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
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
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
We start this week’s newswrap talking about Russian interference in African elections using Facebook, Rose Mutiso’s TED talk about energy poverty in Africa, identification card politics in northeastern Nigeria, and more.
Our guest this week is Kathleen Klaus (@KathleenKlaus), an assistant professor of politics at the University of San Francisco. Her book, Political Violence in Kenya: Land, Elections, and Claim-Making, is in production at Cambridge University Press, expected to be published in 2020. Kathleen’s award-winning research has focused on land rights and political violence and Ufahamu Africa listeners may remember that she was our guest in Episode 28, helping us to understand the then recently announced decision by the Kenyan Supreme Court to nullify the 2017 presidential elections. Rachel sat down with Kathleen when she was at Cornell University earlier this month presenting some of her new research on refugee settlement and the politics of land in Uganda. Their conversation begins at 13:11. … More Ep78. A conversation with Kathleen Klaus on land and politics in East Africa and beyond
We start this week’s newswrap celebrating Kenyan marathoners, highlighting recent arts and culture pieces in OkayAfrica, talking about elections in Mozambique, protests in Guinea, and this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics winners. This week’s guest is economist Grieve Chelwa, a senior lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to his appointment at UCT, Dr. Chelwa was a post-doctoral fellow with Harvard University’s Center for African Studies, the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research, and the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of the Witwatersrand. In addition to his scholarly work, he is a contributing editor to Africa Is A Country. We talk about economics (including what it means to be a development economist), research and collaboration, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and more. Our conversation begins at 14:27. … More Ep76. A conversation with Grieve Chelwa on how economics has an Africa problem
Have a listen to this week’s review of Nanjala Nyabola’s (@Nanjala1) Digital Democracy Analogue Politics, published by Zed Books (@ZedBooks). The review was published on Friday as part of the African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular (#APSRS19), and this recording is being shared as part of a collaboration with The Monkey Cage (@monkeycageblog), a blog on politics and political science at The Washington Post. … More Bonus: A review of Nanjala Nyabola’s book on Kenyan politics in the digital age
We start out episode this week talking about politics in Mali, South Africa’s recent election and give you an update on the political situation in Uganda. We talk about the arrest earlier this week in Kenya of Boniface Mwangi, who we spoke with on our podcast during episode 35. This week’s conversation is with Dr. … More Ep.68 A conversation with Maggie Dwyer about army mutinies in Africa, and more.
This week’s episode kicks off Women’s History Month and celebrates International Women’s Day, starting with a conversation about women’s protest participation in Algeria and women’s representation in politics in Africa more broadly. We also highlight critiques of the theme for International Women’s Day 2019: #BalanceForBetter.Our conversation is with Professor Nyokabi Kamau, who is the Executive Director of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training in Kenya. The conversation was part of a global salon hosted at the Lewis Global Studies Center in 2018 and was facilitated by Smith College Professor of Comparative Literature Katwiwa Mule. They talk about Kamau’s new book, Conversations about Gender: The Reflections of a Kenyan Feminist. Her segment begins at 12:31. … More Ep60. A conversation with Nyokabi Kamau on feminism in Kenya
This week’s episode begins with a discussion of protests and repression in Zimbabwe, the terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya, Senegal’s upcoming election, and the re-launch of the Africa Online Digital Library. Our guest this week is Beth Whitaker, an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Her research examines migration and security issues in Africa. We spoke with her about her new book, Africa’s International Relations: Balancing Domestic and Global Interests during the annual meeting of the African Studies Association in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2018. Some topics we cover include diaspora voting (especially in Kenya) and refugees. Our conversation begins at 10:25. … More Ep53. A conversation with Beth Whitaker on Africa’s international relations