1 to 10 of 262

August 22 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Fri Aug 22 2014, 10:06:00

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and others wrote in Foreign Policy on 21 August 2014 that pending disaster in South Sudan is due to "an abject failure of leadership."  The commentary, titled "How to Prevent Total Disaster in South Sudan," noted that nearly half of South Sudan's people are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance.  But both the government and the opposition have consistently blocked the movement of lifesaving humanitarian assistance, preventing aid groups from reaching the most vulnerable people by road or river. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Fri Aug 22 2014, 09:49:00

The Inter Press Service published on 21 August 2014 an article titled "No Hope for AIDS-Free Generation in Uganda as Controversial HIV Bill Is Signed into Law" by Amy Fallon.  Uganda, which was an original success story in combating HIV/AIDS, has according to recent statistics fallen behind somewhat.  Uganda's parliament unanimously passed this week controversial HIV/AIDS legislation with some provisions that HIV/AIDS activists argue will set back the fight against the disease. 

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August 21 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Thu Aug 21 2014, 20:16:00

The International Association for Energy Economics published an analysis titled "Energy Investments in Africa by the U.S., Europe and China" by Giorgio Gualberti, University of Lisbon;  Morgan Bazilian, Columbia University; and Todd Moss, Center for Global Development.  AidData Beta published on 20 August 2014 an excerpt from the article. 

The original article concludes that the major challenge for African policymakers is to manage these giant players in a way that maximizes the flows--and ultimately boosts the generation and distribution of energy to reach the millions of Africans currently living without. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Thu Aug 21 2014, 19:37:00

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Kenya published on 20 August 2014 a brief commentary titled "The Role of Land Issues in Kenya's Rising Insecurity" by Sebastian Gatimu, a researcher at ISS.  He notes that 50 percent of the arable land in Kenya is in the hands of 20 percent of the population.  There are numerous ongoing land disputes.  He argues that the best strategy is to address the land question comprehensively in Kenya. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Thu Aug 21 2014, 12:33:00

The National Interest published on 17 August 2014 a commentary titled "Five Reasons Why the United States Can't Beat China in Africa" by Zachary Keck, managing editor of The Diplomat.

Unfortunately, the title of the article misses the point.  The United States is not trying to "beat" China in Africa.  There are areas of competition such as competing for contracts just as there is US competition with companies from the UK, France, and Germany.  In the final paragraph of the article, the author writes: "In sum, the U.S.-Africa Leaders summit notwithstanding, the United States cannot compete with China in Africa."  Even if you accept the premise of the article, it is silly to suggest that the United States cannot even "compete" with China.  Fortunately, the author goes ...

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August 20 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Wed Aug 20 2014, 21:14:00

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has just published a highly technical analysis titled "Illegal Killing for Ivory Drives Global Decline in African Elephants" by George Wittemyer and a number of other authors.  Based on a study of illegal wildlife trade in Samburu, Kenya, the study concludes that the problem increased markedly after 2008 and was correlated strongly with the local black market ivory price and increased seizures of ivory destined for China. 

Foreign Policy magazine summarized the study in an article dated 20 August 2014 titled "These Two Charts Show How China is Helping Decimate Africa's Elephants" by Elias Groll. 

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August 19 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Tue Aug 19 2014, 22:26:00

The Pew Research Center published a brief analysis on 4 August 2014 titled "U.S., China Compete to Woo Africa" by Katie Simmons, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Global Attitudes Center.  Drawing on data from Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda, the US and China are both viewed favorably.  The US actually does slightly better than China overall in these 7 countries.  The data also show that in 5 of the 7 countries, there is a declining belief that China's growing economy helps Africa. 

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From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Tue Aug 19 2014, 12:30:00

The Juba-based Sudd Institute published on 12 August 2014 an analysis titled "South Sudan's Crisis: Weighing the Cost of the Stalemate in the Peace Process" by Jok Madut Jok.  He emphasized that the stalemate in the peace process has become costly and that the process lacks genuine intent to end the carnage as the warring parties appear fixated on political and military gains.

A "quick fix" peace agreement is not the answer.  Any peace agreement that does not commit the warring parties to programs of institutional reforms, justice and accountability, national dialogue, healing and reconciliation programs, security sector enhancements, stricter oversight of financial institutions, the constitution and democratic processes, would be the same as continuing the war.

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August 15 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Fri Aug 15 2014, 13:39:00

The New York Times published on 15 August 2014 an important op-ed titled "Handmaiden to Africa's Generals" by Alex de Waal, director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University, and Abdul Mohammed, chairman of the InterAfrica Group in Ethiopia.  They focus especially on US policy and the situation in South Sudan and Nigeria.

I have a high regard for both authors.  They make a critically important point that the policy response to extremism and terrorism in Africa needs to focus more on addressing the root causes of the problem rather than military support for Africa's strong men.  Where I think the op-ed tends to veer off track is the implication that somehow Washington is responsible for significant fraud or the improper allocation of resources by certain African ...

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August 14 2014

From The Official Blog of Amb. David H. Shinn Thu Aug 14 2014, 10:45:00

Inter Press Service published on 14 August 2014 an article titled "South Sudan Heads towards Famine Amid Descent into Lawlessness."  It offers a dismal prediction on the likely success of peace talks, commenting that tribal divisions are driving the conflict.  

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