J. Peter Pham
J. Peter Pham
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Notes for Understanding African Migration

October 4, 2018  •  AfricaSource

This past summer, the leaders of Europe and Africa, in separate meetings, seemed to talk pass one another as they sought to deal with what has become one of the most significant—if not the single most important—challenge in the relations between those countries north of the Mediterranean Sea and those located either along the southern shore of the old Mare Nostrum and their neighbors farther down on the continent. What is needed is a comprehensive rethink of migration, not only as a crisis which has seen millions of men, women, and children risk their lives in recent years, to reach Europe, but also as an intra-African concern, since four out of five migrants remain on the African continent itself.

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Chinese Aid and Investment in Africa

August 31, 2018  •  Foreign Policy

Next week, presidents and ministers from across Africa will make their way to Beijing for the seventh Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, a lavish pageant designed to showcase China's engagement with African nations. While there are potential great upsides to the China's role as the continent's biggest economic partner, there are also significant downsides. It is up to African leaders and publics to ensure the increased interest in the continent and its resources enhances their leverage – but that will only happen if they bargain for the right things.

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China Provides Africa Opportunity—and Risk

August 27, 2018  •  New Atlanticist

Next week in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping will open the seventh Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the triennial summit gathering of the People's Republic of China's top leadership and their counterparts from all the African states except eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Taiwan's sole remaining diplomatic partner on the continent. A great deal has changed in Sino-African relations since the first FOCAC summit in 2000 as China has gone from being a rather new and relatively marginal actor in Africa to the continent's biggest economic partner. In short, China's engagement with Africa has evolved alongside the country's global grand strategy and one can say that the former is an important element in the latter. For Africans, this represents a great opportunity as well as significant risks, not least of which is the spiraling debt that some countries have run up acquiring Chinese-built infrastructure. All this should be a concern for policy makers in the United States.

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After Mali's Runoff, Challenges Remain

August 13, 2018  •  AfricaSource

Millions of Malians went to the polls Sunday to vote in the presidential runoff between the incumbent head of state, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, commonly known by his initials "IBK," and Soumaïla Cissé, a former finance minister. It may be day or two before results are announced, but IBK, who received 41.42 percent of the votes cast in the first round, is expected to trounce his challenger, who garnered only 17.8 percent. the likely result of Sunday's poll, there are still two outstanding questions to be answered: What will the winner do with his new mandate? Will the international community be forthcoming with the resources needed to sustainably secure the progress achieved over past few years in Mali?

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20 Years After the Embassy Bombings: The Long War in Africa

August 6, 2018  •  New Atlanticist

It has been twenty years since that morning of August 7, 1998, when suicide bombers detonated, almost simultaneously, trucks laden with explosives outside the United States embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The attacks, the first claimed by al-Qaeda against U.S. targets, left 224 people dead, including a dozen Americans, and around 5,000 wounded. They also marked the opening in Africa what would become a major front in what only came to be recognized in the years after 9/11 as the "long war" against jihadist militancy.

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