For poorer countries like Burundi, sending soldiers to join a UN or African Union peacekeeping mission offers financial and political benefits, as well as better arms and training.
Nobel Peace Prize winners Tawakkol Karman of Yemen (l.), Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee (c.), and Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf display their diplomas and medals at City Hall in Oslo on Dec. 10. The peace prize committee awarded the prize to Ms. Karman, Ms. Johnson-Sirleaf, and Ms. Gbowee for championing women's rights in regions where oppression is common and helping women participate in peace-building.
In a video of two European engineers who were kidnapped in Nigeria, the hostages say their kidnappers are from Al Qaeda, but their home governments have doubts.
West Africa has seen a sharp increase in the number of pirate attacks off its coast. The goal is not lucrative ransom payments, but fuel, which sells for a large sum on the black market.
Native vegetables such as guar, Dogon shallot, and celosia could play an important role in feeding Africa.
There are five countries in East and West Africa slated for elections in the near future. Guest blogger Alex Thurston outlines out the issues at hand in each election.