Top of the Blogs 2017 #1

Also available in Deutsch

South Africa’s next president might be a woman, but that isn’t the only change we need
Post-apartheid South Africa seems willing to make history with two female front-runners in the next presidential election. Lynsey Chutel introduces the two candidates who’ve both already held important positions within ANC party ranks. Nkosana Dlamini-Zuma is not only the ex-wife of current president Jacob Zuma, she also served as minister of foreign affairs and home affairs and is currently Chair of the African Union Commission. Her opponent Baleka Mbete also looks back on a long political career and currently holds the position of speaker of parliament. Nevertheless, the author questions both women’s suitability, due to their involvement in corruption scandals, and reminds her readers that not gender but personality should decide the race.

Dear EPL, UEFA and global media, for us Africans, AFCON is not a backwater tournament
The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) started with a colorful and diverse opening ceremony in Gabon on January 14. Zimbabwean civil society activist Takura Zhangazha underlines the pride and happiness of Africans to celebrate the event, although the rest of the world sometimes underestimates African football. It is therefore not surprising that international media often belittles AFCON by diminishing the sporting capacities of the continent, without even knowing much about the background of the event. In comparison with European clubs, African teams don’t possess great financial resources and consequently have to do without some of their best players, who are under contract in foreign leagues.

Mozambique’s unexpected truce still hangs in the balance
The tense atmosphere in Mozambican politics seems to loosen a bit, after president Felipe Nyusi and opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama agreed on a ceasefire at the end of 2016. Justin Pearce, Research Associate at the University of Cambridge, looks at the conflict between Frelimo government and the Renamo opposition movement and how it has developed in recent years. International mediators and organizations willing to help settle the dispute recently left the country without having made any progress. It remains open whether the truce will merge into peace or declared void by one of the opponents, since the roots of the conflict continue to exist.

Kenyans fear a possible internet shutdown during 2017 presidential elections
Looking at tweets by public persons as well as ordinary citizen, civil-journalist Njeri Wangari depicts the discussion about a possible shutdown of social media during the elections in Kenya in August 2017. With a view on the ongoing rumors, Wangari provides background information about new laws that have been drafted in order to regulate online communication. The debate is controversial and complex, increasingly so as 60 journalists have already been arrested in recent years due to their online activities.