News

Deeper Than The Headlines: Oxfam's Africa, Drone Surveillance + More Drone Surveillance

Check out the latest news on Africa 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. Talking Around the DRC

By: Gado

Most of the selections this week have to do with drone surveillance in the DRC. The cartoon above frames the conversation pretty well. "Gado, full name Godfrey Mwampembwa, is one of Africa's most influential cartoonists. He draws a daily cartoon for Kenyan newspaper The Nation, and his work has appeared in various other publications, such as Le Monde, The Washington Times and The Japan Times."

2. Congo-Kinshasa: Does DRC Need Surveillance Drones?

By: The New Times Team

An article from Rwanda's The New Times spells out the Rwandan government's response to the UN's efforts to institute a drone surveillance program in the neighboring DRC. "Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, told The New Times vial e-mail yesterday that whereas Rwanda welcomes the Secretary-General’s intention to reconfigure MONUSCO [UN mission in Congo] by strengthening its capabilities and enhancing its operational mobility in order to implement its mandate, it is reserved on the use of a technology, whose implications are still being assessed. Nduhungirehe said, “We recognise that the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in peacekeeping operations has far-reaching implications on national sovereignty and territorial integrity and thus believe that, as suggested by the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping (C-34), a clear legal, financial, and technical assessment is needed before any endorsement of such technology is put forth”.

3. Excerpt from the United States Department of State Daily Press Briefing

Continuing with the conversation surrounding intentions to institute drone surveillance in 35 African countries over the next year, All Africa shares an excerpt form the US Department of State Daily Press Briefing where Victoria Nuland, Spokewoman for the Dept. of State answers questions regarding the United States' position on the UN peacekeeping envoy in the DRC and their intention to use surveillance drones. A necessary read if you're looking for contextual information on what the drone program will constitute and there's even a quick mention of Joseph Kony.

4. Oxfam's New Africa campaign reveals a misguided messiah complex

By: Tolu Ogunlesi

Just a few weeks ago, Oxfam launched a new campaign, which attempts to dispel negative stereotypes of Africa that the West has consumed through charity and non-profit campaigns. "The British arm of Oxfam International called images of starving babies and other familiar depictions of Africa over the last quarter-century "manipulative and hopeless," desensitizing potential donors and leading them to the conclusion that conditions in the developing world can never improve." In this piece for the Guardian, Nigerian writer Tolu Ogunlesi poses a plethora of valid questions and hesitation towards the new campaign. Ogunlesi states, "That's, in a nutshell, the story. It left me a tad puzzled. A w-t-f puzzlement. As in: is Oxfam for real? Let's even forget, for a moment, that Oxfam has probably done far more than any other organisation in propagating these images. Let's focus on something else that struck me about the story: the way blame is being placed squarely on the shoulders of the images."

5. Oxfam: African advertising campaign is helping to dispel negative stereotypes

By: Nick Futcher

In response to Tolu Ogunlesi's opinion piece, Nick Futcher (Oxfam's acting Communications Director) penned a piece  for The Guardian as well as defending the context of the campaign, and the intentions of Oxfam to challenge the way people in the UK think about 'Africa'. "The aim of the adverts is not to give a complete and holistic picture of the continent – that would be impossible. We hoped the viewer would question what they thought they knew about Africa and find out more. We are challenging leaders at the G8 to step up the fight against hunger and invest in the progress already achieved."

Check back next Thursday!

>>>Check last week's Headlines here.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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