31 December 2013

Africa: The Editors' Picks - Think Africa Press' Top 15 Articles From 2013


Our favourite articles from the year.

This year, we at Think Africa Press have endeavoured to bring you, our readers, the best coverage of the continent we can. We've strived to offer depth and context over sensationalism, go a step further in prising apart stories to peer beneath the surface, provide a platform for an array of voices to speak (and speak to each other), and report on important issues facing the continent that others have missed.

Though we're constantly looking to improve, we think we managed to fulfil that mission pretty well this year. In fact, we published so many engaging and in-depth articles this year that coming up with our favourite 15 was as excruciating as it was enjoyable.

And once the tears and tantrums subsided, we were left with a final list that mixes long and short, covers North to South and East to West, and combines on-the-ground reporting with in-depth analysis and acerbic opinion.

Here it is, in no particular order:

M23's Congo Cadres: The Rebel Movement with a Taste for Local Politics

Joseph Hammond goes behind rebel lines to find that the M23's power derives from more than just guns.

Secrecy Savannah: Is Kenya being Shaped into Africa's Flagship Tax Haven?

With up to $32 trillion already being siphoned off into tax havens, Blessol Gathoni and Martin Kirk's investigations discover that the City of London may be trying to make Kenya the world's next tax avoidance hub.

Africa's 'Demographic Dividend': The Youth Will Decide

Robert Bates picks holes in the Africa Rising narrative and explains why the continent's future is in the hands of its bulging youth.

Rebels, Anti-Rebels and Refugees in the Central African Republic

Tendai Marima explains clearly and accurately who is who in the CAR's complex conflict.

Can Feel-Good Activism Save the World?

James Wan talks to theorist Lilie Chouliaraki about how humanitarian organisations sold their soul to corporate marketing and about today's 'ironic spectator.'

When Companies Meet Communities: The Copper Storm Brewing in North-Western Zambia

Paul Carlucci investigates the simmering controversies around a project that could account for half of Zambia's copper output by 2015.

Remembering Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Father of the Ivory Coast's (In)dependence

Stephen Smith reflects on the life and legacy of West Africa's unusual independence leader.

A Small-Scale Farmer's Story in Malawi: Fertiliser, Planting and Dry Spells/A Small-Scale Farmer's Story in Malawi: Harvesting the Crops and Looking Ahead

Chikumbutso Kayira, a small-scale farmer, explains the challenges and decisions facing him and his family and they try to make a living in Malawi.

Baba Jukwa vs. Mugabe: The Man on Facebook Standing Up to Zimbabwe's President

Rebecca Regan-Sachs explores the phenomenon of Baba Jukwa, the alleged ZANU-PF insider leaking sensitive information and confronting Robert Mugabe on Facebook.

Aiding and Abetting: UK and US Complicity in Ethiopia's Mass Displacement

David Turton questions how the UK and US can continue to deny systematic abuses are occuring in the Lower Omo in the face of rising evidence.

Economic Nomads in a City of Flows

Sam Piranty immerses himself in the colourful lives of a handful of African traders in Guangzhou as they try to make a living and make sense of their nomadic existences.

The Afropolitan Must Go

Marta Tveit takes no prisoners in an acerbic and witty take-down of the jet-setting, jazz-loving Afropolitan stereotype.

Occupied and Exploited: Taking Western Sahara's Resources

Tom Stevenson reports on the under-covered issue of international firms mining resources from Western Sahara, in alleged violation of international law.

How African Feminism Changed the World

Aili Mari Tripp explains how African feminists have led the rest of the world.

Nigeria's PDP Split: The Long Fight Ahead

As members of Nigeria's ruling party break away, Lagun Akinloye and James Schneider lay out what it means for Nigerian politics.

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