Web Features

The latest in-depth analysis of African and United Nations issues by the Africa Renewal team.

  • 19 January 2012

    World financial crisis and Africa: promises promises

    African countries are beginning to get some of the additional aid they need to survive the current global economic downturn. But there is considerable doubt that enough of the funds will arrive in time – if it arrives at all – to make much of a difference.

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  • 19 January 2012

    Africa needs to “play smart” in trade with Asia

    Africa’s success in avoiding the worst of the economic crisis that has swept the industrialized world has been due in large part to the remarkable growth of trade and investment with China, India, Brazil and other “emerging” developing countries.

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  • 19 January 2012

    UN helps foreign fighters head home

    The first few haggard Rwandan rebels started to trickle out of the Congolese forests of North Kivu in early January. Within weeks their numbers grew to hundreds. By June, more than 8,000 — including about 1,000 former gunmen — were back home in neighbouring Rwanda, aided by United Nations peacekeepers and refugee workers. One of the fighters, Antoine Uwumukiza told a reporter for the Washington Post why he decided to go back.

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  • 19 January 2012

    With money to invest, Kenyans say no thanks to banks

    Across the continent, Africans are saving and investing more of their own money but you won’t find them at the bank. According to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) the region’s domestic savings rate rose from just 19 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1998–2001 to 26 per cent in 2007.

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  • 19 January 2012

    Africa on the road to recovery

    Prospects are looking up again for African economies. With 2009 now over, so seem to be the continent’s hardest days. Africa is projected to grow by 4.3 per cent in 2010, nearly three times higher than in 2009, according to a recent UN report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010. “There is growing sentiment on the continent that the worst of the economic and financial crisis has passed as signs of recovery begin to appear,” write the authors.

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  • 18 January 2012

    Africans reach out in solidarity with Haiti

    A woman walking through the rubble in downtown Port au Prince

    A woman walking through the rubble in downtown Port au Prince, shortly after the earthquake: Though Africa is beset with numerous problems of its own, many countries have rushed aid to the stricken people of Haiti.Photograph: UN / Marco Dormino

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  • 18 January 2012

    Africa seeks to tap its diaspora

    Obiagali Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s vice president for Africa

    “It is important to look strategically at the diaspora’s role in African development,” Obiagali Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s vice president for Africa, told African expatriates.Photograph: World Bank / Arne Hoel

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  • 18 January 2012

    Uniting against terrorism across the Sahara

    Seven governments are combining efforts to counter terrorist groups

    Seven governments in the Sahara-Sahel region are combining efforts to counter terrorist groups, such as Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which took credit for bombing of the UN headquarters in Algiers in December 2007 (above), an act that claimed the lives of 17 UN personnel.Photograph: UN / Evan Schneider

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  • 18 January 2012

    Despite recovery, Africa needs more jobs, says ECA

    Harvesting sorghum in Sudan

    Harvesting sorghum in Sudan: By investing in labour-intensive sectors like agriculture and agro-industries, African countries could better tap the potential of their large work forces, says the UN Economic Commission for Africa.Photograph: UN / Fred Noy

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  • 18 January 2012

    Cameroon celebrates its 50th anniversary

    Cameroon’s 50th anniversary of independence

    School children march in celebrations marking Cameroon’s 50th anniversary of independence.Photograph: UN Africa Renewal / Ernest Harsch

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  • 18 January 2012

    Darfur: another tough job for Ibrahim Gambari

    Ibrahim Gambari, head of the Darfur peacekeeping mission

    When veteran United Nations trouble-shooter Ibrahim Gambari was named head of the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in the western Sudanese region of Darfur this January, there were reasons for cautious optimism. Although some 2 million people remain displaced, the conflict that had taken upwards of 300,000 lives since 2003 had receded considerably, accounting for less than 300 deaths from military confrontations in all of 2009. Talks between the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups seemed to be back on track.

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  • 17 January 2012

    Women, peace and security, 10 years on

    Female police officers from Rwanda arrive in Darfur, Sudan

    In October 2010 more than 600 Congolese women and girls were reportedly raped along the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Angola during a mass expulsion of illegal immigrants from Angola.

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  • 17 January 2012

    African youth: finding solutions to their own problems

    Grace Akallo, former child soldier from Uganda

    On 1 December 2010, as part of the International Year of Youth, the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa held a panel discussion on youth and the future of Africa. Seated amidst ambassadors and officials, four young people talked about the challenges and opportunities they face. In this exclusive for Africa Renewal, Liz Scaffidi spoke briefly with each.

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  • 17 January 2012

    Sudan: The long journey home

    Sudan referendum, A. Coseac for UNHCR

    For tens of thousands of southern Sudanese living in the North, the historic referendum on whether the South should become independent has meant a long journey home to vote.

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  • 17 January 2012

    Least developed countries at a ‘turning point,’ says the UN’s Cheick Sidi Diarra

    Under-Secretary-General Cheick Sidi Diarra

    Under-Secretary-General Cheick Sidi Diarra: Despite advances, LDCs still need “structural transformation” to eradicate poverty and develop their economies.Photograph: UN Africa Renewal / Michael Fleshman

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  • 17 January 2012

    What David Kato's death can teach the world

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay

    News of the brutal murder of Ugandan human rights activist David Kato has reverberated around the world.

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  • 17 January 2012

    Truth is the starting point

    Choi Young-jin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General

    On 22 February, Africa Renewal's Michael Fleshman sat down in Abidjan with Choi Young-jin, the head of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), for an exclusive interview about the country's continuing political deadlock and deteriorating security situation. Since civil war erupted in 2002, Côte d’Ivoire has been effectively partitioned between the north, controlled by forces loyal to the internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara, and the south, controlled by the former president, Laurent Gbagbo. The country was plunged into renewed crisis after Mr.

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  • 17 January 2012

    Appointments underscore Africa's growing importance within UN

    Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde and the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

    Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde, veteran Ethiopian diplomat, was named head of the UN office in Nairobi by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.Photograph: UN Photo / Ryan Brown

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  • 17 January 2012

    End game in Côte d’Ivoire marks a new beginning

    Youssoufou Bamba, Côte d'Ivoire's Ambassador to the UN

    The arrest of former Côte d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo on 11 April after a bloody weeklong battle in the heart of Abidjan has been greeted with jubilation by supporters of the internationally recognized president, Alassane Ouattara, and relief by the international community. Africa Renewal spoke with the Ivorian ambassador to the UN, Youssoufou Bamba, a few days before the final battle. In this exclusive interview in his New York office, Ambassador Bamba affirmed his government’s intention to bring Mr.

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  • 17 January 2012

    Winding path to decent housing for South Africa’s poor

    “We are waiting for houses,” says a resident of Soweto’s Motsoaledi shantytown, standing by her vintage wood-burning stove.Photograph: Africa Renewal / Ernest Harsch

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