We hope you enjoyed this weekend’s episode with economist Souleymane Soumahoro. He mentions two books during our conversation: Todd Moss’s (@) Minute Zero and Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. We also chat about research by Nathan Nunn (@) and Kimuli Kasara. See especially Kasara’s “Tax me if you can” paper and Nunn’s paper with Leonard Wantchekon that shows the legacy of the slave trade on mistrust in contemporary Africa.
Here’s a list of what we’re reading and learning from the continent this week:
Kenya opened its first new railway in a century! The train runs from the port city of Mombassa to the capital: Nairobi. Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta believes this to be “a new chapter in the country’s history.”
For all the football fans out there: African champions Zambia has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Under-20 World Cup after defeating Germany 4-3 in extra time. The Chipolopolo boys will take on Italy Monday night in South Korea and we wish them well. Who will Peter Alegi (@futbolprof) root for in that match, given his Italian roots and admiration of the Chipolopolo spirit in Zambia? We chatted w/Dr. Alegi about soccer and politics in Africa during Episode #3, recorded during the African Cup of Nations.
President Yoweri Museveni has launched an investigation on the disappearance of ivory from a government strong room in Uganda: 1.3 tons of ivory that has been missing from Uganda’s Wildlife Authority since November of 2014.
Check out this film review by George Kibala Bauer (@gfkkb) in Africa is a Country for Maman Colonelle, a documentary filmed in Kisangani, the third largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The film follows Congolese policewoman, Honorine Munyole, who runs a special police unit for the protection of women and children. The review in part of a series of film reviews AIAC is doing ahead of the Encounters International Documentary Festival taking place right now in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Watch the trailer for Maman Colonelle:
Umaru Fofana wrote a great piece in the BBC this week about inter-Africa travel. In it, he chronicles the complicated itinerary he had to take to get from Sierra Leone to Gambia. The capital cities are only 400 miles apart, which typically translates into an hour long plane ride, but there is no direct flight between Freetown and Banjul and the fastest itinerary actually goes through Belgium — yes, Europe. Of course, that’s also the most expensive route.
Read this super-long, deeply reported story about the life and files of a British scientist working in Somalia on climate change during conflict.
There have been protests in Morocco and this piece in Al Jazeera English — Making sense of recent protests in Morocco — by Kenza Oumlil, faculty in Communication and Gender at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. can get you up to speed.