Africa

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Kenyans rally for a new constitution in 2010. The constitution guaranteed shared power and resources for 47 county governments. Reuters/Moses Eshiwani

Kenya’s glass-half-full experiment with transfer of power and resources

The Kenyan example illustrates the importance of constitutional guarantees for devolution. But it also shows that devolution is no magic bullet for the problems of corruption and ethnic politics.
Some countries in Africa are well placed to follow the path of development pioneered by a number of Asian countries. Shutterstock

What’s needed to take Africa from Third to First World in 25 years

It's important to interrogate the key factors that pushed countries from Third World to First World status in the 20th century. Asia's experiences hold many lessons for Africa.
Former South African presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki at Mbeki’s inauguration in 1999. Reuters

Book review: finding a vocabulary to judge Thabo Mbeki

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki remains a puzzle to many of his compatriots. A new book, ‘The Thabo Mbeki I know’, will help to understand him better.
Idyllic Mauritius is the only African country ranked in the favourable category of ‘more stable’ in the latest survey on state fragility. Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Is the Fragile States Index ‘fatally flawed’?

The Fragile States Index leaves more questions than it answers. Like similar global surveys, its credibility hinges on reliable data. But how sound are its statistics and their interpretation?
In the 1990s Paul Kagame of Rwanda, along with Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, were considered the democratic darlings of Africa. Reuters/Hereward Holland

How Africa’s 1990s ‘poster boys’ use security fears to roll back democracy

Africa's democratic promise of the 1990s has lost its shine. Hopes for accountable rule have faded in Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda. All have blocked the path to meaningful popular empowerment.
Markets plunged after the UK voted to exit the EU. Africa’s trade relations with both the EU and UK will be affected by the decision. Reuters/Kevin Coombs

African exporters face choppy waters in the wake of Brexit

Emerging market countries that rely heavily on commodity exports will be hit hardest by Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
Parliamentary budget offices are considered international best practice – they are intended to bring more honesty to the budget process. Shutterstock

Who watches the watchmen? Lessons from Uganda’s budget office

The scandal at Uganda's Parliamentary Budget Office shows that figuring out the proper roles, functions, internal controls, and capacities is more pressing than ever.
Local residents walk past a collapsed building in Huruma, Nairobi. Many of the city’s current problems emerged at its birth as a colonial town. EPA/Dai Kurokawa

How elites and corruption have played havoc with Nairobi’s housing

Building better, inclusive cities involves enabling the wise use of public land and taxes to ensure that high-quality housing and amenities are provided for all at a lower cost.

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