Web Features

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

  • 16 October 2018

    Africa’s bumpy road to sustainable energy

    Photo: Johannes Ortner

    For years, Kenyans freely used and disposed of plastic bags. The bags were ubiquitous—in the markets, in the gutters and in the guts out of 3 out of every 10 animals taken to slaughter.

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  • 11 October 2018

    A letter to girls from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, on International Day of the Girl Child

    Young girls from Mtakataka Secondary School in the District of Dedza, Malawi. Photo: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker

    This is a critical time for the girls of our world. It is a time for the protection and assertion of rights, a time to listen hard and speak louder, no matter how difficult; to call out the continuing imbalances of power; to band together and take a stand on the changes that must happen so that girls and women are heard and their experiences are taken seriously. It is a time to act, together with men and boys, on the issues that will determine a lived equality for all, central to which is the ending of violence against women and girls.

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  • 13 September 2018

    Kofi Annan was the United Nations

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan

    Since the shock of former United Nations’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s death, I have been reflecting on what made him so special. To my mind, it is simply this:  Kofi Annan was both one-of-a-kind and one of us.

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  • 20 August 2018

    Investing in Africa is sound business and a sustainable corporate strategy

      The best time to invest in Africa is now. However, foreign investors have not moved into the continent as quickly as expected because foreign investment decisions are often methodically overstructured. One of the major factors cited is too much risk. But risks and profits are inseparable twins: high-risk ventures are frequently associated with higher profits.

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  • 6 August 2018

    Youth and trade: World Export Development Forum set for 11-12 Sept in Zambia

    Skilling up

    African youth will take centre stage at the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2018, taking place in Lusaka, Zambia, from 11-12 September. The forum is an opportunity for business leaders, policymakers and youth from around the world to explore a range of trade-related issues, including agribusiness, investment and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

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  • 6 June 2018

    Addressing the Foreign Direct Investment Paradox in Africa

     Photo: © Dana Smillie / World Bank

    Africa’s experience on inward foreign direct investment (FDI) presents a paradox. Conventionally, capital is expected to flow from countries with low to high returns. During 2006-2011, the region experienced the highest rate of return on FDI (11.4%) compared to 9.1% in Asia, 8.9% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The world’s average was 7.1%.  Yet Africa’s share of the global net FDI has been very low over the past decade (Figure 1).

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  • 3 May 2018

    Africa’s free trade agreement hinges on commitment and implementation

    The port at Tema, Ghana.

    Forty-four African countries recently signed a framework protocol for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), inching the continent closer to becoming one of the world’s largest free trade areas. In Kigali, Rwanda, where the framework protocol was signed last March, African leaders were in an upbeat mood. If – or when – all 55 African countries ratify the free trade area, it would amount to over $4 trillion in combined consumer and business spending and a market size of 1.2 billion people.

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  • 2 February 2018

    AU Summit: leaders vow to end corruption

    President Muhammad Buhari of Nigeria addresses the General Assembly’s annual general debate. UN Photo/Cia Pak

    The African Union (AU) has entrusted the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, with the responsibility to spearhead a year-long effort to raise awareness of corruption on the continent. This comes 15 years after Member States adopted the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption (AUCPCC). At the AU Summit in Addis last week, African leaders resolved to step up efforts against corruption in 2018.

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  • 13 April 2017

    Teach SDGs in school

    Peter Thomson is the President of the United Nations General Assembly. Elected to the position in June 2016, he has pledged to push for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in Africa. In this interview with Africa Renewal’s Franck Kuwonu in Dakar, Senegal, he underscores the need to engage people around the SDGs in innovative ways. First, he explained why it was important for him to visit Africa at that time. 

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  • 17 February 2017

    PODCAST: The power of bearing witness – how rape became an ‘act of genocide’

    Film Director Michele Mitchell (5th right) at the UN screening of "The Uncondemned" with the four women who testified before the International Criminal Tribunal for  Rwanda and Godeliève Mukasarasi of the SEVOTA support group for widows and orphans. UN Ph

    Shame and stigma prevent many rape survivors in conflict zones from reporting the abuses they endure at the hands of war criminals whose sole aim in carrying out these horrific deeds is to torture and humiliate their enemy. Yet the courageous testimonies of women who survived rape during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda provided the evidence required for a United Nations war crimes tribunal to find Jean-Paul Akayesu guilty, four years after the shocking conflagration, marking the first judgment for the crime of genocide under international law.

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  • 3 February 2017

    A Continent of Hope

    Secretary-General António Guterres meets with John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of Tanzania at the 28th summit of the African Union (AU), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. UN Photo/Antonio Fiorente

    By António Guterres Far too often, the world views Africa through the prism of problems. When I look to Africa, I see a continent of hope, promise and vast potential.  I am committed to building on those strengths and establishing a higher platform of cooperation between the United Nations and the leaders and people of Africa. This is essential to advancing inclusive and sustainable development and deepening cooperation for peace and security. 

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  • 8 December 2016

    Putting a human face to information technologies

    ITU

    It was just after midnight when Simon (not his real name) was woken up by a loud blaring noise tearing into the dark night. It had been raining heavily over the past few days. He tried to ignore the noise, but it got more insistent with each passing second.  He finally decided to step out of his bed, but before his feet could touch the floor, he felt water. It was already ankle high. At that moment he realized the source of the annoying sound. It was a danger signal from the newly installed flood warning system.

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  • 7 July 2016

    Restoring the economy’s ability to deliver prosperity

    Working towards sustainable development means that communities such as the people in Kitabi, Rwanda get to enjoy the fruits of globalization. Workers in Kitabi  Tea Processing Facility process 48 000 tons of green leaf per day for export.

    Millions of people around the world have lost faith that the world economy can improve their lives. Instead of seeing value in open borders and the free exchange of information and ideas, they see only uncertainty about their futures, growing inequalities and weak productivity gains. Too few people benefit from new technologies that connect us and make the world smaller, and too many face the spectre of terror and conflict, forced migration and rising xenophobia.

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  • 20 April 2016

    I was tested to the limit — Rwanda genocide survivor

    Consolee Nishimwe, survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as a teenager.

    Telling my personal story to others helped me in my healing journey Consolee Nishimwe, 32, survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as a teenager. Currently living in New York, she shares her experience, as a global civil society activist and advocate for other genocide survivors and gender equality, with Sara Canals for Africa Renewal. She is the author of the book ‘Tested to the Limit’ in which she narrates her personal story. How was life in Rwanda before the genocide?

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  • 17 December 2015

    Unmanned aerial vehicles are effective in protecting civilians—Hervé Ladsous

    Head of Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous

    Hervé Ladsous is the United Nations under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. He oversaw the first deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) two years ago. Africa Renewal’s Masimba Tafirenyika spoke to him about the UN’s experience in using UAVs in peacekeeping operations. These are excerpts from the interview.

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  • 7 December 2015

    Good leadership is about people – Festus Mogae

    Festus Mogae, served as the president of the southern African country of Botswana from 1998 to 2008.

    Festus Mogae served as president of the southern African country of Botswana from 1998 to 2008. He is the recipient of several international awards, including the 2008 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. In this interview held recently in New York with Tefo Pheage for Africa Renewal, the former president shared his thoughts on gay rights, the reform of the UN Security Council, the right to protect civilians in humanitarian crises and the fight against HIV/AIDS.  These are excerpts from the interview.

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  • 30 July 2015

    To avoid wars, give diplomacy a chance - Mr. Sampaio

    Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal. Photo: UN Photos

    Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, and Dr. Helena Ndume, a Namibian ophtalmologist, are the first ever winners of the United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize.

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  • 13 July 2015

    Africa has a “window of opportunity” to avoid a new debt trap

    Amadou Sy, Director of the Africa Growth Institute at the Brookings Institution

    African countries should seize the “window of opportunity” provided by a comprehensive debt relief programme offered by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the world’s poorest countries, Amadou Sy, Director of the Africa Growth Institute at the Brookings Institution, told Africa Renewal’s Jocelyne Sambira. The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and related Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) have relieved 36 countries of $96 billion in debt. Thirty of these countries are in Africa. In this interview, Mr.

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  • 24 April 2015

    Girls in ICT: Technology lifting thousands out of poverty

    Faced with the growing decline of girls and young women studying technology, an International Girls in ICT Day – marked on 23 April every year – was set aside five years ago raise awareness. Africa Renewal’s Jocelyne Sambira spoke to Judith Owigar, a founding member of Akirachix, which is a training and mentorship programme aiming to increase the number of girls in the technology sector, about the efforts made to get more young women in Africa to embrace such a career. Ms.

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  • 20 April 2015

    Young Zimbabweans warming up to gambling

    In Zimbabwe, gambling has conventionally always been frowned upon as a social vice and vanity. Where it occurred, it was limited to the state lottery, horse betting and an odd casino. Now, the tide has shifted. Sports betting shops, casinos and lottery gaming are cropping up rapidly in the country’s major urban centres as punters strive to make an extra coin and satisfy a growing appetite for gaming and gambling. Activity usually peaks when the football leagues around the world start.

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