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The merits of equality in Africa-China HE collaborations

The China-Africa relationship goes back centuries as evidenced by the discovery of Chinese coins and porcelain in East African archaeological sites. Much more recently, in the 1950s, the relationship took the form of bilateral trade agreements between China and African countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Somalia. The Chinese also provided support to Southern African liberation movements, including Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola or MPLA in Angola, the Zimbabwe African National Union or ZANU, and the Mozambique Liberation Front FRELIMO. As part of support to liberation movements in Southern Africa fighting white minority rule during the1970s and 1980s, China constructed 1,860 kilometres of railway from Tanzania to Zambia (TAZARA), also popularly known as the 'Great Uhuru Railway', as an alternative transport route to the white-owned railways in Southern Rhodesia, Angola and South Africa. TAZARA enabled countries to transport minerals and agricultur..

The literary genius of Africa's leading innovation scholar, Calestous Juma

Calestous Juma, the towering Kenyan scholar of technology and development, died on Friday (Dec. 15) at the age of 64 in Boston, Massachusetts. Juma, who was a faculty professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, was known for his work on innovation, and how that intersected with sectors including agriculture, education, health, and economic prosperity. As a prolific and luminary academic, he combined rigorous evidence with intellectual diligence, producing work that ennobled him to many people across the world. But Juma was loved by many readers precisely because he had a unique literary gift. His lucid language and passionate arguments had a way of not only connecting academic discourse with everyday problems but also forcing readers to look further and deeper into the impact of technology in their lives. Much like Carl Sagan was a science popularizer and Oliver Sacks was a lyrical writer on neurology and mental health, Juma made stories about global and African innovation accessible. Throu..

South Africa's Zulu King Wants Circumcision Culture To Be Preserved

Details Published on Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:53View CommentsGoodwill Zwelithini KOKSTAD, SOUTH AFRICA -- South Africa's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has encouraged communities, especially those in KwaZulu-Natal Province, to preserve the circumcision culture, saying the practice is to ensure that it contributes towards the fight against HIV and AIDS. The Zulu monarch was addressing hundreds of young males who have just been circumcised and completed initiation during a traditional homecoming ceremony held in this small town on the border between KwaZulu-Natal Province and Eastern Cape Province on Tuesday for young men who have successfully undergone circumcision. Eighteen-year-old Bahlakoana Mahasele is one of the new initiates. He has just completed traditional circumcision under the supervision of a medical doctor. Mahasela says he has gained a lot about life in general during his stay at the mountain. “I saw that boys who had been to the mountains are more disciplined and ..

Travelogue: What to expect when moving from South Africa to London

Image Credits: In October 2016, I moved from sunny South Africa to the wonderful winter that only the United Kingdom can be well known for! I joined my wonderful boyfriend (FYI – he is from SA too!) and adjusted to the change – and have never looked back! The next points will only be based on my experience in the UK thus far (for now!). The Cold Climate MythDon’t get me wrong, the blazing hot sun and warm temperatures certainly do wonders for a person! But, if your biggest concern that you have when emigrating is the weather, I am sure you can find an article about emigrating to the Bahamas in the summer somewhere on the web! Yes, it rains. Yes, it is overcast a lot of the time and yes, the temperature drops are quite drastic – but (and this is a big BUT) – Don’t be fooled by the image portrayed of the UK weather that you see on TV and in films. With that being said, the weather is easy to adapt to. The buildings are designed with insulation and almost everywhere you go ther..

South Africa – Arts and Culture Committee Sends Condolences to Kgositsile Family

The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture has noted the passing of South Africa’s literary prodigal son, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile with sadness. The Chairperson of the Committee Ms. Xoliswa Tom said the nation is poorer without this giant of the world of poetry. “His death should inspire young authors and poets into wanting to read and write in our languages. Bra Willie’s pen spoke volumes in fostering identity and enlightened many during the darker days in our past. His wit served its purpose,” Ms Tom said. Advertisement“The Committee sends its condolences to the family, the community of writing and all those who will be most impacted by the departure of this renowned South African poet,” she said. Bra Willie passed on Wednesday (3 January) after a short illness at Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital. He had undergone surgery after suffering from circulatory problems. “Not too many in our generation will ever be able to master and marry arts, activism, family and political life in the ..

Blue Devil of the Week: Nurturing a Culture of Collaboration

Name: Ed Balleisen Title: Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Professor of History and Public Policy Years at Duke: 21 What he does: While a focus on interdisciplinary studies has been a part of Duke’s strategic direction for a few decades, Balleisen stresses the impulse to span areas of study in search of answers to complex questions is something that occurs organically at Duke. Go in any school or department, he says, and you’ll find teachers and students whose curiosity and focus on big problems often leads them beyond the boundaries of their particular field, and often into intellectual partnerships with others from other disciplines. It’s Balleisen’s job to nurture that part of campus culture. As the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, a position he’s held since 2015, he’s helped guide the campus entities that have drawn on expertise from multiple schools and overseen the growth of the Bass Connections program, which teams students with faculty to pursue interdisci..

3 Hairstylists On Braids, Cultural Appropriation and Media's Erasure of Black Women

"When other cultures are respected and acknowledged for their traditions and we aren't, it becomes a deeper issue that needs to be spoken about."Bantu knots. Cornrows. Box braids. Whatever you've known them as, the vast family of braided hairstyles has been around far longer than beauty trends, hashtags and Kardashians. For some of us, braids bring back nostalgic memories of intimacy, family and self-identity through artistic expression. However, over the past few years, traditionally Black, braided hairstyles — specifically on other races — have hit a mainstream nerve, evoking an uncomfortable, ever-present question for those both within and outside the African Diaspora: Is this cultural appropriation? While the conversation isn't an easy one to have, it is necessary given the media's all-too-often problematic regard for (or neglect of) Black hair. "Braids started in Africa and can be traced back to Egypt as far as 3500 BC. Braiding is also a way to maintain our h..

A sound Trump policy on Africa could protect US interests

Despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimonySkier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at OlympicsPoll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with RussiaMORE’s acknowledgment that the “United States faces an extraordinarily dangerous world,” his regional strategy toward Africa is too weak to advance American interests on the continent. Most high-level leaders who attended the recent Atlantic Dialogues in Morocco agree that geopolitical and economic competition from China, Russia, India, France, and the United Kingdom threaten America’s national interests and soft power in Africa. Trump's national security strategy commits to protect the homeland, promote American prosperity, preserve peace through strength and advance American influence with the return of principle realism. But its priority actions are not strong enough to realistically counter global competitio..

Kwanzaa: Celebrating family, community, culture

The Kwanzaa holiday was founded in the U.S. in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a conduit through which African Americans and others of African descent could connect to their roots through meditation and study of cultural traditions in celebrating the event. It lasts a week, beginning Dec. 26, and concluding on Jan. 1. Jackson County native Curley Spires Potter now splits her time between her childhood hometown and her current home in Virginia. She’s here about eight months of the year, and was in town longer than expected in 2017. As a result, she’s missing Kwanzaa in Virginia, where in her home she traditionally sets up a Kwanzaa display with symbolic items. Potter’s been disappointed over the years in realizing that, in Jackson County, the observance of Kwanzaa is rarer than in her community in Virginia. She’s making it a mission to teach some of its principles and ceremonial elements in her portion of the next White-Purdee-Spires family reunion that’s held here. A retired educator wh..

Let's make the campaign on reading culture a success

The recently launched campaign by Rwandan publishers to ingrain a reading culture in the country is not only imaginative, but could not have been kick-started at a better time. Themed “Gira Igitabo Aho Uri (loosely, ‘read a book wherever you are’), it is apt that the first full month of the projected year-long campaign should have coincided with December. The aptness of the coincidence is that it should appear obvious that the long holidays that define the month present an excellent opportunity for adults and children alike to enjoy a book before work and school resumes in January. Yet this rarely happens with many of us. Thus, the elaborate campaign targets homes as well as institutions and corporates, with an eventual launch of the Igitabo Bus Initiative to avail books in public transport service vehicles. The bus initiative will be the first of its kind in the region, if not the world. And, if it successfully comes to pass, the multi-pronged campaign doesn’t get more imaginative th..

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