Tops of the Blogs 2014

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Tops of the Blogs 2014 #19

Ending Stigma: Lessons from the AIDS Epidemic

As HIV continues to spread in sub-Saharan Africa, so does stigma. Many go to great lengths to hide their HIV status, get tested at clinics far from home to avoid being seen, and put off medical care until it's much too late. This has devastating effects. While antiretroviral drugs slow the spread of HIV dramatically, a “treatment for prevention” strategy can only work if people actually seek treatment.

The collapse of governance in Zambia

The author voices grave concerns about recent developments in Zambia. A protégé of Vice President Scott is allegedly running a red beret militia that urgently needs to be investigated and removed from the streets by policing authorities. If unchecked, it will set Zambia on fire. He claims this development to be only one of many signs that governance is collapsing in Zambia at the hands of a coalition of greedy people who want to control the future of the country.

The Politics of African Hair

This female African blogger has noticed that black women today seem to be faced with the never-ending wars on their image, such that even the way they wear their hair is said to be a political statement. She writes that a woman’s fitness as a responsible, bill paying adult or her self-confidence can get called into question simply because of the way she wears her hair.

How are we investing in our children?

The Ugandan author takes a critical look at the debate that sprung from a video about a little girl being mistreated by her nanny. She claims that more and more young parents are so busy with their careers that they have forgotten to play that very important role of fathering and mothering their children. If this recent incident is just a consequence of parents getting nannies and house helps, leaving them with their children from the age of a few months and getting back to work, she questions if this investment in children is actually sufficient.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #18

Where are the men?

This Kenyan blogger is shocked by the recent violent assaults against women in his country and raises a number of critical questions concerning the role of men in these scenarios and what the violence and the reaction to it says about Kenyan society as a whole.

#TakeOn Violence Against Women, Take a Walk in Their Shoes

The World Health Organization (WHO) last year released an unprecedented survey that found more than one in three women worldwide will experience violence at the hands of a partner over the course of their lives. The author holds violence against women to be one of the most oppressive forms of inequality, preventing women and girls from participating equally in social, economic, and political life and perpetuating the cycle of poverty and discusses how development aid should help eliminate its causes.

The Rise of Grace Mugabe of Zimbabwe

This article takes a look at the background and the criticism of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s entry into national politics as a presidential candidate. The writer states that those concerned about Grace Mugabe’s viability as a candidate have every right to speak up but she should not be dismissed simply because of her gender or the fact that she is a First Lady.

Trading Ghana’s water for gold

Ghanaian journalist Edem Srem has just won the first African Fact-Checking Award for his documentary “Trading Ghana’s water for gold”. He explains how in his country, many leaders make public statements about action they plan to take in particular issue areas, but do not deliver on their promises. He and his team took it upon themselves to scratch beneath the surface, checking who has said what, when they said it, and whether any concrete action has been taken to safeguard Ghana’s water sources from illegal artisanal gold miners.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #17

#MyDressMyChoice: Protest over Nairobi miniskirt attack goes viral

The mobile phone video showing a mob of Kenyan men surrounding a woman and grabbing, grasping and yanking her clothes until she is naked is only one example of attacks by males who deem a woman to be provocatively dressed. The attacks have created a groundswell of anger that saw mostly women protesters flood downtown Nairobi on Monday.

Victim on Trial

This Kenyan Blogger refers to the #mydressmychoice incident to argue that people are very subjective when it comes to defending human rights. She claims that a woman’s choice of dress can apparently still spark the discussion on whether ensuing assaults might be justified.

Ugandans Launch Hashtag Campaign against Telecom Giant

Eight million people use MTN Uganda, making it the country's undisputed mobile telecom giant, but satisfaction with their services has been declining. This article cites examples of how customers have now decided to pool their influence and use the internet to launch a hashtag campaign against MTN’s unreasonable extra charges and unexplained reductions in service.

Challenges in Developing intra- African Tourism

The idea of developing infrastructure and regulations in order to promote intra-African tourism has long been brought to the discussion table, but results have been slow to follow. Nevertheless, there is an increasing trend in many African countries to try to attract regional tourists. The author still sees much work to be done, however, since even where travel is being made easier, the focus is often still on tourists from non-African countries.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #16

Why everything you think you know about free expression is false

In reaction to the recent racist comments by South African singer Steve Hofmeyr, Pierre de Vos discusses the concept of freedom of expression and what this right entails or more precisely what it does not entail. While crucial for a liberal democracy, the “free marketplace of ideas” does have boundaries and is only really free amongst publicly accepted views. De Vos, however, does not consider this a problem.

How will the UNHCR’s statelessness campaign affect Africa?

While the UNHCR launched a global campaign to end statelessness, Bronwyn Manby outlines the difficulties in arriving at exact numbers for stateless persons. Current statistics are inadequate as there are still a high number of ‘uncounted’ people. Far more important than getting the statistics right is to address the problem and give them a formal status of ‘belonging’.

Do Africans Read?

… and if they do: What do they read? And if African authors write: Are they read? Christopher Ejugbo asks these provocative questions while he is very well aware that any attempt at a clear answer would be highly generalizing. Nevertheless, he discusses which historical and technological developments have shaped Africans’ interest in books as well as the world’s interest in African books.

Djibouti's Young People Look to Burkina Faso to Pave Their Own Democratic Way

Following the public uprisings and the coup d’etat in Burkina Faso, the spirit of revolution spreads East to Djibouti. Street protests led by the Opposition Youth Movement demand the resignation of long-standing president Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. Djibouti’s youth believes it is time for a regime change and calls for transparent democratic elections in due time. Rakotomalala thinks that any future of the small state in the Horn of Africa will be intrinsically linked to international involvement and interests.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #15

What Ebola teaches us about communicating a crisis

The current Ebola epidemic does not only demonstrate the need for a timely and appropriate medical response but also the importance of effective communication in order to prevent a further spread of the disease. A key area for international collaboration should therefore be Communication for Development (C4D) – a concept guided by principles such as community dialogue, knowledge sharing and transparency, often facilitated by the social web. Paolo Mefalopulos elaborates on the potentials of C4D in preventing and managing crisis situations.

Rwanda’s story: Women integral governance, peace-building in Africa

Rwanda is an African success story with regards to its post-genocide state-building and development. According to Ugandan Blogger Ruth Aine a big part of the reconciliation and peace-building can be attributed to the positive impact of women. The African Union should learn from this and put more emphasis on the political inclusion of women in order to accomplish its Agenda 2063.

What next for Burkina Faso

Following severe public unrest and protests in the streets of Ouagadougou, a coup d’etat by the military forced President Blaise Compaoré to flee the country. While the army itself is split by a power struggle, international pressure calls for democratic elections in due time. At a time of significant uncertainty on the political leadership of Burkina Faso, Siddhartha Mitter discusses the best way forward for the West African state.

The Politics of Apartheid Housing

Two decades after the inception of South Africa’s Reconstruction and Development Programme the state of housing delivery is still alarming. Zachary Levenson is especially worried by the housing crisis in Post-apartheid Cape Town and the perpetuation of class segregation. The low quality of long awaited houses leads him to two questions: Does the program live up to its promises and if not – where does the money go to?

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #14

West Africans Keep Calm Despite Ebola and Remind the World Who They Are

The fight against Ebola profits from the advantages of new media. Besides the Twitter-Initiative Ebola Alert connecting health professionals with the general public in order to increase awareness and inform on the disease, #EbolaChat Sessions serve as a platform for critical discussion. In Sierra Leone, an online campaign reaffirming the identity of its citizens reacts to the stigmatization and negative portrayal of Ebola-struck countries.

The trouble with statistics in Africa

The lack of reliable figures, especially on population and GDP, in numerous African countries leads to significant challenges in governance. Due to the deficit in statistical capacity, false, distorted or outdated figures are being used and lead to false conclusions. Since quality statistics are crucial for policy-making and the allocation of scarce resources, more attention will have to be given to this in the future.

50 Years Later, Zambians Are Asking What Independence Day Means

The 50th anniversary of Zambia’s independence sparks a debate on how to commemorate the past five decades. Commentators from both government and opposition are using social media to share their views on the past, present and future prospects of the nation. The passing of Zambia’s president Sata on Tuesday (shortly after the posting of the blog entry) further adds to the discussion on the necessity of political transformation.

A “Take Your Madam Home Campaign” Instead? A Comment on Social Justice Tours in Townships

“Social justice tours” through South Africa’s townships – right or wrong? Set in a difficult historical context of segregation during Apartheid, the author argues these tourist activities simplify the complex state of omnipresent poverty in the country. The ‘spectatorist’ set-up reinforces preconceptions and us-them distinctions. What is rather needed are initiatives strengthening the understanding of ongoing social struggle and societal interconnectedness.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #13

SA: Pistorius jailed for five years for Steenkamp killing

Verdict in Pistorius-case: A long trial which raised the attention of both national and international media as well as public discussions came to an end on Tuesday. The Paralympics-Sprinter received a five-year sentence for culpable homicide following the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp – whether he will serve the full sentence in prison remains to be seen.

Mozambique elections: outcome will have little impact on growing social fault-lines

On November 15th, Mozambique held its fifths general elections since independence. President Armando Guebuza steps back. He will be replaced by his party-colleague and close confidant Felipe Nyusi. The Author doubts that this swap of the head of state constitutes a real change of power and will be followed by significant improvements in the worsening socio-economic state of the country. Nevertheless, the end of the Guebuza-Era induces an evaluation of the state of democracy under long-time ruling party Frelimo.

When some rights are more equal than others

The difficult balance between freedom of expression on the one side and the protection of human dignity on the other often pose judicial challenges for democratic systems. Jacob Zuma, who has been subject to significant criticism in the media for the misappropriation of state funds, has recently called for the importance of social responsibility which would accompany the right to free expression. The author elaborates why he disagrees in this particular case.

Congo: military reshuffle signals a political landscape in motion

The military plays a central role in the political organisation of the conflict-struck DR Congo. The Congolese armed forces (FARDC) derive from a context of decade-long civil war. Its restructuring is therefore a crucial factor for the future stability of the region.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #12

Journal from an Ethiopian Prison: Testimony of Befeqadu Hailu

This is a testimony written by Ethiopian blogger and human rights advocate Befeqadu Hailu. He was arrested and imprisoned in April 2014, along with five fellow bloggers and three journalist colleagues. In July 2014, all nine detainees were charged under the country’s penal code and the Terrorism Proclamation of 2009.

Living on R6 a day in a country of 47000 dollar Millionaires

From the days of royalty to colonization and apartheid, inequality has been systematically entrenched within the minds of people living in South Africa. Although political freedom brought much hope and dignity to some people, economic freedom has lagged behind on a range of fronts. Despite South Africa being an upper middle-income country, millions of people live in dire poverty and destitution, while a small group of elites continue to profit and prosper.

Socio and Economic Rights for African women

If you follow women’s rights activism in Africa, you will have seen that momentum is growing as the voices of grassroots women continue to rise. Issues regarding equality among the sexes are now a frequent topic of discussion in a good number of communities in comparison to a decade or two ago. Digital connectivity has been helping women from far flung areas of the continent to connect with other women in developed countries and become empowered in the process. However, these positive developments are contrasted by laws and conventions in society that overwhelmingly work against women.

Can services drive developing country growth?

Entering the global discussion about growth in the developing world has recently produced the realization that developing countries need a new growth model. Many traditional industries, like textiles and steel, are likely to face shrinking global markets and over-capacity, driven by demand shifts and environmental concerns. And due to China’s success, many other countries are finding it much harder to establish more than a niche in manufacturing. Can service industries play the role that manufacturing did in the past?

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #11

Inequality and Africa’s IDA Middle Income Trap

The article looks at inequality from an economic perspective. It claims that Africa will be particularly vulnerable to rising inequality in the coming years and warns of a future threat: Unless the rules of the International Development Association will be changed to guarantee African countries continued access to concessional resources, inequality on the continent will grow even further.

Does it matter where you were born and raised?

This Kenyan author approaches the issue of inequality from a very personal angle by looking at inequality in the world and how it affects not only present generations, but also those generations to come. She then makes suggestions on how every person can work toward better equity to help break the cycles of poverty, inferior education, political under-representation and huge economic disparities that plague societies today.

Journalists Must Avoid Mass Hysteria Over Ebola

Journalists need to do a better job reporting the impact of Ebola on Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, writes this blogger. Arguing against the scare mongering generalizations often seen especially in Western media, she advocates being specific about the countries affected and reporting positive developments where they occur.

When news images lie

The author gives examples of news websites using photographs as catch-all illustrations, where the photo does not correspond to the actual event, but is supposed to give an impression of the situation described. He claims that these websites are not just lying to their readers, but also showing contempt for news photographers.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #10

Africa: Church Disaster a Test for Relations between Africa's Big Powers

The relationship between South Africa and Nigeria is crucial for Pan-African issues. Recently, however, the already strained relations between Africa's two biggest economies have once again been tested after the collapse of a building in Lagos killed 84 South Africans.

Surviving Sierra Leone's Three-Day Ebola Lockdown

The three-day Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone has been heavily criticized as counterproductive. The government, however, claims the lockdown was a success.

Namibia: Unhappy Mine Workers Threaten Not to Vote

The date for Namibia’s presidential and National Assembly elections, the 28th of November 2014, was only recently endorsed by the President. Now mineworkers have threatened to boycott the elections should their demands for better working conditions and higher wages not be met.

Nigeria’s tech-savvy response to Ebola pays off

An information campaign in Nigeria combining traditional and Social Media in the fight against Ebola seemed to have an effect in stopping the further spread of the deadly virus throughout Africa’s most populous country. A further challenge will be ending the stigmatization of Ebola survivors.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #9

Nigeria: Synagogue - Let the Law Prevail

The author of this article claims that the collapse of the 'Church of All Nations' guesthouse in Nigeria is a symptom of a disturbing trend in the country, where religious bodies carry on as if they are above the law. He calls on the authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident and take legal action, if necessary.

African Ebola Survivors Share Their Stories of Recovery and Stigma

According to the WHO, 2,615 cases of Ebola have been reported throughout West Africa and 1,427 people have died. There is no confirmed cure for Ebola, and the mortality rate for the latest outbreak sits at around 50 percent. This article tells the story of people who have survived Ebola, about resilience and heroic care from local health workers, but also of sadness and rejection because of ignorance about the disease.

Has Jacob Zuma hurt the fight against AIDS more than Thabo Mbeki?

Helen Zille, leader of South Africa’s largest opposition party 'Democratic Alliance', claimed that President Jacob Zuma has set back the fight against HIV/AIDS more than his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki. This article compares the impact the two men have had on the ongoing fight against the disease.

Lessons from the Kenyan classroom

This article takes its readers on an elementary school field trip of a different kind – to the supermarket. It shows how seeing the world through the eyes of children living in property makes going to the store an education in itself.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #8

The Presidents reply to the Public Protector: why it won’t hold water

Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa questioned the Public Protectors interpretation of the scope of her powers after receiving a letter from current office holder Thuli Madonsela. Zuma, currently under investigation regarding the renovations of his private residence at state expense, failed to respond appropriately. Although the exact scope of the Public Protectors powers has not been defined by a South African court, the claims made by Zuma are at best debatable.

Why is crime and violence so high in South Africa?

On September 19, the South African Crime Statistics will be published for the year 2013/14. According to Dr. Chandre Gould, senior researcher at the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), it is not surprising that South Africa has such a high rate of violent crime. In her comment, Gould outlines possible reasons and presents several consequences resulting from this massive number of violent crime and their effects for South African society.

Not so mega? The risky business of large-scale public-private partnerships in African agriculture

The latest Oxfam Briefing Paper on large scale public-private partnerships (PPPs) contradicts the current hype around these initiatives. PPPs can play an important role in development, innovation and learning if well designed and carried out responsibly. However, there are extremely high risks involved, such as that of dispossession or expropriation of land by major corporations in the name of investment. This could worsen the already existing inequality in African rural areas. What are the alternatives?

Water Security no longer a ‘future threat’ for Sahelian Africa

Anyone living in the Horn of Africa, along the Nile, or near Lake Chad knows that water-related issues are among the most severe and far-reaching security threats in Africa. Famine in the Horn, proxy conflicts over Nile watershed water usage and insecurity surrounding the shrinking of Lake Chad urgently demand a reframing of our conceptualization of what water insecurity in Africa entails. Water-related crises became forces for migration, human security catastrophes, economic crises, and radicalization. Water shortage is no longer a future threat – it needs to be dealt with today.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #7

Africa’s Youth Bulge a Big Burden

A recent report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) forecasts that if current trends persist, one in every four people on the planet will be African by the year 2100. It further predicts that by 2050 alone, the number of Africans under the age of eighteen may swell to around one billion. The report concludes that more emphasis must be placed on access to reproductive health services, girls’ education, and vital statistics systems.

Domestic Violence in Kenya

This young blogger from Kenya not only describes her own experiences with domestic violence, but also looks at the problem in the bigger context of society. She finds that many men and women in Kenya still take domestic violence very casually. Combined with a culture of keeping out of other’s relationships, the police often do not investigate cases of domestic violence as these are considered ‘private affairs’. All this shows that the country still has a long way to go before resolving its issues of domestic violence.

Less Than 10% of Rural Sub-Saharan Africans Have Access to Electricity. What's Being Done to Change That?

This summer, the World Bank announced that it will allocate $5 billion in aid to Africa to help the continent optimize its potential for electricity production. Although its regional economies are expanding rapidly, Africa still suffers from significant deficiencies in electrification – while fifteen percent of the world's population lives on the African continent, they represent only 3 percent of global electricity consumption. The lack of resources, as well as nonexistent infrastructure, means that public and private organizations must now unite their efforts to fill in the gaping hole in access to electricity.

Top 10 most competitive economies in sub-Saharan Africa

The sub-Saharan African region has provided something of a silver lining in an otherwise broadly felt global economic downturn in recent years, according to the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, which assesses 144 economies. Sub-Saharan economies continued to register impressive growth rates of close to 5% in 2013 – with rising projections for the next two years.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #6

South Africa’s diminishing stature

With tightening their immigration rules and allying with suspicious foreign diplomats this article claims that South Africa is losing its status as the powerhouse of Africa. While most of the continent looked to South Africa for leadership in the period after the end of apartheid, within the present discourse most of the same countries may start looking elsewhere.

African Economic Outlook 2014: growth, sloth and value chains – By Magnus Taylor

This time of year the OECD, AfDB and UNDP release the Africa Economic Outlook. The good news are that Africa’s economies are still growing at a healthy rate. But the report also notes that the African regions, and the individual countries within them, are poorly integrated with each other. This means that countries like Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa have stronger trading relationships with the rest of the world than with their neighbours. To change this the author emphasizes the importance of new value chains.

Fed Up With the Country's Economic Woes, Ghanaians Launch Their Own Occupy Movement

Ghana has experienced his first occupy-like movement on the first of July. Near the president's office as part of a campaign dubbed #OccupyFlagStaffHouse people came together to protest against corruption and the country's poor economic situation. The movement has gained 6000 followers on Facebook by now.

Africa’s big gender gap in agriculture #AfricaBigIdeas

Women are less productive farmers than men in Sub-Saharan Africa. A new evidence-based policy report from the World Bank shows just how large these gender gaps are. The report shows that equalizing women’s access to productive resources – as it was common belief in former reports - is by far not enough to close this gap.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #5

Africa’s aging leaders must give way to a new generation or face disaster – By Richard Dowden

The world no longer is recognizing Africa for its tribalism, dictatorships, wars and corruption. But some aging leaders are threatening this newly won perception. Author Richard Dowen wants the aged African leaders from South Africa to Zambia to ask themselves: Am I still doing a good job?

Has Ghana had enough?

Due to the shortage of fuel in the Ghanaian capital Accra and tax increases about to come, a lot of Ghanaians showed their displeasure of the current conditions in the country. Via social media protest is forming and it is declared to occupy the government house soon.

Soccer: African Islamism and the “Beautiful Game”

Guest blogger Emily Mellgard sheds a light on Islam and its relation to soccer. Whereas Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan hold their own national teams, stricter islamist groupings banned soccer within their reign. But with certain adaptations also strictly religious Muslims can enjoy playing football.

Learning from your peers: A lesson from Uganda and Senegal

Apart from cultural differences, many African countries have to deal with the same matters: Population growth, urbanization and youth unemployment. Uganda and Senegal now joined forces by working together on a plan for increasing agricultural productivity.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #4

Can SA, India and Brazil reboot the global human-rights narrative?

India, Brazil and South Africa, each have proud histories of people’s movements overcoming colonialism, military dictatorship and racial oppression against great odds. This article asks the question if these countries have the ability now to emerge as moral voices in a western dominated global world.

Inconsistent Reports of More Women and Children Kidnapped in Northeastern Nigeria
The Nigerian media is reporting a new mass kidnapping in north-eastern Nigeria. The estimated number of those kidnapped ranges from sixty to nearly one hundred. With local reporting being inconsistent and the security forces denying knowledge of those kidnappings, Western media has to rely on what they get from Nigerian mass media.

Uganda: US sanctions will hurt NGOs already operating in difficult environment – By Angelo Izama

With the recent raft of sanctions from Washington, the US puts pressure on the Ugandan government and therefore causes concerns for NGOs operating there. Tight control is the reaction from the Ugandan side with central registration for NGOs, the banning of certain activities related to politics and giving more power to local government representatives to intervene in programs.

Big vs. small firms: one size does not fit all

Size matters: Especially when it comes to the size of firms in developing countries. Whereas in the US the number of small businesses is growing steadily, the situation in developing countries in Africa is totally different due to owners of small firms often not being skilled enough to run it successfully. This blog post shows success stories as well as gives advice how to get there.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #3

How did Zambia become the continent-leader in refugee integration? – By Arthur Simuchoba

Zambia has always been among the first countries in Africa to begin taking in refugees and is currently among the leaders in the implementation of local integration as promoted by the UNHCR conferring permanent legal status to former refugees. This article explains how Zambia became the role model for integration in Sub-Sahara Africa and sheds a light on the future government actions concerning refugee politics.

Four Instruments to Strengthen Financial Integration in Sub-Saharan Africa

Over the past ten years, sub-Saharan Africa grew five percent per year. Seven of the world’s fastest growing ten economies in 2011-2015 will be from the Sub-Saharan region. Yet rapid economic growth has not resulted in sufficient gains in terms of job creation and reduced inequality. Author Amadou Sy points out four tools to vitalize financial integration in the region..

54 Days in Prison and Counting for Ethiopia's Zone 9 Bloggers

Internet activists have started a campaign calling for the release of the imprisoned Zone 9 Bloggers in Ethiopia. This article retraces the formation of online-protest against the repressive methods of the Ehtiopian government.

Kenya Mpeketoni attack: Who is fooling who?

In recent attacks in Mpeketoni, Kenya, at least sixty people have died. The author of this article now claims that a blame game has started in which the president is denying a terroristic background of the attack, whereas the Islamist group al-Shabaab claims responsibility for it. It's up to the president and his government to tackle insecurity and tame the fear across the nation.

Nigeria: What Time Is It?

Guest author Jim Sanders expresses his opinion of the political conditions in Nigeria nowadays. Democracy, protest, and gender roles are now very different and create new modes of participation in the political sphere. Still, it may be already too late for political elites having to face an emergent Nigerian public infuriated by the kidnapping of innocent school girls.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #2

Putting poverty on the map

A new statistic tool is introduced by the World Bank to map poverty in African countries. Therefore census data and household surveys were combined in order to provide a more detailed view of poverty across areas within certain districts or regions and not just regional poverty. In the future the map is supposed to help governments for setting up targeting programmes.

India’s Africa Policy

Since the colonial era African and Indian economies were somehow linked together. Now India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to drive the ties between the two continents even further – with a strong presence of investors in East Africa. This article reflects on the consequences that future endeavours of the Indians will have on Africa.

The Cape Flats’ gangster women

Usually engaging in crimes is a men’s world in South Africa. But women seem to play quite an important role in the universe of gangsterism working as spies or hiding arms. But women in gangs are also at a higher risk of getting caught and mistreated by enemy gangs. And sometimes women commit crimes just to be respected within the gang.

Hello, my name is Aminata and you’ve reached the Dakar Global Call Center

Sub-Saharan Africa is facing a growing demand for highly skilled workers especially in fields like engineering and IT. But today the proportion of African students in that fields is very low. With a Forum the World Bank tries to bring African countries together addressing the problem.

Tops of the Blogs 2014 #1

Making Democracy Soup in Africa: how one bad ingredient can spoil the lot – By Victoria Crawford

For decades the West has been pushing an agenda in Africa based on good governance, accountability and transparency. Examples like China show that countries made great economical progress without such ‘luxuries’. Pinning down a ‘link’ between democracy and development proved to be a more difficult task than anticipated. Democracy therefore is metaphorically described as a soup consisting of various, often country-related ingredients – and a single off can spoil it.

Transforming Education Across Africa

In the last year the hype around online education reached a fever pitch. If there's anywhere in the world where free and low-cost online education has the chance to make a transformative impact, it's in Africa, where the demand is huge. Author Anya Kemenetz reports on a number of educational initiatives across Africa that hopefully will turn African students into the future Steve Jobs.

Joyce Banda, Malawi’s ex-president, is neither saint nor sinner

The defeat of incumbent Joyce Banda in Malawi’s recent presidential elections raises questions about what constitutes collective expectations of women’s formal leadership in sub-Saharan Africa. Deeply embedded biases about a woman’s leadership often differ a lot from political reality – that is that women are subject to the same problems like patronage and corruption in politics as men.

Rwanda: could state-led mass killings ever happen again? – By Bert Ingelaere & Marijke Verpoorten

20 years have gone by since Rwanda experienced the most tragic episode in its history: the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Rwandans mostly of Tutsi origin. In an essay the two authors examine the question if state-led mass-killings could ever happen again by pointing out several factors why Rwanda’s still remaining at risk of this type of violence and how the international community is confusing origins and consequences in this case.

Revolt in the North: Interpreting Boko Haram’s war on western education – By Kirk Ross

With the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Northern Nigeria Boko Haram has gained international attention. Author Kirk Ross provides an examination of personalities and circumstances that will contribute to a better understanding of Boko Harams actions, behavior and their sources of support in Nigeria.

The legalization of political repression in Ethiopia

Journalists and bloggers suffer from recent government repressions in Ethiopia. Last weekend, the Zone9 bloggers and three journalists who were arrested in late April appeared in court. With a tactic of delay and detaining Ethiopian political trials serve to repress freedom of expression in the country.