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Photo via TONL

Seven Things You Need to Know About Traveling in Africa on an African Passport

The dream of visa-free travel in Africa for Africans is still a dream, but it's changing. Here's what you should know.

If you've ever tried to travel around the continent on an African visa, you know that it can be quite confusing. From having to contact embassies in third countries to obtuse rules at customs. A few years back when I was backpacking through Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin, I was asked to provide various documentation from my hosts. This documentation had to be stamped by a high ranking police officer in their countries of residency.

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"Thought Straighterner" by Cuban art collective The Merger Photo: Ciku Kimeria

In Conversation: The Director of The Museum of Black Civilizations

Hamady Boucoum talks about the return of Africa's looted treasures and how the museum is subverting expectations

In his novel Foreign Gods, Inc., critically acclaimed Nigerian novelist, Okey Ndibe, tells the story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery. Driven to this point of desperation by a series of unfortunate events in his life as a migrant, Ike hatches a plan to steal this statue that, in modern times, he believes, means little to his people—but one that could fetch him a pretty penny if it gets into the hands of collectors in the West.

I could not help but contrast this image with that of me walking into the new Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, flanked by busloads of Senegalese school children eager and excited to see artifacts from around their continent, in their own continent. The fact that African art did not have to leave the continent to be valued is perhaps the most vital aspect of this fabulous new museum.

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St Louis, Senegal. Photo via Yoann Gauthier on Flickr

How One Senegalese City Plans to Cash in on its History, Heritage and Culture

What's stopping us from unleashing the Bilbao effect on African cities?

A few years back while backpacking across West Africa (Ivory Coast to Benin) I spent a few days in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. I was in the search of mystical catfish found in a river in a small village in this town. My Burkinabe friends in Abidjan had told me about how these catfish were revered by the villagers. I had heard about the elaborate mourning ceremonies whenever any of them died, the multi-day funeral processions. That was how I found myself in this unique village split into four distinct areas for Muslims, Animists, Griots (Storytellers, drummers etc.) and iron-workers.

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