Leading German politicians advocate a more ‘active role’ for their country in crisis-ridden zones of the world, also militarily. Think tanks and a number of scientists call for an explicit formulation of interests in Africa. But the current debate on an expanded role especially in Africa already reveals a good part of German interests on the continent: the containment of migration, the roll back of insurgencies and the protection of business opportunities on the ‘continent of chances and growth’ are high on the agenda. Read my text in the latest issue of Konkret (pdf, German).
The Islamist sect Boko Haram intensifies its attacks in the North of Nigeria. Not much is known about the structure of the organisation. Read an English version of my text for Jungle World here.
The assailants arrived late afternoon in the small town Konduga near Maiduguri in the Northeast of Nigeria. Mallam Baba Abubakar, an inhabitant of Konduga told the Nigerian daily Vanguard of two armoured personnel carriers, five pick-ups painted in the camouflage colors of the army and five motorcyles. (more…)
Politics in Africa is best understood when taking into account both official and highly personalised relationships of those in power. South Africa has long been cited as an exception of this rule. In the latest issue of African Affairs, however, Tom Lodge describes the creeping and rising influence of neo-patrimonial politics within the ANC. A must-read for everyone interested in the Rainbow Nation.
My text about the informal sector, or better the “real economy”, in Africa was published by the weekly Jungle World a week ago. I explain the sheer dominance of the informal with reference to Jean François Bayart’s paradigm of extraversion. You can read the text as html or download a pdf of the page here.
In 1967, Milton Obote abolished the kingdoms of Uganda. Under Yowery Museveni in 1994, the kings and their royal suite were re-introduced. Raphaela von Weichs wrote a book about the re-establishment of the kingdom Bunyoro-Kitara in the west of Uganda. Read my review of her publication here (pdf) which was published by Welt-Sichten.
What is new about the ‘New Wars’ in Africa? In the third part of a small series for Konkret magazine (pdf here), I focus on violent upheavals and long-running wars at the continent, their features and courses. In the end, it is concluded that the confrontations between rebels, warlord troops and the (remnants of the) state can indeed be described as war of gangs, but that this fact should not make us underestimate the importance of ideology.
The anti-communist party Renamo in Moçambique recently terminated the peace accord with the governing party Frelimo. Observers doubt, however, that they are able to translate their war threats into action. Read an English version of my text for the latest Jungle World. (more…)