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  • UNICEF, WHO and the UN together with other partners hand over the first Covid-19 vaccines to Ministry of Health of Ethiopia.
    Problematic for African governments to build trust in Covid-19 vaccination
    Uncertain access to Covid-19 vaccines makes public messaging difficult for African governments still dependent on Covax donations.
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  • Women sorting and washing minerals at Site Kansonga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    Mining in Africa: Artisanal and small-scale miners will be the last to reap benefits from world's green shift
    With its abundant mineral resources , Africa is well positioned for the global shift to using cleaner energy. The continent has a large share of cobalt, manganese, graphite and other minerals that are critical for making batteries for electric vehicles and storing energy from wind and solar power.With the right investments, Africa could industrialise its mining sector and increase its share of revenues as global demand for battery minerals grows, experts say. But what about the continent’s nine million artisanal and small-scale miners, will they also benefit from the expected boom?The vital role of artisanal and small-scale miners in the production of battery minerals – e.g. in the case of cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – is making it increasingly difficult for consumers and companies to turn a blind eye to dangerous working conditions, human rights violations and the use of child labour in the sector.There is also a push from many of the miners themselves for formalisation and legalisation by creating mining cooperatives, with state-subsidised equipment that would make work practices safer. Also, political leaders in Zambia and other countries with rich mineral resources, are showing a growing interest in “nation-building programmes” , which could lead to increased investments in social infrastructure such as education and health in connection to mining sites.We have spoken to Nellie Mutemeri, associate professor in the School of Mining Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and NAI researchers Patience Mususa and Cristiano Lanzano about what the world’s green transition might entail for artisanal and small-scale miners.Content
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  • Cash transfer payments to women in Freetown
    The social contract in Africa: Unclear tax systems create accountability vacuum
    Strengthening the social contract is a challenge in unequal societies. This, says NAI researcher Jörgen Levin, is why African states must create simple, efficient and fair tax systems that are capable of redistributing public resources effectively.
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  • Bridget Bwalya Umar sitting by window checking her phone
    What makes me tick: Bridget Bwalya Umar on researchers as honest brokers
    We've asked NAI scholars why they chose a career as a researcher and what motivates them in their work. Bridget Bwalya Umar talks about the advantage of having a background in the natural sciences and how important it is for researchers to act as honest brokers.
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  • People sitting in a restaurant, with President Suluhu Hassan showing on a wall-mounted TV.
    Suluhu Hassan is expected to liberalise Tanzania
    It seems that Tanzania's new president is investing to normalise the country's relations to the outside world, says NAI Senior Researcher Liisa Laakso.
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  • View from the Katanga Plateau, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    Boosting industrialisation, dealing with climate change – or both?
    The green transition of the world economy entails great economic opportunities for Africa. The continent has a large share of the world’s cobalt, manganese, graphite and other minerals used for the batteries needed to store energy from wind and solar power.With the right investments, Africa could industrialise its mining sector and increase its share of revenues as global demand for battery minerals grows. It would mean that the continent could break the “resource curse” which has held many African countries back since the days of colonial rule. But as consumer demand for electric scooters and cars grow, so does the realisation that there are not enough battery minerals on the planet to go around.How to use non-renewable minerals responsibly and strategically, in order to improve life for as many people as possible, will be among the most important questions for business and political leaders in the coming decades. The challenges are particularly evident in Africa, the fastest urbanising region in the world, where many cities still have inadequate electrification and infrastructure. Faced with the needs to boost industrialisation and deal with climate change, Africa is at a crossroads. We have spoken to Antonio Pedro, director for Central Africa at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and NAI researcher Patience Mususa to understand the different perspectives.Content
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  • Three workers with face masks packing maize seed at Kamano Seed Company warehouse in Lusaka, Zambia.
    Pandemic makes life hard for rural distributors
    The global Covid-19 pandemic is affecting farming and rural livelihoods in landlocked Zambia. Prices of essential agricultural inputs go up when imports are stuck at closed borders.
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  • Women from conflicting clans in El Wak, Somalia, sitting inside in a circle with a written document in the middle.
    The social contract in Africa: State authority challenged by multiple power centres
    A social contract requires that citizens recognise and submit to the authority of the state, which in turn provides for them. In many African countries, however, various power centres compete for people´s loyalty.
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  • The Rubavu-Goma border crossing between Rwanda and DR Congo, with a lot of people in the streets.
    AfCFTA will lead to uneven gains for members
    The removal of trade barriers in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), launched this year, will affect member states very differently, according to NAI researcher Jörgen Levin. Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe and Kenya top the list of states that are likely to benefit greatly. Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar are likely to see relatively small effects.
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  • Closeup photo of Alassane Ouattara with raised hands.
    Democratic backsliding in Côte d’Ivoire - Legislative elections tighten Ouattara’s grip on power
    The ruling RHDP’s victory in legislative elections in March 2021 has tightened incumbent President Alassane Ouattara’s grip on political power in Côte d’Ivoire. Though Ouattara has taken a conciliatory stance towards the opposition since his re-election, his control of political institutions, low voter turnout, electoral violence and the president’s international status heighten the risk of further democratic backsliding in Côte d’Ivoire.
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  • A women group meeting on health education
    The social contract in Africa: social movements must claim bigger role in public arena
    Sustainable development entails more than economic growth. It needs societies built on trust and inclusivity, and mutual agreements on rights and obligations. Yet, in many African countries, the social contract between state and citizens is weak.
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  • A collage of poetry books from Ugandan publishing house Kitara Nation.
    Home delivered poetry in Uganda
    A strict Covid-19 lockdown forced Ugandan poetry performance group Kitara Nation to go into publishing. The books have now found their way to Uppsala and will make an important contribution in the NAI library.
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  • ExemplebOpposition supporters of leader Ousmane Sonko clash with police as they protest for his release outside the Justice Palace in Dakar, Senegal, 08 Marchild
    Senegalese protesters send a warning to president
    During two weeks in March, thousands of Senegalese took to the streets protesting against the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. According to analysts, people are worried that President Macky Sall is trying to silence the opposition and making plans for a third term in office.
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  • Cristiano Lanzano during fieldwork at a mining site near Kintinian in Guinea-Conakry. Photo: Moussa Koné
    What makes me tick: Cristiano Lanzano on finding unexpected connections
    We've asked NAI scholars why they chose a career as a researcher and what motivates them in their work. Cristiano Lanzano talks about finding his career path by chance and his fascination with unexpected connections.
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  • Exemplebild
    Côte d'Ivoire: “Result strengthens Ouattara’s legitimacy”
    Côte d'Ivoire’s ruling party RHDP won 58% of seats in the 6 March parliamentary elections, according to the first official results, news agency Reuters reports. “It strengthens Ouattara administration’s legitimacy, in light of the controversial presidential elections last year, and consolidates the RHDP’s control over parliament”, says NAI Senior Researcher Jesper Bjarnesen.
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  • AMISOM officers walking in an airfield.
    Somali regional leaders put pressure on president Farmajo
    A power struggle between the federal government and regional states in Somalia is placing the country in a stalemate, according to NAI researcher Redie Bereketeab. In Jubaland and Puntland, the regional leaders claim the president’s term has ended.
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  • Salt extraction in Senegal
    “Research on migration within Africa is needed”
    Over the past ten years, migration research has focused on Africans going to Europe and their dangerous routes to Libya and other departure zones. According to new NAI researcher Papa Sow, it has been too one-sided and now more research must look at intracontinental migration.
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  • Supporters of Michel Gbagbo, the eldest son of the former ousted Ivorian president, and candidate in the uncoming March 6 legislative elections, cheers as he arrive at La Place Figayo de Yopougon, a district of Abidjan on February 27, 2021. Photo: Sia Kambou/AFP
    In Côte d’Ivoire it’s back to the old guard
    Two ex-presidents and former antagonists have teamed up to urge people to vote against the ruling RHDP in Côte d’Ivoire’s legislative elections on 6 March. According to NAI researcher Jesper Bjarnesen, the vote will be a test of public support for President Alassane Ouattara who was controversially re-elected for a third term in office four months ago.
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  • Exemplebild
    Redefining the social contract in Africa
    Across a continent where large sections of the population feel
    disconnected from meaningful citizenship, there is an urgent
    need to redefine and strengthen the social contract. This was at
    the core of a virtual public discussion hosted by the Nordic Africa Institute and Hanaholmen Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre.

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  • UN Security Council.
    New project to deepen understanding of African impact in the UN Security Council
    While most of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) agenda involves Africa, African states have limited influence over the Security Council’s decisions. A new NAI research project, focusing on African and Nordic non-permanent UNSC member states, aims to provide knowledge to support more effective and inclusive UNSC work on Africa.
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