Africa Now - Weekly Newsletter (Week 40, 2021)
Samir Bhattacharya, Research Associate, VIF

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent - news that matters.

COMMENTARY

A Wake-up Call for the State of African Democracy

Over the past couple of months, there have been several setbacks for democratic rule across the continent. In just over a month, Africa has experienced one successful coup in Guinea and one failed attempt in Sudan. This is happening in the background of two successful coups in Mali, one more unsuccessful coup attempt in Niger and an arbitrary military transfer of power in Chad in less than a year. In particular, the military coup that took place in the early morning of 15th August in Guinea, will have large implications for democratic governance in Africa. In northern Africa, there has been a diplomatic feud between Algeria and Morocco, which has all the resemblance of a cold war.

Another North African country Tunisia, where a pro-democracy spark first ignited, which later got known as Arab Spring, has been witnessing the strangling of democracy by President Kais Saied as he is reluctant to accommodate any opposition and continues to rule by decree. In the meantime, Islamist extremists of Western Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Mali, continues to disturb the regular life. In fact, there is a fear of re-run of Afghanistan in many parts of Africa. . While Africa have had disproportionate number of vicious military coups, the recent events should serve as a wake-up call for the international community on the state of African democracy.

Among this political crisis across continent, one event that stands out is the election of Hakainde Hichilema who became the president of Zambia by defeating an incumbent. The win of Hichilema seems to best capture Africa’s democratic gains, countering a pattern of recent setbacks for democratic rule, and marking a key step to advance from Africa’s leadership albatross. Also Morocco, the north African country bid adieu to the Islamists and brought back secular parties in power through ballot, thus turning the page on political Islam.

NEWS

In Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Prepares to Form A New Government

Ethiopia is holding the second phase of its belated elections. However, the embattled Tigray region remains excluded from the polls that have already handed a majority to the ruling Prosperity Party. Click here to read...

Guinea Coup Leader Sworn in as President

Col Mamady Doumbouya has been sworn is as Guinea's interim president after leading a coup which saw the overthrow of Alpha Condé. Click here to read...

Sudan, South Sudan to Open Border Crossing

Authorities in Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to officially open their border crossings on October 1, a South Sudanese official disclosed. The border between the two countries was closed in 2011 when relations deteriorated after South Sudan seceded. Click here to read...

Tunisia gets Arab World's 1st Woman Prime Minister

On Wednesday, Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed Najla Bouden Romdhane as its prime minister. She is the first woman to rise to the post of prime minister in any Arab nation. Click here to read...

In a first, 4 West African Countries Commit to Cooperate on Senegalo-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin

The Senegalo-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin is the largest in West Africa; Four countries have now agreed to cooperate on sharing it peaceably, setting a template for the world. Click here to read...

China Widens Presence in Indian Ocean through Djibouti

China chose Djibouti for setting up a military base in the guise of securing its communication cables in the sea and ships from attacks and piracy. To further its agenda of surveillance and block overseas and deep- sea maritime traffic at will, China vigorously participated in the construction of Djibouti's ports, railways, highways and related infrastructure. Click here to read...

France Slashes Visas for Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia in Migrant Row

Paris will sharply reduce the number of visas granted to people from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, accusing the former French colonies of not doing enough to allow illegal immigrants to return, a government spokesman said Tuesday. Click here to read...

Angola and WB Prepare Report on Blue Economy

The Angolan Government and the World Bank (WB) are working on the preparation of the report on climate change, development of the country and the blue economy. Click here to read...

INDIA IN AFRICA

Indian Railways Rolls Out Customised Train Coaches for Mozambique

Indian Railways' production unit in Raebareli, the Modern Coach Factory (MCF), has rolled out its first rake of train coaches to be exported to Mozambique. This is the first time that MCF is exporting train coaches through RITES. Click here to read...

America-Africa-India-Global Economic Partnership Launched

US India SME Council (USISME Council) and Africa India Economic Foundation (AIEF) have launched a Strategic Economic Development Partnership for bringing America, Africa, and India together. Click here to read...

APEDA Holds Virtual Meet with Stakeholders to Increase Rice Exports to Togo

APEDA organised a virtual meet of non-Basmati rice exporters in association with Indian Embassy, Lome, Togo, as part of its efforts to boost and expand rice exports. Click here to read...

India Contributes Funds for Revival Work of Gandhi’s Tolstoy Farm in South Africa

The revival of Tolstoy Farm, the commune started by Mahatma Gandhi during his tenure in Johannesburg a century ago, received a further boost with contributions from the Indian government on his 152nd birthday. Click here to read...

Zambia Arrests Liquidator for Embezzling $9 Million In Indian Copper Firm Saga

Zambia has arrested the liquidator of a major copper firm for embezzling $9 million, the latest twist in the African nation's feud with India's Vedanta Resources. Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), co-owned by London-listed Vedanta and Zambia's state mining arm, is one of Africa's largest copper producers. Click here to read...

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