All Posts (13)

Covid Helps Somalia Consolidate

The Somali government is using the pandemic to strengthen its legitimacy at a time when its control of the southern part of the country is challenged by Al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda affiliate, and the northern areas of Somaliland and Puntland are quasi-independent. 

One, the Somali authorities, arguing they needed to spend their funds on responding to the virus, persuaded European governments to pay off their outstanding $ 500 million debt to the World Bank and African D

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Africa And COVID-19
 
First Recession in 25 Years: The Covid-19 pandemic and the commodity and tourism crash it has triggered will push Africa into a recession for the first time in 25 years, said the World Bank. Africa may be the worst-affected continent by the present crisis. 

The World Bank calculates sub-Saharan Africa will see growth fall from 2.4% in 2019 to between -2 to -5% this year. The Bank’s vice-president for Africa, Hafez Ghanem, said, “African countries are likely to be hit partic

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Pandemic Arrives in Africa
 
By the end of March, the World Health Organisation had confirmed 4,351 cases of Covid-19 and some 135 deaths across Africa. The continent's under-resourced health services has made the virus’s spread in the continent of particular concern. WHO says its statistics are “likely to significantly underestimate” the true number of cases. Forty-six countries have been affected on the continent. A number of African governments, such as Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zambia, hav

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Africa Digest | February 2020

US Visa Blocks Undermine Policy

The United States continues to send crossed-signals regarding its policy to Africa. On one hand, the Trump administration controversially issued visa restrictions against citizens of four African countries and is preparing to reduce US involvement in military operations in the Sahel region. On the other, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right after the Munich Security Conference, travelled to Senegal, Angola and Ethiopia - to make the case for stronger economic r

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Africa Digest - November 2019

Focus: Terror Threat Widens in West Africa
 

Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups upped their attacks across the Sahel region of West Africa in November and December, feeding off local ethnic and resource disputes. The year 2019 saw a record 700 attacks in the central Sahel region of the continent.
 
A twin attack on Christmas Eve in Burkina Faso against a military base and the town of Arbinda left 42 soldiers and civilians dead. Though no group has claimed responsibility, the

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Africa Digest - Oct. 2019

China’s Bagamayo Problem

Africa is known as a nodal point for China’s Belt Road Initiative, especially the continent’s Indian Ocean littoral.  Chinese influence on the continent has grown substantially as a consequence and Africans have expressed strong approval of China in surveys. Lately, however, falling commodity prices and greater scrutiny of Chinese debt requirements have resulted in political and commercial problems for some of these investments. These are some of the more recent examples

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Africa Digest - September 2019

Tech in Africa

Naspers is second largest e-investor in India

South African fund, Naspers, is the second-largest overseas internet investor in India having put in $ 4 billion over the past five years. In an interview with The Economic Times, the head of Naspers Bob van Dijk, indicated India would remain a key market for the company which is now second only to SoftBank in the number of internet investments in the country. 

Naspers globally has a market capitalisation of $ 100 billion and represent

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Africa Digest - August 2019

India's Mozambique Gas Investment Cleared

A consortium of Indian firms and their partners in late June made the final decision to invest $ 20 billion to build a liquid natural gas terminal in Mozambique for the Rovuma Offshore Area 1 gasfield. Indian firms hold 26% share in the investment. The first gas shipments are expected in 36 to 48 months from now. Rovuma has over 2 trillion cubic metres  of gas, equivalent to roughly 70 years of India’s present annual gas consumption. The terminal will co

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Africa Digest - July 2019

Africa Shrugs Off Huawei Concerns

Despite reports that Chinese equipment was behind a data security breach in its secretariat early last year, the African Union in May signed a new memorandum of understanding on ICT cooperation with the controversial Chinese electronics firms Huawei.  Even as the United States and other Western governments introduced bans on Huawei’s equipment, the Nigerian president visited one of the Chinese firm’s Beijing research centres in late May. The governments of major

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Africa Digest - June 2019

Abortive Coup Attempt in Ethiopia

A failed coup attempt that killed four people, including its chief of army staff and a provincial governor, rocked Ethiopia’s polity in late June. The coup leader, Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, was killed while trying to escape from a hideout. Some 250 people have since been arrested. The coup puts a question mark over Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s attempts to introduce democratic reforms to Ethiopia. 

Tsige was an Amhara, the second largest ethnic group in th

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Africa Digest - May 2019

Sudan Cracks Down on Protestors

The Sudanese military regime cracked down on pro-democracy protestors on June 3, ending civilian protests against the regime that began in December last year. Over 115 people were killed when soldiers attacked a protest site and rampaged through Khartoum. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said 40 bodies were pulled out of the Nile, while a large number of women protestors were raped. The government admitted 61 deaths.  

The protests had led the regime to push

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Africa Digest - March 2019

India Helps Out Mozambique

 

India was among the first international responders to arrive at the Mozambican port of Beira after it faced the full brunt of Cyclone Idai on March 15. Three Indian naval ships, INS Sujatha, INS Shardul and INS Sarathi, arrived with food, clothes, medicine and potable water five days after the storm hit the Mozambican coast. Mozambique’s defence minister visited the ships as the aid was transferred to the local defence forces. 

According to the Red Cross, the cyclone

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Africa Digest - February 2019

Buhari Re-elected In Nigeria

Nigerian President  Muhammadu Buhari was officially re-elected on 27 February for another term to lead Africa’s largest country. He defeated his closest rival, People’s Democratic Party candidate Atiku Abubakar, by nearly four million votes. Administrative problems and delays marred the election process, but the result has been accepted by the international community. 

The expectation is a second-term Buhari government will push ahead with its popular social welfare

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About the Author

Pramit Pal Chaudhury

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times, and Distinguished Fellow & Head, Strategic Affairs, Ananta Aspen Centre

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri writes on political, security, and economic issues. He previously wrote for the Statesman and the Telegraph in Calcutta. He served on the National Security Advisory Board of the Indian government from 2011-2015. Among other affiliations, he is a member of the Asia Society Global Council, the Aspen Institute Italia, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Mont Pelerin Society. Pramit is also a senior associate of Rhodium Group, New York City, advisor to the Bower Group Asia in India, a member of the Council on Emerging Markets, Washington, DC, and a delegate for the Confederation of Indian Industry-Aspen Strategy Group Indo-U.S. Strategic Dialogue and the Ananta Aspen Strategic Dialogues with Japan, China and Israel. Born in 1964, he has visited over fifty countries on five continents. Mr. Pal Chaudhuri is a history graduate from Cornell University.