Media freedom remains fragile in South Africa

Franz Krüger, University of the Witwatersrand Four decades after the Black Wednesday crackdown on the media and the black consciousness movement, South Africa is a different country. Freedom of expression is guaranteed in the constitution and a slew of institutions and laws support the guarantee. At the same time, powerful groups continue to seek ways …

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Gabon’s political force is its thriving hip-hop scene

Alice Aterianus-Owanga, University of Lausanne In Gabon as in other African states, rap has become instrumental in constructing political identity. On August 17, Gabon celebrated 57 years of independence with a massive free concert in the capital, Libreville. The aim: to promote national unity in a festive fashion. An impressive lineup of local hip-hop stars …

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Fight against poaching must empower communities

Annette Hübschle, University of Cape Town Wildlife crimes – like rhino poaching, overfishing or the harvesting of cycads – were once considered a “green” matter. But this has changed. Such crimes have moved higher up on global security and policy agendas. This is partly linked to concerns about the extinction of species and the demise …

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Ghana is boosting Africa’s role in radio astronomy

Bernard Duah Asabere, Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the world’s largest radio telescope project, which will collect data over one million square kilometres from radio astronomy telescopes on the African and Australian continents. In the long run the two-phased SKA could possibly help scientists answer questions in astrophysics, …

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How South Sudan’s universities have survived civil war

Kuyok Abol Kuyok, University of Juba After almost half a century of conflict, South Sudan attained its independence from Sudan in July 2011. One of the challenges it faces as a new country is a small and troubled higher education system. Sudan’s three oldest public universities – Juba, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile – …

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