorism Index (2019) ranked Nigeria as the third-worst nation prone to terrorism with no […]

  Special significance is often attached to by-elections. They are regarded as barometers of change in the political mood of a country. For parties, they can be early indicators of possible new trends in public opinion. In South Africa by-elections are held only at municipal level. General municipal elections are normally held about 15 months […]

  Africa is currently experiencing a changing pattern of diseases and deaths. The continent faces a double burden of infectious diseases and rapid escalation of non-communicable diseases such as stroke and heart disease. These conditions are driven by factors like ageing populations, changes in dietary habits, and rising rates of hypertension, physical inactivity, smoking, diabetes, raised cholesterol, […]

A new military conflict is sadly unfolding in the Horn of Africa. On November 4th, 2020, a military conflict erupted  between the forces of the federal government of Ethiopia and the regional government of Tigray, in the country’s North. The conflict is intensifying at an alarming speed. It has now become a regional conflict with reports […]

t’s been 20 years since the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was first held. Another summit is planned for September 2021 in Dakar, Senegal. Meanwhile, Chinese and African officials are reviewing and reflecting on their two-decade relationship. China’s growing engagement with Africa has had a positive, albeit uneven, effect on Africa’s economic growth, economic diversification, job creation and connectivity. China-Africa relations […]

  The coronavirus pandemic is having devastating socio-economic effects on people in many parts of the world. Poverty, hunger and malnutrition are increasing; diseases – including polio, measles, and tuberculosis – are surging; and anxiety, depression, and stress are on the rise. Could distributing a universal basic income – a modest, unconditional stipend that gives […]

  Kimi Makwetu, who passed away on 11 November 2020 after a battle with lung cancer, was the quintessential civil servant who took his job as South Africa’s auditor-general seriously and threw every sinew of his being into it. I knew Kimi since our student days at the University of Cape Town in the late […]

Nigeria is a troubled federation. Its federal character has been a subject of debate since the return to democratic rule in 1999. Various groups have claimed to be marginalised and not sufficiently represented in the central offices of the national government. Some say it’s not even a federation so much as a unitary state, created by the […]

  The rickety coalition that has governed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for 20 months, forged by President Félix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila, appears to be falling apart. In 2019, for lack of a parliamentary majority, Tshisekedi chose to share power with his former rival, Kabila, in a coalition of their respective […]

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