13 May 2021
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READING OF THE WEEK
Building Anticipatory Governance in SADC: Post-COVID-19 Governance Outlook
South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
In a few short years, the Southern African state of Mozambique was hit by two successive cyclones, plunged into a full-scale armed insurgency in Cabo Delgado in the north, and like the rest of world, is currently battling with the coronavirus pandemic. The situation in many of the other countries, which make up the SADC bloc, is different only in scale and intensity, underscoring a region caught in the throes of complex and often intractable socio-ecological challenges. This report explores and analyses the governance implications of uncertainty and accelerated change in the SADC region.
NORTH AFRICA / SAHEL / SUB – SAHARA
Economic Diversification in Africa: How and Why It Matters
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
In the words of former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, "We know that economic diversification is good for growth. Diversification is also tremendously important for resilience." Recognizing this reality, the goal of economic diversification has shaped the policy direction of many countries. For instance, oil- and mineral-rich economies in Africa, Latin America, and the Persian Gulf aim to reduce dependence on these natural resources by expanding the sources of their exports and fiscal revenues.
Understanding Sudan"s electoral system: Political campaigns
The Rift Valley Institute
When thinking about elections in Sudan, an important area to focus on is campaigns, which have historically enabled incumbent parties to dominate the political space and stifle serious challenges. This briefing focuses on how election campaigns have been conducted in Sudan. It is structured around three key questions: How are election campaigns organized and run in rural and urban areas? What regulations govern campaigns? And how is the media accessed by candidates?
Nuclear Energy in Ghana
South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
Ghana's interest in nuclear technology dates back to the 1950s. Today, the use of peaceful nuclear technology can play a critical role in helping Ghana achieve its development objectives and targets under the Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, the country is pursuing the nuclear power option as part of its energy mix. What remains unclear, however, is the progress that has been made in introducing the first nuclear power plant in Ghana.
Violence and Fragmentation in Congo's Political Marketplace
Conflict Research Programme
Over thirty years of conflict in eastern Congo have been marked by a deepening of the role of violence in politics as well as a progressive fragmentation of the landscape of armed groups. This report explores the relations between political dynamics on the national level and in the east, analyzing the historical evolution and properties of the Congo's political economy of conflict and testing a political marketplace lens—an approach that foregrounds how the conduct of elites mirrors that of firms competing in a marketplace.
The escalation of war and peace initiatives in Yemen: dimensions and scenarios
Al Jazeera Centre for Studies
The Houthis resumed their attacks on Ma'rib in mid-February 2021 and almost defeated the government's forces if it had not been for their resilience; the backing of the tribes; reinforcements from the governorates of Shabwa, Abyan, Taizz and Hodeidah; and the mobilisation of the battle fronts in al-Jawf, Hajjah and Taizz governorates, causing the de-escalation of the attacks and the decline of threat by mid-March 2021.
Saudi-Iranian Dialogue: Toward a Strategic Change?
Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
The meetings reported in recent weeks between Iran and Saudi Arabia are a new development in the relations between the two countries, which were severed in 2016. The direct talks with Riyadh serve Iran"s stated policy of excluding the regional issue from the current dialogue with Washington. This is also the background to the round of talks with Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman conducted by the Iranian foreign minister.
Geostrategic Storm in the Indian Ocean
Center for Security Studies (CSS)
China, the US, and India are competing for political, economic, and military influence in the Indian Ocean. In the future, the strategic order in this institutionally underdeveloped region will become more multipolar and unstable. Maritime security is at risk, with possible repercussions for security of supply in Europe.
OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (DDG) provides step-by-step recommendations endorsed by governments for globally responsible supply chains of minerals in order for companies to respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral or metal purchasing decisions and practices. The OECD DDG is intended to cultivate transparent, conflict-free supply chains and sustainable corporate engagement in the minerals sector.
Transitions from UN Special Political Missions to UN Country Teams
International Peace Institute (IPI)
The UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs currently manages twenty-five special political missions (SPMs) that have a field presence. Nonetheless, research and guidance on UN transitions has mainly focused on peacekeeping operations. This paper takes a first step toward filling that gap by exploring transitions from SPMs to UN country teams (UNCTs). Focusing on the programmatic and political aspects of transitions, this paper explores the particular challenges of transitioning from an SPM to a UNCT by studying the closure of four missions.