A favorite shot from fabric shopping in Ouaga last weekend
- The Africa Research Institute has a very useful interactive feature on African elections in 2017. Here are five major questions facing the Gambia’s new government. An American bureaucrat was just elected president of Somalia. Young people and journalists are thinking about running for office in Kenya, tired of the persistence of old guard politicians.
- This was an unusually pragmatic assessment of how South Sudan might return to political stability. In Niger, efforts to block migrant trafficking are likely to only enrich the traffickers. Climate change is creating unusual new political challenges in Africa as drying lakes and shifting rivers reshape national boundaries. And the shift to prosecuting dictators rather than exiling them may be increasing the risk of civil war.
- Uganda is reshuffling its military to bring in leaders who are closer to President Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, in what has been seen as a sign of his likely succession. This is a good summary of recent developments in the country’s oil sector. Did you know that Uganda is a regional leader in refugee integration? Read this remarkable piece on the racism that still shapes Kampala’s urban planning.
- In Nigeria, nearly 75% of all people currently imprisoned are in pre-trial detention and have never been charged. Students in Uganda are regularly beaten for speaking local languages during the school day. Zanzibar is struggling to deal with a heroin epidemic as it has grown into a stop on Asia-to-Africa trafficking routes.
- Lots of interesting writing about women’s rights this week. This was a fascinating story about how civil war and the decline of traditional secret societies pushed down rates of female genital cutting in Liberia and Sierra Leone. There’s an urgent need to decriminalize abortion across Africa. Legacies of apartheid explain why more women attend school than men in Lesotho.
- Several new online bookstores are trying to make it easier for Kenyans to read books by African authors. Perhaps one day they’ll carry things like the first Amharic-Mandarin dictionary. In the meantime, check out six African podcasts that you ought to be listening to.
- Video of the week: this is a beautiful homage to Dakar from Senegalese-French rapper Booba.