In postelection DRC, transition looks like restoration
After delaying elections for two years, former DRC President Joseph Kabila hit upon a clever stratagem to resolve his “third-term” problem. Borrowing a page from Vladimir Putin’s book, he appears to have arranged for a stand-in, nominally from the opposition, to win the presidency in a manipulated ballot. Mr. Kabila intends to run the country from a Senate seat or perhaps even as prime minister. The international community seems to be turning a blind eye to these shenanigans because it prefers stability to the prospect of turmoil and civil war.
GIS Dossier: Governance in Africa, the case of three countries
Three sub-Saharan African countries, all with decades-long, devastating civil wars behind them. Two are populous and large, well-endowed in natural riches, while one is a small, landlocked nation with no particular resources. Which one is Africa’s poster child of economic and developmental success today? This GIS Dossier examines why the longtime leaders of these three countries delivered such widely differing results for their societies.
Reforming the African Union
Bucking the world trend, Africa in 2018 was marked by important advances toward free movement, free trade and closer cooperation between states. The main advances were on the economic front, with the agreement to create a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). While trade liberalization has the potential to be transformative for Africa, disparate stages of development, protectionist impulses and political tensions may prevent meaningful advances.
GIS Dossier: Autumn of the patriarchs
In many parts of the world, the outlook for political stability in 2018 will depend on aging, often long-serving politicians. Some are senescent leaders trying to manage a generational transition, others have caught their second wind and are bracing for a long run. Here is a short list of rulers who are losing their grip, handling tricky successions, or building their legacies with a late burst of vigor. They are a key human element in geopolitics.
Rwanda’s legendary leader looks to the future
Paul Kagame is Rwanda’s towering political figure. As a military commander, he ended the country’s genocidal civil war. As its president, he brought so much stability and economic and social progress to the land that it earned him a diehard following and international admiration. Mr. Kagame’s political practice, however, combines economic liberalism with strong-arm control, and is increasingly being questioned.
GIS Dossier: Sub-Saharan Africa
The list of challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa is long and daunting. Political instability and violence have led to immense migration flows that countries on three continents are struggling to contain. These problems have exacerbated weather-related catastrophes like famine, creating a vicious circle. Yet, the region has plenty of potential. Can it overcome its hurdles? This edition of GIS Dossier surveys the predictions from our experts on this troubled region.
Burundi and Rwanda: Tale of two leaders and a continent
Burundi and Rwanda are two nearly identical countries that have taken diametrically opposed paths under different leaders. Their experience provides insight into the dilemmas of institution-building in Africa.
Global Outlook 2017: Sub-Saharan Africa
Political instability will be the norm for sub-Saharan Africa in 2017. Crises will range from rocky political transitions to mass protests, electoral violence and – in the worst case – even genocide. The region faces these challenges at a time when realpolitik is replacing liberalism.
Political crises flare up in sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is undergoing a defining moment as leadership crises coincide with a variety of global challenges, including economic slowdowns, terrorism and the effects of climate change. To deal with these challenges, countries must undergo deep reforms and political change. The short-term effect, in most cases, will probably be an upsurge in violence and repression.
Africa’s most enlightened despot faces test of third term in Rwanda
As incumbent leaders seek to extend their time in power beyond legal limits, ‘third-termism’ or ‘constitutional coups’ have become a hot topic in African politics. In Rwanda, where leadership changes have always been accompanied by ethnic strife and violence, the constitution is being changed to allow a third term to President Paul Kagame. The country’s brutal hist...