Episode 47: Jerry Rawlings’s Legacy, and Ghana’s Long Road to Democracy

Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 04
Former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana visits the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in 2004. Photo: AMISOM Public Information used under CC0 1.0

Kwesi Wilson, a Ghanaian-born news analyst and professor of communication, joins Africa Straight Talk to explain the complicated legacy of former President Jerry John Rawlings, who died in November. A former Ghana Air Force fighter pilot, Rawlings navigated the country’s bloody coup-ridden early decades of independence to become head of state in 1981.

Continue reading “Episode 47: Jerry Rawlings’s Legacy, and Ghana’s Long Road to Democracy”

Episode 46: Uganda’s Museveni Shows Trump How a Real Dictator Conducts Elections

President Museveni welcomes President Kagame to Uganda | Kampala, 25 March 2018
“President Yoweri Museveni welcomes President Kagame of Rwanda to Uganda | Kampala, 25 March 2018” by Paul Kagame is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the first episode of our second season, we discuss America’s wannabe dictator, Donald Trump, and how his “regime” emboldened real African despots like Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni. After Trump’s supporters launched a murderous terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the Ugandan strongman showed how a true dictator should conduct elections. After Jan. 14 election which the opposition rejected, Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, placed Bobi Wine under house arrest for 11 days by surrounding his house with heavily armed soldiers.

Episode 45: An African Perspective on the U.S. Presidential Election

In our last episode of the year, we’re joined by Liberian-born journalist and educator, Joe Kappia, for an African perspective on the presidential elections in the United States, and in Africa. Kappia is the editor in chief and publisher of the West African Journal, a monthly news bulletin for the African communities throughout the United States. He is currently  a teacher at the Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose, California.

We’d also like to thank you, our dear listeners, for the support you’ve given us in the first year of our podcast. We’re talking couple months off to rejuvenate ourselves and reflect on what we’ve learned in order to make our podcast better. Until the, as Emmanuel Nado would say, be well.

Photo by funky fat girl is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Episode 44: Meet the South African Woman Who Unknowingly Swapped one Racist Country for Another

When Tebogo left South Africa for the United States to escape rampant racism in the banking industry she worked in, it didn’t occur to her that she would be swapping one racist country for another. Tebogo is a community organizer, poet, house music enthusiast and part-time deejay . She is a founding member of the Afrika Moja, a San Francisco Bay Area collective that advocates for the unity of Africans in the Diaspora.

Episode 41: Meron Semedar spent years running for his life, now he’s running for election to the city council in Oakland, Calif.

Mr. Meron Semedar, a refugee from Eritrea, is seeking to become the first African-born person to be elected to the city council in Oakland, California. Semedar, who wants to represent District 3, has spent nearly two decades in community organizing, and advocating for immigrant, refugee, and human rights.

Now a proud U.S. citizen, he believes that he has something unique to offer Oakland. He’s also urging African immigrants across America to get more involved in the local politics of the community they now call home.

Meron Semedar protesting Muslim ban/refugee ban at the San Francisco International Airport. PHOTO CREDIT: Meron Semedar for Oakland City Council, District 3

Episode 38: Big Oil asks Trump to make Africa a plastic sh*t hole, and other stories

In this episode, we discuss some of the most interesting recent stories out of Africa, including the American oil industry’s effort to keep Africa the “sh*t hole” Trump believes it is by exporting waste to the continent. And what do we think about Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangawa’s promise to compensate white farmers for losses they incurred when his late predecessor, Robert Mugabe, drove them out of the land they took from Africans during colonial rule? Finally, in Egypt, the Africa Cup of Nation trophy is missing. EPISODE CONTAINS SOME EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.

Women and children sift through garbage to collect metals and plastics from a dumpsite outside Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa. PHOTO: StarsFoundation via Creative Commons.

Episode 36: How one of the fiercest critics of the Ethiopian government became its staunchest supporter

Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam spent decades criticizing dictatorial regimes in Ethiopia, his country of birth. Today, he is one of the staunchest supporters of the Ethiopian government, something he says happened “overnight,” when Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister. An attorney by profession, Prof. Mariam teaches political science, American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, federal and California state government, and African politics at California State University, San Bernardino.

Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam (in red shirt) accompanies Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (front, left) on a tour of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) construction site. Photo courtesy of @AlMariam1 on Twitter.

Prof. Mariam has argued cases in the California Supreme Court, and was instrumental in the passing of Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 in the U.S. House of Representatives, which made it official U.S. policy to support — among other things — human rights, democracy, independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press, and the release of political prisoners in Ethiopia. Read his commentaries at www.almariam.com.

Episode 32: Meet Chris Wachira, the Kenyan-born doctor who makes wine

Dr. Chris Wachira has a job most people would envy, but it’s not enough for her. Dr. Wachira, who is a fellow at Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, is also the founder and executive director of the Institute of Clinical Excellence-Africa, (ICE-Africa), a nonprofit she founded to enhance the quality and delivery of healthcare through technology. But that’s not all. Dr. Wachira is also an entrepreneur, one of the few black winemakers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She speaks to us about her journey from central Kenya to Stanford, and how she manages to juggle her many roles.

Dr. Chris Wachira (right) at one of her wine events. Photo courtesy of Wachira Wines.