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From Angola to Somalia, Rwanda to Zimbabwe, conflict and poverty scar Africa. But Africans everywhere are investing huge energies in search of democratic change and social betterment. openDemocracy writers examine the new worlds of an old continent.
The political dynamics of conflict in Africa’s most complex region must be understood if enduring solutions are to be found. Martin Shaw reads fellow openDemocracy contributor Gerard Prunier’s book “From Genocide to Continental War”.
The west African state’s unique power-structures combine with the interests generated by a modern drug-economy to present a tough challenge to the international community, says Richard Moncrieff.
(This article was first published on 10 August 2009)
The gap between South Africans’ incomes and life-chances undermines their dream of an inclusive future, says Tom Burgis.
The endemic conflict in Somalia continues to devour lives and divert resources from the reconstruction of the country. Only a political solution that offers Somalis the promise of a better life will bring it to an end, say Harun Hassan & David Hayes.
(This article was first published on 15 July 2009)
The transportation of elephants from their home in southern Malawi is justified by environmental arguments and supported by a leading international animal-welfare group. But behind this act lies a story of injustice, conflict, manipulation and lost opportunity that deserves to be better known. Stuart Weir reports.
The international tribunal charged with investigating the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 has some significant achievements to its credit. But a series of problematic decisions casts a shadow over its reputation, says Gregory Mthembu-Salter.
The political character of Eritrea's leader has transformed the hope of Africa's youngest independent nation-state into a nightmare, says Selam Kidane.
(This article was first published on 22 June 2009)
A book on corruption in Kenya is finding its way to the country despite an unofficial ban. Michela Wrong, its author, reveals how ingenuity is outfoxing power.
The experience of creating new constitutions in Africa promises a transformation in the continent's landscape of governance that will render coups obsolete, says Winluck Wahiu & Paulos Tesfagiorgis.
The African National Congress will win a fourth consecutive triumph - yet its dominance of South Africa’s electoral arena is crumbling, says Roger Southall.
Millions of Ethiopians once again face misery and famine. Addis Ababa's desire to project an image of a new dynamic country has led to callous denial of the reality
The coup that ousted Madagascar’s elected president reflects political and social tensions related to the island's colonial legacy, says Stephen Ellis.
A new alignment of forces is a moment both of opportunity and danger in the shattered east African country. Gérard Prunier maps the political landscape and assesses what is likely to - and should - happen.
A multi-national offensive against the Lord's Resistance Army was meant to crush Uganda's rebels once and for all. Instead, the cautious gains of two years of ceasefire and delicate negotiations are about to be squandered.
The cycle of conflict in Somalia is entering a new phase with three possible outcomes. All are shadowed by a deep humanitarian crisis that demands immediate attention, says Georg-Sebastian Holzer.
The increased hijacking of international vessels off the Horn of Africa reflects the world's neglect and misjudgment of Somalia's internal conflicts, says Georg-Sebastian Holzer
An eruption of war and displacement in east-central Africa is rooted in the complex recent politics of an unsettled region, explains Gérard Prunier.
(This article was first published on 17 November 2008)
A key to understanding South Africa's renowned former president is the very contrast in how he is seen in his own country and on the global stage, says Elleke Boehmer.
The expansion of drug-trafficking networks in west Africa is further corroding Guinea-Bissau's institutions to produce the region's first narco-state, says Emmanuelle Bernard.
(This article was first published on 13 September 2008)
The resignation of Thabo Mbeki as South Africa’s president is linked to the failure of Zimbabwe’s power-sharing agreement. The result is to restore the political initiative to Robert Mugabe's regime, says Roger Southal.
(This article was first published on 20 October 2008)
The controversy over the International Criminal Court's possible indictment of Sudan's president centres on a judgment of the character of his regime, says Gérard Prunier.
(This article was first published on 15 October 2008)