In Ghana, Bolloré’s agreement with the government to build and manage a new container port in Tema violated procurement laws, transparency standards, and opaquely cut Ghana’s equity in the venture. The agreement reflects the vulnerability and loss of sovereignty posed by having one company control crucial 15 ports in the region as well as the importance of transparency and accountability in contracting, particularly for critical infrastructure. Politicians have traded foreign support for their political campaigns at the expense of their country’ development; the capacity of legislatures and civil society to hold leaders to account must be increased.
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Ghana’s elections offer lessons on how transparency and public trust in electoral institutions contribute to a peaceful transition of power, finds the Africa Center’s Dorina Bekoe.
The Africa Center’s Dorina Bekoe and Stephanie Burchard write that while Ghana’s 2012 election went smoothly, “the dynamics ahead of the December elections suggest that this time could be different.”
Global warming is contributing to more and extended heat waves, a tripling of droughts, a quadrupling of storms, and a tenfold increase in flooding in Africa since the 1970s—exacerbating security threats on the continent.
African countries can negotiate a more equitable role in FOCAC, but this requires a more strategically focused approach, better coordination, and greater accountability to their citizens.
The deployment of Chinese security firms in Africa is expanding without a strong regulatory framework. This poses heightened risks to African citizens and raises fundamental questions over responsibility for security in Africa.
(This article originally appeared as a chapter in "Russia Strategic Intentions White Paper," Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) publication series, NSI, May 2019.)
Russia has significantly expanded its engagements in Africa in recent years. These engagements often take the form of propping up embattled and isolated autocratic leaders of countries that are rich in natural resources. The United States can draw a distinction with Russia’s destabilizing role by pursuing a positive engagement strategy in Africa. The United States must avoid the Cold War trap of competing with Russia for the affections of corrupt, autocratic leaders in Africa, however, as such a policy would be disastrous for Africa while not advancing US interests.
Proactive management of the transition to civilian rule would afford the Sudanese military more stability, budgetary support, and professional benefits.
The power imbalance between China and Africa poses a challenge for negotiating equitable investment deals. The interests of African citizens can be strengthened through agreements that are transparent, involve experts, and facilitate public engagement.
2020 saw COVID-19 infect over 2.7 million Africans and kill over 65,000. A surge of cases in the last quarter of the year, combined with the emergence of more contagious mutations, pose new challenges for Africa in 2021.
The spread of surveillance technology in Africa without adequate checks and balances is reshaping the governance landscape while potentially enabling another tool of repression.
West African fish stocks are under constant pressure from foreign distant fishing fleets accessing West African waters both licitly and illicitly. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, while artisan fishers and local processers were complying with lockdown restrictions, foreign industrial fleets continued aggressive fishing. While food insecurity rose in the region, fishmeal factories, processing tons of fish into feed for industrial aquaculture and livestock in Europe and Asia, continued unabated. The situation revealed the need to institute strong regional measures to change the fisheries management system, particularly on pelagic fish stocks shared between countries.