Tops of the Blogs 2013

Also available in Deutsch

Tops of the Blogs 2013 #14

Is Zimbabwe making up with the West? – By Simukai Tinhu
africanarguments.org
Over the last decade the relationship between the Western world and Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s administration haven’t been good. But there are signs that indicate a change in this relationship: Both, Zimbabwe and the West have shifted their positions and thereby opened a new space for thawing the frosty relationship, even if these developments only occur slowly.


Bribery, the real costs
thoughtleader.co.za
“Corruption only persists because there are enablers” – Recently this sentence was made by an attendant at the Conversations for Change dialogue on ethical leadership. In essence, the dialogue pointed out, that South Africans perpetuate corruption in their own lives without demanding accountability. While doing so they contribute to the corruption they claim to be fighting.


Structural racism: the invisible evil that must be addressed
constitutionallyspeaking.co.za
Race still matters in South Africa – This is what the Democratic Alliance recently admitted, seeing race as a “proxy for disadvantage and hope”. Author Pierre de Vos comments on how structural racism still entrenches and perpetuates inequalities in the South African society.


Africa’s Skills Gap: Are the Diaspora the Answer? – Kiran Yoliswa
africanarguments.org
Africa’s economies are booming. Many companies rely on the return of highly educated returnees of the diaspora instead of focusing on local talent. In this regard the Author Kiran Yoliswa demands for more governmental investigation in educational infrastructure to develop local talent.


Nelson Mandela dies at 95
voicesofafrica.co.za
Mandela, who was the symbol of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and became legendary worldwide died on 5th of December. Many reports on his life have been published all over the media. This comment on Voices of Africa also deals with the life of Madiba and what he meant to the South African society.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #13

Face to face with democracy
thoughtleader.co.za
While trying to shape a new reality in South Africa to overcome Apartheid, South African people still continue to refer to identities based on the metaphors of dark and light. Shafinaaz Hassim says to transform South Africa into a rainbow nation the people have to shift their consciousness to overcome those metaphors. The Author also demands for more active citizen participation.


Extraordinary Ethiopia – ancient, booming but undemocratic – By Richard Dowden
africanarguments.org
Media coverage of faraway places often entails the problem of only covering when bad stories happen in those places. In the case of Ethiopia, pictures of famine and misery have fixed the image in the global mind. Richard Dowden tries to get rid of these myths about Ethiopia and points out the countries unique history and economic growth. However, he also comments on the lack of democracy in this country.


We recognise sex and gender as classifications, so why not race
constitutionallyspeaking.co.za
Identity categories, so as sex, gender and race are all constructed by humans and often used for the purpose of subjugating one group to the benefit of another group. Therefore it is said, that it is wrong to invoke those categories. Concerning sex and gender, South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA) supports redress measures. But why is there just little support by the DA to support redress measures based on racial classification?


With M23 gone, will other armed groups in Eastern DRC demobilise? – By Christoph Vogel
africanarguments.org Two weeks ago the Congolese Revolutionary Army, M23 surrendered, but the situation in Eastern Congo is still not clear. Many media reports, which raise the hope for peace in this country, are often based on mistaken and misleading representation of the facts. Yet, there is no indication that the other armed groups in Eastern Congo will be laying down their arms.


Long-Awaited Madagascar Elections Go to Second Round
globalvoicesonline.org
This year Madagascar faces the first elections after a coup by the military in 2009. So far the whole electoral process has been perceived as “peaceful” and “fair”. On 20th of December the elections go to second round. Global Voices Online has summarized some bloggers reactions to the results, also including pessimistic voices about the future of Madagascar.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #12

Nkandla Report “censorship”: It is all about PW Botha’s law
constitutionallzspeaking.co.za
To what extend does the Nkandla Report reveal information, which could threaten the security of the president and the state? Pierre de Vos claims, the report’s censorship has less to do with national security. Instead the author is reminded by the apartheid era legislation of former president Botha, which allowed the government to censor reports for any reason. According to the author’s opinion, “national security” in the Nkandla case is abused to suppress the truth.


Africa’s media wars: a tough operating environment from Uganda to Angola – By Adam Green
africanarguments.org
Adam Green is senior reporter with “This is Africa”, a publication by the Financial Times. This publication is based on the “Africa Reformers”- Project, which covers changes in African governance. African Arguments now summarizes the threads of journalists but also points out some positive changes within the African media landscape that are mentioned in Green’s publication.


Is South Africa “African?”
blogs.cfr.org
Recently, a comment by South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma resulted in debate: It implies that South Africa does fundamentally not belong to the rest of the continent and thereby contradicts to the common claim, that South Africa is indeed African. Is Zuma’s allegation a “holdover of an apartheid mentality”?


Congo: is this the end of the world’s worst war? – By Richard Dowden
africanarguments.org
The war in Eastern Congo has lasted over the last 20 years. Millions of people have been victims of murder, rape and looting in the midst of the fight between the Congolese Army and M23, also known as Congolese Revolutionary Army. Recently, the former defeated M23 and thereby raised hope for an end of the longest-running war. But what conditions have to be met, that this hope will not end up being an illusion?


Newfound Oil Met With Hope, Concern in Benin
globalvoicesonline.org
End of October an announcement was made about the discovery of a new oil source by the Minister for Energy and Oil Exploration in Benin. This leaded to some questions and debates about a production sharing contract with the Nigerian company Sapetro. Some also speculate, that President Boni Yayi could use parts of the oil exploitation revenues for his campaign for the next elections.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #11

EFF and the return of the warrior citizen
thoughtleader.co.za
Terms like the “Fight for liberation” or the call for a “people’s war” demonstrate the close connection of peace and military within South African politics. Author Siphokazi Magadla comments on the on the danger of the „friend versus enemy“- language, that has recently been used by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and demands for investigating the consequences of this symbolic language.


An interview with Nadifa Mohamed: “I don’t feel bound by Somalia…but the stories that have really motivated me are from there” – By Magnus Taylor
africanarguments.org
While most contemporary narratives about Somalia are focused on war, Nadia Mohamed, chooses another perspective: The author, who was born in Somalia and left the country during the civil war, rather covers stories about the people’s ordinary life and thereby attempts to give those people a voice. This year her first novel was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award.


Elections are coming: Can we have some substance please
constitutionallyspeaking.co.za
Do people in South Africa demand too little from their politicians? And in return, do politicians and the media inform too little about policy positions? The Author Pierre de Vos comments on the vague promises and self- staging politicians within election campaigns and calls on South African citizens to demand for more substance.


Mozambique story is not being told
blogs.aljazeera.com
The tension between Frelimo- led government and the opposition party Renamo is on the increase. However, there’s only few concern of the international community to prevent the conflict in Mozambique. Although civilians live in uncertainty and fear of a potential war, for some reasons, Mozambique story is not being told.


Does “Africa” Exist?
blogs.cfr.org
In an article, published by the Financial Times, Simon Kuper comments on the general perceptions of Africa as either “Hopeless” or “Rising Continent”, without focusing on the differences between particular countries. While doing so the author points out the diversity that exists among African countries.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #10

Kenya: Media Bill Sparks Off Public Fury
allafrica.com
The Kenya Information and Communication Amendment Bill, which has been introduced by the Kenyan government last Thursday, leaded to large public outrage. Critics say the new Media Bill limits freedom of speech and thereby contravenes with the constitution. They demand Kenyans to stand up against “parliamentary dictatorship”.


In Africa, does prosperity bring peace? Lessons from Somalia to Mozambique - By Richard Dowden
africanarguments.org
Is there a link between prosperity and peace in Africa? But if so, why do many conflicts in Africa take place in countries, where economic growth is actually on the increase? In order to answer these questions, Richard Dowden comments on recent conflicts – From Somalia to Mozambique.


Relaunching Africa Can and Sharing Africa´s Growth
blogs.worldbank.org
Africa Can is forum for discussions about reform in the continent’s economic policy on the World Bank’s homepage. Last week, Deputy Chief Economist for the World Bank in Africa commented on the differences in poverty reduction between East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. While doing so he also tries to find reasons for the slow decrease of poverty in Africa.


Made in Africa TV
africaunchained.blogspot.com
A new media format has been launched, that produces local television programs in social issues in Africa. Made in Africa TV is based on the belief, that media in Africa “should reflect the struggles, joys, hopes and challenges of the people themselves.”


Death and dying in the Eastern Cape
thoughtleader.co.za
A report on the conditions of the health system in Eastern Cape covers the failure of healthcare professionals in South Africa’s poorest province. Problems with medication availability or the state of facilities mark the lack of health and care standards which lead to mistrust and the dying of hope in Eastern Cape.


India, cricket and religion = Clickbait 101
thoughtleader.co.za
A huge debate was caused by a cartoon published in the Sunday Times, satirising the suspension of a chief executive by Cricket South Africa (CSA). The cartoon by Zaprio depicts the suspended chief executive together with Hindu deity Lord Ganesha, which raised questions about disrespect and insult of the Sunday Times editors.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #9

Mozambique's 20 Year Peace at Great Risk
globalvoicesonline.org
Although there’s peace on paper, longtime rivalries and cold war politics marked the relationship between the Mozambican government and the opposition party Renamo. A raid on October 21st by Mozambican armed forces against Renamo leader Dhlakama marked now the end of a 20 years peace deal.



Zambia's President Increases His Salary, Blames Opposition MPs
globalvoicesonline.org
Recently, the investigative online newspaper Zambian Watchdog, which has been blocked by Zambian authorities before, commented on the latest salary rise of Zambia’s president Sata. As the newspaper reports, it marked the third increment since the beginning of his inauguration in September 2011. Sata now offered to forego the increment.



Slavery: As Modern As It Is Ancient
blogs.cfr.org
Last week, the Walk Free Foundation, which is based in Australia, published its first annual Index on Global Slavery. It covers the continuing existence of slavery or forced labour in many countries. Furthermore it illustrates, that African countries make half of the ten countries with the highest prevalence of slavery worldwide.


Alliance 54 to host Africa Global Women in Business Forum
africaontheblog.com
One of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) is the promotion of Gender Equality and Empowerment of women. Although women-run enterprises are on the increase, more has to be done. Alliance 54 is a forum to promote financial inclusion for African women especially in the diaspora and takes place on 30th-31st October 2013 in London.


Nkandla: Untangling that rather sticky web
constitutionallzspeaking.co.za
The South African government refused to publish an internal report by the Public Protector. The report covers an upgrade of Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla, which has been paid by public founds. Citing “national security” concerns, the government tries to justify the decision. However, constitutionally, it is the Public Protector’s duty to bring the report to the public.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #8

Africa: Free Speech Equals Better Governance, Says Report
allafrica.com
The research project Afrobarometer recently published a report on peoples´ perceptions of free speech in 34 African countries. The survey shows, that freedom of expression is consistently connected to better government performance especially concerning the effectiveness in fighting corruption.


Tanzania suspends two leading newspapers
appablog.wordpress.com
Although Tanzania is perceived as democratic country, media freedom seems to be limited: Recently, the government shut down two leading newspapers due to publication of alleged seditious articles. The Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the decision and demands reformation of the laws to guarantee editorial independence.

Making the most of Africa’s culture and creativity: economic development, democracy and peacebuilding – By Ned Dalby
africanarguments.org
Research indicates that there´ s a lot of potential in art and culture in matters of providing economic growth, democratisation and to solve intercultural conflicts. Last week a conference on Africa´s creative industries in Cape Town presented the ways to nurture African artistic and cultural activities.


Voting is no favour to any political party
thoughtleader.co.za
The current percentage of eligible young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 in South Africa is fairly low. Explanations for that can be found in young peoples´ lack of understanding parliamentary systems and the perception of politics as an isolated issue for the older generation. Gugu Ndima calls for a change of political strategies to enlarge the group of young voters in South Africa.


Inconvenient truths for Kenya after Westgate attack – By Jeremy Lind
africanarguments.org Even before Westgate attack there have been a number of conflicts and attacks carried out by the military that often have not been properly explained by Kenyan authorities. After Westgate Kenyans increasingly speculate about the security of the country and what the government will do to strengthen it.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #7

How the Nairobi Mall Attack Unfolded on Social Media
globalvoicesonline.org
On 21 September 2013, a group of armed militants stormed an upscale mall in Nairobi and opened fire, killing by the latest count 69 people and injuring hundreds more. Social media played a significant role in the reporting on the attack.


Neema Namadamu - Activist-Entrepreneur
africaunchained.blogspot.com Neema Namadamu founded an NGO called ACOLDEMHA, to support women with disabilities to integrate into mainstream society in Congo.


Why Zuma gave in and backed Mugabe
africanarguments.org
President Zuma was among the first to congratulate Mugabe for his victory in the July elections and encourage the opposition to accept the outcome, putting him at odds with those in the country and the international community who questioned the results.


Dry season in wet season
senegaldaily.wordpress.com
A major supply pipe into Dakar broke in two places, resulting in many homes across the city of 4 million people losing access to running water. Dakar has been left without water for two weeks already and people are left uncertain whether the situation is going to change soon.


Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector goes from ‘bread basket to basket case’? Or is it (again) a bit more complicated?
zimbabweland.wordpress.com
Has Zimbabwe really turned from ‘breadbasket’, producing sufficient food for the population and even exporting it, to ‘basket case’, with near permanent reliance on imports, even from Zambia of all places?


SA remains a bastion of racism, while the rest of Africa moves on
thoughtleader.co.za
While the rest of Africa succeeded in putting its traumatic racial discrimination past behind it, South Africa seems not to be able to move on – in spite of racial quotas and good governance requirements.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #6

Should access to the internet be a human right?
africanarguments.org
Internet access was officially declared a right by the UN in 2011. Despite this 68% of the world does not have access to internet.


The Black Stars of Ghana – Art District
africaunchained.blogspot.com
The global art scene’s Western-dominated perspective and mechanisms make it difficult for artists from Africa to receive the attention they deserve. Wisdom Kudowor talks about his life and work as one of the leading visual artists in Ghana.


Getting kids back to school in Somalia
voicesofafrica.co.za
Today only four out of every 10 children in Somalia go to school – one of the lowest enrollment rates anywhere in the world. And the numbers are far lower for girls, who are often kept at home for housework or pushed into an early marriage.


@263Chat Wins Highway Africa 2013 Award
africaontheblog.com
On the 2nd September 2013, the Highway Africa awards were held in Grahamstown, South Africa. A start-up media company called Umuntu Media was the runner up and @263Chat won the Telkom-Highway Africa New Media Awards 2013 Innovative Use of Technology for Community Engagement.


Why are (black) men silent on the war on queer bodies?
thoughtleader.co.za
The 2008 South Africa COI Report notes that “societal attitudes against the LGBTI community are still extremely poor” with 80% of South Africans believing that sex between two men or two women is “always wrong” and that homosexuality is “un-African”.


Rokia Traoré – Beautiful Africa
blacklooks.org
Last year, a coup d’etat in Mali fed an Islamist uprising in the country’s north. Thousands of Malians were displaced, and hundreds more tortured and killed. The Malian singer Rokia Traoré began recording her latest album Beautiful Africa when the conflict in northern Mali was at its height.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #5

‘Life goes on’ for women in Mugabe-led Zimbabwe
voicesofafrica.co.za
On of the key reform put forward in the new Constitution is the establishment of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission to investigate and secure redress for gender-related rights violations. But due to the lack of basic care, many women will not profit from these new reforms.


The Bookseller of Kibera
africaunchained.blogspot.com
Khaleb Omondi is the largest bookseller in Kibera, Nairobi's notorious slum. Every book has a lesson he can use in his own life and gives him the strength to move on, he says.


Academia is Africa’s last hope
thoughtleader.co.za
Africa currently produces the least research in the world. Siyanda, a 20-year-old mathematics major in her final year at the University of Botswana, claims that Africans have to begin to own their own ideas.


African Women in Tech: Learn More about SpeakYoruba App Developer, Abake Adenle
spectraspeaks.com
As many young Africans do not speak their native African language, a new app was developed to help. The first language available: “Yoruba”, mainly spoken in West Africa.


On Sunday night, Aminata Touré was named Prime Minister of Senegal.
africasacountry.com
As Minister, Aminata Touré became well known, and largely popular, for far-reaching anti-corruption campaigns that reached deep, far, wide and high into the previous government’s ranks. On September 1, she was named Prime Minister of Senegal.


Kenya: A smartphone that’s a sight for sore eyes
voicesofafrica.co.za
In Kenya, with a population of more than 40 million, there are only 86 qualified eye doctors, 43 of whom are operating in the capital Nairobi. Smartphone technology now offers hope for the population.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #4

A 3-D printer made from trash: Togo’s answer to the developed world’s e-waste
medium.com
Africa’s first 3-D printer is made entirely from scrap: Copper wire, the casing from an old computer, a PC’s power supply, and rails and tiny motors taken from broken bed scanners and photocopiers.


Men love sports more than they love women
thoughtleader.co.za
According to The Brothers for Life, men rather watch soccer than fight the scourge of violence and abuse against women and child abuse.


To Nigerians Who Don’t Speak Any Native Nigerian Languages, And Their Bullies
spectraspeaks.com
Many Africans have to suffer from social exclusion due to not speaking any African languages. Though it often was not their choice not to learn their mother tongue.


‘No’ to Homosexuality, ‘Yes’ to Child Marriage in Nigeria
globalvoicesonline.org
Homosexuality is outlawed in 38 African countries and it can be punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan and northern Nigeria. In Nigeria a mere rumour of being gay in the country can lead to violence and even imprisonment.


the long road to a greener commute - a look at jo'burg's public transport system
urgansprout.co.za
The carbon emissions from the South African transportation sector has grown by 30% in the last ten years. Nevertheless, the majority of South Africans still use private vehicles as their primary mode of transport. What keeps the people from shifting to public transport?


Being African Abroad
africaontheblog.com
The first generation immigrants were forced to adapt to the various norms, and role expectation of the society but still preserved their culture. Whereas, their children become a living example of these new societal norms. A young Somali reporting.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #3

The Improvers
africaunchained.blogpost.com
In Kenia, 80 percent of the country’s 2.3 million unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 34. Faced with this grim scenario, Nairobi’s youth are flooding into the informal sector, which, in 2011, created six times as many new jobs as the formal sector did.


Court Rules in favour of Sexual Minorities Uganda in case against Scott Lively
blacklooks.org
On 18 August 2013 a Ugandan federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law.


Women’s agenda is key to stabilising Eastern Congo
africanarguments.org
Late 2012 saw an escalation of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo when the rebel group M23 captured and briefly held the city of Goma. The recent peace process has been, thus far, disappointing in terms of providing for visible participation by women stakeholders, and explicitly addressing vital women’s rights issues.


South Africa: Nuclear Power and Politics
blogs.cfr.org
South Africa maintains the only nuclear power station on the African continent. Nuclear power is a necessity, not an option, says Nelisiwe Magubane, director of the South African Department of Energy.


Why MSF decided to leave Somalia
thoughtleader.co.za
This Augusts’ announcement that Doctors without borders (MSF) are going to close all their medical programmes in Somalia sent shockwaves through political and humanitarian communities. In this blog post MSF explain their decision to leave the country.


#IYDAfrica: African Youth speak out!
aineruth.blogspot.com
Why do youths migrate? What are the risks and benefits of migration? What is the status of young women migrants? These questions, among others, were discussed on 12 August 2013, when youths from all around Africa engaged in a Twitter conference on youth migration.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #2

The Improvers
africaunchained.blogpost.com
In Kenia, 80 percent of the country’s 2.3 million unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 34. Faced with this grim scenario, Nairobi’s youth are flooding into the informal sector, which, in 2011, created six times as many new jobs as the formal sector did.


Court Rules in favour of Sexual Minorities Uganda in case against Scott Lively
blacklooks.org
On 18 August 2013 a Ugandan federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law.


Women’s agenda is key to stabilising Eastern Congo
africanarguments.org
Late 2012 saw an escalation of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo when the rebel group M23 captured and briefly held the city of Goma. The recent peace process has been, thus far, disappointing in terms of providing for visible participation by women stakeholders, and explicitly addressing vital women’s rights issues.


South Africa: Nuclear Power and Politics
blogs.cfr.org
South Africa maintains the only nuclear power station on the African continent. Nuclear power is a necessity, not an option, says Nelisiwe Magubane, director of the South African Department of Energy.


Why MSF decided to leave Somalia
thoughtleader.co.za
This Augusts’ announcement that Doctors without borders (MSF) are going to close all their medical programmes in Somalia sent shockwaves through political and humanitarian communities. In this blog post MSF explain their decision to leave the country.


#IYDAfrica: African Youth speak out!
aineruth.blogspot.com
Why do youths migrate? What are the risks and benefits of migration? What is the status of young women migrants? These questions, among others, were discussed on 12 August 2013, when youths from all around Africa engaged in a Twitter conference on youth migration.


Tops of the Blogs 2013 #1

Nigeria and the Girl child bride: Culture, Constitution and Religion
africaontheblog.com
Child marriages are highly common in Sub-Sahara Africa. But they deny young women the opportunity to make educated and informed decisions on what they want in life or how they would rather live their lives.


Sanitation over HIV fixation
blogs.aljazeera.com
The Choma district in Zambia heaves heavily under the burden of HIV, malaria and TB. But like every other region in the country, the district has made significant gains against the triad of disease in recent years.


Are Africans corrupt?
thoughtleader.co.za
South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma argues that Africa is not more corrupt than other continents, while his country alone — supposedly Africa’s most advanced democracy — bleeds an estimated R30 billion per year to corruption.


Any hope for Zimbabwe?
thoughtleader.co.za
From Africa’s corn chamber to a constant economic crisis. A look back into Zimbabwe’s past to better frame our judgment of Zimbabwe’s progress.


Zimbabwe’s post-election repression
blogs.cfr.org
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and his party ZANU-PF have consistently used repression to remain in power. The aftermath of the July 31 elections is no exception.


32º East
africaunchained.blogspot.com
32º East is a centre for the creation and exploration of contemporary Ugandan art, aiming to provide the arts community with the information, resources and exposure needed to raise the profile of Ugandan Art to a national and international level.