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Indeed, Germans and Belgians in turn enlisted an elite that they identified as Tutsi in order to contain the Hutu majority. In the pre—independence years, the Hutu, backed by the Belgians, fought for majority rule.

Pressures for Political and Economic Reform

As political parties were ethnically based, large numbers of Tutsi, regardless of their status and political opinions, were killed in the process in and , most notably or went into exile in Burundi, Tanganyika Tanzania , and Uganda. Regional conflicts among the Hutu led to the coup organized by Joseph Habyarimana, a Hutu from northern Rwanda.

In response to the attacks launched from Uganda by Tutsi exiles, organized by into an army called the Rwandan Patriotic Front RPF , Habyarimana began training Hutu militias for the elimination of Rwandan Tutsi and their Hutu allies. Yet he was forced by international pressure to prepare for multiparty elections and limited power sharing with the RPF: As soon as Habyarimana's plane was shot down over Kigali airport, this carefully planned operation began, gathered momentum among the civilians, and left, after one hundred days, approximately one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu dead.

The genocide ended with the RPF's occupation of Kigali. Meanwhile, the militias and two million Hutu civilians had fled to eastern Zaire, where they were reached by the RPF army in After the assassination of Kabila, who had changed the name of his country to Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC , his son, Joseph Kabila, was elected president in From to seven countries became involved—largely because of Congo's mineral wealth and, specifically, its coltan used in the production of cellular phones—in an underreported "African World War.

The current death toll in the Congo nears six million. Tragically, the international community has failed to respond adequately to these successive humanitarian crises. Often dubbed a new form of slavery, Africa's debt to foreign creditors such as governments or banks was contracted starting in the mid—s, either under pressure from donors, by despotic regimes in exchange for their participation in the Cold War, or by the South African apartheid regime for its regional wars. Indebtedness became chronic in the s. As repayment had to be made in foreign currency, both the sharp rise of import costs, linked to the price of oil, and the vagaries of agricultural exports have made this debt unsustainable for African nations.

Structural adjustment refers to a series of policies devised by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to offer developing economies new loans or reduced interest rates on existing loans with conditions that promote privatization, deregulation, and reduction of trade barriers. Imposing drastic reductions—notably in governmental spending on health care, education, and public housing—and encouraging foreign investment mostly in mining, these programs came under criticism for their role in worsening poverty.

In the late s they were replaced by the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, an initiative aimed at encouraging countries' participation in their debt management. Debt cancellation is increasingly seen as the decisive step toward Africa's effective economic growth. The s saw the end of colonial occupation with the independence of South West Africa. Its road to independence took the form of a protracted war, waged over three decades — at the cost of at least twenty thousand lives. Reflective of the international power struggle during the Cold War, this war was tied to both the independence in Angola and the dismantlement of apartheid in South Africa.

A region rich in diamonds, copper, and uranium, South West Africa was ruled since by South Africa and subjected to apartheid, though it was a United Nations Trust Territory. South Africans endured another defeat at the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in southern Angola. The mineral revolution that took place in the s and s in southern Africa increased the latent conflicts, not only between the African majority and the white community, but also between the Boer and the English settlers. By the Union of South Africa, having obtained internal self—government, began devising segregationist policies to maintain white domination over mining and the land.

Black South Africans resisted the job color bar, restrictions put on their occupation of the land, and the abolition of voting rights in parliamentary elections. They also founded powerful trade unions as well as the first modern African nationalist party, the African National Congress ANC in In , the National Party institutionalized the apartheid system, which aimed at making black South Africans foreigners in 86 percent of their own country. As illustrated by major events such as the ANC Defiance Campaign , the Sharpeville massacre , and the Soweto uprising , black resistance increased.

When the ANC adopted the principle of armed resistance, Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders were condemned to life imprisonment for sabotage and conspiracy South Africa, which had enjoyed a prosperous economy until the s, was weakened by Portugal's withdrawal from Angola and Mozambique and began implementing reforms while heightening political repression. In Prime Minister P. Botha declared a state of emergency.

By South Africa, crippled by internal boycotts, strikes, and the black majority's poverty, as well as by international disinvestment, had become one of the world's weakest economies. In addition, South Africa lost Namibia. In Botha's successor, F. Elected president in the first nonracial elections , Mandela sought to build a multiracial society and to end civil strife through institutions such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which encouraged perpetrators to publicly acknowledge their apartheid—related crimes.

Once in power, the ANC did not implement the socialist program announced in the party's constitutive document, the Freedom Charter, but opted for a capitalist economy. In spite of the government's effort since to provide people with basic necessities, unemployment has reached South Africa has the largest number of HIV infections in the world with 58 percent of the patients deprived of antiretroviral therapy , but recent statistics seem to indicate a decline in new cases.

Wangari Maathai was one of the three hundred participants, along with President Obama's father, in a scholarship program designed to bring Kenyan students to American universities. Upon her return to Kenya, she obtained a Ph. She was the first woman in East and Central Africa to hold both a doctorate degree and a high—ranking academic position. Her associative activities, coupled with her previous experience in the United States, raised her consciousness about sustainability. In the late s, she founded the Green Belt Movement, a non—governmental organization that encouraged rural women to plant native trees to reverse soil erosion in a country where only 2 percent of the indigenous forest remained.

Indeed, Maathai's trademark has been an uncommon determination to link environmental issues to the fight against poverty, and for women's rights and democracy. In the s and '90s, while political harassment against Maathai increased, so did her international repute. Offered a job by Norwegian donors and money from the U.

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Voluntary Fund for Women, she expanded the Green Belt Movement, providing financial compensation to women participants. Her contribution to the third World Conference on Women, held in Nairobi in , led to the establishment of a Pan African Green Belt Network, designed to assist other African countries in their environmental conservation efforts. Two years later, she was jailed for having revealed a list of projected political assassinations that included her name. Many of her subsequent efforts were devoted to reconciling the opposition parties for Kenya's first multiparty elections in and the second in Co—chair of the Jubilee international campaign for debt cancellation in Africa, she simultaneously crushed two major governmental attempts at privatizing Kenya's public land.

From to she served as assistant minister in the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources. Her autobiography, Unbowed, was published in , and a documentary on her life and work, Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, was released in The recipient of numerous awards, Wangari Maathai was the first African woman and the first environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize By insisting on the cyclical causality linking environmental degradation, food insecurity, war, and further soil degradation, she helped redefine the concept of peace and that of the Nobel Peace Prize itself.

Its goal was to decolonize the rest of the African colonies, fight apartheid, and promote cultural unity on the continent. Lacking an armed force to enforce decisions and committed to the principle of non—interference with national sovereignty, the OAU was powerless to resolve crises in Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia.

Yet it provided support for anti—colonial militants of Southern Africa in exile. In the OAU was replaced by the African Union, an intergovernmental organization that brought together fifty—two states with the goals of promoting continental integration, peace, democracy, and human rights, and fighting poverty and corruption. It is the only international organization that recognizes the right to intervene in a member state for humanitarian reasons. Its first military interventions consisted of a peacekeeping mission in Burundi, the Sudan, Somalia, and the Comores.

The latter body concerns itself more specifically with issues of sustainability and Africa's integration in the global economy. Although Africans have always migrated voluntarily or not to other regions of the world, the volume and patterns of those migrations have greatly changed in the postcolonial era.

In the s and the '70s, educated and mostly male Africans came to the metropolises as students, and large numbers of their compatriots were brought in to serve as a cheap industrial labor force. Restrictive emigration policies for workers, asylum seekers, and refugees were implemented in the late s, when Europe completed the modernization of its infrastructure. Starting in the s, African immigration to industrialized countries, although condemned in the official discourse, rose rapidly: Adjusting to those changes, Africans began diversifying their destinations: Students often chose to attend American universities that offered substantial scholarships.

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In addition, migrants reconverted to self—employment in the commercial sector, to avoid the risks and frustrations of menial wage—labor. In keeping with their traditional involvement in local and long—distance commerce, African women have turned to international migrations: Professional women have also taken to migrating on their own: As for traffickers, they have devised ever bolder schemes to smuggle Africans into Western countries, such as loading them onto small fishing boats for perilous crossings from Senegal to Spain.

Since its creation in , the European Union struggles with its reliance on immigration to palliate the labor shortage caused by an aging population; its wish to regulate the migratory flows, especially those originating from Africa; and its intention to promote free circulation of labor within its borders.

The numerous immigration—related human rights abuses within the E. In reality, Africans represent in Europe a small percentage of all migrants 11 percent for France in , for instance. Though even fewer Africans settle in the United States, their ranks have swollen since the s. Making up then 1. A highly educated group, they are generally perceived as law—abiding individuals whose ability to speak English is an asset for integration. Emigration deprives Africa of an estimated , people per year, of whom 20, are highly skilled professionals.

Thus African nations face a multilayered challenge: Furthermore, better inter—African coordination is needed, as the largest African migrations take place within Africa itself. Africa's high percentage of young people, its rate of urbanization estimated at 35 percent in the first decade of the twenty—first century, 40 percent in and 50 percent in , and its global consciousness are the main reasons for the successful expansion of the NICTs on the continent.

For instance, the number of subscriptions to cellular phone services went from 72, in to million in , and the growth in mobile phone equipment was the highest in the world. Moreover, cooperation between private companies and states has recently enabled the extension of cellular networks into rural areas. Competition among operators is lowering the cost of subscriptions for consumers while diversifying the range of services available to them, with, notably, the recent development of the capability to pay bills or do banking operations via mobile phone.


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Though slower to penetrate the African market, the Internet has generated spectacular interest. The installation of costly equipment often competes with other priorities and depends on the existence of multiple sources of funding private donors, public entities, and agencies such as UNESCO or the American Leland Initiative.

Its use supposes a certain literacy rate, income level, and free time. Yet the overall rate of connections between the late s and has multiplied by a factor of 5. Recent studies show that a huge potential market for broadband access exists in Kenya, Egypt, and Nigeria. Several operators are at work on ten similar projects of undersea cable connectors.

The World Cup, in South Africa, has been a powerful motivator for both operators and consumers: Numerous e—initiatives have already emerged in Africa: However, these technologies do not guarantee development or democracy, even with lower costs and the broadcast of unhindered personal expression. The push for African governments to disengage from the installation of both infrastructure and networks implies increased dependence on foreign aid. Additionally, the spread of more or less objective representations of the Western lifestyle may widen the perceived gap between Africa and the rest of the world, between rural and urban settings, and may ultimately encourage extroversion.

Thus, the challenge for Africa is to ponder the relevance of regulating cyberspace; to train active users who can deal with ideologically or culturally objectionable material; and to generate African content to fill existing lacunae or counteract stereotypical views of the continent. Cheru, Fanut, and Cyril Obi, eds. The rise of China and India in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Critical Interventions.

Nordic Africa Institute, Johns Hopkins University Press, Falola, Toyin, and Aribidesi Usman, eds. Movements, Borders, and Identities in Africa. University of Rochester Press, Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. Neo-Imperialism in Children's Literature about Africa: A Study of Contemporary Fiction. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Africa World Press, Politics, Economics, and Culture in the Global Era. Its objectives are to eradicate poverty; to place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development; to halt the marginalization of Africa in the globalization process and enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy; and to accelerate the empowerment of women.

West Africa was struck by severe droughts in the s. Although it was believed at the time that local factors were to blame, recent studies have shown that they were caused by Western countries' industrial pollution. Agriculture was devastated, and livestock, like this herd in Niger in , were decimated, leading to widespread famine. But the speed of the wave reflected existing tensions within the region, which were related to the ways authoritarian governments handled the economic difficulties of the s.

No shortage of skepticism greeted Africa's new democracies. Many analysts questioned whether they would last—and, if so, whether they would make any significant contribution to economic recovery and poverty reduction. A key premise here was that democratization has historically been part of a broader social transformation—encompassing processes like industrialization, mass education, the ascendancy of a large middle class, and at least a clear sense of national identity.

Many African countries remain at low levels of socioeconomic development and are highly ethnically fragmented, raising concerns about the structural bases for stable democracy. A related set of doubts sprang from the perception that Africa's political transition was externally driven, while questioning post-Cold War faith in the inherent compatibility of markets and democracy.

The Cold War: Crash Course US History #37

Tensions within Africa during the late s revealed a messier reality. Just as African leaders managed to sidestep economic conditionality in the s, they were now dodging the substance of political conditionality. By staging periodic elections they created a facade of democratic legitimacy and kept donor funds flowing. But even where the facade was maintained, any genuine developmental benefits of democracy seemed unlikely to materialize. Two decades of hindsight offer an empirical basis for greater optimism about the durability and performance of democracy in Africa.

The wave of democratization in the region is partial and potentially reversible, and skeptics have identified important vulnerabilities. Yet Africa's democracies have lasted longer and performed better than initially expected. International factors have played an important role in supporting African democracy. Since the end of the Cold War, the global climate has become decidedly more uncomfortable for nondemocratic governments, which are increasingly deprived of legitimacy and resources, and trends within Africa have reinforced this.

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South Africa's own political transition has given the region a dominant power whose ideals and strategic interests both are served by promoting democracy and human rights. While the Zimbabwean crisis starkly illustrates how difficult it is to dislodge a skillful and intransigent dictator, democratic norms are much more influential in Africa than they were two decades ago. Meanwhile, emerging evidence seems to confirm that, in African countries where democracy has been established, states have tended to perform better as agents of economic development.

These effects seem to hinge on the benefits of imposing institutional checks on leaders' discretionary authority, backed by the ability to remove governments that fail to improve the well-being of their people. By contrast, the region's most catastrophic developmental failures—including Zimbabwe's current plunge—have only spun out of control when constitutional checks and balances have been absent or dismantled.

In light of Africa's diversity, any sweeping generalization about prospects for democracy and development would be misleading. In conclusion, I briefly discuss four bellwether countries that are particularly worth tracking in the coming months and years.

A New Path for the 21st Century

First, the Democratic Republic of Congo is a crucial case of postconflict peace building. Like Sierra Leone and Liberia before it, it has benefited from considerable assistance from the United Nations and regional organizations. Credible but technically flawed presidential elections in reinforced a fragile political settlement of civil war. The country is plagued by complex political divisions and extremely weak infrastructure and does not currently meet accepted standards of electoral democracy despite its name. Even very modest progress would boost regional development, but a collapse of the relative peace now prevailing could again destabilize Central Africa.

Second, Nigeria is a country that slipped out of the club of electoral democracies following presidential elections plagued by massive fraud and violence. A common weakness of Africa's democracies is that few have yet combined intense party competition with effective electoral administration. In Nigeria, a hotly contested election put the administrative machinery under strain it could not withstand.

As one of the region's leading powers, Nigeria's next round of national elections will be closely scrutinized. Third, South Africa faces a somewhat different challenge to its young democracy. Though the country's record of electoral administration has been exemplary, its first three general elections have seen the ruling African National Congress ANC win large and increasing majorities—its vote share approaching 70 percent.

The breakaway Congress of the People COPE , though very unlikely to overtake the ANC in a general election in mid, poses the greatest challenge so far to the ruling party's dominance.

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More important than the final vote count is how the added dose of political contestation affects the conduct of the campaign and election. Finally, the most positive recent development among Africa's democracies was Ghana's December presidential election. The opposition party's candidate, John Atta-Mills, won a run-off over Nana Akufo-Addo by a razor-thin margin of thirty thousand votes, out of over nine million cast. When Akufo-Addo conceded and Atta-Mills was inaugurated, it marked the second time power had changed hands constitutionally since the country's democratic transition.

The achievement was widely reported and praised throughout the region, clearly demonstrating the possibilities of democratic practice in Africa. His research focuses on the political economy of African development, and his research has appeared in publications such as the Journal of Democracy, the Journal of Modern African Studies, and the Journal of African History.