John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

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Showing posts for "youth"

Africa’s Youth Bulge a Big Burden

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
People crowd on a road near Balogun market to shop, a day before Christmas in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, December 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) People crowd on a road near Balogun market to shop, a day before Christmas in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, December 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni. Diptesh is currently a consultant in UNICEF’s public advocacy section and a recent graduate of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his employer. You can follow him on twitter at @dipteshpsoni. Read more »

Youth in Nigeria’s Boko Haram

by John Campbell
Boys recite verses from the Koran at an Almajiri Islamic school in Maiduguri, May 24, 2014. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters) Boys recite verses from the Koran at an Almajiri Islamic school in Maiduguri, May 24, 2014. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

For a movement that is destabilizing Nigeria, “the giant of Africa,” we have remarkably few hard facts about Boko Haram.

Some of the questions that we don’t have answers to—or at least, that there is no consensus about—include:

 

  • How many operatives does it have?
  • Where does its funding come from?
  • How much popular support does it have?
  • What is its leadership structure?
  • What kind of assistance does it receive from outside Nigeria?
  • Why do people join?
  • Read more »

Tapping into Africa’s Potential: Why the Marginalized Matter

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters) A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Lynn ElHarake, research associate for the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Africa is now the world’s youngest continent,” writes Makhtar Diop, vice president for Africa at the World Bank. “These young people have high expectations, and African policy makers are increasingly concerned about how to meet them.” Read more »

More Muslims “Deported” from Southern Nigeria?

by John Campbell
Police queue at a petrol station to pump their motorcycles with fuel before the start of the governorship election in Nigeria's northern state of Kaduna, April 28, 2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Police queue at a petrol station to pump their motorcycles with fuel before the start of the governorship election in Nigeria's northern state of Kaduna, April 28, 2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Earlier this week I blogged on the arrest of 320 Muslim traders of northern origin in Rivers state on allegations that they were “Boko Haram.” According to the media, the traders had lived in Rivers state for many years, traveled to the north to buy vegetables to sell and returned home in a bus convoy because of poor security on the roads. Read more »

Is South African Education Improving?

by John Campbell
Johannesburg students enjoy a break in their classroom, June 4, 1998. (Reuters Photographer/Courtesy Reuters) Johannesburg students enjoy a break in their classroom, June 4, 1998. (Reuters Photographer/Courtesy Reuters)

Conventional wisdom states that education in South Africa is failing to prepare learners for entry into the modern economy. On the one hand, South African employers complain about the lack of qualified job applicants, while on the other youth unemployment can be as high as 70 percent in certain neighborhoods. There would appear to be a direct relationship between very high unemployment levels and the persistence of poverty among about half of the population. It may be surmised that there is a relationship between high unemployment, persistent poverty, and very high crime rates. (South Africa’s murder rate is approximately six times that of the United States.) Read more »

Dr. Denis Mukwege: A Surgeon in the “Rape Capital of the World”

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor who founded the Panzi Hospital and specialises in treating victims of sexual violence, addresses a global rally "One Billion Rising", which is a part of a V-Day event calling for an end to gender-based violence, in Bukavu February 14, 2013. (Jana Asenbrennerova/Courtesy Reuters) Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor who founded the Panzi Hospital and specialises in treating victims of sexual violence, addresses a global rally "One Billion Rising", which is a part of a V-Day event calling for an end to gender-based violence, in Bukavu February 14, 2013. (Jana Asenbrennerova/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been back in the media over the past few days with the news that the UN mission MONUSCO and the DRC military (FARDC) have succeeded in pushing the M23 rebels out of many of their fortified positions and into the jungles along the border with Rwanda. Read more »

Adolescent Motherhood: Children Giving Birth to Children

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman carrying her baby and wrapped with a shawl walks through a sandstorm in Timbuktu July 29, 2013.  (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters) A woman carrying her baby and wrapped with a shawl walks through a sandstorm in Timbuktu July 29, 2013. (Joe Penney/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

The UNFPA’s 2013 “State of the World Population” report, published today, focuses on “Motherhood in Childhood.” It puts a very necessary spotlight on the alarming rates of girls and young women, mostly in developing countries, who continue to give birth to children while they are still children themselves. Read more »