Nigerians disagree on many things. But they’re almost unanimous in the view that the country’s police force is no good at doing its job. It’s not hard to fathom why. The force’s central command structure makes it unwieldy and unable to police a country made up of 36 states and nearly 200 million people. Its officers are generally viewed as being in love with corruption and they are better known for human rights abuses and torture than apprehending criminals. They also seem ill-equipped to deal with modern day security challenges like terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.

How will the country’s recently appointed police chief manage this cauldron of fire? Lanre Ikuteyijo has some ideas for him. They include fully embracing the idea of community policing, adopting modern policing techniques and improving the welfare of police.

For years there have been tensions between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The dam’s reservoir will be large enough to store the full annual Blue Nile flow, which would allow year-round hydroelectricity production for Ethiopia. But it will interrupt the natural flow of the Blue Nile. Egypt and Sudan are concerned that this will reduce the flow of water downstream. Sebastian Sterl proposes a solution that could end the deadlock: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and their neighbours could deploy large-scale solar and wind farms and establish a regionally integrated power grid.

Wale Fatade

Commissioning Editor: Nigeria

Community policing must be high on the agenda of Nigeria’s new police chief Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images

Nigeria has a new police chief. Here’s an agenda for him

Lanre Ikuteyijo, Obafemi Awolowo University

Apart from tackling terrorism, banditry and kidnappings, Nigeria's new Inspector General of Police must embrace community policing.

Ethiopian protestors march down 42nd Street in New York during a “It’s my Dam” protest on March 11, 2021. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Solar and wind power could break the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam deadlock

Sebastian Sterl, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and their neighbours could deploy large-scale solar and wind farms, connected by a regionally integrated power grid.


How a protracted political battle led to the extension of the Somalia president’s term

Mohammed Ibrahim Shire, University of Portsmouth

Although polarising, parliament's move to extend Farmaajo's term has presented a practical road-map to hold direct elections for the first time since 1969.

Peace and security in Africa: how China can help address weaknesses

Dries Velthuizen, University of South Africa

The "Chinese Model" for development could be a blueprint for the modernisation and transformation of African economies.

Business + Economy

Ghana’s new mobile money rule could derail financial inclusion. But there are answers

PK Senyo, University of Southampton

An attempt to prevent fraud in Ghana's burgeoning mobile money sector could be a setback for access to financial services.

New business skills can improve livelihoods among poor people. How to avoid the pitfalls

Jody Delichte, University of Cape Town

Building business skills to improve livelihoods is increasingly recognised as bringing value to the fight against poverty. But it can also set up identity conflict and community-level tension.

From our international editions

COVID vaccine weekly: safety concerns and reactions in the west dent confidence worldwide

Rob Reddick, The Conversation

Both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now being investigated for links to rare blood disorders.

Demand for rare-earth metals is skyrocketing, so we’re creating a safer, cleaner way to recover them from old phones and laptops

Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo, Deakin University

Rare-earth metals are currently mined or recovered via e-waste recycling — methods with drawbacks including high cost, environmental damage, and risks to human safety. This is where we come in.

En Français

En Afrique, les leçons des réserves de biosphères pour vivre dans le respect de la  biodiversité

Luc Janssens de Bisthoven, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Les réserves de biosphère sont les laboratoires vivants dans lesquels les hommes et la nature apprennent à vivre et à prospérer ensemble.

« Printemps arabes » : le capitalisme de connivence a coûté cher aux grandes entreprises familiales

Addis Birhanu, EM Lyon

Les changements soudains de gouvernement ont davantage pesé sur la performance financière des filiales de groupes familiaux que sur celles des entreprises autonomes.


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