Top of the Blogs 2017 #13

As it is Women’s month in South Africa, this week Top of the Blogs has a focus on women. We look at women in the political sphere that can be granted diplomatic immunity even on a private visit to a foreign country, or inherit state oil companies, but also women who fight for their careers, such as a new generation of tech engineers in Nigeria. We end with an article promoting a touching South African movie about a little girl who wishes for hair that moves.

Grace Mugabe: why diplomatic immunity isn’t always an ‘out of jail’ ticket
https://theconversation.com/africa

One week after the assault of a 20-year old girl in Johannesburg, Grace Mugabe, the first lady of Zimbabwe, had been granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa. The incident caused serious debate on the rules governing diplomatic immunity and the consequences for the victim. The first lady wasn’t on an official visit representing her country and therefore had no diplomatic immunity before coming to South Africa. In fact, it is not the status of a person that serves as a basis for granting immunity but the nature of the visit in the foreign country. What about justice for the victim? There is a danger that diplomatic immunity can lead to impunity.

Africa’s second longest serving leader is stepping down
https://qz.com/

After 38-years of presidency, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the leader of Angola, will not seek re-election on the 23rd of August due to his bad health. It is the former defense minister, João Lourenço, who has been chosen by the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) to seek the presidency. Even if Lourenço is expecting to win the elections, it is the first time in decades that opposition parties have a chance to access the power. Nevertheless, the Dos Santos family will retain significant power - the ex-president will continue as leader of the MPLA, his daughter Isabel will still be in charge of the state oil company Sonangol and his son Jose Filomeno will remain in charge of Angola’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. Dos Santos will also enjoy immunity from prosecution after the elections. Whatever the outcome, the winning party will need to defuse anger in a country where corruption is a crucial issue and where there has been long term under-delivery of prosperity to its citizens.

Breaking the code: How women in Nigeria are changing the face of tech
http://www.africa-ontherise.com/

The Nigerian tech scene is booming and women are becoming an important part of this revolution. Their role in the fields of agricultural and financial tech is changing the face of technology in Africa, but this has only happened in the last decade since activists like Nnenna Nwakanma fought for digital equality and the rights of Nigerian women online. The demand for tech is growing so fast, that it cannot be met by men alone. Several initiatives and programmes are helping to counter negative attitude towards women’s involvement in fields like technology, but it is still a challenge for women to establish themselves in the field of technologies as society doesn’t encourage them in that direction.

Why a film on the innocence and shame of black girls who want « hair that moves » matters so much
https://qz.com/

The South African movie ‘Hair That Moves’ tells the story of Buhle, an 11-year-old girl who is convinced that long flowing hair, just like her favourite pop star, and winning a Talent show are what she needs to be successful in life. The filmmaker and screenwriter, Yolanda Mogatusi, is the winner of the Focus Features Africa First short film program. Her movie ‘Hair That Moves’ touched a lot of people in the U.S. and South Africa who told her how much of themselves they see in the little girl. The movie also contributed to crucial conversations in South Africa on cultural representation, segregation and race with the issue of schoolgirls facing rejection over their hair as they try to fit into the elite schools.