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Children play alongside stagnant water and rubbish in Lagos, Nigeria. George Esiri/Reuters

Africa’s health won’t improve without reliable data and collaboration

Africa battles with a dearth of data and seems unable to scale up health innovations. If these can be systematically addressed, the continent can take great strides towards better health for all.
Scientists do science to improve society. Africa’s challenges are a golden opportunity to demonstrate its value. Shutterstock

African scientists must step out and speak up if they want to add value

Africa's complex and seemingly insurmountable social and economic problems are a golden opportunity to demonstrate the value that research can bring. Scientists need to rise to the challenge.
Participants in the Finote Hiwot project to end child, early and forced marriage in Ethiopia. Department for International Development/Jessica Lea

How decent data can help African girls overcome second class status

A number of African states are taking positive steps to combat violence against girls and child marriage. But social and cultural barriers can nullify national laws and strategies.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is seen as having promoted economic growth at the expense of human rights. Ruben Sprich/Reuters

There is good as well as bad news about the state of governance in Africa

To improve, African countries need to find a balance between political and economic matters. This is where leadership becomes particularly important. But this is currently lacking on the continent.
Policewomen lock hands during a protest march in Nigeria.Collaboration between police and communities is helping improve safety in parts of the country. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

What we can learn from communities in Nigeria on how to improve security

A new study shows an amazingly symbiotic relationship between the community and police in Nigeria: 70% of survey respondents claim that collaboration has brought safety to their communities.
Kenyans rally for a new constitution in 2010. The constitution guaranteed shared power and resources for 47 county governments. Reuters/Moses Eshiwani

Kenya’s glass-half-full experiment with transfer of power and resources

The Kenyan example illustrates the importance of constitutional guarantees for devolution. But it also shows that devolution is no magic bullet for the problems of corruption and ethnic politics.
Some countries in Africa are well placed to follow the path of development pioneered by a number of Asian countries. Shutterstock

What’s needed to take Africa from Third to First World in 25 years

It's important to interrogate the key factors that pushed countries from Third World to First World status in the 20th century. Asia's experiences hold many lessons for Africa.

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