Wax Poetics "Africa Issue" and Other Links

* I just got the Wax Poetics Africa Issue in the mail.  Though the issue may give the impression that good music stopped being produced in Africa since the 1970s–in part it reads like a tribute issue with articles about Fela Kuti, Tony Allen, the Rail Band, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, Hugh Masekela, Lemi Ghariokwu, Orchestra Baobab, and Pax Nicholas, among others–it is worth buying. If only for the sentimental value. It comes complete with a downloadable playlist of the songs discussed in the issue.

* Despite the hype about the internet in Kenya we read about all the time, apparently the country’s media consumers still prefer to get their news and information via print media. Probably because “… only 5 percent of Kenyans fifteen years old and above access the Internet daily, and only a minority of those have home computers. (Some 38 percent of households own a TV.)” [Columbia Journalism Review]

* Not surprisingly, African governments (like their counterparts) want to control the flow of information [Committee to Protect Journalists]

* China may not so bad for Africa, according to Howard French, former West Africa correspondent for The New York Times [The National]. French was writing a review of Deborah Brautigan’s new book, “The Dragon’s Gift: the Real Story of China in Africa”. NYU’s Development Research Institute is hosting a talk by Brautigan on Wednesday, 10 February. (DRI is also hosting a “The Best and Worst of AID” conference on March 5.)

* Talking about DRI: Bill Easterly and Laura Freschi in a blog post at Aid Watch, quoting a newspaper article in the Wall Street Journal about declining US funding for Aids treatment in Africa, and noting that AIDS infections are up, claims the “War” on AIDS has been lost. Their main reason: “… because the global health community concentrated on AIDS treatment and neglected prevention (which they never figured out how to do). Not everyone agreed with them, including my friend, Aids advocate, Caitlin Chandler, who commented on the original post and a follow-up. Activist Greg Gonsalves, formerly of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, also reacted.

* Angelique Kidjo has a new album coming out next week [PRI’s Globalhit]

* Explaining the violence in Jos, Nigeria [Naijablog]

* HBO is screening Zina Saro-Wiwa’s documentary “This is Africa” [HBO]

* Mos Def speaks out on Haiti. Why hasn’t Obama traveled down there yesterday already? [Society HAE]

* Madlib’s “Medicine Show: Flight to Brazil” [Stones Throw]

* The Jihadist from Alabama who is the face of Al Shabaab in Somalia [The New York Times Magazine]

* Another academic journal for Africanists [Critical African Studies]

* Things that probably won’t make it onto a Save Darfur poster [Chris Blattman]

* Finally, the role of anthropologist, Melville Herskovits, the son of white Jewish immigrants to America, in shaping modern African American and African identities was huge [California Newsreel]

Further Reading

No more caricatures

Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.