• EU offers security assistance to Libya

    The EU has responded favorably to a request from the new UN-backed Libyan unity government for security assistance – especially in managing migration, border monitoring, and police capacity building. EU officials stopped short, however, of committing the EU to operate on the Libyan coast and in Libyan territorial waters to block people smugglers. The EU said it would be more effective to build up the capacity of the Libyan security forces to deal with the issue.

  • Boko Haram robs children in northeast Nigeria of education

    Boko Haram’s attacks on schools, students, and teachers in northeast Nigeria have had a devastating impact on education. Between 2009 and 2015, Boko Haram’s attacks destroyed more than 910 schools and forced at least 1,500 more to close. At least 611 teachers have been deliberately killed and another 19,000 forced to flee. The conflict has left nearly one million children with little or no access to school, and Nigeria’s security forces have contributed to the problem by using schools as military bases, putting children at further risk of attack from the Islamist armed group.

  • 10-fold increase in number of children Boko Haram uses in suicide attacks

    The number of children involved in ‘suicide’ attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger has risen sharply over the past year, from four in 2014 to forty-four in 2015, according to a UNICEF report released yesterday. More than 75 percent of the children involved in the attacks are girls.

  • Boko Haram willing to release kidnapped girls for $56 million ransom

    Boko Haram has said it was demanding a ransom of nearly $56 million for the release of the 219 schoolgirls it kidnapped from the Nigerian town of Chibok two years ago. The Islamist militants conveyed their demand in secret contacts with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, who, during last year’s presidential campaign, said that if need be, he would negotiate with the militants for the girls’ release.

  • Leader of Nigeria’s Islamist Ansaru group arrested in Nigeria

    Khalid al-Barnawi, the leader of Nigeria’s Ansaru jihadist group, a Boko Haram splinter group ideologically aligned with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has been arrested, a Nigerian army spokesman said on Sunday. Al-Barnawi, 47, was born as Usman Umar Abubakar in Biu town in northeast Borno state. He is one of three Nigerians listed by Washington in 2012 as “specially designated global terrorists.

  • African parliaments lead the continent's fight against weapons of mass destruction

    Jihadist literature has, for a while, called for the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction — encouraging the production of ricin, botulinum, and sarin. The surge in terrorist acts and violent extremism on the continent should underscore, for all African states, the urgent need to actively prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors. It also confirms the relevance of UN Security Council resolution 1540

  • Al-Shabaab leader in Somalia killed in U.S. strike

    Hassan Ali Dhoore, a senior leader of the Somali al-Shabaab Islamist group, was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Thursday. On 5 March a U.S. air strike killed more than a 100 al-Shabaab fighters in one of the group’s training facilities.

  • Foreign direct investment in Sub Saharan Africa on the rise

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased by 4.7% in 2013 while it has declined in North Africa, and intra-African investment is on the rise. Investors shift from extractive industries to consumer-related sectors. There have been dramatic improvement in investor perception about the attractiveness of Africa for investors, but stubborn perception gap remains between investors already operating on the continent and those who are not.

  • Africa is open for business: The AfDB calls on African private sector

    Africa’s private sector will continue to lead the continent towards economic transformation, African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina said at the launch of the fourth Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan. “The ‘Africa rising’ story remains strong,” he told 500 CEOs from 43 African countries.

  • Africa’s debt specter, electrifying Africa, child labor in sub-Saharan Africa, collapse of mineral prices

    The specter of high debt is raising its head again in Africa, analysts say, as sub-Saharan nations that borrowed cheaply on global markets are now squeezed by a commodities crash. On 9 February 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Electrify Africa Act after nearly two years of failed attempts to get the bill through both chambers of Congress. As Sub-Saharan Africa strives to break the shackles of poverty, its population of nearly one billion people is hard at work. The ongoing collapse of mineral prices on the international market, growing debt crisis, and dwindling revenue to finance socio-economic development in African countries has refocused attention on how to optimally use the continent’s vast mineral sector

  • Why developing countries are dumping investment treaties

    A new generation of investment treaties must balance investment policy and the development strategies of host countries while ensuring responsible investor behavior. This is why there is a growing view that the traditional model for bilateral investment treaties needs a review. This must focus on developing a new generation foreign investment policy framework. This should, along with promoting foreign investment, also enable recipient countries to regulate foreign direct investment in line with their public policies. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development is a step forward.

  • Supporting Liberia’s effort to diversify its economy

    Liberia has huge agricultural potentials, including rubber, cocoa, cassava, and rice. About 50 percent of the country’s population lives in extreme poverty, while only two percent of the population has access to electricity. The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has pledged to support Liberia’s effort to diversify its economy, with a particular emphasis on the agriculture and power sectors.

  • AUC welcomes Ghana’s decision to introduce visa-on-arrival for AU states’ citizens

    The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has welcomed Ghana’s decision to introduce a visa-on-arrival policy for citizens of African Union Member States. The President of Ghana, H. E. John Dramani Mahama, announced the decision in his State of the Nations address to the Ghanaian Parliament on 25 February 2016.

  • Transforming Sierra Leone renewable energy sector

    Sierra Leone has received a $300,000 grant from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) to prepare a far-reaching national Investment Plan (IP) to transform its renewable energy sector. The IP will be developed under the CIF’s Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) in a collaborative approach that includes multiple ministries and stakeholders throughout the country, including private sector, commercial and development banks, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

  • Preventing famine with mobile phones

    With a mobile data collection app and satellite data, scientists will be able to predict whether a certain region is vulnerable to food shortages and malnutrition. The method has now been tested in the Central African Republic.