Ep89. Ufahamu Africa hosts discuss African government responses to COVID-19

This week’s brief episode focuses on what our hosts — Kim Yi Dionne and Rachel Beatty Riedl — are reading and learning related to the COVID-19 pandemic and responses by African governments. There is a lot that has already been written and we share what we think are some important questions and arguments that we as scholars of pandemics and authoritarian politics think our listeners should be thinking about.

Did we miss something important? Email us your ideas for episodes that will expand our audience’s understanding of African citizens and states navigating this pandemic. … More Ep89. Ufahamu Africa hosts discuss African government responses to COVID-19

Ep87. A conversation with Marja Hinfelaar on Zambian politics, environment and energy, and more

This week’s episode has a brief newswrap because co-host Rachel Beatty Riedl had to phone in from Morocco. We quickly cover the World Bank-African Development Bank spat, the plague of locusts in East Africa, and more.

This week’s conversation is with Marja Hinfelaar, Director of Research and Programs at the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) in Lusaka, Zambia. Marja received her PhD in History in 2001 from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, and her dissertation focused on the history of women’s organizations in Zimbabwe. She is the co-editor of One Zambia, Many Histories and Democracy and Electoral Politics in Zambia. Rachel spoke with Marja when she was in Zambia earlier this year. They discuss Zambian politics, environment and energy, religious and traditional leaders, and more. Their conversation begins at 9:56.  … More Ep87. A conversation with Marja Hinfelaar on Zambian politics, environment and energy, and more

Ep86f. A conversation with Moïses Williams Pokam Kamdem about Africa’s energy sector, Cameroon’s political history, and more [FRENCH VERSION]

[FRENCH VERSION] In our second episode this Black History Month, Rachel speaks with Moïses WIlliams Pokam Kamdem, a lecturer and research at the University of Dschang and a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Nantes, France. They talk about Africa’s energy sector, Cameroon’s political history, and more. Their conversation begins at 14:01.

Our news wrap covers the recent court ruling in Malawi nullifying the presidential election, the US travel restrictions imposed on Nigerians, the NYT photographic retrospective and collection of essays on 60 years of African independence, and more. … More Ep86f. A conversation with Moïses Williams Pokam Kamdem about Africa’s energy sector, Cameroon’s political history, and more [FRENCH VERSION]

Ep86. A conversation with Moïses Williams Pokam Kamdem about Africa’s energy sector, Cameroon’s political history, and more

In our second episode this Black History Month, Rachel speaks with Moïses WIlliams Pokam Kamdem, a lecturer and research at the University of Dschang and a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Nantes, France. They talk about Africa’s energy sector, Cameroon’s political history, and more. Their conversation begins at 14:01.

Our news wrap covers the recent court ruling in Malawi nullifying the presidential election, the US travel restrictions imposed on Nigerians, the NYT photographic retrospective and collection of essays on 60 years of African independence, and more. … More Ep86. A conversation with Moïses Williams Pokam Kamdem about Africa’s energy sector, Cameroon’s political history, and more

Ep84. A Lunar New Year conversation with Jamie Monson on China-Africa relations, seeing technology from the user perspective, and more

To commemorate Lunar New Year, this week’s episode focuses on China-Africa relations. In the news wrap, we talk about China-Africa trade, some recommended reads and a podcast on China-Africa, as well as Russia-Africa relations, reports of an extended US travel ban for some African countries, Isabel Dos Santos’s Angolan assets seizure, and more. 

Our featured conversation is with Jamie Monson (@jmonson1), Professor of History and Director of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University (@MSUAfrica). Her research focuses on Chinese development assistance to Africa. She is a specialist on the TAZARA railway, a development project built in Tanzania and Zambia with Chinese development cooperation in the 1970s. We talk about her book, Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania, and her related documentary, TAZARA stories. The new documentary film relies on oral history interviews to share people’s experiences with the introduction of the TAZARA railway. We also talk about seeing technology from the user’s perspective and inequalities in academic partnerships across regions. The segment with Jamie Monson begins at 13:42.  … More Ep84. A Lunar New Year conversation with Jamie Monson on China-Africa relations, seeing technology from the user perspective, and more

Ep83. A conversation with Yvonne Owuor on development, politics, storytelling, and more

We begin this week’s news wrap with a discussion of some of the best literature of the decade – thanks to a curated list by African Arguments – and we are extremely fortunate to feature one of these authors in this episode, Yvonne Owuor. Kim and Rachel also chat about films, China in Africa, cocoa price coordination in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, and a call for applicants to the next meeting of the Working Group in African Political Economy.

Yvonne Owuor is an acclaimed author, winning the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2003 for her short story, The Weight of Whispers, and short-listed for the Folio Prize for her novel Dust (2014).  She has recently published a beautiful coming-of-age story, The Dragonfly Sea (2019), that explores aspects of East African sea imagination in a time of China’s return to its milieu.  Owuor received the (Kenya) Head of State Commendation in 2016 for her cultural and artistic contributions.  Rachel sat down with Yvonne at the Institute for Advanced Study in Nantes, where they are both Fellows, to discuss literary journeys, the “development industry,” Kenyan politics, and a global, historical, and encompassing view on transregional exchange. Our featured segment with Yvonne begins at 11:22.  … More Ep83. A conversation with Yvonne Owuor on development, politics, storytelling, and more

Ep82f. A conversation with Kako Nubukpo on the franc CFA, development, elections, and more [FRENCH VERSION]

[FRENCH VERSION] Welcome back, Ufahamu Africa listeners! Kim and Rachel begin this week’s episode discussing the news, opening up with developments with the franc CFA, some excellent reporting on Ebola in DRC, security in the Sahel, and more.

This week’s guest is Kako Nubukpo (@kakonubukpo), a Senior Research Fellow at the Agricultural Research Centre of International Development (CIRAD) in Paris and currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Nantes. He was formerly a minister in Togo for long-term planning. For this week’s interview, he and Rachel spoke about the franc CFA and what proposed changes (some of which have since their interview come to fore) could mean for West African countries. They also use the occasion of Togo’s upcoming elections to talk about elections, development, and agriculture more broadly. Their conversation was recorded in French. Their segment begins at 11:44. … More Ep82f. A conversation with Kako Nubukpo on the franc CFA, development, elections, and more [FRENCH VERSION]