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10 Leading Designers From Africa To Know

'Contemporary Design Africa' author Tapiwa Matsinde highlights 10 leading contemporary decor designers from Africa.


Contemporary Design Africa Book Cover © Thames & Hudson

For over a decade and a half an exciting, thriving design scene has taken hold across the African continent, bringing forth a host of talent who are drawing increased global attention. These new voices are challenging the stereotypes that have long defined design from Africa, their work reflecting the wider changes happening across the continent. Designers and artisans together are offering up new perspectives, reviving and revitalising ancient traditions and crafts, and seeking ways to make their world better. This has resulted in innovative, sophisticated products that not only reflect the diversity of the continent, but are also championing 'made in Africa'. Specifically looking to the world of contemporary decor, highlighted over the following pages are a selection of leading and emerging designers drawn from the disciplines of: furniture, ceramics, textiles, product, and basketry design who are making their mark on the industry.

Tapiwa Matsinde is a UK-based designer, writer, and founder of the design blog Atelier Fifty-Five. In her new book, Contemporary Design Africa (Thames & Hudson), Matsinde presents 50 designers, artisans, and cooperatives based on the continent or part of the diaspora who are creating sophisticated and innovative products and interiors.

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Vinegar Pap Smear Saving Women’s Lives In Malawi

This simple diagnostic test is giving hope to thousands of women in Malawi.

They say necessity is the mother of invention and in Malawi, the need for inexpensive Pap smears has resulted in a cost-effective and ingenious solution. Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) is the only form of cervical cancer screening affordable to most underprivileged women in Malawi, according to reports.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) "19 of the top 20 countries with the highest cervical cancer burden were in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018." Eswatini had the highest incidences followed by Malawi.

The VIA is a simple diagnostic test that can be used to screen cervical cancer, as an alternative to Pap smear cytology, in low-resource countries," according to the Role of VIA in cervical cancer screening in low-resource countries - PubMed (nih.gov) study.

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