The Africanists

Insights. Comments. Thoughts. Analysis. Africa.

Life style audits in Kenya a good idea to fight corruption

By Willy Mutunga

Lifestyle audits of state/public officers is a great idea. Our political elites are never short of great ideas. In every great idea coming from them we must always ask the attendant question, namely, is there political will and commitment to implement the idea or is the idea yet another example of political distraction from what ails our nation?

In a public statement in May this year President Kenyatta told the nation there would a lifestyle audit that would begin with him followed by the Deputy President. Who would oppose such a great idea? I do not recall anybody who did.

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Leaders in Africa disappointed me- Jan Pronk

Jan Pronk(Photo Petterik Wiggers)

The time has come for Johannes Pieter Pronk’s memoirs. After surviving a major heart attack last year, the former Dutch development minister, born in 1940, feels as if every new day is a bonus for him. At his home in The Hague he whips through reports of his many diplomatic encounters and does that with with the same strict discipline as he showed as minister. Some of these meetings took place in presidential palaces but many were with guerrilla fighters along the Nile or desperate Rwandans deep in the Congolese jungle. His first volume is called “Battle of the Great Lakes”, and it focusses on the crises in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo during the nineties.

Pronk was always helpful towards journalists during his working visits. I often travelled with him, but one never really got to know him. Pronk always came across as an intellectual, not an emotional person. The latter only very occasionally, very briefly. We were once flying to Northern Kenya when suddenly the windows were covered with thick black slurry. The pilot warned us he might have to crash-land. After a successful emergency landing, unloading ourselves while peeing side by side on the runway, I heard some emotion in Pronk’s voice. “Life is certainly worth living,” he sighed. But a few minutes later, when the pilot had screwed the cap on the oil tank, he sounded distant again: “Luckily I’m am still in time for the parliamentary debate tomorrow.”

Jan Pronk(Photo Petterik Wiggers)

Read further:

-How Kofi Annan let Pronk down

-How Pronk in vain asked Kagame not to hurt a dissident minister

-How Meles Zenawi wanted to do his masters with Pronk on the subject of human rights 

All pictures of Jan Pronk and Kofi Annan by Petterik Wiggers  {read more…}

Grand handshakes in Kenya reconfirm the interest of the political elite

When things go wrong. Aftermath of election in 2018(Photo Ilona Eveleens in Kisumu)

By Willy Mutunga

The handshake between President Uhuru and Raila Odinga on March 09, 2018 was not the first of baronial handshakes we have seen nor will it be the last. But the last of them will be when an alternative political leadership that can imagine our freedom and emancipation takes the reins of political power in our country.

“When Baba told us he was leading us to Canaan we did not know he meant the Office of the President!” one Kenyan tweeted, expressing the views held by many including public intellectuals who did not see this turn of events coming.

Hitherto, the narrative had been that the National Super Alliance (NASA) was the lesser of the two political evils, but the truth is they are both pawns in the hands of the imperialisms of the West and East. Indeed, their shared vision of looting the country can never set them apart.
However, I believe the swearing-in of Raila Odinga as the People’s President on January 30, 2018, is the straw that broke the camel’s back. The ceremony confirmed Odinga as a leader of the new national opposition with a following to be reckoned with. Proving he had the capacity to mobilise millions could not be taken lightly or ignored.
I saw a clear parallel from the past when Jaramogi Odinga resurrected our hopes of fighting the Moi-KANU dictatorship and the heralding of the so-called second liberation. Speaking in Bondo in his trademark shrill voice he warned Moi: “Moi-i-i-i, you do not have the title deeds to Kenya.”

 

I believe the current Jubilee dictatorship saw this too and negotiations started soon after with meetings booked in order to “maintain the peace”. Apparently, the staff at the Office of the President who saw Odinga walk in feared he had decided to physically evict President Uhuru from his official seat!

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“What an irony that Ethiopia is now the last country in Africa to become democratic” – Eskinder Nega

Eskinder Nega is tense. The Ethiopian journalist travels next week to meet his eleven-year-old son Nafkot in the United States after being in captivity in Ethiopia for six years. That makes him nervous, because he barely knows his son. Nafkot was born in prison in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, when his father and mother […]

How foreign aid has become unwanted

Photo Petterik Wiggers Immediately upon arrival in the South Sudanese capital Juba, the sight of white relief workers is overwhelming. At the airport there are long rows of white-painted aid aircrafts and helicopters, from the United Nations, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. In the city one gets stuck in traffic jams of four-wheel-drive […]

The difficulty of South Sudan’s transition to statehood

By Peter Adwok Nyaba South Sudan has gone from Arab to Dinka domination. The dire situation may vindicate those who had doubted the ability of the Southern Sudanese to govern themselves. However, I am convinced that it is not about the people of South Sudan failing to govern themselves; rather, it is the political leadership […]

This is our home, say the Sengwer

The dilemma whether an indigenous people can live in a forest that is a water catchment area, stares you in the face in the Embobut forest in the west of Kenya. There are only tufts left, while it harbours the source for a river that is important for a large part of Western Kenya. The […]

Africa – The long view

  Why did European countries take over of Africa? Was it inevitable? What might have been if they had agreed to establish diplomatic and trading relations with African rulers? What was Africa like then? What glimpses do we have from the first outsider? I have just finished reading a little known book by Verney Lovett […]

South Sudan: crying in despair

Nyaruch Kuon anxiously holds the stick that her granddaughter used to lead her through a war zone to the primary school in Akobo. After a week of wandering, the old woman sinks down to the ground in a classroom between other displaced people. She wildly rubs her dull eyes on her wrinkled face. “I cried […]

Death eroticizes the senses and erodes the norms at the frontline

A reflection on the Oxfam scandal The area around the NGO worker’s tent is littered with cigarette butts, his sleeping mat surrounded with half-eaten food remains. Every day he eats beans and smokes two packs of cigarettes. His body is covered in tattoos. He does a lot of talking and does not listen much. I […]

The Last Male Standing

Panting from the heat he lies in a pool of mud. Bubbles of air emerge from his derriere, caused by the fermented food in his stomach, and deep sighs escape from his large nostrils. Sudan is already 44 years old, a considerable age for a rhinoceros. “Just a little while and he will be dead,” […]

Military superpowers try to elbow each other out in Djibouti and China is winning

On the island of Mouchas, an hour sailing from the mainland of Djibouti, lie the remains of pirate tombs. They date from the 19th century. Already then pirates were a threat to cargo ships in the busy Red Sea lane as they brought their treasures to this coral island. In the blue-green sea container ships with […]

A tribute to the rains

The pungent smell of raindrops in the dust after a long drought can make a Kenyan lyrical. There is a cacophony of mating sounds in the kraals of nomads where they live with their cattle. Sexually aroused donkeys keep the Samburu’s awake. It is raining heavily in Kenya; nature is reborn and every animal wants […]

When police start throwing stones

When policemen become rioters. This picture in the Kenyan Standard of the 20th of November shows it all. On that day the Supreme court declined two petitions to nullify the 26th of October repeat elections, won by sitting president Uhuru Kenyatta with 98 percent of the vote. The opposition under Raila Odinga refused to participate. […]

Dutch University Slanders Genocide Hero

Samuel, one of the witnesses, showing the names of murdered family members in the genocide memorial in Mugonero Photo by Elley Ho Text by Jos van OIJEN Wolfgang Blam saved lives during the genocide in Rwanda, while the rest of the world looked the other way. This hero is now depicted as a charlatan by […]

A democratic muddle

It appeared to be a relapse to 1966, the year in which the democracy in Uganda was given a farewell. The Ugandan army last week surrounded the parliament in Kampala to influence a debate about whether president Museveni, after having been in power for more than 31 years, would rule forever. The last time the […]

Hands off the Judiciary! Will the Kenyan elite ever grow up?

By Willy Mutunga, Former Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court The Kenyan elite and its variants in the political, corporate (licit and illicit), civil society, media, intelligentsia and the diaspora, need to grow up and cease their superficial dramas and look past their noses to see that their theatrics have far-wide reaching consequences […]

How fear and violence became part of elections in Kenya

Women of the Nandi and the Luo no longer want to wash their clothes together in the River of Lions, the river dividing their tribal areas. Because of the forthcoming elections, tensions between their tribes have risen to boiling point. “I see signs of violence,” says Atieno Atito, teacher in the village of Kopere on […]

All about Self-Liberation

by Dawit Mesfin I have a friend who served as a British soldier during WWII whose stories I find quite fascinating. In fact, I have made it a habit to meet him every other day during my coffee breaks at the British Library in London. Listening to the stories of his youth, when he was […]

Delivering justice is not the job of activists and journalists. Revisiting the Rusatira Affair

By Jos van Oijen The arrest then release of Colonel Rusatira is often held up as an example of false accusations against genocide suspects. But a new look at the evidence raises the possibility that justice was not served but obstructed. For the United Nations, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda will always […]

God has lost the key to make rain in Turkana

A dark cloud emerges above the cruel landscape of sand, stones, rocks and thorny bushes. On the plains as dry as cardboard live the last hardened cattle nomads. “The pattern of the blood vessels on the intestines of a goat we slaughtered yesterday show that there are still a few showers coming”, the tribal elder […]

Eritrea: Woldeab Woldemariam, even after death they tried to silence him

Woldeab Woldemariam, a Visionary Eritrean Patriot, Biography By Dawit Mesfin Now I know why a monument has been erected for Alexander Pushkin, the renowned Russian poet, in the heart of Asmara, while the country’s first independence campaigner, one who co-fathered Eritrea alongside Ibrahim Sultan and other nationalists of the 1940s, is brushed aside. Although my primary […]

New tactics of Nigerian army drives Boko Haram away but keeps the population hostage

The helicopter lands on a field that is littered with bullets. We have arrived in Gwoza, an area in northeastern Nigeria where only military vehicles can safely reach the cities. In the surrounding countryside, the militias of the Boko Haram terrorist group still prevail. Mostly women live in Gwoza. Their husbands were forced to remain […]

Fighting against the demons created by Boko Haram

kF Fatima Akilu Violent memories rage in their heads, as if possessed by demons. Every night Amina, a young woman, falls into a deep hole. Because two years ago she saw the way her father was beheaded by Boko Haram. She ran away, dragging the headless body and her baby on her back. But in […]

The child captives of Boko Haram: “Suddenly we were all alone”

We agreed to meet at the zoo in Maiduguri. There, the two girls aged nine and seventeen and the thirteen-year-old boy feel comfortable talking about their captivity under Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist group which in eight years killed an estimated 20,000 civilians and drove millions more from their homes. The face of the nine-year-old […]

  The Ultra Nationalist Youth Wing of the Eritrean Government’s Party Affronted in the Netherlands By Dawit Mesfin The youth wing of the ruling party of Eritrea had a plan to hold a European wide conference in Veldhoven , the Netherlands from the 13th to 17th of April, 2017. However, Eritrean activists successfully launched an […]

Pygmies: How the oldest people of the world became the poorest of the poorest

Winding rivers make their way through the rainforest. A fisherman casts his net into the steaming brown stream. “U-aah, u-aah” comes from the river’s edge, primal sounds of the Pygmies in the jungle. This is one of oldest communities in Africa, dating from the times when people lived solely by hunting and gathering plants. The […]

Etnic backlash may desintegrate South Sudan in ungovernable places

By Peter Adwok Nyaba The legendary riddle of ‘chicken and egg’ corroborates the current realities of South Sudan civil war, whose effects have rendered irrelevant its causes and triggers, but at the same time have left the culprits, the victims and the mediators bewildered. The absence of policy tools to address the crisis left the […]

Is nature conservation in Africa ‘a big white lie’

  Colorful butterflies flutter in the few rays of sunlight that penetrate the bottom of the humid jungle. At a water hole where two days ago poachers killed a forest elephant the stench of rotting flesh fills in the air. The biological cycle is particularly fast here; the poached animal has already for the most […]

‘One day there will be an uprising in Kenya. Things have to change’

Robert ‘Rowbow’ Ochola(Photo Petterik Wiggers) Introduction: With a new constitution since 2010 and with social media as a new tool for communication, Kenyan politics has been re-energised. But tribes and old political blocks still dominate the political discourse. Will there be space for young and independent candidates in the general election in August? Robert ‘Rowbow’ […]

We must not give up on revolutionary optimism in Kenya

Introduction: Kenyan former chief justice Willy Mutunga speaks out. “We must not give up on revolutionary optimism”, he warns in this piece. Since a new and progressive constitution was promulgated in 2010, reactionary forces try to undermine it. But “the struggle to implement the progressive vision of this Constitution continues today”. Mutunga praises devolution, which […]

The invading cows can’t be stopped anymore

The gate stands wide open and the fence is destroyed on this normally heavily guarded farm. At the entrance there are some empty cartridges. No landowner can resist the invasion of the mooing cows and the government seems powerless. The stubborn cattle nomads of Kenya show their strength originating from an archaic past, when they […]

Gambia, a country of slaves, sex tourism, alcohol and peanuts

Tens of thousands of European tourists come to Gambia annually, while thousands of Gambians leave for Europe illegally. The number of Dutch tourists in particular is large. “Would the Dutch and British holidaymakers stay away, then the economy goes kaput,” says Marc van Maldegem, manager of the Kombo beach hotel near the capital Banjul. Welcome […]

Jammeh left in dignity leaving his tormented victims behind

Jammeh left with dignity, leaving his tormented victims behind

Only a strong judiciary can guarantee progress in 2017

Only a strong judiciary can guarantee progress

Can robots in Congo bring order where humans fail?

Congo river at Kinshasa facing Brazaville The Botswana diplomat politely presents his passport at Kinshasa airport. He is startled when the customs official slaps it down on the desk with a bang. “That is a false visa. Come with me to the police.” Forged visas are indeed issued by corrupt employees working at Congolese embassies […]

The pearls in the mud of Congo

Filimbi and Lucha are the Pearls inof the Congolese mud

The revolution that consumed so many of us

By Dawit Mesfin Book review DELIVERANCE: A Tale of Colliding Passions and the Muse of Forgiveness A Historical Novel by Bereket Habte Selassie The story Dr Bereket Habte Selassie presents in his latest book is about the tumultuous era during which I lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I can say that I found it, partly, […]

The threat of genocide

The discourse about South Sudan these days is whether a genocide is in the making. The discussion is not about politics, not about power struggles, and certainly not about the development of the country. More and more horrors are being reported. Tribal hatred boils over. Genocide requires a good organization, as was the case in […]

Once more thousands threatened by drought in Kenya

In traffic this morning a mighty bull caught up with me. The throbbing cars were soon surrounded by skinny beasts, a long tongue licked salt from my side mirror. The open window at times let the sweet aroma of cow dung in, until a swirling cloud of dust made me to close the window. Once […]

Let the horror begin

“Let the horror begin”. That may be a good summary of the reactions in Africa regarding the victory of Donald Trump. Where Obama was Africa’s hero, Trump is seen as a racist. My shocked sister in law jokingly but with a serious undertone said she expects me to send a rapid intervention force from Kenya […]

How Eritrean revolution produced an undemocratic and closed society

By Dawit Mesfin The book is an attempt to unravel why this small country with such a rich cultural heritage turned into one of the most repressive and secretive states in Africa. By covering its three distinct eras – colonial, armed struggle, and post-independence – the book presents the history that has unfolded over the […]

War is better than a bad peace

War is better than a bad peace, writes Peter Adwok Nyaba. He is a  long standing South Sudanese intellectual, former minister of Higher Education and now a collaborator of opposition leader Riëk Machar. In this article he lashes out at the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), a tribal organisation which hijacked the liberation struggle against […]

Eritrea has become a catastrophe

By Abraham Zere, head of Pen Eritrea It initially sounded like a joke; gradually it got serious and then tragic. A decade and a half later, it is catastrophe. Fifteen years ago on 18 September, 2001, fellow students of University of Asmara and I were confined in two labour camps, GelAlo and Wi’A, for defying […]

Fifteen years ago, a deadly silence descended on Eritrea

  The Eritrean exile Dawit Mesfin is a bitter man. “There is no news at all of the prisoners”, he says from London. “They have totally been isolated in secret detention since their arrest fifteen years ago. That is an extremely cruel measure against Eritreans who sacrificed everything for the liberation of their country”. Mesfin […]

South Sudanese run away from their new nation

A small van from South Sudan enters Uganda with a group of refugees. All of them are children. “The South Sudanese army stops the men coming out”, the driver says, “they cannot leave the country”. It’s eleven o’clock in the Ugandan border town of Elegu and four hundred South Sudanese have arrived since sunrise. Since […]

Who tells the African story?

Who tells the African story?

Sugar daddies are on the rise

Rwanda, around Kigali, September 2012 Girls at a private school. They say that all their friends have sugar daddies Photo: Petterik Wiggers/Panos Pictures Boys loiter at their usual hang out on the outskirts of a slum in Nairobi, when an expensive SUV stops. A young woman – flashy dressed, bright lipstick, high heels – walks on […]

Deep rooted historic schism fuels the fighting in South Sudan

Monday 18th of July: After the serious fighting that took place around the fifth independence anniversary of South Sudan on the 9th of July some calm has been restored. But all the parties are sharpening their knives once more. The White Army, traditional Nuer forces, is preparing to march on Juba, former rebel leader and […]

What does Brexit mean for Africa?

Sometimes turkeys do vote for Christmas. And 52% of British voters have just done so. What will it mean for Africa?

The landscape has turned naked and brittle

Every year in Africa fourteen million hectares of forest disappear

A crisis is emerging in the fight against Aids

Drugs used in the fight against Aids are increasingly failing in Africa

How a village in Sierra Leone fought effectively against Ebola long before the aid workers arrived

Villagers in Sierra Leone effectively fought Ebola when the aid workers were not around

Anas Aremeyaw Anas: My anonymity is my strength

Anas Aremeyaw Anas: My anonymity is my strength

Jirmo, a Kenyan game warden who did his masters on the disappearing lions

  Tuqa Jirmo Huqa The lion, a symbol of Africa’s raw wilderness, is disappearing rapidly. The number of lions in Kenya stands at 2000, in the seventies there were 20 000, more than half a century ago 100 000.  Less than 20 000 lions remain in the African wild. Tuqa Jirmo Huqa is the first […]

Countering Violent Extremism: A different perspective

I remember when a group of us would look over the graveyard near our homes in Kariokor, fighting back tears as we mourned yet another friend who had been shot dead in the seemingly endless gun battles between police and gangs in Eastlands. After too many lives lost in Nairobi, with two neighbourhood friends we […]

At least, let us not have amateurs in election rigging

Africans are given to stealing elections, yes, but at least let us do it well and with class.

Museveni has become the very intractable, narrow-minded, authoritarian leader against which he warned

Museveni has become the very intractable, narrow-minded, authoritarian leader against which he warned

Kenya is faced with home-grown muslim extremism

Kenya is faced with home-grown muslim extremism

Kenya has become a “bandit economy”, says Chief Justice Willy Mutunga

Africa is at war with its cartels, says Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice of Kenya

The bathroom of Kenya in trouble: will climate change destroy Kenya’s tea?

The bathroom of Kenya is in trouble: will climate change destroy is Kenya's tea?

Tanzania: Is Magafuli the new anticorruption fighter on the block?

Dr. John Pombe Magufuli’s election in Tanzania in October has sent an electric current through the entire region’s body politick. He was elected as the long serving ruling party’s – Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s – candidate. He promised to get down to kazi (work) immediately. The primary job at hand was as it is for the […]

The pope’s first visit to Africa. Kenyans easily go on their knees

A papal serenity hang in the air. Nairobi became inundated with women with white caps and men with white collars: hundreds of thousands of faithful flocked to the capital for the pope. A usual cynical view of the opportunist Kenyan politics was briefly replaced by a moral worldview. President Uhuru Kenyatta declared in the name […]

After the attack in Mali: will increased aid to the Sahel stop terrorism and migrants?

After the recent attack on the Raddison Blu hotel in Bamako new international focus will be put on the Sahel region. “Security” will have the prioritiy. In that lurk imminent dangers. A terror group led by the Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibiliy for the Raddison siege. The same group attacked the mines of the French […]

Kenyan soccer run by thugs

One of the enduring curiosities of Kenya’s sporting scene has been the inability of our national soccer team Harambee Stars to make a mark on the world stage, despite the country’s sporting prowess in other fields from athletics, to rugby, swimming, rallying, volleyball and lately even some field sports. Clearly the country has the talent […]

The never-ending scandal of the Western Sahara

Forty years ago on the 6th of November, Morocco invaded Western Sahara, a former Spanish colonial possession – mostly made up of desert – in West Africa. As Spain walked away, Morocco claimed the territory as part of its ancient empire. The UN had declared that it was up to the people of the territory […]

A revolution in Maasai land: the great alternative rite of passage

A revolution takes place in Maasai land. At the great alternative rite of passage no blood will flow

Stephen Ellis was a cool observer

       Stephen Ellis who died last week was one of the greatest Africanists of his generation. He was also a great friend to me and my family and also to RAS. He edited African Affairs from 1998 to 2006 bringing several bright young academics to the journal. Stephen was a cool observer of Africa and […]

Stephen Ellis is dead

  In Memoriam Stephen Ellis, 1953-2015 We are very sad to report that Prof. Stephen Ellis died on July 29, 2015. Stephen had leukemia, a disease that first manifested itself three years ago, and was treated effectively until three weeks ago. With great admiration we have seen how Stephen coped with his illness, and until […]

Oboma, welcome to Kenya, but be aware

Oboma is coming to Kenya.

Western Mali, where migration is a religion

In the Kayes region of Western Mali migration has becoome a religion

How Al Shabaab tears apart Kenya

The two towns belong to the same County in northeastern Kenya. Coastal Lamu town with its Muslim population, and the inland Mpeketoni which is predominantly Christian. Only fifty kilometers lies between these two towns, but what really separates them is the deep chasm of misunderstanding, distrust and jealousy that tears them apart. The terror movement […]

Information on birth control from the pulpit

They call themselves the male champions. The five ministers from the poor area of Kayole in Nairobi have a double meaning for their name tag. They see themselves as champions in spreading information about family planning. “And we are champions because we all had a vasectomy. We believe that we should not only provide information […]

South Sudan: The hope of a better future lost

 The school in Pilieny(Photo Petterik Wiggers) Game Dock had run out of school exercise books for his students some months ago.  He is a teacher at a village school in Pilieny. “Can you miss a few leaves from your notebook,” begs one boy. The children are seated in the rubble remains of their looted primary […]

In the fight against Shabaab Kenya’s leaders must take their minds off their bank balances, show compassion for the victims and understand the enemy

In the fight against Shabaab Kenya’s leaders must take their minds off their bank balances, show compassion for the victims and understand the enemy

The Bible says that Jesus died for the sins of mankind but here in Kenya 147 young people have died because of the sins of the Country. It would be unwise to generalize and blame the whole Nation but they died because of the sinful nature of the government, some radicalized citizens and sympathizers from […]

Nigeria: The most important elections of the decade

This election last weekend in Nigeria is the most important African event of the decade. The ‘Africa Rising’ story can only continue if the continent’s biggest economy is stable and its rulers can transform the lives of its 174 million people, as well as the region and the entire continent. The choice is stark. Africa […]

Said Samatar, a Somali icon dies

Said Samatar, who died last week, explained Somalia. A brilliant scholar he used words like swords and clubs wielded with speed and skill to skewer or batter his audience. Not just a Somali expert, but a true exponent of the Somali way: attack first and fast and only concede or retreat as tactical ways of […]

A child soldier who became a monster

A child soldier who became a monster. Does he deserve punishment or is atonement the way to go? Dominic Ongwen made his first appearance before the ICC on the 26th of January 2015

The lessons to be learned about fighting ebola

The fight against ebola has been addressed incorrectly. What are the lessons to be learned?

Je suis Nigeria

If writers and cartoonists use the power of their pens to attack and mock the sincerely held beliefs of the poor and voiceless in society who cannot reply, that is not just mean, it is unjust.

Kenya shoots itself in the foot with new security law

A "anti terrorism law" was adopted by the Kenyan parlaiment at the end of 2014. It is a law againgst Kenyans

Give value to the spirits in the fight against ebola

Only the people themselves can stop new infections, but do the fighters agains ebola listen enough to them?

Fear without borders: You are brain-fucking me

Fear of ebola: you are brain-fucking me

Lest We Forget The Hundreds Of Thousands Who Perished In SALVA KIIR’S Juba Genocide!!

Lest we forget, it is now time the people of South Sudan took the initiative. It is no longer the issue of Salva Kiir; it is the country and the nation at stake.

A recession in democracy in Kenya and beyond

There is a recession in democracy and human rights in Kenya and beyond

Albinos:tortured by the sun and hunted in the shade

  The Maasai boy Molle in 2009 and in 2014 A long high wall shields students of the elementary school Mwerereni from the cruel world outside. It is necessary because 35 out of its 620 student population are albinos. “That wall protects us from witchdoctors who want to chop albinos into body parts,” says the […]

Little evidence of ‘Africa Rising’ in Index of African Governance

Next time you pick up a glossy document from one of the global consultancy companies promoting investment opportunities in Africa, count the number of times the word ‘could’ appears. Also the phrase “potential to become…”. These global megafirms, whose word is life or death to small countries, give the impression that Africa has only just […]

Nigerian Yoruba offer unique glimpse of religious tolerance

Nigeria is often in the headlines because of religious conflicts that have cost thousands their lives and displaced many more.  The extremism contrasts with the religious tolerance among the Yoruba, the largest ethnic group in the country. A perfect and common example is the Koiki family.  Eight brothers and sisters are spread over six belief […]

Battle against islamism brings back international real politics to Africa

Increasingly the way in which the global battle against Islamism is being fought will trump the values for which the West proclaims to stand in Africa.

What West Africa can learn from earlier outbreaks of ebola in East Africa

From ealier outbreaks of ebola in East Africa lessons can be learned

Africa’s reliable disappointments: Football

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is over and as the fever dies in the rest of the World, congratulations are in order for the Germans who emerged the champions. They indeed have proved that like their BMW’s and Mercedes, their machines if well oiled, can deliver wonders. As the curtains are brought down and focus […]

One hundred years on, we must not forget Africa’s role in the First World War

One hundred years ago this week, self regarding, ignorant and weak leaders with the primitive belief that God was on their side, ancient tribal hatreds and total disregard for human life, combined to make decisions that killed an estimated 16 million people and wounded at least 20 million. These decisions wrecked the lives of millions […]

Has Kenya Destroyed the ICC?

The body blows dealt by Nairobi to the ICC have human rights groups questioning whether the court can -- or should -- prosecute atrocities in South Sudan and other African states.

South Sudan: extremely poor or ridiculously rich

Surrounded by a series of blue and red suitcases two young women check in for the flight to the South Sudanese capital Juba. Their suitcases are of an expensive brand and their clothing is pricey too. The luggage weighs much heavier than the free baggage allowance but unlike other passengers, they do not plead for […]

Aging African leaders should make space for the younger generation

It is time for the aging leaders to make space for the younger generation

South Sudan: The mothers of Bentiu burry their children

The white hospital tents are surrounded by a puree of mud, shit and waste. Latrines nearby spill over and children splash in a lake with waste water of foreign aid workers. Inside the tents children scream and mothers wail. Nora Echaibi, dressed in wellington boots, gives a tour of what they here call a hospital, a […]

Instability in Kenya: The Perfect Storm

Infighting in the Jubilee government of president Uhuru Kenyatta and lack of security will bring heavy wheather for Kenya

Football: God does not Love Africa!

Every four years the World is treated to a congregation that the United Nations, all Religions and Politicians are enviable of. This is a meeting of hearts and souls from all corners of the World congregating in a Country to witness and be part of the Football World Cup celebrations. The FIFA World Cup is […]

The war against terror in Kenya could turn into a success for al Shabaab

The war on illegal immigrants and against terror in Kenya seem to target the Somali community. It could backfire

A genocide that never ends

Rwanda, two decades later: "Only when you feel you are being respected and trusted, can you begin to feel free. Then you see a meaning in life."

Is Someone Trying To Kill Devolution?

We’ve tried everything else – Let's try devolution next. Oh, wait, much better: let's pretend, and then kill it.

Chaos, chaos everywhere in Central African Republic

Koert Lindijer returns to the village of Zèré, where in November he saw how Christians had been attacked and slain by Muslim gangs. Now the roles are reversed. Amidst the rubble of the destroyed mosque of Zèré, in the middle of the Central African Republic, kids make mockery of the Muslim mode of praying. They […]