John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

Digital Jobs in Africa: The Way Forward

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Entrepreneurs work on their projects at Nailab, a Kenyan firm that supports technology startups, behind the latest initiative, which targets entrepreneurs for their ideas on providing sex education through technology and social media in Nairobi, Kenya, July 4, 2016. (Reuters/Thomas Mukoya)

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni, a consultant in the Johannesburg office of Dalberg Global Development Advisors. Diptesh is a former CFR Africa program intern.

Across the world, there is an inescapable sense that the machines are coming, and they’re going to take our jobs. This fear is not new. From the cotton gin, to the tractor, to the assembly line and beyond, jobs have, and will continue to face threats from technological advances. Read more »

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Health

by John Campbell Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. September 20, 2016. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

The Nigerian media continues to be transfixed by the question of President Buhari’s health, with rumor and innuendo flying, including the “fake news” of his death. Buhari went to London on January 19, for ten days of rest and medical tests. However, he has since extended his stay twice, and at present there is no set date for his return. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 18 – February 24

by John Campbell Monday, February 27, 2017
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from February 18 to February 24, 2017. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »

Does Free Wi-Fi Improve Internet Accessibility in South Africa?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Friday, February 24, 2017
South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela holds up a mobile phone as he addresses a conference on AIDS in London, October 21, 2003. (Reuters/Hugo Philpott)

This post originally appeared on the Council on Foreign Relations Net Politics Blog and is written by Chenai Chair and Broc Rademan, researchers at Research ICT Africa, a public-interest research organization that examines information and communication technology policy in Africa. You can find them @RIAnetwork. Read more »

Podcast: Update on Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Thursday, February 23, 2017
Volunteers set up eight thousand candles in the shape of the African continent as part of a demonstration entitled "Africa needs medicine now" at the parliament square in Berne, Switzerland December 1, 2005. (Reuters/Pascal Lauener)

In the second episode of the Africa in Transition Podcast series John Campbell and Allen Grane discuss developments across the continent. The topics discussed include: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s extended leave of absence, South Africa’s recent parliamentary brawl, and U.S. arms sales to Kenya. Read more »

South Africa, Refugees, and Populism

by John Campbell Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Foreign men from Malawi queue to board buses from a camp for those affected by anti-immigrant violence in Chatsworth north of Durban, April 18, 2015. (Reuters/Rogan Ward)

Rosettenville, a suburb of Johannesburg, was the site of the February 11-12 burning of buildings alleged to have been used by “prostitutes and drug dealers.” These “prostitutes and drug dealers” have been  popularly identified as “Nigerians.” In the aftermath of the fires, the mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, bitterly criticized the South African government for failing to secure South Africa’s borders. (Mashaba is a prominent leader of the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition to the African National Congress government of Jacob Zuma.) Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 11 – February 17

by John Campbell Tuesday, February 21, 2017
The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau) The map above depicts deaths in Nigeria by state. (Source: CFR Nigeria Security Tracker; powered by Tableau)

Below is a visualization and description of some of the most significant incidents of political violence in Nigeria from February 11 to February 17, 2017. This update also represents violence related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. These incidents will be included in the Nigeria Security Tracker. Read more »

What is the African Growth and Opportunity Act?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Friday, February 17, 2017
Representatives from various African nations gather at the opening session at the AGOA Forum during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, August 4, 2014. (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

This article was originally published on SSA Frontiers

On May 18, 2000, Congress signed the African Growth and Opportunity Act, commonly known as AGOA, into law. AGOA is a trade program meant to establish stronger commercial ties between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. The act establishes a preferential trade agreement between the U.S. and selected countries in the sub-Saharan region. Initially approved for fifteen years, AGOA was reauthorized for ten years on June 25, 2015, by the Obama administration. In its current form AGOA will last until September 30, 2025. Read more »

Parliamentary Brawls Threaten South African Governance

by John Campbell Thursday, February 16, 2017
Security officials remove members of the Economic Freedom Fighters during President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, South Africa, February 9, 2017. (Reuters/Sumaya Hisham)

Since 1994, South Africa’s constitutional institutions have strengthened, as has the independence of the judiciary, which now regularly rules against an increasingly discredited Zuma administration. The political parties are becoming more competitive, even as the country regularly holds credible elections. Corruption, especially in the inner circle of President Jacob Zuma and among his allies in the African National Congress (ANC), has probably increased, but it is challenged by the country’s free press and vociferous civil society. However, the parliamentary escapades of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) threatens the strength of South Africa’s parliament, one of the country’s most important institutions. Read more »

Podcast: Africa and The New Administration

by John Campbell Wednesday, February 15, 2017
U.S. President Barack Obama walks off stage as he finishes his news conference at the conclusion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the U.S. State Department in Washington, August 6, 2014. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)

Africa in Transition announces a new podcast series. For our inaugural effort the CFR Africa program’s own John Campbell and Allen Grane discuss the United States’ policy priorities in Africa and what the new Trump administration means for America’s relationship with its African partners. There is also a discussion of the focus of the CFR Africa program. Read more »