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Category West Africa

Dakar’s African Renaissance

I have wanted to come to Dakar since I was a young man growing up in western Kenya reading Léopold Sédar Senghor’s poetry. My mother, a schoolteacher, made me read Senghor’s poetry aloud before asking me to explain what Senghor was thinking when he wrote his poetry.

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Sierra Leone: What if she was my daughter?

Sierra Leone bans pregnant girls from school. The government maintains that they are a bad influence to the rest of the students. This has had negative ramifications for many girls who desperately want to continue with their education. The ban is not only discriminatory but  also exposes government failure to address widespread sexual violence against girls.

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Nigerian schools adopt sweet potato to boost nutrition

Abuja (Nigeria) – The school feeding programme of Nigeria is using orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) ̶ Mothers delight ̶to help fight vitamin A deficiency in children. The production of OFSP was the result of research collaboration between the National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI), Nigeria and the Peru-headquartered International Potatoes Centre (CIP).

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An economic strategy for The Gambia

Recently I spent time in The Gambia, a country whose people overthrew a megalomaniacal, authoritarian and vicious President, Yahyeh Jammeh, in an extraordinary democratic moment, due to their courage and the timely supportive action of other countries in West Africa (and very little if at all due to support from major powers, apart from their role in placing some effective limits on prior abuses and eventually supporting a Security Council resolution that helped to legitimize the regional action).

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Biafra, nostalgia as critique

Jun6

It was past midnight in a sleepy suburb of Guangzhou in southern China, and the loudspeakers of a restaurant were blaring highlife, upbeat but mournful:
Ojukwu has died, people of Nigeria
Ojukwu has died, people of Biafra
Ikemba [Ojukwu] has died

YouTube Preview Image

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Migration: EU money in exchange for border controls in Africa

Niamey (Niger) – European funds in exchange for greater border controls. Easier repatriations. Quicker expulsions. In a word: border externalisation. Read the field story written by Sara Prestianni for #DivertedAid, an investigative project on the management and the impact of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

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