John Campbell

Africa in Transition

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

The Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The participants to the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region pose for a family photo in Oslo, Norway February 24, 2017. (Reuters/Haakon Mosvold Larsen)

In this guest episode of the Africa in Transition Podcast series Sherrie Russell-Brown discusses the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in conversation with Kathryn Achilles, Humanitarian Campaign Manager, Oxfam Nigeria, Chitra Nagarajan, Senior Advisor, North East Nigeria, Civilians in Conflict, and Mausi Segun, Senior Researcher, Nigeria, Human Rights Watch. The Oslo Humanitarian Conference, held Friday, February 24 in Oslo, Norway, was convened to draw global attention to the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region, mobilize critical resources needed to effectively confront it, and to address the medium-term and long-term development needs of the fourteen million people in the region. Co-organized by the governments of Nigeria, Norway, and Germany in partnership with the United Nations, the conference produced pledges totaling $672 million, with more commitments to come. Read more »

U.S. Arms Sales to Kenya

by John Campbell Tuesday, March 7, 2017
2015A Kenya Defense Force soldier takes cover near the perimeter wall where attackers are holding up at a campus in Garissa April 2, 2015. (Reuters/Noor Khamis)

The United States and Kenya have a long standing military relationship. They are allies in the “war on terror,” of which Kenya has been a major victim. Notable attacks on Kenyan soil include the 1998 Al-Qaeda led bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi where twelve Americans and hundreds of Kenyans lost their lives, and the Westgate Shopping Mall bombings of 2013 by Al-Shabaab, which claimed the lives of nearly seventy Kenyans and expatriates. In addition, Kenya has been embroiled in a war against al-Shabaab in Somalia. U.S. forces are involved in training exercises with the Kenyan Defense Forces. As a result of this conflict, the insurgency has spilt over into Kenya’s northern (Turkana) and Coastal regions (Mombasa and Lamu). This has sparked numerous successful, and unsuccessful terrorist operations throughout the country. Read more »

Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: February 25 – March 3

by John Campbell Monday, March 6, 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 25 to March 3, 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 »

Podcast: The Lake Chad Crisis

by John Campbell Friday, March 3, 2017
People wash clothes in a dry riverbed in Maroua, Cameroon, March 17, 2016. (Reuters/Joe Penney)

In this episode of the Africa in Transition Podcast series John Campbell is joined by the International Crisis Group’s Nnamdi ObasiHans De Marie Heungoup, and EJ Hogendoorn. The group discusses the origins of Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon, as well as the current security and humanitarian crisis occurring in the Lake Chad Basin. Read more »

South African High Court Blocks Pretoria’s Departure from the ICC

by John Campbell Thursday, March 2, 2017
Judge Willem van der Merwe delivers his verdict in the rape trial of sacked former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma in the Johannesburg, High Court May 8, 2006. (Reuters/John Hrusa/Pool)

Nelson Mandela’s South Africa was one of the founders of the International Criminal Court (ICC). As an early signer of the Treaty of Rome the widespread view within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) was that the ICC was a means of holding accountable dictators and other heads of state for criminal behavior. The ANC government even incorporated the Treaty of Rome into South African law. Hence, violation of the Treaty of Rome is also a violation of South African law. Read more »

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 »