Ep. 103: A conversation with Cyril Obi of the African Peacebuilding Network

Joining us in conversation this week is Cyril Obi, program director of the African Peacebuilding Network, to talk with Rachel about the geopolitics of oil in Africa, his work with the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program, and the great work of the African Peacebuilding Network.

And if you’re still looking for gifts for your African studies friends, check out this week’s news wrap where Kim and Rachel share the books we should be reading. In other news, we talk Ghanian elections, all of the happenings in the Sahel, and Malawi being selected as the country of the year. … More Ep. 103: A conversation with Cyril Obi of the African Peacebuilding Network

Ep. 97: A conversation with Lina Benabdallah on the link between China and Africa

Presidential elections are happening in multiple African countries, where we’re seeing constitutional changes that allow presidents to seek third terms. Kim and Rachel also talk about the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Nigeria, the politics of education access, and a new report on migration in Africa.

This week’s interview features Lina Benabdallah—an expert on China-Africa relations—and the links between China and Africa (plus, her new book!). … More Ep. 97: A conversation with Lina Benabdallah on the link between China and Africa

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