Africa – 4 July 2014

Terror threat puts African leaders on back foot
Beyond signing pledges to co-operate in fighting Islamic extremists like Boko Haram and al-Shabab, no real strategy is in place.
Poverty and underdevelopment create fertile soil for terrorism and fundamentalism, and the domestic problems of African countries are becoming regional issues. (Reuters)
As fear grips a number of African countries due to a wave of Islamist terror attacks on civilians, the continent’s leaders are struggling to explain what they are doing to ensure the safety of their citizens. Mail and Guardian

SA government condemns Egyptian media suppression
In a departure from its usual ‘quiet diplomacy’, the South African government has condemned the increased suppression of media freedom in Egypt.
Egyptian protesters oppose the conviction of Al Jazeera journalists. (Reuters)
The South African government has condemned what it calls increased suppression of media freedom and the freedom of expression in Egypt. Mail and Guardian

PAP goes the ‘people’s parly’ ideal
If you want to learn more about the Pan African Parliament’s plans to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, avoid its official website. Its news section’s last update was in December last year when former president Nelson Mandela died – it features an undated photograph of 11 PAP staffers in “Nelson Mandela Day” T-shirts.
Below this photograph is another undated one, again of staffers, this time sitting under a tree at an undisclosed venue checking their cellphones. This picture has a longer caption about the “staff workshop on performance-based management” that was “facilitated by the African Union [AU] human resources office”. Mail and Guardian

Rethinking the role of global investment in Africa’s development
Much hope is placed on foreign direct investment to deliver development capital for African countries. Yet FDIs are part of the global financial capitalist system, which maintains and reproduces inequality and keeps African states dependent on Western countries and financial institutions
Africa’s political leaders are under illusion to believe that foreign direct investments (FDIs) will get them out of their development crisis. This is not to dismiss FDIs but to provide a framework for an analytical and critical understanding of ‘capital’, how it is generated, and what its real function is. Pambazuka