Perspectives

Perspectives

When you write about Africa, make sure to always include sad and starving characters, advises Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana in his famously ironic essay “How to write about Africa”, which takes aim at Western prejudices. In the same way that everyday laughter has been excluded from all-too-familiar depictions of the continent, African humour and satire as a form of social and political engagement remains underexplored.

Reflections on Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa

Despite the formal commitment of many African states to universal human rights, the realisation of those rights remains unfulfilled for a great number of their citizens, especially women.

Perspectives #03/2014: What Ya Looking At? Africa Returns the Gaze

For this edition of Perspectives the Heinrich Böll Foundation asked a number of African intellectuals, writers and analysts to provide their take on Africa’s relationship with Europe. The result is a small collection of interviews, short essays and comments that throw light on the complexities and complexes of this relationship, using analysis, imagery, experience, provocation and humour.

Perspective #2, 2014: Africa, Greening the Continent: Reflections on Low Carbon Development Pathways

This edition of the Perspective brings with it a wealth of facts on renewable energy, green economies, climate change and reflects on the challenges different African nations and entities are faced with, in their quest for a self-sufficient and sustainable green society. It is a rich compilation of expert commentaries and contributions coming from different parts of Africa, telling African stories.

With this edition of Perspectives, we give Africa-based commentators and experts from across the continent the opportunity to critically reflect on the “Africa rising” story and the sub-narratives it carries.

Perspectives #03/2013: Women, Custom and Access to Justice

This issue of Perspectives provides insight into country-specific challenges and controversies with regards to women’s access to justice in selected sub-Saharan African states.

Perspectives #02/2013 Women and Land Rights: Questions of Access, Ownership and Control

This issue deals with women's rights to own land in Africa and land reforms that combine gender equality.

Perspectives #1/13: Movers and Shakers? Youth and Political Change in Africa

What frustrations are causing the youth to turn to the streets? How do they mobilise today? Are conventional politics and parties able to attract young people or do they seek alternative ways to engage? How does their political participation manifest? Have they been successful? Are the youth a political force?

Perspectives #03/2012: What Are Sustainable African Cities?

This edition of Perspectives asks, “What are sustainable African cities?”. In so doing, it offers a snapshot of Africa’s urban sustainability challenges, ranging from tensions between heritage and urban renewal.

Perspectives #02/2012: Do Parliaments Matter? African Legislatures and the Advance of Democracy  - Publications

The articles in this issue of Perspectives seek to reflect on the extent to which African legislatures have taken steps that mark their shift from being the “weakest link” of government to stronger, independent institutions. In essence, we ask – do African Parliaments really occupy the privileged position accorded to them in representational democracies

Perspectives #01/2012: A Fractious Relationship - Africa and the International Criminal Court

Although there continues to be widespread popular support across the African continent for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its mandate to prosecute high-level individuals accused of perpetrating international crimes, strong anti-ICC sentiments are brewing among parts of Africa’s political elite and state actors.

Perspectives #04/2011: No Romance: Mobilising Climate Finance for Africa

While Africa has contributed the least to historic greenhouse gas emissions globally, it stands to be the hardest hit by the effects of climate change. Africa will require substantial financial resources in order to adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change. At this year’s Climate Change Conference in Durban, climate finance is expected to feature prominently.

Perspectives #03/2011: Politics, Principles and Practice: Zimbabwe's Diamonds and the Kimberley Process

Zimbabwe's Marange diamonds have been tainted by reports of violence, human rights abuses and smuggling, fuelling doubts about the credibility and effectiveness of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP). How can the Marange impasse be resolved?

Perspectives #2.11: The Power to Participate: Building Feminist Influence in Africa

Over the last five decades, successive African governments have promised their citizens dignity, equality, human rights and a better life. However, progress to achieve these ideals remains hampered in various respects, of which gender inequality is undoubtedly one of the most severe.

Perspectives #01/2011: Food Security in Africa

One of the biggest challenges predicted to affect food security in Africa is climate change. Due to the fact that 95 percent of Africa’s agriculture is rainfed, the already fragile agricultural sector is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Highertemperatures and an increased frequency of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, eventually lead to a decline in agricultural output.

Perspectives #4.10: Struggle for Equality - Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Human Rights in Africa

This issue sheds light on the ongoing struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people for equality in Africa.

Perspectives #03/2010: The Challenges of Change - Improving Resource Governance in Africa

This issue of Perspectives sheds light on successes and challenges of various multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed at improving resource governance in Africa - namely the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme in Zimbabwe, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Initiative, and the Publish What You Pay Coalition in Tanzania.

About Perspectives

Perspectives is a publication series of the Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. With this series, we intend to let experts from Africa express their views about current political issues in their region. Perspectives focuses on Southern- , East- and West Africa where the foundation has established offices.

This series of publications will provide you with political analyses and assessments that are well-founded, concise and relevant. Our aim is to make a contribution to a highly diversified debate - a debate in which people from Africa with a special insight into what is happening in their part of the world can express their thoughts. We intend publishing contributions from think tanks and universities, from journalists, politicians, as well as civil society representatives.

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