Links this week: new Africa podcasts, media freedom in Tanzania, and more

One of the first things we mentioned in this week’s episode was two new podcasts we thought our listeners would be interested in: On Africa with Travis Adkins (@TravisLAdkins) and Into Africa with Judd Devermont (@JDevermont). Long-time listeners may remember that Judd was on Ufahamu Africa during our first season, when we talked about the Biafran War.

A few book recommendations came up during our conversation with this week’s guest, Professor Anthonia Kalu:

Here are the stories and links featured in our newswrap segment of this week’s episode:

  • The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission plans to create a common currency within the West African Monetary Zone by the year 2020. ECOWAS is also launching a competition among citizens in the region to submit proposals for the name and logo for the proposed single currency for the region, asking for proposals that “symbolise unity and shared cultural and historical values of ECOWAS.”
  • Two staffers of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) were detained by the Tanzanian government last week. Immigration and security officials detained Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo at their hotel in Dar es Salaam then taken to an unknown location and interrogated about their work for several hours. During their detention, Quintal and Mumo’s passports, phones and computers were seized. And while they were detained, someone sent a false tweet from Quintal’s personal Twitter account saying they had been released. The two CPJ staff members have now safely left Tanzania.
  • There is a great piece in African Arguments published last week by Elsie Eyakuze (@MikocheniReport) about what it’s like to be a woman online in Tanzania. The piece’s tagline reads “Tanzanian twitter has lost its chill.” Eyakuze writes that Tanzanian Twitter has become a scary place for women and dissenters. Eyakuze is the writer behind the Mikocheni Report, a blog on politics that unfortunately has been on hiatus since new legislation in Tanzania greatly restricted bloggers. 
  • Ethiopia is set to launch its first earth observatory satellite in September 2019. The satellite will be launched from China while the control and command station will be in Ethiopia. When Ethiopia puts this device into orbit, it will join seven other African countries that have built and launched satellites: South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Morocco, and Kenya, which launched its nano-satellite in May 2018.

And here’s one last bonus link for everyone: Nanjala Nyabola’s (@Nanjala1) book — Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Kenya — is coming out this Wednesday and in case you didn’t already know that, we didn’t want you to have to first hear it on Saturday, during our next episode.


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