The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists recently released a list of 35 current and former world leaders who have been using offshore accounts to evade taxes. Representing Africa are Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo. Do Africans care?
Every year, the United Nations General Assembly presents an opportunity for Africa’s leaders to embarrass themselves on the international stage. During this year’s assembly, which took part in New York recently, it was Namibian President Hage Geingob’s turn to show the world how unbelievably naive our leaders are. Geingob used the term “vaccine Apartheid” to describe rich countries’ hoarding of the coronavirus vaccine. How ridiculous is that? Why can’t the wealthiest continent in the world just figure out how to create its own vaccines? And when are we going to realize that the west doesn’t — and will never — have our best interest at heart?
We look at why African governments stand by and do nothing when their citizens get abused, tortured, and murdered abroad.
In the past two years, for example, at least 89 Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia have died under suspicious circumstances. Many were domestic workers, whose bodies had clear signs of torture. What is really going on, and why is it so difficult for the Kenyan government to get an explanation from the Saudis?Continue reading “Episode 75: Why Saudis continue to murder Kenyan immigrant workers”
On Sunday, President Joseph R. Biden’s administration began unprecedented mass deportations of Haitians, who have been entering the United States from Mexico. Why are they being treated differently than, say, Cuban refugees, who only have to set foot on U.S. territorial waters to be welcomed to America? Could race be a factor, or is it because Haitians are fleeing capitalism and not communism like Cubans? And why isn’t there outrage from Black leaders in the administration and Congress?
On Sept. 5, the Guinean military rolled into the Guinean presidential palace, overthrew the government, and arrested President Alpha Condé, who had been in power since 2010. The country is now under the military rule of Col. Mamady Doumbouya. The colonel has promised to hand over power to civilians soon. Will he, or is this another story of an African military dictatorship in the making?
Haitian American musical artist, Sophis, gives us some straight-talk insights into the historical context mainstream media often avoid when talking about his country of birth.
Haiti is a country with a rich history. It was the first Black nation to liberate itself from European rule, way back in 1804, when a slave revolt defeated Napoleon’s mighty French army and declared independence. That’s right — 80 years before the 1884 Berlin Conference, when European empires sat down and agreed to divide the African continent amongst themselves, Haiti had fought and defeated one of he greatest of them to become independent.Continue reading “Episode 71: Artist explains Haiti beyond superficial coverage of political violence and earthquakes”
Whenever African leaders are asked why the continent lags behind in terms of development, they blame braid drain — the exodus of its most intelligent people. But are they right, or are they to blame for frustrating young people so much that they have to go looking of a dignified life elsewhere?
Our guest is Joseph Makokha, an engineer who studies and conducts research on engineering design with the goal of understanding how to design Artificial Intelligence to augments humans on thinking tasks. He is currently helping the Turkish Ministry of Education develop an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning curriculum for its schools.Continue reading “Episode 69: Does Africa have the right to blame brain drain?”
We speak with Salani Wamkanganise naGaadza, and Kelly Takunda Orphan, a husband and wife who are ambassadors of African music and culture. Salani, a Zimbabwean-born virtuoso, doesn’t just make music and teach people how to play mbira; he makes the instruments himself in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives.
Since 2017, Salani has performed and recorded with various mbira ensembles and bands. In 2020, UNESCO inscribed the mbira to be on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and Salani was one of two featured cultural ambassadors during the filming of the project in Zimbabwe.Continue reading “Episode 68: Meet Wamkanganise naGaadza, Zimbabwean mbira maker, teacher, and cultural ambassador”
On July 23, Sierra Leone’s Parliament voted unanimously to make the west African country the 23rd on the continent to abolish the death penalty. That’s a laudable. But is it enough, given the sorry state of the continent’s criminal justice systems — most of which are carryovers from the colonial days?
In this episode, we look at how the politics of ethnicity holds Africa back. Why are poor Africans willing to kill or die for wealthy corrupt goons like former S. African President Jacob Zuma, whose jailing for contempt of court has led to riots that have killed 276 people? Can we simultaneously fight corruption and support tribal kingpins like Zuma?