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Published 22nd December 2000

Vol 41 No 25

Africa - where's that?

Expect a more commercial and less sentimental foreign policy under George W. Bush

The bizarre twists in the saga of the United States' presidential election have kept millions of Africans entertained, especially those at the receiving end of Western lectures about ballot rigging and nepotism. Now, with the belated confirmation of George W. Bush as the 43rd US President, the saga looks less entertaining to many African governments. Most of them knew and liked Bush's opponent, Vice-President Al Gore, who had developed an understanding of African political affairs, as well as of wider environmental and economic ones. 'Dubya', as George W.'s friends call him, has none of the above and doesn't look keen to acquire it. When asked about Africa during his campaign, he replied that the USA had no vital strategic interests there on a par with those in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Africans shouldn't feel too insulted: when asked by a journalist, he also failed to recall the names of the Indian and Pakistani heads of state.

Gbagbo rides the tiger

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Gbagbo could still pull his country back from the brink but shows little sign of wanting to

The stunning victory of President Laurent Koudou Gbagbo's Front Populaire Ivoirien in the parliamentary elections on 10 December settles nothing. In many respects, it makes matters...

Diamonds and danger

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Neither jewels nor stability pay a cure for HIV-AIDS

Botswana's famously democratic politics are as stable as usual but they cannot solve all the problems. First, the politics. A year into President Festus Mogae's first five-year ter...

Local heroes

The new opposition alliance hits the ANC where it hurts

The African National Congress swept to victory in the local government elections on 5 December, winning 59 per cent of the total vote (AC Vol 41 No 23). The opposition Democratic A...

Not Florida

Procedures for voting in the local government elections of 5 December were complicated but voters seemed to take that in their stride and the poll was accepted as free and fair, wi...

View of the Volta

A victorious opposition should remember Ghana's poorest people voted against it

Opposition politicians brim with confidence after the 7 December elections gave the New Patriotic Party 99 seats in the 200-seat parliament against 92 for the incumbent National De...


Still the boss

President Robert Mugabe held onto the party presidency at the special congress of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front on 13-15 December.


Are relations improving between Gambia and the Commonwealth? In 1995, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was set up to look at members' attitudes to democracy.