US Opinion and Commentary

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The ICC Lacks Legitimacy

Posted December 14th, 2016 at 8:17 am (UTC-4)
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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, in many ways, had a strong year. Two new preliminary investigations have been opened, in Burundi and the Gabonese Republic, while eight situations remain under on-going examination…Unfortunately, this year has also brought serious challenges to the Court.

Disband the African Union

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 9:17 pm (UTC-4)
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Not surprisingly, the AU has achieved spectacularly little in its decade and a half of existence. It is famous for its annual summits, where unrepentant despots sip champagne and applaud their own longevity while issuing preposterous communiqués that nobody else in the world pays attention to.

President of Gabon: The Paris Agreement Is Just the Start of Africa’s Climate Quest

Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 12:49 pm (UTC-4)
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As we look to the future, we cannot improve our living standards while simultaneously degrading the natural environment around us. If we do, we will certainly face a similar climate migration, sparking a humanitarian crisis. Africa is going to have to walk a tightrope if we are to achieve sustainable growth.

Transformational Change? Time Will Tell

Posted April 18th, 2016 at 2:52 pm (UTC-4)
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The crux of the criticisms (about Africa policy) that developed during Obama’s first term and followed him through his second can be boiled down primarily to two arguments: he did less than Bush, and he’s doing less than China.

How Schooling Can Save African Girls from Becoming Child Brides

Posted March 17th, 2016 at 2:00 pm (UTC-4)
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How can child marriages be stopped? The answer, research suggests, lies in improving girls’ access to basic education – and in changing school curricula so that both girls and boys realise women can contribute a great deal to their societies if they are not just married off and forgotten.

Africa’s Boom Is Over

Posted January 6th, 2016 at 10:31 am (UTC-4)
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[I]t looks like the skeptics were right. Oil and commodity prices are plunging, China’s purchases are slowing, and GDP growth rates across the continent are in steep decline. … [T]he IMF has cut its 2015 projection for growth in sub-Saharan Africa from 4.5 to 3.75 percent …

Transforming the Health, Well-Being, and Livelihoods of Millions Across the Globe

Posted December 15th, 2015 at 9:44 am (UTC-4)
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This year marks a decade of American leadership in the global fight against malaria through the President’s Malaria Initiative. Retired Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, the US Global Malaria Coordinator, reports the hard work is paying off.

Will Obama’s Africa Tour Dispel Disengagement Narrative?

Posted July 27th, 2015 at 3:33 pm (UTC-4)
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The conventional wisdom on President Barack Obama’s engagement with Africa is largely critical – his predecessor did so much more. Africans love Obama nonetheless, observers say. This trip includes some firsts: Obama will be the first sitting American president to address the African Union in Ethiopia, where he has already boldly called for political freedoms. And in Kenya, his father’s homeland, he spoke frankly about gay rights and corruption.

Kenya, Open for Business

Posted July 27th, 2015 at 8:25 am (UTC-4)
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The Chinese have built large numbers of roads, modern office buildings, schools, and ports, as well as other major infrastructure projects. From this, he is likely to conclude that Kenya — in a pattern that is true across the continent — is changing rapidly, and American commercial relations are not keeping up.

US Gun Policy Obama’s Biggest Regret

Posted July 24th, 2015 at 2:24 pm (UTC-4)
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Just hours after President Obama spoke with BBC, a gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Louisiana, killing two people before shooting himself. It was the latest in a string of gun violence in the US: from the massacre of nine people in a famed black church in South Carolina to the shooting deaths of over 20 young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Obama’s Trip to Africa Changes a Narrative

Posted July 23rd, 2015 at 9:14 pm (UTC-4)
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The highlight of Obama’s trip to Africa will be a summit on how to support entrepreneurs. US support for start-up businesses reflects a different approach to lifting the continent.

Obama Travels to Africa with Mixed Ratings

Posted July 23rd, 2015 at 12:58 pm (UTC-4)
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The president’s first trip to Africa in 2009 was a single stop in Ghana. It left some African’s asking if they were being abandoned by Obama, whose father’s birthplace is in Kenya. This visit, his third, begins in Kenya and continues in Ethiopia, the headquarters of the African Union. Despite “Obama-mania,” some are dismayed the president will be meeting with two of Africa most controversial – and divisive – leaders.

Is Genocide Inevitable?

Posted June 15th, 2015 at 11:26 am (UTC-4)
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Mass violence in countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Mali, Chad and Uganda, let alone genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Sudan, continue to influence sub-Saharan Africa’s image.