Africa Blog Roundup: Clinton in Africa, Oil in Uganda, Senegal and Habre, and More

Habiba Osman: “On Hillary Clinton’s Recent Visit to Africa.”

I am therefore not surprised that this African tour has come up now considering the diminishing role that the US is now finding itself in with the Chinese almost taking over as the biggest African donor and trade partner. Sub Saharan Africa, especially, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi in the South have felt the presence of the Chinese greatly with infrastructure being built everywhere in these countries, courtesy of the Chinese government.

Politically, Clinton’s visit is therefore timely as some of most African states have openly declared that they are in favour of the Chinese donations, which seem to have no strings attached. By strings, I mean, adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and observance of good governance. Africa’s relationship with China has gained international attention and is a sure factor in destabilising America’s role as the sole super power.

Tony Otoa Jr. on oil and civil society in Uganda.

Lesley Anne Warner: “Kenya’s Coast Province Could Be Flashpoint in Run-Up to Elections.”

Amb. John Campbell on recent violence at a South African platinum mine.

Peter Dorrie on President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso:

To adequately judge Blaise Compaoré’s record of bringing development and prosperity to his people, it is first of all important to remind oneself that he has been in power since 1987, a full quarter of a century. More than half the population of his country has only known his rule.

Despite the period of peace that Burkina experienced during this time, and a comparatively generous 13 Billion US Dollars in international development assistance, the country still ranks only 181st out of 187 countries in terms of human development. All of the other bottom ten countries in the HDI ranking experienced devastating civil wars during this time – except Guinea, which instead had to put up with a brutal military dictatorship. To put it bluntly: Blaise Compaoré is the only African head of state who managed to dramatically limit the development of his country without declaring outright war on it.

Jason Stearns asks, “When Will Donors Un-Freeze Aid to Rwanda?”

Writing in Nigeria’s Daily Trust, Idang Alibi comes out against Senegal’s planned trial for former Chadian leader Hissene Habre.

Anne Campbell weighs in on the issue of African presidents and overseas educations.

Baobab on electricity in Somalia.

Last but not least, a reflection from Carmen McCain on fasting during Ramadan as a non-Muslim.

5 thoughts on “Africa Blog Roundup: Clinton in Africa, Oil in Uganda, Senegal and Habre, and More

  1. I find Anne Campbell’s piece on  the issue of African presidents and overseas education fascinating. 

    Next week,  the 275 Somali member of parliament will select speaker and president.  Nearly 120 such foreign-trained are running for the above.  But will the Somali conundrum be solved once and for all if any of the above wins next week? May the best loser win.

    Maybe the following blogger knows a thing or two when it comes to such issues and I quote:


    I am reminded here of a humorous anecdote from the Sudan. It was related to me long ago that in the early days of Nemeiry’s regime university professors and PhD holders (and there were thousands of them) were so vociferous and harsh in their criticism of the regime’s policies and performance that Nemeiry, realizing that they were making a lot of sense, decided to appoint them to cabinet and other leadership positions. After two years the economy was in such shambles under their management that people were so disenchanted with them that they used to say upon encountering a senior official who was so patently helpless and inefficient: “The poor fellow is incapable of doing anything at all; he must be either a professor or a doctor”. But the Sudan, very unlike Somalia, has had some real intellectuals of international repute as political leaders and at no time was the Sudan led, even under military regimes, by leaders who were so uneducated and ignorant as ours.

    End of quote

  2. I’m still wondering why the nation that doesn’t demand that the money given actually be used the way it’s allegedly going to be used is the popular one while the ones that do are treated as arrogant. Do the people of Africa think that magically, the moment there are no conditions it means that their leaders will suddenly stop being corrupt? Face it, when China isn’t demanding less corruption China isn’t thinking about helping a nation’s economy, it’s thinking about getting a nation on its side.

  3. In other news, Meles Zenawi is indeed dead. What hospital he was in (besides ‘abroad’) and what his condition were are still unknown. Considering that they were so reluctant to announce anything until they couldn’t keep it quiet any longer I wonder what will happen next in the government.

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