Celebrating the work of James Barnor, one of the first photographers to work with color film in Ghana
- There’s a lot going on in the DRC right now. The US hedge fund Och-Ziff was fined for US$100 million in bribes paid to President Kabila and his top aid on behalf of Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler. The electoral commission has proposed delaying the planned 2016 elections until December 2018, claiming a lack of funding to update the electoral rolls. In eastern Congo, Gillian Mathys and Koen Vlassenroot write that local conflict over land is perpetuated by the absence of courts and other peaceful fora in which to resolve disputes. And entrepreneurs in Goma are making a living by importing tap water from Rwanda.
- Elsewhere in central Africa, Ken Opalo has a very thoughtful take on the dangers posed by a political transition in Kigali. Pritish Behuria writes about the tensions between manufacturing and the knowledge economy in Rwanda’s plans for economic growth. And Uganda has officially added Mandarin to its national curriculum, and is in talks to encourage Chinese teachers to emigrate.
- In Kenya, former al-Shabaab fighters are being encouraged to turn themselves in — but are disappearing at the hands of the police or their former comrades in arms after they do so. Perhaps this new database of police killings collected by the Daily Nation may shed some light on it.
- Things are slowly looking up in the Horn of Africa. Tourism is returning to Somalia, and the country opened an average of one university every two days in 2015 – 2016. There’s a great new site (en français) dedicated to research on Djibouti. Nearby, doctors are working to keep the first breast cancer clinic in Sudan running despite sanctions.
- In Nigeria, Lagos is a case study of the way in which poor urban planning depresses economic growth. New research suggests that women are more likely to serve as leaders or soldiers for Boko Haram than previously expected. The country may have lost up to US$17 billion worth of improperly documented oil exports. Negotiations with the Niger Delta Avengers to re-start production in the region are slowly continuing. The latter article also produced this useful map of oil installations throughout southern Nigeria.
- Today in African history: check out this fantastic conversation between James Baldwin and Chinua Achebe on beauty, morality and the political power of art. There’s a new dataset of intra-household labor allocation in colonial Nigeria. Africapedia looks at the correlation between war and sleeping sickness in Uganda and elsewhere.
- Now that I’m back in Accra I’ve been re-listening to some of the songs I had on repeat during my first long stay in Ghana in 2010. Two of my favorites: The Very Best‘s “Kada Manja,” and Anbuley‘s bizarre, hypnotic video for “Kemo’ Yoo Keke.”