Disaster looms for people of Mali as country is split by revolt – In a region “already blighted by hunger, poverty and weak government,” rebellion and political uncertainty in Mali threaten to divide the nation and send the region into chaos. NGO workers in Bamako have reported “widespread looting in Gao, with aid groups and government offices targeted and food stores looted.” The UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay warned last week that Mali could be “plunged into a devastating food crisis with a risk of other shortages, including medical supplies, if the insurrections and insecurity persist.” (CNN, Tim Lister)
Who will succeed Hillary? – The international community will likely be presented with a new face in US foreign affairs come November, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said that she will not be seeking a second term. Speculation about who will fill this position is on the rise, with John Kerry, the current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Susan Rice, the US Ambassadors to the UN, and National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon are all in the running for Obama’s choices. (Devex, Jenny Lei Ravelo)
First Steps Toward the Last Mile in Nigeria With nearly 160 million people and rich with oil and gas reserves, Nigeria has tremendous human and natural resources to bring to bear on its challenges. This week, Nigeria’s leaders will be focused on adding political will to the resources they bring to bear for the sake of children during a Nigerian Vaccine Summit.
A Genetic Swatter for Deadly Mosquitoes – With World Malaria Day on April 25, the news is primarily promising, as “deaths are down by a third in Africa over the past decade alone.” The recent development of malaria strains resistant to artemisin remind us that “prevention generally works better than cure in eradicating infectious diseases,” because “good prevention keeps bad evolution from getting started.” (WSJ)
Opinion: Africa’s Free Press Problem – As Africa’s economies grow and China’s influence on the continent expands, “independent African journalists covering the continent’s development are now frequently persecuted for critical reporting on the misuse of public finances, corruption and the activities of foreign investors.” As a key institution of development, the “silencing [of independent reporting] in turn frustrates the ability of aid groups to quickly mobilize funds when help is needed.” (NYTimes, Mohamed Keita)