This week’s episode featured a long conversation with Dr. Rose Mutiso (@MutisoRose) and Rachel Strohm (@RachelStrohm), co-founders of The Mawazo Institute in Nairobi. Mawazo translates from Swahili to “ideas” and the institute’s broad goal is to support the next generation of African women leaders in knowledge production. Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of Episode 31. As we mentioned in this week’s episode, Mawazo is hiring a program manager—but the deadline is quickly approaching (Weds., Oct. 18).
At the end of each episode, we always ask our guests book recommendations. Rose said that Middlemarch by George Eliot is one of the best books she’s ever read. That there are “many structural changes happening when the book is set” and that she was “struck by how the relevance of this book cuts across time and geography.” Rachel recommended an author—Nnedi Okorafor (@Nnedi), who has been mentioned by previous Ufahamu Africa guests. Rachel said that Okorafor’s books are “beautifully written” and with “incredible world buildings”. She pointed in particular to two series of short novels by Okorafor: the Binti series and the Akata series.
During the conversation, Rachel also mentioned a couple of other programs our listeners might be interested in learning more about:
- AuthorAID is a global network that provides support, mentoring, resources and training for researchers in developing countries.
- The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, which encourages students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue academic careers in political science.
- The “Women Also Know Stuff” Initiative, which is dedicated to promoting the work of women political scientists.
Here are the links from the weekly roundup mentioned in this week’s episode:
- There has been a return of widespread protests across Ethiopia’s Oromia region, when tens of thousands took to the streets calling for regime change and the release of jailed Oromo leaders. I encourage our listeners interested in learning more to check out the Twitter moment aggregating information about the protests that was curated by former Al Jazeera America editor Mohammed Ademo (@OPride).
- There’s some exciting news for African travelers. The African Union has announced that Nigeria will begin issuing visas on arrival for all Africans. Nigeria joins Ghana, Rwanda, Mauritius, and the Seychelles, who already issue visas on arrival to all African passport holders.
- Some other really good news: The New York Times reported this week that drug makers are going to make cancer drugs more accessible in African countries. Under a new agreement, pharma giants Pfizer and Cipla have promised to charge rock-bottom prices for 16 essential cancer treatment medications. According to a press release from the American Cancer Society issued earlier this year, the program will begin in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
And here are some bonus links that there wasn’t time to mention during this week’s episode:
- The electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) says its next election—which should have happened in 2016 when President Joseph Kabila’s mandate ran out—will be delayed until 2019.
- Separatist movements in Nigeria (Biafra) and Cameroon (English-speaking areas) gain momentum.
- Some of the economists are real mad about this one: For Dignity and Development, East Africa Curbs Used Clothes Imports
- Finally, I spent all of Friday at Digital Africas, a symposium organized by my colleague at Amherst College Rhonda Cobham Sander. I was lucky to meet Moses Kilolo (managing editor of Jalada Africa), Dami Ajayi (a founder of Saraba Magazine), and a few other folks doing cool work in this space. I leave you with the last slide of the keynote address by Prof. Akin Adesokan of Indiana University: