Africa News Roundup: Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, Mali’s Refugees, Hostage Death in Nigeria, and More


The Grand Renaissance Dam project [on the Blue Nile] was announced last year by the Ethiopian government, in a unilateral move that is not sitting very well with its upstream neighbors. Egypt and Sudan say Ethiopia is threatening their greatest natural resource.

10% of the dam has been completed so far and teams are working day and night to stay on schedule.


If construction stays on schedule the dam will be complete in six years. Ethiopia says the dam will generate 6,000 mega watts of electricity and it will sell a proportion of that to its neighbors and use the rest to fuel its own growth.

VOA looks at how an influx of Malian refugees has burdened drought-stricken Burkina Faso. Xinhua reports that a telethon will take place today for Malian refugees in Niger. The United Nations has more than quadrupled its funding appeal for Malian refugee resettlement.

In northern Mali, the recent deal between the Tuareg-led separatist movement MNLA and the Tuareg-led Islamist group Ansar Dine looks to be falling apart.

On Thursday, a German who had been kidnapped in Kano, Northern Nigeria died during a raid that may have been an attempted rescue, or may have been an attempt to capture militants. An Italian kidnapped in Kwara State, however, has been released.

Louis Achi assesses the case for creating a “Ministry of Northern Affairs” in Nigeria.

In Somalia, Kenyan troops have been officially integrated into the African Union Mission for Somalia.

What else is going on?

3 thoughts on “Africa News Roundup: Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam, Mali’s Refugees, Hostage Death in Nigeria, and More

  1. The kidnapping of the German in Kano by “AQIM” makes it increasingly difficult to claim (as some scholars do) that “Boko Haram has no known links with other foreign terrorist organisations”, as Kano is also a major operational base for Boko Haram.

    Is the presence of both “AQIM” and Boko Haram in Kano mere coincidence?

    Eventually, an American citizen will be kidnapped.

  2. I’d expected the Tuareg groups to stay united for a bit longer than this. We might see some more halfhearted agreements and breakups.

    As for water, eventually this might actually lead to war (though not for the next few years). Is Ethiopia handling construction of the dam itself or is this a joint effort with foreign nations/companies? There’s a mention of an Ethiopian engineer in charge of it, but also a lack of information about money (besides that there might not be enough).

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