The Hollywood action movie Black Panther captured the imagination of audiences around the globe. In several African countries, it quickly became the highest grossing film of all time. The tale is set in Wakanda, a technologically advanced African kingdom that avoided the shackles of colonialism and slavery by isolating itself behind a guise of poverty and deprivation. Although what it presents as “African”, in terms of narrative and images, is far from uncontested, the film catapulted Afrofuturism – a discipline or aesthetic that enlists science fiction and technology to imagine black identities and futures unconstrained by past and present circumstances – from the avant-garde circles of artists and intellectuals into the mainstream.
The current public debate on African migration to Europe is largely fuelled by visions of boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea, filled with desperate people in search of a better life. The narrative positions Africa as a “continent on the move” whose people are surging into Europe on a seemingly endless tide. Although media images of desperate African refugees fleeing to Europe do portray the daily reality and the often-tragic consequences of the treacherous crossing, the framing conceals more than it reveals.
This edition of Perspectives contributes to the ongoing debate on infrastructure development in Africa by sharing snapshots of experience from around the continent, exploring questions about democratic participation, the role of human and environmental rights, and economic transformation.
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.
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?
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.
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.