On safari

Happy new year!

The New Year Carnival in Cape Town. Image credit George Bayliss via Flickr.

This was a big one for us here at Africa is a Country. On January 22nd, I wrote: “The plan was to come back in the new year with the launch of our a newly designed website. This new site will be the first public manifestation of our partnership with the Jacobin Foundation. We tried to hold back the date we start publishing again until the new site was finished, but some technical glitches with the launch meant that we can’t wait any longer. All things equal, we should have a new website within the next couple of weeks.” It would take another four months when we debuted the new design.

You can go read that post again, here. It stands as a kind of manifesto for how we have approached our work for a while.

The new site finally launched in May. We now had new clothes. In the post announcing the change managing editor, Boima Tucker, and I wrote:

The title of the project, when Sean started it in 2009, signaled our rejection of familiar myths and tropes that continue to frame discourse about the continent. Africa Is a Country wanted to challenge, reclaim and reframe these media images and debates with a powerful, self-confident and unashamedly African perspective. It wanted to also be irreverent and playful. We hope to continue translating scholarly debates and high-level political and cultural analyses into accessible language.

This was also the year when we promoted Oumar Ba, on the faculty of Morehouse College in Atlanta, to the editorial board, and introduced a host of new contributing editors: Anakwa Dwamena, Benjamin Fogel, Samar Al-Bulushi, Lina Benabdullah, Maria Hengeveld, George Kibala Bauer, Sarah El-Shaarawi and Noah Tsika.

Finally, we added one more copy editor, Kangsen Wakai, a Cameroonian writer. He joins Andrea Meeson who has been with us for a while. Together with Boima, and myself, we think we have a good handle on things.

The final word goes to one of our readers, who opined on our Facebook page:

If you want to understand more about world, its cultures and politics, the effect far off places have on you and you on far off places, this is a great source of information. If not, you’re probably not very interesting.

We published a lot of posts this year. To catch up on the big themes, here are the ten most popular posts from a year that featured a World Cup, a worldwide resurgence of White Supremacy and a live action manifestation of Wakanda (our top ten was almost exclusively made up of these three topics so we added just the top post from each):

  1. Fear of a Black France (from our World Cup series)
  2. I have a problem with Black Panther (from our Black Panther series)
  3. Searching for white genocide in South Africa (on worldwide white supremacy)
  4. Sergio Ramos and the Egyptians
  5. When Tiffany Haddish went to Eritrea
  6. Being Coloured and Indian in South Africa after Apartheid
  7. The New South Africa’s original state capture
  8. Dambisa Moyo is wrong about the global economy—here’s why
  9. The Afghanistan-ization of Africa
  10. Sex crimes, evangelism and the collective guilt of American intervention in Africa

Happy new year!

Further Reading

Blind to the matatus

The future of Kenya’s matatus (commuter buses) and their inherent place in the capital Nairobi’s culture and society, is all but absent in the government’s neoliberal vision for urban planning.