There is much to admire about South Africa’s relative progress and stability in the almost nineteen years since its first multiracial election, but its school system is truly an embarrassment. Despite the country’s upper-middle-income classification, many areas that were formerly designated as so-called “homelands” (i.e., the Transkei and Ciskei), resemble the poorest areas of many … Continue reading
Interesting article on how Mozambique and several other countries are trying to avoid the fate of the “resource curse” following discoveries of coal and gas within their territories. Will be very interesting to see if such self-conscious awareness of the potential for conflict can be addressed through early institutional planning. If so, will really give … Continue reading
Myworld2015 asks all of us – that’s right, all of humanity — to vote for the changes that would “make the most difference to our world.” We get to vote online for the priorities that we believe to be most important – they provide us 16 options, and we are asked to select 6. And on … Continue reading
Amazing, but presumably true, BBC News reports that Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe have struck a deal on a new constitution that will pave the way for elections. I guess what really shocks me is the photo: After reading Peter Godwin’s book on Mugabe’s reign of terror, which documents the devastating violence committed against Tsvangirai; … Continue reading
Too many African states have been governed by the wrong kind of millionaires and even billionaires – those who have “earned” their money while being in office, extracting resources from the state in various ways. Indeed, one of the challenges for African political development has been that state office has too often been seen as … Continue reading
I have written previously about some of the not-so-successful attempts to promote more active citizenship in Africa. But one proposal that I am pretty sure has not been tried, and was suggested to me just this evening by my nephews, Jack and Henry, and my niece, Lucy… … is an “Active Citizen” sweatshirt. Who knows … Continue reading
I am just heading home now from the African Studies Association meetings in Philadelphia, and I have to say, I was impressed by several really interesting presentations that make me quite optimistic about what we can learn about initiatives to enhance democracy and governance in Africa; and about both the practice and deeper understanding of … Continue reading
While I was in Cape Town last week, the South African statistics bureau released preliminary results from the 2011 census. Interesting stuff for someone who is particularly interested in the census and race politics. For South Africa, the obvious and immediate questions that come up are, how are life styles evolving? And how does this … Continue reading
I am used to being home on the East Coast, reading about and following calamities here in Southern Africa. It feels very strange to be in sunny Cape Town obsessively monitoring the path and impact of Frankenstorm Sandy. I am relieved that family and friends are safe, but horrified to learn of all the destruction.
Pretty much nothing. Just two mentions of terrorism in Mali. Well, I suppose we should blame moderator Bob Schleiffer for not asking any questions on issues beyond our bellicose relations around the year. But the candidates could have pivoted if they had thought they could say something that might win votes.