AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Author Archive

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Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Nelson Mandela’s Humanity was a Political Education

If you became politically aware in the late 1970s, you became aware of a world in which no greater sustained evil existed than apartheid. There were other horrors, of course, but apartheid was insidious, entrenched, and total. It built a model of permanent exploitation and enforced it with violence. It classified human beings and forbade them from...

Monday, July 1st, 2013

What can Barack Obama’s “Power Africa” program achieve?

Seven billion dollars is a lot of money—except when it goes into infrastructure. Then, $7bn, the sum that the US has committed to spend over the next five years on the Obama administration’s newly-announced Power Africa initiative,...

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

The Cartography of Bullshit

With the gutting of foreign coverage by most U.S. newspapers and the need to populate infinite Web space with content, a new creature has emerged: the foreign affairs blogger. Max Fisher, who hosts the Washington Post’s WorldViews...

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Soukous for Francophonie (and for Kabila)

Big concert this week, October 10, in Kinshasa to honor the 2012 Francophonie summit. Performances by Papa Wemba and Werrason with their groups have already been posted online. Also on the program were Mbilia Bel, Tshala Muana,...

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Michael Jackson in Tamale: The memoir of Ghana’s new President

For two decades Ghana has been celebrated for its democratic politics, on-schedule elections and peaceful transfers of power. The record contrasts with the country’s prior instability, going back to the 1966 coup that unseated Kwame Nkrumah, a...

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Billy Bang

I am very sad to learn that Billy Bang has died at age 63. He was a beautiful musician who struggled with mental illness and other woes from the trauma of his service in Vietnam until he...

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Gaddafi’s voluptuous Ukranian nurse

1. Anyone who has done any kind of archival research will know immediately the use of the WikiLeaks cables, and also their limits. Now that the superficial and the obvious are out of the way, the truly...

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Ivorian Independence

“I’ve kept some distance from the 50th anniversary,” my friend says, “because I’m being doubted.” A few days ago he went online to check his voter eligibility status. My friend was born in Côte d’Ivoire and has...

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Drogbacité

Didier Drogba is all the rage now–“Time” named him to the magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential People,” largely because of his apparent role  to end the civil war in his native Cote d’Ivoire’s civil war through football.  As...