Ep. 115: A conversation with Robtel Neajai Pailey on citizenship and Liberia

Robtel Neajai Pailey is a writer, activist, and academic whose recent book engages with the topic of citizenship in Africa, especially in Liberia. She joins Rachel for a great conversation about her work, the scholar-activists who influence and inspire her, and how to make our work ethical, emancipatory, and accessible. We conducted this interview on the sidelines of the 52nd Annual Liberian Studies Association conference, hosted by Cornell University’s Institute of African Development.

In the news wrap, Kim and Rachel talk about academic freedom in Zambia, the corruption trial in South Africa against its former president, and legal challenges surrounding closings of Kenyan refugee camps, and Twitter’s move to Ghana. … More Ep. 115: A conversation with Robtel Neajai Pailey on citizenship and Liberia

Ep. 98: A conversation between Patrick Mbullo Owuor and Denielle Elliott

In the news this week: #EndSARS, elections in Tanzania, and more. Kim and Rachel put these events into context and share what you need to know.

This week’s interview features guest host Patrick Mbullo Owuor in conversation with Denielle Elliott about KEMRI, Elliott’s new research, and more! … More Ep. 98: A conversation between Patrick Mbullo Owuor and Denielle Elliott

Ep90. A conversation with George Ogola about African media, unchecked political power, and more

We start this week’s episode discussing the swarm of locusts wreaking havoc in East Africa, how COVID-19 will push the African region into its first recession in a quarter century, and the long term consequences of the pandemic for democracy and rights. 

Our featured guest this week is Dr. George Ogola (@Ogolah), a scholar of media in the global south at the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Journalism, Media, and Performance. Kim and George discuss African media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the media’s role in checking political power, and the “pockets of indiscipline” where citizens can access quality reporting that has evaded state power. His segment begins at 11:53. … More Ep90. A conversation with George Ogola about African media, unchecked political power, 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

Ep79. A conversation with Ken Opalo about political institutions, public goods, and more

In the newswrap this week, we talk about Nigeria fact-checking, Botswana’s elections, terrorist attacks in West Africa, and more. This week’s featured conversation is with Ken Opalo (@kopalo), an Assistant Professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He talks about his newly published book, Legislative Development in Africa: Politics and Postcolonial Legacies. Long-time listeners might recall that Ken was on the show back in 2017, ahead of the Kenyan elections. Have a listen to Rachel’s conversation with Ken about his book and about his next project, which examines government provision of public goods, like health services. Their conversation begins at 13:36.  … More Ep79. A conversation with Ken Opalo about political institutions, public goods, and more