Web Features

The latest in-depth analysis of African and United Nations issues by the Africa Renewal team.

  • 8 December 2016

    Putting a human face to information technologies

    It was just after midnight when Simon (not his real name) was woken up by a loud blaring noise tearing into the dark night. It had been raining heavily over the past few days. He tried to ignore the noise, but it got more insistent with each passing second.  He finally decided to step out of his bed, but before his feet could touch the floor, he felt water. It was already ankle high. At that moment he realized the source of the annoying sound. It was a danger signal from the newly installed flood warning system.

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  • 7 July 2016

    Restoring the economy’s ability to deliver prosperity

    Millions of people around the world have lost faith that the world economy can improve their lives. Instead of seeing value in open borders and the free exchange of information and ideas, they see only uncertainty about their futures, growing inequalities and weak productivity gains. Too few people benefit from new technologies that connect us and make the world smaller, and too many face the spectre of terror and conflict, forced migration and rising xenophobia.

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  • 20 April 2016

    I was tested to the limit — Rwanda genocide survivor

    Consolee Nishimwe, survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as a teenager.

    Telling my personal story to others helped me in my healing journey Consolee Nishimwe, 32, survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as a teenager. Currently living in New York, she shares her experience, as a global civil society activist and advocate for other genocide survivors and gender equality, with Sara Canals for Africa Renewal. She is the author of the book ‘Tested to the Limit’ in which she narrates her personal story. How was life in Rwanda before the genocide?

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  • 20 April 2016

    A policy perspective on the environment and SDGs’ implementation

    The year 2015 connected the dots in sustainable development, starting with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAA) signed in July, which provides a broad framework for the international community to finance sustainable development.

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  • 17 December 2015

    Unmanned aerial vehicles are effective in protecting civilians—Hervé Ladsous

    Head of Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous

    Hervé Ladsous is the United Nations under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. He oversaw the first deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) two years ago. Africa Renewal’s Masimba Tafirenyika spoke to him about the UN’s experience in using UAVs in peacekeeping operations. These are excerpts from the interview.

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  • 7 December 2015

    Good leadership is about people – Festus Mogae

    Festus Mogae, served as the president of the southern African country of Botswana from 1998 to 2008.

    Festus Mogae served as president of the southern African country of Botswana from 1998 to 2008. He is the recipient of several international awards, including the 2008 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. In this interview held recently in New York with Tefo Pheage for Africa Renewal, the former president shared his thoughts on gay rights, the reform of the UN Security Council, the right to protect civilians in humanitarian crises and the fight against HIV/AIDS.  These are excerpts from the interview.

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  • 30 July 2015

    To avoid wars, give diplomacy a chance - Mr. Sampaio

    Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal. Photo: UN Photos

    Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, and Dr. Helena Ndume, a Namibian ophtalmologist, are the first ever winners of the United Nations Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Prize.

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  • 13 July 2015

    Africa has a “window of opportunity” to avoid a new debt trap

    Amadou Sy, Director of the Africa Growth Institute at the Brookings Institution

    African countries should seize the “window of opportunity” provided by a comprehensive debt relief programme offered by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the world’s poorest countries, Amadou Sy, Director of the Africa Growth Institute at the Brookings Institution, told Africa Renewal’s Jocelyne Sambira. The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and related Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) have relieved 36 countries of $96 billion in debt. Thirty of these countries are in Africa. In this interview, Mr.

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  • 24 April 2015

    Girls in ICT: Technology lifting thousands out of poverty

    Faced with the growing decline of girls and young women studying technology, an International Girls in ICT Day – marked on 23 April every year – was set aside five years ago raise awareness. Africa Renewal’s Jocelyne Sambira spoke to Judith Owigar, a founding member of Akirachix, which is a training and mentorship programme aiming to increase the number of girls in the technology sector, about the efforts made to get more young women in Africa to embrace such a career. Ms.

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  • 20 April 2015

    Young Zimbabweans warming up to gambling

    In Zimbabwe, gambling has conventionally always been frowned upon as a social vice and vanity. Where it occurred, it was limited to the state lottery, horse betting and an odd casino. Now, the tide has shifted. Sports betting shops, casinos and lottery gaming are cropping up rapidly in the country’s major urban centres as punters strive to make an extra coin and satisfy a growing appetite for gaming and gambling. Activity usually peaks when the football leagues around the world start.

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  • 13 April 2015

    Women seek greater role in rebuilding Central African Republic

    Kyung-wha Kang

    The security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) may be dire, but the women want to be included in the conflict-stricken country’s peacebuilding process. Africa Renewal’s Zipporah Musau spoke to Kyung-wha Kang, the Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator for UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), on the organisation’s efforts on the ground. Here are the excerpts:  

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  • 2 April 2015

    African presidential elections 2015: Nigeria leads the way

    Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) and President-elect Muhammadu Buhari shake hands. In the middle is former head of state, Gen (Rtd) Abdulsalam Abubakar.

    Reports of revellers dancing on the streets of several cities across Nigeria to celebrate the victory of their candidate over the incumbent president, was welcome news for many observers of the country’s political history. The stakes in the just concluded elections were so high that many had feared the worst for Nigeria and beyond should the loser refuse to concede defeat.

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  • 31 March 2015

    Food security: Regional solutions key to solving Africa’s challenges

    UN Photo/Fred Noy

    Africa faces a myriad of hurdles on its way to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda.  Climate change, population growth, youth bulge, widespread unemployment, extreme poverty and hunger are some of the challenges that the continent is grappling with.  

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  • 27 March 2015

    Slave trade: How African foods influenced modern American cuisine

    On the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Chef Pierre Thiam prepared a menu composed of a wide variety of dishes to illustrate how much America culinary art borrows from Africa. Thiam, who is also an author and cultural ambassador, spoke to Africa Renewal’s Jocelyne Sambira. What was your contribution to this year’s commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade?

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  • 25 March 2015

    Historic ‘Ark of Return’ monument on slavery unveiled at the UN

    Rodney Leon, Architect of the "Ark of Return", the UN Permanent Memorial honouring slavery's victims. Image in the background  is a sketch of the monument courtesy of Rodney Leon Architects.

    A sculpture commissioned by the United Nations to commemorate the end of slave trade was unveiled at UN Headquarters in New York today 25 March to coincide with the International Day of remembrance for the victims of slavery. Africa Renewal’s Jocelyne Sambira caught up with the architect, Rodney Leon to talk about why it is important to have that monument at the UN after all. Africa Renewal: How does it feel to be the architect of the Ark of Return?

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  • 21 January 2015

    Vaccine, operational support crucial in preventing future Ebola epidemics

    Vaccination campaign in Liberia. Photo: UNMEER/Aalok Kanani

    In this interview by Yemisi Akinbola for Africa Renewal, Julien Potet, the Policy Advisor on Neglected Tropical Diseases Vaccines with Medecins Sans Frontieres, talks about the challenges and advances made thus far in finding the treatment for Ebola. Africa Renewal: What research had been done prior to 2014 Ebola outbreak?

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  • 21 January 2015

    Early treatment is key in managing Ebola

    Vaccination campaign in Liberia. Photo: UNMEER/Aalok Kanani

    As efforts to find a cure for the Ebola virus gather momentum, Yemisi Akinbola for Africa Renewal caught up with Dr Bernadette Murgue, the Deputy Director of the French Institut de Microbiologie et des Maladies Infectieuses IMMI (Institute of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases), to talk about issues surrounding Ebola treatment. The following are excerpts from the interview:  

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  • 16 December 2014

    The critical link between resource plunder and illegal trade in wildlife

    Ibrahim Thiaw, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

    Illegal trade in wildlife is no longer an abstract issue. Organized transnational as well as trans-regional environmental crimes are rapidly rising threats to the environment, to revenues from natural resources, to state security and to global sustainable development.

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  • 8 July 2014

    Why infrastructure development in Africa matters

    The story of Africa’s development is changing. Six of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa! Democratic governance has been strengthened over the past five decades, enabling a platform for stable growth and prosperity in most parts of the continent. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is happy to be part of this upward transformation process, through the implementation of its programmes.

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  • 22 April 2014

    Accountability in South Sudan – the African Union steps up

    Images of Charles Taylor being arrested and indicted in 2006 for his crimes in Sierra Leone's brutal civil war were splashed over the front pages of global news sites. When he was convicted in 2012, the spectacle was widely broadcast around the world. Elsewhere, the wheels of justice at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda have been grinding away steadily since 1995. Out of 95 indictments, and some 49 convictions later, complaints continue that génocidaires are still at large.

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