AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

EDITORIAL

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Belonging–why South Africans refuse to let Africa in

Any African who has ever tried to visit South Africa will know that the country is not an easy entry destination. South African embassies across the continent are almost as difficult to access as those of the UK and the United States. They are characterised by long queues, inordinate amounts of paperwork, and officials who

Monday, October 20th, 2014

The Future of The Gettleman

After re-reading this article last night, I traveled to the end of the world and was happy to find that I am still writing insightful pieces such as the below, which was first published in the New York...

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

‘There is no Ebola here’: What Liberia teaches us about the failures of aid

Professor Thandika Mkandawire is a development economist with a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue – one of Africa’s finest.  Last week I moderated a discussion on health and governance in Africa at a conference in...

Friday, October 17th, 2014

What does it take to become a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador?

After Africa Is A Country learned that the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) appointed former Spice girl turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham as a Goodwill Ambassador, our team decided to debate, “What does it take...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The great Thomas Sankara was murdered on this day 27 years ago

It is the 27th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, and once again we mark the passing of one of the great leaders of the Twentieth Century. Sankara was a Marxist revolutionary in the last years of the...

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Why I am Afraid of the African Disease of Ebola

Wherever I turn, there is Ebola. In the newspapers and magazines, on television and radio, and across the ubiquitous social media. Ebola. I sweat, shake, and cringe in mortal fear. Such an ugly word, fearsome in its...

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Let’s talk about ethnicity and nationalism in Ethiopia

So much of the discord and paralysis in the pro-rights movement in Ethiopia and the Diaspora comes down to one factor: ethnicity. Politics related to Ethiopia has become so heavily “ethnicized” that we have a difficult time...

Monday, September 29th, 2014

T.O. Molefe on South Africa’s “War on Women”

The essayist T.O. Molefe (he is a contributor here too) has a new op-ed column up at nytimes.com. He writes about “South Africa’s War on Women.” The oped opens with a discussion of why South Africans appear so...

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Letter to Kenya

Dear Kenya, My friends and family know I have been one of your biggest advocates and ambassadors. I love you. You are mine and I am yours. I chose to leave the bright lights of the west...

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Scotland’s referendum is significant for people that want to secede. Like Zanzibaris

“Should Scotland be an independent country?” That is the question Scots will be asked when they go to the polls on September 18th. The outcome of the vote will have a significant impact on the future of...

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The Economist magazine has had a “Slavery Problem” since 1843

The Economist has a slavery problem, as Greg Grandin has recently called it. Grandin’s wonderful article is a response to a series of lamentable book reviews published by The Economist that deal with the topic of slavery: Grandin’s own The Empire of...

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Prayer in the time of Ebola

News of Ebola in West Africa immediately sent me back to the spring of 1974, when another highly contagious and deadly hemorrhagic virus known as Lassa fever swept through my hometown of Jos, Nigeria. All through that...

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Another lazy South Africa ad

Africa is a Country has written plenty in the past on problematic advertising, particularly that which rides on racial and sexist stereotypes, and tropes about the African continent. Invariably, the common thread that runs through many of these...

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

“How was Africa?”

“Welcome back to civilization,” a family member said, slapping my shoulder. “How was Africa?” That was the refrain I encountered most frequently upon returning to the United States after conducting a year of fieldwork amongst northern Malian...

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Why is the Wall St Journal trash-talking Ghana already? Go #BlackStars!

It’s World Cup time, bring on the articles full of historical stereotypes and racial codes disguised as insightful sports commentary. For the past two World Cups, the USA team has been routinely decimated by the Ghanaian squads....

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Save The Children Tries Models and Sex Appeal

Is your NGO looking for innovative tactics to reach new Northern donors? Here’s one for the books. Last week, Save the Children released a video in which they dupe models into advocating for children’s rights. The video opens...

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Do White South Africans constitute a tribe and if so, are they guilty of tribalism?

In a recent article published by Africa is a Country, The Story of a South African “Tribe”, Jared Sacks argues that tribalism is alive and well.  Drawing on Thabo Mbeki’s comments on tribalism in October 2013, he...

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

James Baldwin at 90, Part 4: The Brilliance of Children, The Duty of Citizens

At the outset of the essay, I asked “What changes, what constants and what chimeras made the United States the place that elects a black President?” And, “What does black president actually mean?” (You can find the...

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Narendra Modi’s ‘Africa’ policy

In a speech last October, Narendra Modi argued, “I believe a strong economy is the driver of an effective foreign policy…we have to put our own house in order so that the world is attracted to us.”...

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Dutch Logic and the New Brown Pete: Making Something Less Racist by Making it More Racist

As most AIAC readers know by now, the Dutch are having a very hard time letting go of their precious blackface tradition. Well sadly, but not surprisingly, Zwarte Piet (in English: Black Pete) is still amongst us....

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Mixed race kids a new phenomenon in the Netherlands? We think not.

This week cultural centre de Balie in Amsterdam will be hosting an event titled ‘LovingDay.nl: (In)visibly Mixed’ on “mixed race” families and relationships (BTW, the Netherlands uncritically accepts this terminology, along with the assumption that certain people are...

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Paul Kagame’s Rabbi

Shmuley Boteach seems to be everywhere these days. The right-wing rabbi’s new book Kosher Lust has just been released. Last week, he played host to a galafeaturing Chris Christie, giving the New Jersey governor a chance to make amends with Sheldon Adelson,...

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

A Very Short Introduction to Peter Mutharika, Malawi’s new President

After a prolonged dispute, Peter Mutharika was sworn in as Malawi’s fifth president a few days ago. Whatever the ins and outs of the electoral process, nobody is in doubt that Joyce Banda, the darling of the...

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

A drive-by analysis of Malawi’s election

The whole election seems to have been pretty dodgy. From the outside it looks like all major parties have tried to cook the electoral books with some intense rigging, and the consensus is that it’s by far the...

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Nigeria’s Catch 22: American style democracy will only throw up more more GEJ’s

There are so many problems in Nigeria, true. But it bears reiterating that we’ve not even correctly identified the biggest one of them… Our biggest problem is not the fact that we are an artificial country. Asides...

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Whining white people*

Can all the whining white people all over Twitter and Facebook please shut up? Just shut up. Stop talking about how stupid ANC voters are. Stop talking about how you’re convinced the EFF are going to kill...

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Nigeria’s baby boom

Yesterday, a statement was credited to Bob Diamond, former CEO of Barclays, who is attending the World Economic Jamboree in Abuja. Mr. Diamond is credited with saying that, “Nigeria is the place to be if you want...

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Cancel Jeremy Clarkson, cancel Top Gear and cancel British jingoism

Like Musa Okwonga, I was not going to write about Jeremy Clarkson mumbling the n-word and feigning indignation at the slap on the wrist he received from the BBC over it. Much like the time he proudly announced...

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

#BringBackOurGirls: What took the world so long?

Like so many others I am glad to see more people around the world take up the issue of the school girls who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago from Chibok in the north east region...

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

20 Years of Freedom: Seven Things To Tell Young Black South Africans

Last week, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation held an election debate in Cape Town, in the Western Cape, on intergenerational justice. It would have been great if some terms, like intergenerational justice, had been framed more...

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