Ghana’s gold diggers: Land and rivers laid to waste

By Jon Spaull     Large swathes of Ghana’s gold belt have been laid to waste in the search for the precious metal by illegal small-scale miners. Cocoa plantations have been cut down and rivers polluted with heavy metals, including mercury, used to extract gold. In this, the second of a four-part film series on …

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Ghana’s gold diggers: Scramble comes at high cost

By Jon Spaull       People have mined for gold in what is now Ghana for thousands of years. The precious metal has always been easy to find, hence the name the British gave the country when they colonised it: the Gold Coast. In this four-part film series, we investigate the role of illegal, …

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The Trevor Noah phenomenon: young, black South Africans are standing up

Lyn Snodgrass, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Last year was a tumultuous one for South Africa and the country faces an uncertain 2016. This prevailing mood does not bode well for South African society. But there are undercurrents that suggest otherwise – budding signs of a deepening democracy. One of these is the Trevor Noah comedic …

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Vaccine deals blow to meningitis A in Africa

By Dorcas Odhiambo [NAIROBI] A conjugate vaccine has led to control and near total elimination of meningitis A disease in Africa, according to studies. The findings are from a collection of 29 articles written by guest editors from Public Health England and the former Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) …

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How technology can open up South Africa’s universities

Craig Blewett, University of KwaZulu-Natal There are two revolutions happening in South Africa’s universities. One is very public and hard to ignore. In 2015 the country saw the emergence of energetic, organised student movements demanding wholesale changes in the sector. On the face of it, these protests are about visible issues: statues that honour colonialists; …

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