Africa
When Kony Met Daisey

When Kony Met Daisey

Both Mike Daisey and Jason Russell are storytellers. But they’re not just storytellers. Like Mark Twain, who was infuriated by Belgian colonial policies in the Congo, Daisey and Russell want to provoke us into doing something. And they have carefully crafted their stories toward that end.  

And now, virtually simultaneously, both Russell and Daisey are under fire for not adhering to the literal truth.

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Why Kony 2012 Fails

Why Kony 2012 Fails

From Twitter trending to the front page of The New York Times to public statements by the White House and the Pentagon, the Kony 2012 campaign has shown the power of social media to affect U.S. public debate. But it has also demonstrated the dangers posed by oversimplification in an age when policy is made in the 24-hour news cycle. This has proven especially so on issues concerning Africa where, lacking historical context, over-simplistic media framing can quickly take root and lead to problematic policy “solutions.”

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UK Takes the Lead in Somalia

UK Takes the Lead in Somalia

The much-ballyhooed conference on Somalia hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron on February 23 was long on grandstanding but short on new substance. The meeting was clearly more about crowning a new leader (Britain) and celebrating the limited military successes against Islamist militants than about building a foundation for peace.

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Oil Over Troubled Waters?

Oil Over Troubled Waters?

In 2007, Tullow Oil and partner Kosmos Energy discovered substantial petroleum reserves in the Jubilee field 37 miles off the coast of Ghana. Oil production began in December 2010, attended by rather inflated expectations of sudden wealth for this rapidly developing West African country. As Christiane Badgley says in one of her many authoritative articles on Ghana’s oil industry, nothing seems to capture the public imagination like oil.

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Principled Intervention in Africa

Principled Intervention in Africa

The recent indictment of four Kenyan leaders by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes represents the culmination of a remarkable process of local and international peacemaking. It also stands in stark contrast to Western military invasions in Ivory Coast and Libya last year. The ICC indicted four Kenyan leaders on January 23 for their role in the orgy of political violence that followed the disputed December 2007 election and left 1,200 dead and 250,000 displaced.

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