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  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The large emigration of youths is the clearest sign of extreme domestic discontent with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki's government. Social malaise is pervasive. An ever-growing number of young people have fled over the last decade, frustrated by open-ended national service – initiated in 1995 and expanded during the war with Ethiopia (1998-2000). Yet, this flight has resulted in neither reforms nor a viable movement to create an alternative to the current government. Once outside, the ties that bind émigrés to their birthplace are strong and lead them to give financial support to the very system they escaped, through the 2 per cent tax many pay the state as well as remittances sent home to family members.
  • Topic: Economics, Labor Issues, Immigration, Youth Culture, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: J. Peter Pham, Ricardo Rene Laremont
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Africa is home to seven of the world's ten fastest-growing economies. By 2050, the continent's population is expected to overtake India's and China's, doubling to two billion people. Moreover, those two billion Africans will be younger than their counterparts in every other region of the world and will account for one in four workers globally by mid-century. Africa's rich endowment of natural resources, including about 30 percent of the world's known reserves of minerals and 60 percent of the planet's uncultivated arable land, is already well-known to investors.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Morocco
  • Author: Sarah Hearn, Thomas Zimmerman
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In this brief, we analyze the process that led to the "Somali New Deal Compact," the framework's potential effectiveness as a peacebuilding tool, and potential ways to strengthen it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Governance, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Samantha Bradshaw, Alan Whiteside
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, tremendous progress has been made in the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria globally. The international community has played a key role in this progress and remains committed to the fight, but as implementing countries' economies grow, they are progressively graduating from international support. This could leave national governments, especially health ministers, uncertain about the future of financing available for their national health programs. Without sufficient resources from both domestic and international resources, there is a risk of resurgence of these diseases. If these trends continue, there may not be a "grand convergence" in health by 2035, resulting in enormous economic and social costs.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jean-Christophe Hoste
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: This Africa Policy Brief is based on the recently published book Time for a new approach on terror in Africa? In line with the conclusions of the book, this policy brief wants to tackle dominant perspectives on insurgency groups in Africa. It argues for a more nuanced understanding of these groups, which also looks into their roles in local societies.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Insurgency, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Muhammad Quraish Khan
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Former U.N. peacekeepers are an emerging cadre within Pakistan's police who are precursors of professionalization and other positive changes in police culture. Given their peacekeeping experience, they are torchbearers of human rights protection in policing, and believers in gender equality and the rule of law. They have also shown an ability to resist undue political pressure by government ministers, politicians and interest groups. They form a resilient force when it comes to fighting the tide of militancy and terrorism in Pakistan. This pool of trained resources may be utilized by the United Nations Department of Peace-keeping Operations (DPKO) for the quick start of new peacekeeping missions. The Government of Pakistan could also utilize them for police-reform initiatives, imparting training and demonstrating best practices. Given the potential gains from police participation in U.N. peacekeeping, Pakistan's recent, self-imposed ban on police joining peacekeeping deployments in the future should be reversed.
  • Topic: Security, Culture
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, United States
  • Author: Palwasha L. Kakar
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: As the economic, security and political transitions take place in Afghanistan, it is essential to work with religious leaders who have credibility and moral authority among large segments of the Afghan public. Religious leaders are among Afghanistan's traditional "gatekeepers" for making local decisions, especially on questions of women's rights, and they can be effectively engaged. Despite the very negative reactions by religious leaders to women's rights at the national political level, some at the local level have shown continuing interest in women's rights when they are involved within an Islamic framework and have participated in protecting such rights. Effective engagement with religious leaders starts with respecting their opinions and involving them directly in processes of changing strongly held social norms on women's rights and other sensitive topics, such as tolerance and peacebuilding.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa
  • Author: Robin Willoughby
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: After decades of underinvestment in agriculture, African governments are rightly looking at how best to mobilize funding for the sector. Donors in turn are keen to reverse a trend of neglect and to support initiatives that are simultaneously likely to enhance productivity, improve livelihoods and increase private sector investment. Private investors, concurrently, are looking for new consumer markets and production opportunities in Africa.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Food, Famine, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anna Marriott, Jessica Hamer
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has publicly stated that achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and equity in health are central to reaching the two new overarching World Bank Group goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity. Jim Kim has also rightly emphasized the need to close the gap in access to quality health services for the poorest 40 percent of the population and to eliminate point-of-service payments that impoverish people in every country.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Foreign Direct Investment, World Bank, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The July 2013 election victory of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) failed to secure broad-based legitimacy for President Robert Mugabe, provide a foundation for fixing the economy, or normalise external relations. A year on, the country faces multiple social and economic problems, spawned by endemic governance failures and compounded by a debilitating ruling party succession crisis. Both ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) are embroiled in major internal power struggles that distract from addressing the corrosion of the social and economic fabric. Zimbabwe is an insolvent and failing state, its politics zero sum, its institutions hollowing out, and its once vibrant economy moribund. A major culture change is needed among political elites, as well as commitment to national as opposed to partisan and personal interests.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: Like its putative Islamic State counterparts in Iraq and Syria, the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram has in recent weeks accomplished an alarming expansion of its territorial control The downing of a Nigerian fighter jet-and the videotaped beheading of its pilot-also suggest a quantum leap in the group's offensive and propaganda capabilities The Nigerian state's attempts to counter the Boko Haram narrative through positive public relations have yet to yield positive results The government's latest claim of killing the militants' leader, Abubakar Shekau, remains unsubstantiated, thus creating another public relations challenge for Nigerian security officials.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is totally unprecedented. The accelerating number of cases, the poor health infrastructure in affected countries, the short supply of skills, knowledge and personnel, and the fear surrounding this disease are providing a huge challenge to affected governments and the international community as they battle to bring the epidemic under control.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy, Ebola
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Isabel Martins
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: South Sudan is facing the world's worst food crisis, driven by the conflict that erupted in December 2013. Unless there is an end to the fighting, this food crisis will continue. Without far stronger international pressure, the conflict is unlikely to be resolved. International diplomacy – as well as aid and the protection of civilians on the ground – is urgently needed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Humanitarian Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Alors que le Nord du Mali connait un inquiétant regain de violence, les négociations de paix à Alger constituent une chance unique de sortie de crise. Mais après deux mois de discussions, la paix semble encore loin. Le gouvernement malien et les groupes armés engagés dans les négociations peinent à trouver un terrain d'entente. Des groupes influents et radicaux qui manquent à la table des négociations sont tentés de faire dérailler le processus par la violence. La résolution du conflit passe par l'articulation complexe d'intérêts divergents qui touchent à la sécurité du Sahara, à la nature de l'Etat malien et aux équilibres locaux entre des communautés divisées. Face aux affrontements armés, la tentation est grande d'aller vite et de signer un accord à minima garantissant la sécurité à court terme. La précipitation est mauvaise conseillère. Il faut se donner les moyens et le temps de construire les fondements d'une paix durable.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This semiannual review finds that most of the major international currencies, including the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, UK pound sterling, and Chinese renminbi, remain close to their fundamental equilibrium exchange rates (FEERs). The new estimates find this result despite numerous significant exchange rate movements associated with increased volatility in international financial markets at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2014, and despite a major reduction in the price of oil. The principal cases of exchange rate misalignment continue to be the undervalued currencies of Singapore, Taiwan, and to a lesser extent Sweden and Switzerland, and the overvalued currencies of Turkey, New Zealand, South Africa, and to a lesser extent Australia and Brazil. Even so, the medium-term current account deficit for the United States is already at the outer limit in the FEERs methodology (3 percent of GDP), and if the combination of intensified quantitative easing in Japan and the euro area with the end to quantitative easing in the United States were to cause sizable further appreciation of the dollar, an excessive US imbalance could begin to emerge.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Japan, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand
  • Author: Nicole Ball
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Progress made by Burundi's Security Sector Development (SSD) program in advancing democratic security sector governance is noteworthy given that there have been relatively few successful security sector reform cases from which to draw. Political will for security sector reform was expanded over time by supporting tangible priorities of the Burundian security sector that established the trust enabling broader engagement on governance issues. The relative success of the SSD program—and particularly its governance pillar—depended heavily on its ability to address politically sensitive issues. SSD's 8-year timeframe provided the time to adapt the program to evolving circumstances, facilitate increasing Burundian ownership of the reform process, and realize the incremental gains from which substantive change was possible.
  • Topic: Security, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Burundi
  • Author: Suhani Bhushan, Stephanie C. Fauquier
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: By 2050, the world's population is expected to exceed nine billion people. Population growth is occurring most rapidly in Africa, which will see the population grow from one billion to 2.1 billion by 2050. Africa will see significant population growth; however, agricultural output is not growing at the same rate. Africa's abundant natural resources are being used ineffectively, and the country is unlikely to sustain current population growth. According to reGina Jane Jere (2014), "Barely a fraction of fertile agricultural land [in Africa] is being cultivated - just 10 percent of the 400 million hectares."
  • Topic: Agriculture
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Elizabeth Fraser, Malambo Moonga, Johanna Wilkes
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: SSA is a region undergoing a significant urban transition. UN-Habitat (2014) estimates that by 2050, 58 percent of the African continent will be living in urban regions, representing an increase from 400 million individuals to over 1.26 billion. This will be accompanied by a burgeoning informal sector, which has grown rapidly since the 1960s across the continent, providing income, employment and livelihoods for millions of poor urban households.
  • Topic: Poverty, Food, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Debbie Hillier, Krista Riddley
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The international response to the Ebola epidemic is on the right path, but there is a long way to go. The UN's interim objective was to treat 70 percent of cases and to ensure that 70 percent of burials were done safely within 60 days, i.e. by 1 December 2014. Case numbers are stabilizing in Liberia and Guinea, but remain out of control in Sierra Leone – such that the targets for cases treated has not been met. The UN has not provided figures for what had been achieved by 1 December, but a previous sitrep on 21 November showed that only 13 percent of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone have been isolated, compared with 72 percent in Guinea.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Human Welfare, Infectious Diseases, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Karim Mezran, Mohamed Eljarh
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The French intellectual Jean Baudrillard once said, “It is always the same: once you are liberated, you are forced to ask who you are.” In the case of Libya, this question should have been at the center of every political initiative immediately following the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi's regime. Libya's new leadership had the opportunity to convene a national dialogue in an effort to explore questions of national identity and a new vision for a national mission. Unfortunately, the Libyan elites who emerged from the 2011 civil war did not make national dialogue a priority, opting to appease local forces—armed and political—rather than to undertake the difficult but critical task of nation-building.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya