Civilians are the primary agents in their own protection, and international actors have only recently begun to support civilian self-protection efforts. Engaging locals in their own protection, however, does not come without challenges.
Written by Leigh Hamilton
The protection of civilians during conflicts is one of the UN’s most significant undertakings. While the humanitarian branches of the organisation perform protection activities, it is mostly UN peacekeepers who act to prevent or respond to threats of physical violence against civilians. The UN Security Council first authorised peacekeepers to use force to protect civilians in 1999 during the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). Since then, the UN has launched 17 peacekeeping missions, the majority of which have been mandated to protect civilians. Some missions, such as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), have mandates that make the protection of civilians the mission’s chief priority. Read more
When Africa’s first high-speed rail system begins service in Morocco in 2018, travel time from Tangier to Casablanca will be cut in half, from five hours to 2 hrs 10 min. Here an engine is being loaded onto a customised truck for transport to the railroad. Africa is constantly improving its rail systems, and autonomous trains will be the next essential innovation. Image courtesy: Morocco World News. Available from: https://tinyurl.com/hukpyqw
While upgrading national systems with an eye at a unified continental system, African railways won’t be left behind in the next technological leap toward self-driving transportation.
IOA analysis in brief | Trains will drive themselves across Africa’s terrain in the near future, with the technology available today to make autonomous engines that are safer, more efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly than the human-driven type. If Africa’s rail systems do not adapt to the new technology, they will become extinct in a new age of self-driving long haul truck transportation.
- Autonomous trains are a reality today, but require massive spending on new technology
- Most African railroads are owned by governments or linked to governments, which hinders adaptability and innovation
- Africa is dedicated to its rail system, with 11,000 km of new line now being built at a cost of US$ 30 billion
Striving towards universal energy access across the continent
As a growing continent, a key objective for Africa to stimulate development is stable and sustainable power access. At present, there are still over 600 million Africans that do not have access to electricity. Addressing this challenge is at the forefront of triggering economic growth and social benefit
IOA’s latest special report seeks to assess the current state of energy in Africa, as well as unpack the various opportunities that implementing greater renewable solutions holds for the continent.
Over the past decade, In On Africa (IOA) has positioned itself as one of the top research, intelligence and publishing firms in and focused exclusively on Africa. The company works with a wide array of clients across the African continent through its complementary divisions, service offerings and insight-driven products.
The infographic provides a snapshot of IOA – its core offerings, mission, values, vision and key differentiators.
Journalists face intimidation and death in parts of the sub-continent directly in proportion to a rise in political oppression in some countries. The role of the media is not appreciated by leadership in the region’s democracies, and is thwarted in non-democratic states.
A sign at a radio station in Mogadishu, Somalia. Governments across Africa attempt to silence the media to control their populations and quash dissent, a trend which is becoming more evident in Southern Africa.
Photo courtesy Tobin Jones/AU-UN IST/Flickr
Of all professions, journalism in Africa requires courage; and the reporter, whether consciously or just doing their job, becomes an activist. Intentional or not, his or her work is progressive, moving the continent forward by providing information. Despots are exposed and incompetency and criminality are revealed, while economic and social advancement is celebrated. Even in countries where democracy is stifled, the impulse of journalists to know what story is important and pursue facts is never entirely quashed. Read more