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  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On 5 June 2018, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition; Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) under its new leader, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared that it shall accept the terms of a peace agreement with neighbouring Eritrea. The announcement came as a shock both to the international community and analysts who follow politics in the Horn of Africa. Beneath the declaration were years of silent diplomatic undertakings which have been given relatively lesser attention as the charismatic nature of Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister has taken centre stage. This Brief shall emphasize the role of diplomacy in the build-up to the announcement as well as the unique nature of Prime Minister Ahmed; in doing so, it is intrinsic to capture the historical context of the border conflict, an alternative explanation to diplomacy as well as the rewards of the peace deal and its challenges (implications). The Brief concludes by making a case for diplomacy as it still remains a viable factor in terms of conflict resolution in Africa.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to capture the African Union’s attitude towards terrorism in a relatively lesser extent to the activities of Boko Haram. In so doing, a brief background is coined together with this introductory section. This is followed by sub-sections which shall explore the following, Boko Haram’s territorial capture, Boko Haram’s status as a terrorist group and what encompasses terrorism. Subsequently, AU’s evolving attitude towards terrorism will be traced in addition to how it has set its agenda against terrorism. The AU’s counter-terrorism activities in the context of Boko Haram will be assessed with its role in the prevention and combat of terrorism in Africa analyzed. The AU’s challenges as far as terrorism is concerned will also be highlighted with suggestions on possible alternatives as well as concluding thoughts.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Boko Haram, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On 21 March, 2018, 44 African heads of state and government dignitaries signed a historic African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at the 10th Ordinary Session of African Union (AU) Heads of State Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda. The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995. The Session was under the theme: “Creating One African Market,” and falls under AU’s Agenda 2063 Initiative. The AfCFTA is also one of the biggest free-trade areas with regards to the number of countries, thus, encompassing 1.2 billion people with over $4 trillion in combined consumer and business spending should the remaining 11 AU member countries join the Agreement (Signe, 2018). The AfCFTA would additionally become effective 30 days subsequent to ratification by the legislative houses of at least 22 African countries; countries that signed the Agreement have 120 days for its ratification. This paper seeks to outline the significance of the Agreement, its aims, challenges and the continuous work needed to sustain it going forward with potential impact it may have on third country agreements with AU member countries.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Economy, Tariffs, Free Trade, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On 27 June 2018, South Sudan’s main belligerents inked a peace deal that aims to set the country on a path to normalcy from it over half decade of conflict. The deal was reached at the backdrop of a two-day talks between President Salva Kiir and ‘rebel leader’, Riek Machar, former Vice President of South Sudan. The Khartoum talks were mediated by President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on behalf of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)2 . The announcement of the deal came both as a surprise and relief – surprise because only a week prior to this deal, the warring parties had stalemated a peace pact intended to resurrect an earlier peace deal signed in 2015. In fact the leading figures, both Kiir and Machar had summarily not only rejected that deal but also the notion of even working together, the deal came as a relief in certain quarters cognizance of the 30 June deadline set by the UN Security Council after which sanctions on South Sudan would be renewed.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, United Nations, Conflict, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The African Union (AU) held its 30th Summit from 22 – 29 January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The central theme of the Summit was a clarion call to strengthen African unity and fight against corruption and the eradication of poverty on the continent. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda was elected the new AU chairperson at the Summit, however, it is a significant development that transpired on the sidelines of the Summit among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan that this policy update seeks to address pursuant to an earlier published policy brief, The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and geopolitical tension between Egypt and Ethiopia with Sudan in the mix.2 President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn all signaled their resolve to avoid misunderstandings cognizance of Ethiopia’s construction of its dam, The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a sideline meeting at the Summit. A statement released by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that, “we (the three country heads) have agreed to work as one on matters among the three countries, particularly on the construction of the GERD” (Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2018).
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, International Affairs, Infrastructure, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On the 11th and 12th of February 2018, the “2nd Turkey–Africa Ministerial Review Conference” transpired in Istanbul. The Conference was held under the tutelage of the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. In participation was the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, H. E. Thomas Qwesi Quartey together with several foreign affairs ministers of African countries as well as AU representatives. Considering that a Turkey–Africa Summit is scheduled to be held in 2019 in Turkey, this TurkeyAfrica Ministerial Review Conference was held to evaluate the progress of Turkey’s Africa partnership so far in conjunction with steps that could be taken to even solidify this special relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Education, Health, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Conference
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Asiedu
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: 2017 could be described by Libyans and many in the international community as a year of political stagnation with no vital accomplishment in terms of the political impasse and deadlock in postGaddafi Libya (El-Gamaty, 2018), a scenario that has seen the establishment of rival governments and the proliferation of militias among certain factions embroiled in the Libyan conflict. A ray of hope has however appeared in the form of renewed efforts to get the country back to full functionality. It is in this vain that on 29 May, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted leaders of rival Libyan factions together with diplomats from over 20 countries (including UN Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame, French Foreign Affairs Minister Le Drian, Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso) in Paris in attempt to broker a peace deal and a pathway to elections in Libya.
  • Topic: Elections, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya