Secretary Tillerson will be taking his first official visit to Africa starting March 7, meeting with leaders in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Chad, and Nigeria.
The State Department announced that the Secretary will be addressing issues of counter-terrorism, peace and security, good governance, and trade and investment.
The countries Secretary Tillerson is scheduled to visit, and the key issues to be addressed, reflect clear continuity in U.S. policy priorities in sub-Saharan Africa since the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Here is my advice to the Secretary for each of his planned meetings. Read More
This year's African Union summit, held in Addis Ababa on January 28-29, produced some international agreements worth celebrating. Read More
Corruption is the theme of this month's African Union meeting in Addis Ababa. It is refreshing that African leaders will discuss the subject in public. Some leaders are more committed than others to ending the cycle of graft which has dogged Africa since the colonial era.
Africa is not alone in this problem. Theft through corruption occurs in practically every nation – the early days of American industrialization were rife with graft. But in Africa, it has persisted as a potent force to stymie economic development and prosperity. Read More
Crude oil has been flowing from African wells, both on land and beneath the oceans, since the mid 1970s. Before then, Africa’s main source of revenue was agriculture.
International oil companies have been the most important source of investment capital needed to find and produce oil in African countries. The international oil companies have also provided the technology and expertise needed to keep African crude oil flowing to international markets. At the present time (2016), African nations produce approximately six million barrels of crude oil per day.
How do African governments and the international oil companies share the wealth coming from crude oil flows and export sales? Read More
For many African nations, the year 2016 is presenting some difficult challenges. For the second time since 1960, the commodity exports that bring in most of Africa’s revenue have suffered severe world price declines.
Between 1960 and 1980, high world prices for African commodity exports, especially crude oil, minerals such as copper, iron ore, manganese, and cobalt, brought African governments considerable revenue. Unfortunately, that revenue was not used to finance economic diversity, especially in agro-industry, manufacturing, transportation and intra-African trade. As a result, when world commodity prices dropped heavily between 1975 and 1980, many African countries found themselves heavily in debt and unable to service those debts. Too much of the earlier wealth was squandered on the financing of white elephants, the disastrous nationalization of private companies, and sadly, extensive corruption. Read More
AFRICA TO ENJOY TEN MORE YEARS OF AGOA
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will be extended for an additional ten years. President Obama signed the legislation into law on June 29, 2015.
AGOA became operational for the first time at the beginning of 2001. President Clinton signed the legislation toward the end of his second term, but the program began during the Republican administration of George W. Bush. Read More
Nigerian President-elect Buhari will be inaugurated at the end of May 2015. He has constituted a transitional task force to develop priorities for his first year in office. One of his top priorities is to diminish corruption. One of the most significant sources of diverted revenue is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The NNPC is the government’s own oil and gas entity. It receives all of the revenue from oil, gas and LNG sales, as well as oil, gas and LNG royalties. It is from these revenues that money belonging to the people of Nigeria is diverted from the rightful owner. What is to be done? Read More
THE AFTERMATH OF THE NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
AND NOW THE HARD PART
Most Nigerians are euphoric over the results of the presidential election that took place on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The election was conducted honestly. The state-by-state count was free and fair. And most surprising of all, the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, conceded defeat even before the final count was completed. In a country where every election since 1999 was rigged, the May 28 event constituted nothing short of a revolution.
Civilian rule returned in 1999 after two decades of military dictatorship. It is impossible to say that the return of civilian rule, within democratic institutions, resulted in good governance. On the contrary, Nigerian politicians in power reached new heights of corruption and dysfunctional government between 1999 and 2015. The new President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, is facing an overwhelming challenge to clean things up and reform the entire governmental and military management system. Read More
Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore has departed for good. He was ex-filtrated from Ouagadougou by French security to Yamassoukrou, Côte d’Ivoire. According to press reports, he is now in Morocco.
After a consultation among political opposition, the military, and civil society, the people of Burkina have decided on a transitional government. The transitional president is Michel Kafando, a distinguished retired diplomat. The prime minister will be Lt. Colonel Isaac Zida, the second in command of the presidential guard. Read More
Nigeria’s presidential election in February 2015 will be of historic significance.
Nigeria’s next presidential election will be held during February 2015. It is essential for political and public order that all Nigerians see the election as being “free and fair.”
After many years of dictatorial military rule, Nigeria entered a new era of multiparty democracy in 1999. The “Peoples Democratic Party” emerged from the 1999 election as the dominant political power throughout Nigeria. Subsequent elections in 2003, 2007, and 2011 were all viewed as being deeply flawed by both international and domestic observers. The PDP party utilized its control over national resources to bribe the voters and rig the elections in a variety of ways. While the PDP party was popular in all regions of Nigeria, except the southwest, rigging was considered necessary in order to make sure the party continued to control power. Control over power, of course, means control over the oil resource. Read More
Have you seen the most recent YouTube videos uploaded by Boko Haram? Correct me if I am fantasizing, but they appear to have military tanks and armored personnel carriers. When I did my US Army service, I was in the 2nd Armored Division. I commanded both armored infantry and tank platoons. Operating those machines require training. My questions are: “Where did these rag tag terrorists obtain their equipment? Who trained them to use it?" Read More