Analysis

What are the trends and challenges?

Trump administration ready to disengage from the African continent

By George Bamu on March 5, 2017

The New York Times

A rail project by a Chinese construction company in Lagos, Nigeria in 2015. The Trump transition team asks, “How does U.S. business compete with other nations in Africa? Are we losing out to the Chinese?”

This week we learned the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump has proposed a budget that would cut foreign aid drastically. The issues, facts, and implications of decisions made under the administration are inescapable.

The State Department, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would be greatly impacted by these cuts. If you are not aware, the State Department shapes U.S.…

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Cameroonians in Colorado plan rally against government of President Paul Biya

By George Bamu on February 20, 2017

PRC.CM

Cameroon President, Paul Biya, and First Lady, Chantal Biya, at a reception for the Cameroon National Football team at the presidential palace in Yaounde. February, 2017

Since November 2016, the African nation of Cameroon has been embroiled in civil unrest marked by demonstrations and boycotts against the Francophone-dominated government of President Paul Biya.

Recent news reports point to many civilian deaths through police action, while others, including journalists, lawyers and civil society leaders, have been arrested and placed on trial.

The Cameroon administration recently began the use of French in courts and classrooms in the Anglophone regions of the country as a way to promote bilingualism and national integration.…

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Experts warn of civil war in Cameroon if “internal divisions” not resolved

By George Bamu on January 22, 2017

gngwane.com

Petrol station in Mamfe in English-speaking Cameroon with all-French signs

Beyond academic and diplomatic circles, many have not heard of the International Crisis Group or Crisis Group. The Brussels-based non-governmental organization, tracks and warns of the potentials of conflict in nations around the world. The group is highly respected and often quoted in news reports due to their thorough research.

Just before the Arab Spring took hold in the Middle East and North Africa, the Crisis Group made a dire warning about Cameroon.

In its report 160 of May, 2010, the group stated, “Cameroon’s apparent stability is deceptive; even if it overcomes its near-term challenges, longer-term deterioration could lead to conflict.”

Cameroon is often praised for being a stabilizing force in an unstable region that has seen its share of war and catastrophes.…

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How the Obama Administration Engaged with the African Continent

By Raevyn Goates on January 13, 2017

United States Agency for International Development, USAID

As Barack Obama wraps up his time as president of the United States, we are looking back at the relations he forged with the African continent and what was achieved during the last eight years.

A few months ago, we looked at what U.S. official trips to Africa can tell us about U.S.-Africa relations, especially during the Obama administration. Official visits made by the president and the secretary of state are a good starting point, but by no means are they the only way to gauge the importance of the African continent to the U.S.…

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Lest We Forget: There Is An Obama Legacy for the African Continent

By George Bamu on January 2, 2017

Reuters/Newsweek

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a roundtable discussion with civil society leaders in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 26, 2015. Obama has sought to engage African leaders to help themselves during his presidency.

As Donald Trump prepares to to assume the U.S. presidency, we are continuing to look back at the important legacy of Barack Obama and his administration vis-à-vis the African continent.

On November 8, 2016, the election of Trump as the 45th president of the United States shook the world. Many people from the African continent who I spoke with the day of the election and in the weeks after, have told me how they experienced nightmares following the shocking decision by American voters.…

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Africans Make A Mockery of “Rigged U.S. Election 2016”

By George Bamu on October 28, 2016

NPR/Getty Images

(Left) Donald Trump (Right) Hillary Clinton

Earlier during the U.S. primary elections, a prelude to the general election process, I said that with Donald Trump, the U.S. may be experiencing the bitter taste of its own democracy medicine. As you may know, with that democracy comes freedom of expression, freedom to choice, assembly, all ingredients that make for a free society.

Trump, the Republican candidate for the American presidency, has not only been shunned by the so-called establishment of his party, he succeeded in turning American politics upside-down. This phenomenon has been much food for thought and discussion on the internet.…

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KETO FM, Africa-focused Radio, Coming to Metro Denver Airwaves

By George Bamu on September 28, 2016

KETO FM, Colorado, USA

As Colorado’s African community grows, the needs of the community have increased as well.

We’ve seen how American local governments, city council and municipalities around the area address these challenges of growth in Colorado, from boosting road infrastructure expenditures to addressing issues associated with housing.

For a community that has become woven into the fabric of the state’s most diverse city, this is an issue of which Aurora is keenly aware. So, officials have held meetings with leaders and other citizens geared toward integration as new people come into town.

How do you inform a community as diverse as Aurora, with people and languages from all corners of the world?…

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What Can Official Visits Tell Us About U.S.-Africa Relations?

By Raevyn Goates on August 12, 2016

Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta take part in a ceremony during Obama’s visit to Kenya in July of 2015.

As U.S. President Barack Obama’s presidency winds down, we at Africa Agenda feel it is important to look back at what he and his administration did – or didn’t do – for the African continent over the past 8 years or so.

Obama himself is half African; born to a Kenyan father and an American mother. It stands to reason that, from a personal standpoint, he would be invested in the welfare of the continent. Indeed, Obama did have aspirations for the continent from early on.…

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About that “African Saying” on which Cory Booker Built his DNC Speech?

By George Bamu on August 4, 2016

Democratic National Convention

New Jersey Senator, Cory Booker, quoted from African literature in his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, July 25.

On the idea of being each others’ keeper, which many democrats talked about during the  Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, PA this leads me to Cory Booker. The senator from New Jersey has received lots of praise after he spoke so eloquently during the event.

He is often considered a star in the Democratic Party. He was a contender to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, according to The Washington Post.

As I was looking for things that would connect the dots between America and the rest of the world in the parade of speeches, Booker sealed the deal.…

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Democrats, GOP Say They’ll Work with the African continent. Now what?

By George Bamu on August 1, 2016

Stephen Lam/Reuters

Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally in Redding, California. Trevor Noah, the South African comedian, has compared Trump to an African president.

The Republican (GOP) and Democratic national political conventions were interesting. Of equal interest was the near absence of anything African in them.

More broadly—while the conventions illuminated the vast differences between Democrats and Republicans in America, at least with an unusual nominee on the GOP side, they spelled out where both parties would like to take the country when it comes to domestic and foreign policy matters.

I have been particularly curious to find anything–the connotations, subtleties, correlations, anecdotes, parallels, and references to the African continent, while the two dominant political parties in America held their big nominating conventions.…

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