African Politics and Policy

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A week in review

The week and the month started on April 1 with all kind of bad news from every corner of the continent.

Nigeria experienced a meningitis outbreak and shortage of vaccines (, violence escalated in Central African Republic (, and inflation was reported to bee on the rise because of rising food prices (

April 1 also brought us good news: we were told that Somalia was well on its way to political stability (, while Rwanda successfully launched its stock market ( ).

The stabilization seemed to be so promising, so final and so convincing, that the press – on April 3 -could go on to explain why a stable Somalia is so appealing to foreign investors (

April 3 was a happy. Full of good news. Somalia was stable and attractive, a  dog saved many people from a suicide attack (, and several rhinos were sent to Botswana where they could finally find safety (

On April 3 we also learned that while Africa may not bee the happiest place in the world, is probably the most optimistic (, and Nigeria received 500,000 vaccines against meningitis (

And precisely when one could finally convince himself that it could be a good week full off good news, badd news started to arrive:

Apr. 3: Zuma fired the finance minister and made one of the most extensive government reshuffles in the history of South Africa ( ,

Apr. 4: Kofi Annan reminded us that millions of Africans are food insecure and that many people still starve, (

Apr. 4: a big earthquake shook Botswana (,

Apr. 4. Standard and Poor’s downgraded South Africa, ( as a response to Zuma’s moves (see Apr.3).

Apr. 5: terrorists attack Mogadishu, showing that Somalia is not that stable after all


Apr. 5: because of the drought, it became clear the food production  will be lower than expected—something that in addition to contributing to the food insecurity of the region, also contributes to rising food prices and inflation ( ),

Apr. 7: in Zimbabwe crops are devastated by army worms, which reduced the country food production, and increased food insecurity ( ),

Apr. 7: Nairobi’s ‘flying toilets’ create the ideal conditions for the outbreak of pandemics, ( ),

Apr. 7: rhino’s horns can legally be traded  (which puts them in a life danger condition) in South Africa, Nigerians are depressed, the University of Rwanda struggles, Mombasa tops the charts of sexual violence cases, and South Africa is downgraded for a second time in a week.

And upon glancing at the news of this, one can only hope that the next may be better and may bring some solutions to the problems we listed here.

Riccardo Pelizzo

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