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America’s inflection point: four key things Africa must watch for

America’s inflection point: four key things Africa must watch for

JOHN J STREMLAU, Honorary Professor of International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand AFRICAN scholars and policymakers face a tough challenge in analysing how the US presidential election on 3 November might affect Africa-US relations. This is because of the extreme polarisation of politics that has been growing for decades in the US. Simultaneous national crises have made matters worse. These suddenly erupted over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, its impact on the economy, and fresh evidence of white racism towards black Americans. In deeply divided America, four clusters of political political conflicts arise over issues of national identity, sustainable…
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With Twitter pronouns and victory speech, Biden-Harris signal new era for trans rights

With Twitter pronouns and victory speech, Biden-Harris signal new era for trans rights

RACHEL SAVAGE WITH vice president-elect Kamala Harris including her pronouns in her Twitter bio and president-elect Joe Biden thanking trans supporters in his victory speech, trans-Americans have already won exceptional backing from the incoming U.S. administration. Harris describes herself not only as a wife and auntie but also "she/her" on Twitter, signalling that one of the world's most powerful politicians is an LGBT+ ally who recognises the need to respect trans people by addressing them correctly. "It normalises the practice of stating pronouns," Zeke Smith, a trans U.S. writer and former reality TV star, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "It…
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Post-COVID-19 world needs more women leaders

Post-COVID-19 world needs more women leaders

EMMA BATHA COUNTRIES must put more women into leadership roles to build a stronger post-pandemic world, a top U.N. official has said as data showed women could be waiting more than a century to see equality at the highest political echelons. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who made history as South Africa's first female deputy president in 2005, said gender-balanced cabinets made better decisions not just for women, but for society as a whole. Global progress on getting more women into top roles is frustratingly slow, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. But she believes Kamala Harris's appointment as the first female U.S.…
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From 1st woman to 1st woman…

From 1st woman to 1st woman…

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has congratulated Tanzania's new president Samia Suluhu Hassan, the first woman to hold that office, and said the United States was ready to strengthen ties between the two countries. Harris, the first woman and first person of color to serve as U.S. vice president, made the comment in a posting on Twitter. "Sending best wishes to @SuluhuSamia following her swearing in as Tanzania's new President - the first woman to hold the office. The United States stands ready to work with you to strengthen relations between our countries," she wrote. Hassan, who had been vice…
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From women to migrants: What does a Biden win mean for Africa?

From women to migrants: What does a Biden win mean for Africa?

NITA BHALLA DEMOCRAT Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election is set to affect Africa's 1.3 billion people on issues ranging from climate change and immigration to women's health and human rights, according to academics and analysts. Under the Trump administration, the United States pulled out of the landmark Paris climate accord, issued travel bans on Muslim-majority nations, and cut aid to charities providing reproductive health services that included abortion advice. The Thomson Reuters Foundation asked activists, academics and analysts how a Biden administration could impact Africa's 54 nations. DAVID KODE, HEAD OF ADVOCACY, CIVICUS "Civil society groups in…
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