Kenya and democracy. Kenya and war. Kenya and terrorism. Kenya and racism. Kenya and international justice. Kenya and films. The number one story in Africa in 2013 is Kenya, and it’s not all a good one.
#1 in 2013: KENYA
There is no country in Africa as important, dynamic, hopeful and conflicted and in trouble as Kenya. That’s my number one story and much more on this tomorrow, as I review in greater detail 2013’s top stories in the days to come.
#2 in 2013: OBAMA’s WARS IN AFRICA
Starting with the Kenyan invasion of Somali, the chase of the LRA through Uganda, the drones, the coordination with France in the DRC-Congo, the end game in Mali and even tertiary conflicts in places like Western Sahara, there has never been an American president who has used so much force in Africa. Gruesome, powerful details on Thursday.
#3 in 2013: The DEATH OF MANDELA
Not just an icon of freedom, democracy and forgiveness, Mandela was the glue that held the current South African ruling party, together, and in many ways, more important to the past than the turbulent present in South Africa. More on this Friday.
#4 in 2013: ARAB SPRING followed by WINTER
Egypt, Tunisia and Libya led the revolutions of 2011, and all of them today have slipped into distinct vestiges of themselves before 2010. What was won, what was lost and what’s to come … next week on Monday.
#5 in 2013: CLIMATE CHANGE
Weird weather, yes, and mostly destructive. But also very powerful consequences for global politics and multinational agrobusiness as cash poor Africa tries to decide how to prepare for the coming ecological destruction. Next week on Tuesday.
#6 GROWING OPPOSITION to HUNTING
Increased poaching, recession stresses on tourism, and measurable declines in big game populations have all contributed to a much more significant public opposition to big game hunting. Even with a growing American market, Africans are beginning to realize that big game hunting is a liability. More next week.
#7 SERIOUS ELEPHANT POACHING EXAGGERATED
The media went overboard and I think unethically so in reporting a serious increase in elephant poaching. The most respectable publications like NatGeo are besmirched. There’s a problem but so much different than reported. More next week.
#8 BIG SAFARI MARKET CHANGES
Marriott’s acquisition of South Africa’s Protea Hotels might not mean a lot to you, but it does to everyone selling Africa tourism. It means the way people buy safaris, what they do on safaris, how big the lodges will be and so much more is changing so fast. More next week.
#9 ENDURING CORRUPTION
Despite real hope throughout Africa over the last few years that corruption was coming under control, horrible reversals occurred in 2013. From South Africa’s multi-scandal president to the success of global bribing that reduced sanctions in Zimbabwe, Africa’s veil of deceit got miserably thicker. More next week.
#10 END of the BLACK JEWS
A little reported story of enormous consequences for thousands of Ethiopia’s Falashas, the assumed black Jews of Africa. After nearly a half century of exile recovery, Israel concluded its final jumbo jet missions that removed one of Ethiopia’s ancient tribes to Israel. More next week.