Web Features

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

  • 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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  • 22 April 2014

    A World Free of Wartime Rape is Within Our Reach

    Conflict-related sexual violence is a war crime mired in myths and shrouded in secrecy and stigma. Perhaps the greatest misperception is that it is an atrocity of a bygone era, and that in today’s age of high tech warfare rape is no longer used as a weapon of mass destruction. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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  • 15 April 2014

    Hole in the Heart of Africa

    The Security Council has approved my proposal to deploy a United Nations peacekeeping mission to the Central African Republic – opening the way for 10,000 troops and almost 2,000 police to bring a semblance of order to a nation in ruins. I have just returned from a visit to the country to see the situation first-hand. Desperate is an understatement.

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  • 24 January 2014

    South Sudan – from cease-fire to sustainable peace?

    “We were picked up at checkpoints or during house searches. They recognized us by our accents, or by the traditional marks on our faces. 200-400 of us were brought to a room of a police station, so small that we were suffocating. Suddenly they opened fire on us from two windows. I fell to the ground, and was protected by the bodies of dead and injured lying on top of me. Some of the wounded were moaning, and they opened fire twice again during the night.”

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  • 16 December 2013

    Mandela’s struggles for peace and justice in Africa

    On 27 November 1995, a calm voice issued this jarring statement on the BBC: “Abacha is sitting on a volcano. And I am going to explode it underneath him.” It belonged to Nelson Mandela. He was 77, and had already been president of South Africa for a year. Mandela was referring to Gen. Sani Abacha, an obdurate and corrupt dictator in Nigeria who, in addition to still holding the winner of his country’s presidential election in solitary confinement, had just executed the writer and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists from oil-blighted Ogoniland.

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  • 16 December 2013

    The African tiger that leaped out of a cage to world leadership

    Conventional wisdom has it that tigers never roamed the African jungle. Indeed there are no tigers on the continent today, except a few that were brought to South Africa from China. But Nelson Mandela had a different opinion. “I maintained that while there were no tigers to be found in contemporary Africa, there was a Xhosa word for tiger, a word different from the one for leopard, and that if the word existed in our language, the creature must once have existed in Africa. Otherwise, why would there be a name for it?” he wrote in his autobiographyLong Walk to Freedom.

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  • 12 April 2013

    Japan: Africa’s subtle but effective partner

    JICA President, Akihiko Tanaka. Photo: Africa Renewal/Bo Li

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  • 5 April 2013

    Rwanda genocide survivors struggle to rebuild their lives

    Waking up one day to hear that her entire family had been slaughtered sounded like a horror movie to Jacqueline Murekatete. And yet it happened to her and scores of men, women and children in the east African nation of Rwanda some 19 years ago. From 6 April 1994, close to a million Tutsi ethnic minorities and some moderate Hutus were hacked to death in a killing spree that lasted for about 100 days. Hutu extremists were behind the brutal murders.

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  • 20 March 2013

    To be forever free!

    Every day sees visitors breaking down in tears while touring 97,000-square-foot Elmina Castle, west of Cape Coast, Ghana. Built in 1482 by the Portuguese as a gold trading post on the Gulf of Guinea, it was turned into a fortress for the transatlantic slave trade by the Dutch in 1637.

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