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Deeper Than The Headlines: Slavery's Global Comeback, Mali Crisis, Senegal Street Photography & More

Check out the latest news on Africa for the week of Dec 16-20th, with in-depth African news featuring opinion pieces from global sources.


This week we continue to bring you the latest news on Africa with selections from different media outlets around the globe. Be sure to check back each Thursday for pieces that dig deeper than the headlines on the latest news on Africa!

1. Nigeria: Curbing Violence in Nigeria (I) - the Jos Crisis

By: International Crisis Group Report

This International Crisis Group report is quite an informative read for those unaware of the crisis in Jos and Middle Belt region of Nigeria. At least one thousand civilians and children have died over the past 3 years, and while many are aware of the violence it has not gained much visibility in global media outlets. The report provides context for the violence and also deconstructs how Nigeria's various definitions of 'citizen' and 'resident' are at the root of the violence: "The Jos crisis is the result of failure to amend the constitution to privilege broad-based citizenship over exclusive indigene status and ensure that residency rather than indigeneity determines citizens’ rights." The report concludes with recommendations specifically for national and state governments, as well as international agencies such as the UN.

2. Slavery's Global Comeback

By: J.J. Gould

Is trafficking a modern day institution of slavery? This is the question explored by J.J. Gould in The Atlantic: "As pervasive as contemporary slavery is, it hasn't come clearly into focus as a global issue until relatively recently. There are a couple of big reasons why -- one having to do with the scale of the problem, the other with the concept of slavery itself." The article doesn't specifically focus on slavery in various parts of Africa, rather Gould is more interested in problematizing the difficulty we have in recognizing and classifying slavery today given its historical context. The comments below the article are kind of intense, but they signify that this is definitely a controversial topic that we need to unpack.

3. Interview: Mo Ibrahim

By: Eleanor Whitehead

In an interview with Eleanor Whitehead for This Is Africa, we get to hear Mo Ibrahim discuss transparency in African businesses and issues of governance on the continent. Here's a quick snippet: "More broadly, Mr Ibrahim is bullish on the continent’s democratic direction. “A so-called Arab Spring can come in many forms – not only in the form of demonstrations. I think that a lot of African countries have gone through Springs in their own quiet way. There are maybe 30 African countries where peaceful change of power is in place; where reasonable elections are taking place and people come in and leave in an orderly fashion; where there is more space for civil society. So we are moving and slowly we are getting there. We need to see more of that.”

4. Mali's Crisis: Is the Plan for Western Intervention 'Crap'?

By: Bruce Crumley

For Time World Bruce Crumley explores the Mali Crisis through an examination of how the Mali Crisis is also engaged ind discussions of the West's patterns of intervention in non-Western spaces. Crumley notes that "while there’s virtually total agreement within the international community that something must be done to force out the Islamist militants occupying northern Mali"  how to achieve it is extremely debatable. So far, officials in the West (specifically the US and France) have yet to agree on the magnitude of the Islamist militants in the North. Check out the article for a quick recap on what's happening in Mali, and the little dance Western governments perform before deciding if intervention in Africa is worthy of their time.

5. Senegal Street Photography

By: Anthony Kurtz

From African Digital Art, use some different cognitive skills and check out Anthony Kurzt's striking street photography of Senegal. Photographed in 2011, Kurtz took the photos while volunteering from the U.S. We know, it has that whole "I studied abroad in Africa and took cool pictures of the locals" kind of thing going, but Kurtz beats us to the punch. He states, "when I wasn’t needed, I photographed people in the village of Dindefelo (south of Senegal) where we were volunteering for three weeks. After “work” was over, I headed to Dakar to do more “strobist” style, street photography and worked on different personal projects. It is sometimes hard to convince people that your are taking these pictures because of your love for people and places with, what I define as, true character. I’m very glad I didn’t give up and I want to thank those who agreed to let me photograph them. I made sure people in Dindefelo received copies of their portraits and I hope they enjoy looking at them." Food for thought I guess.

The archive:

12/13/12 "Nelson Mandela, Ghana's Election + More"

12/6/12- “Susan Rice, Drones, Anti-Gay Laws + More”

11/29/12- “Chimamanda Adichie’s Tribute, Violence in the DRC + 16 Days of Activism”

11/15/12 – “Infiltrators” in Israel, Southern Arab Spring, Bono’s African Expertise

11/8/12 - Africa’s 1%, Mau Mau, and a Polemic against NGOs

11/1/12 - Biafra, Football, Victoire Ingabire + More!

10/25/12 - Aluu 4, Herero Genocide, EU Nobel Prize + More!

10/18/12 - Die Antwoord, Mo Ibrahim, Thomas Sankara + More!

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"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

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The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

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The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

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The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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