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Articles on Africa Day

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People cheer as Senegalese troops arrive to take charge of security at the presidential palace in Banjul, The Gambia. EPA/Legnan Koula

What the rest of Africa can learn from The Gambia’s transition to democracy

The adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance five years ago raised hopes for a new democratic Africa. But its ideals remain elusive for many parts of the continent.
Twentieth-century political thinker and fighter against colonialism and imperialism, Frantz Fanon, left an indelible mark on history. Tony Webster/Flickr

Revisiting Frantz Fanon: memories and moments of a militant philosopher

For the revolutionary Frantz Fanon it was not enough to celebrate the achievements of decolonisation. It was necessary to educate, to strain at the limits of national freedom and to provoke debate.
A Malian mother waits to have her baby vaccinated. Though access to health care has improved, many people say their governments must do more. Dominic Chavez/World Bank

More Africans are accessing health care – but states still have work to do

Across the continent, citizens’ perceptions of health care show several barriers to access and better health for all.
African leaders meet at the African Union Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2015. EPA/Kim Ludbrook

Peace and prosperity continue to elude Africa five decades on

Silencing the guns in Africa by 2020 will require a Herculean effort on the part of the AU Peace and Security Council, whose remit is to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts.
Papa Wemba’s coffin at a memorial in Kinshasa on May 3 2016. EPA/Habibou Bangre

Papa Wemba: active ambassador for Congolese urban music

Papa Wemba was one of the most active ambassadors of Congolese urban music on the global stage. He did this by fusing international musical styles with authentic Congolese grooves.
There is very little evidence that commodity producing countries diversify their economies by adding value to their raw materials. Reuters/Siegfried Modola

Time for Africa to transition from extractive to learning economies

The downturn in the commodity boom will not automatically lead to diversification of Africa's economies. This can only be achieved through a focus on creating learning economies driven by innovation.
Workers arrange copies of the ‘Business Daily’, produced by Kenya’s Nation Media Group, the biggest newspaper publisher in East Africa. Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Media freedom has come a long way in Africa, but it’s still precarious

Namibia’s rise in the World Press Freedom rankings is stunning. The media environment in Africa, too, has improved. But media closures and the harassment of journalists are not yet things of the past.
An Ethiopian boy receives a polio vaccination. Africa has done well with polio eradication but lags behind other vaccination efforts. Unicef Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

African leaders step up to the plate to narrow immunisation gaps

Every year hundreds of thousands of children die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Africa leaders could change this if they improved vaccination efforts.
In Nigeria 96% of households are connected to the grid, but only 18% of these connections function more than about half the time. Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

What lies behind Africa’s lack of access and unreliable power supplies

Africa still has numerous electricity challenges to overcome, but several countries are getting it right when it comes to providing electricity to their people.
Investment in science and innovation is needed to help build Africa. Kate Holt/Africa Practice/Flickr

How Africa can close its continent-wide science funding gap

Successful economies are led by innovation and driven by knowledge. For Africa to advance, it needs to make more substantial investments in its research and development sector.
A young girl from Kenya’s Pokot tribe weeps as she’s led away from her home by her future husband’s family. Reuters/Siegfried Modola

How schooling can save African girls from becoming child brides

Education can be a powerful tool to stop the practice of child marriage. It empowers girls, and their success can ultimately boost their communities.
Science and innovation can improve the world –but scientists have to help ensure strong democracies too. Reuters/Kumerra Gemechu

Why African scientists must be champions for democracy

African mathematicians and scientists have an important role to play in establishing and protecting a democratic continent.
Arthur Lewis’ impossible mission was to make possible Kwame Nkrumah’s famous slogan: seek ye first the political kingdom … Reuters/Sahra Abdi

Ghana: lessons from Nkrumah’s fallout with his economic adviser

Nobel laureate and Kwame Nkrumah's economic adviser Arthur Lewis saw Ghana as a testing ground for his ideas on economic development. But he was met with fierce resistance.

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