Africa

The IMF Files: They Want to Believe

Andrew Berg, an International Monetary Fund African department policy adviser, is a nice man. I know this because he spent some time talking earnestly with me after an IMF press conference in which I'd asked a pretty confrontational question about Malawi, whose 2002 famine is often partly attributed to IMF (and World Bank) advice, and whose current bumper crops are attributed to ignoring it.

Berg looks a tiny bit like The X Files' Agent Skinner, but what this conversation [...]

Good News for Democracy in Africa

The breeze was blowing off of Lake Tanganyika, and I was enjoying the evening with a friend at the Hotel Club Du Lac. We were enjoying a cold drink and good conversation when it occurred to me that the beachfront was filled with foreigners enjoying the beach at sunset. It was July 1, and the beach was teeming with laughter, BBQs, and a game of volleyball. This is something we have not witnessed in Burundi for more than 15 years, and it was almost like a dream as I watched the good [...]

Making Sense of Zimbabwe's Violence

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7).

He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight (Psalm 72:14).

My friends and I were discussing the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe -- it [...]

Back to Square One for Zimbabwe's Ubiquitous Billionaires

I was in Zimbabwe from June 21 to 28. I traveled by bus, and my experience is typical of what has become the norm for road travel between South Africa and Zimbabwe -- long queues and delays at the border posts and police-controlled roadblocks.

Almost all vehicles going to Zimbabwe are loaded to maximum capacity with goods from South Africa -- mostly basic foodstuff. With ever-rising inflation currently at 3 million percent, the Zimbabwean dollar cannot keep up, and the government [...]

Back to Square One for Zimbabwe's Ubiquitous Billionaires

I was in Zimbabwe from June 21 to 28. I traveled by bus, and my experience is typical of what has become the norm for road travel between South Africa and Zimbabwe -- long queues and delays at the border posts and police-controlled roadblocks.

Almost all vehicles going to Zimbabwe are loaded to maximum capacity with goods from South Africa -- mostly basic foodstuff. With ever-rising inflation currently at 3 million percent, the Zimbabwean dollar cannot keep up, and the government [...]

Back to Square One for Zimbabwe's Ubiquitous Billionaires

I was in Zimbabwe from June 21 to 28. I traveled by bus, and my experience is typical of what has become the norm for road travel between South Africa and Zimbabwe -- long queues and delays at the border posts and police-controlled roadblocks.

Almost all vehicles going to Zimbabwe are loaded to maximum capacity with goods from South Africa -- mostly basic foodstuff. With ever-rising inflation currently at 3 million percent, the Zimbabwean dollar cannot keep up, and the government [...]

Diplomatic Progress, Continuing Violence in Zimbabwe

I will begin with some positive news of growing international pressure on the Zimbabwean government. The United Nations secretary general has demanded an end to the violence and lifting of the ban on food aid. The U.S. secretary of state has called a meeting with African leaders to discuss the situation, and the Botswana government has issued this statement: "Botswana [...]

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