The Economist : Middle East and Africa
15h51 25  février
Why does it cost so much to be an African MP?
ARINDA GORDON KAKUUMA had many reasons for running for office. It was his passion ; he was keen to give back to his country, Uganda; and he wanted to help my people . It was also to satisfy my ego , the MP adds, with a laugh. Self-esteem comes at a price. Mr Arinda, whose five-year stint in...
15h51
Binyamin Netanyahu appeals to Arab voters in Israel
ARAB ISRAELIS are voting in droves , said Binyamin Netanyahu, as he tried to scare his religious and nationalist base into voting in 2015. Four years later Mr Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, tried to place cameras in polling stations. Critics saw this as a ruse to scare off Arab voters. Last...
09h48
Soldiers have killed hundreds of civilians in Tigray
IN LATE NOVEMBER Hailay Haileselassie said goodbye to his children and drove towards Edaga Hamus, a town in the mountainous northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, where his ageing parents live and his father is a priest. As churchgoers gathered in his father’s church on November 30th, the familiar...
16h01 18  février
An Emirati probe journeys into outer space
IT CERTAINLY looks like a video made by a hostage: a nervous close-up filmed in a dark room. On February 16th the BBC broadcast smuggled messages from Sheikha Latifa, a daughter of Dubai’s billionaire ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. The princess has twice tried to flee the emirate, accusing...
16h01
Joà o Lourenço’s reforms in Angola are pleasing the IMF
JOSÉ EDUARDO DOS SANTOS ruled Angola for 38 years. During his presidency Angola fought an on-off civil war that ended in 2002, just as an oil boom was starting. As the price of black gold soared, Luanda, the capital, became one of the world’s most expensive cities, a place where developers imported...
16h01
The complications of buying land in Zanzibar
THE ISLAND of Zanzibar has more than 4m coconut trees, and each one has an owner, says Viliai Farahani, a local chief known as a sheha . It is his responsibility to remember who owns every tree in and around his village. Standing outside his bungalow, he squints in the sun and points to a swaying...
16h01
Karim Khan, the International Criminal Court’s new chief prosecutor
BORIS JOHNSON’S government was cock-a-hoop. The election on February 12th of Karim Khan, a British barrister, as chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague was surely a sign that Britain still had diplomatic heft post-Brexit. Mr Khan’s appointment would be pivotal in...
16h01
Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad want to be president of Iran again?
AS MEMBERS OF the Iranian regime marched through the capital, Tehran, to mark Revolution Day on February 10th, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held his own gathering. The former president, an irritant to clerics and liberals alike, had his fans gather outside his flat in a modest neighbourhood of Tehran, where...
14h42 17  février
France’s forever war in the Sahel
AT MIDDAY ON January 2nd the roar of motorbikes cut through the quiet near Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye, two villages in western Niger. Next came the rat-tat-tat of gunfire. Then the screaming, as jihadists slaughtered at least 100 people. That weekend in Bounti, in central Mali, men gathered to...
15h49 11  février
Kenya’s floral exports are blooming once more
IVAN FREEMAN runs a 20-hectare rose farm at the foot of Mount Kenya right by the equator, where the soil is fertile and the sun shines all the year round. His business, Uhuru Flowers, exports to some 49 countries, including China, Nigeria and parts of eastern Europe. Some of his buds reach the shop...
15h49
Joe Biden looks to end the war in Yemen
FOR THE previous two American presidents, the war in Yemen seemed like an afterthought. Barack Obama backed the Saudi-led coalition fighting on behalf of Yemen’s government against the Houthi rebels. But it was a cynical decision meant to blunt Saudi anger over the nuclear deal he reached with Iran...
15h49
Gulf rivalries are spilling into Africa’s Horn
THE NARROW waters separating the Arabian peninsula from the Horn of Africa have never served as much of a moat. Goods and people routinely cross. Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in particular, are increasingly active in the Horn. Tensions between them rose after the UAE established...
15h49
Can a new administration reunite war-torn Libya?
THE DRIVE from Benghazi to Tripoli, Libya’s capital, should take ten hours. But the coastal road connecting the two cities has been impassable for most of the past decade because of an on-and-off civil war. Since Libyans toppled Muammar Qaddafi, their old dictator, in 2011, various groups have...
15h55 04  février
Arab governments are doing too little to end honour killings
KUWAIT’S NATIONAL assembly is so rowdy that debates sometimes descend into fisticuffs. But on one issue, at least, the MPs have little to say. Sheikha al-Ajmi, a parliamentary employee, was killed by her brother in December. Some say he didn’t like her working as a security guard; others say he was...
15h55
What a shortage of cars says about Algeria
IN MOST PLACES a new car is a bad store of value. Its resale price plummets the moment it is driven out of the dealership. But not in Algeria. Hassan Houicha has been getting offers to buy his Volkswagen for the same sum he paid for it in 2013. Still, he refuses to sell. What if I can’t find...
15h55
Will his alliance with the ultra-Orthodox doom Binyamin Netanyahu?
HE WAS HARDLY a household name, but the funeral of Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik on January 31st may prove a turning-point in Israel’s election campaign. The event drew some 20,000 ultra-Orthodox mourners, in defiance of a nationwide lockdown to combat covid-19 (see picture). It’s wrong to...
10h33
Africa’s recovery from covid-19 will be slow
AT FIRST GLANCE, sub-Saharan Africa appears to have avoided the worst of the pandemic. It has 14% of the world’s population but, even as it is drenched by a second wave, just 3% of known cases and deaths. In 2020 its economy shrank by less than the global average, estimates the IMF. Eleven of the...
15h48 28  janvier
Beny Steinmetz gets jail, Dan Gertler a reprieve
IN DECEMBER 2017 Donald Trump’s administration imposed financial sanctions on Dan Gertler. That came as a shock to the government of Joseph Kabila, who was then the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr Gertler, who was named alongside several allegedly crooked politicians and...
15h48
Why obesity is spreading across Africa
EVERY WEDNESDAY women in villages around Monze, Zambia, meet to swap recipes. Tables are lined up in a shady spot, covered in fluorescent mats and piled with tupperware. Each dish is introduced alongside its health benefits: porridge with moringa powder is perfect for babies, groundnut butter is...
15h48
Mahmoud Abbas calls for elections in Palestine
MOST PALESTINIANS are probably too young to remember when their president, Mahmoud Abbas, took power in 2005. He was elected to a four-year term, the first of two permitted by law. He never got round to holding another vote, yet he remains in charge, having served four times his mandate. Amazingly,...