Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Civic Voices on the State of Eritrea

Report

Hbs Nairobi supported the convening of a diverse group of 16 Eritrean professionals and intellectuals in December 2018 to discuss the implications of the sudden amelioration of the relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia earlier in the year. Over the 6 months which followed the workshop, participants engaged in intense consultations and decided to publish their joint reflections just a day ahead of Eritrea’s Independence Day on 24 May 2019.

Gender

Kenya grapples with fake news as women, politicians take the hit

Article

Women politicians and journalists have fallen victim of false information, most often through personal attacks meant to discourage them from politics or silence their voices in the media. Studies by AMWIK, ‘Women Journalists’ Digital Security’ in 2016 and 2017 indicate that social media has been the most used platform for attacks against female journalists, with the most common gendered attacks being cyber stalking, sexual harassment, impersonation with parody accounts, surveillance and un-authorized use and manipulation of personal information, including images, and videos. With more women in the public limelight, it is projected that more will become victims of fake news.

Call for Papers- Patriarchy and the Roll-back of Democracy in East and Horn of Africa

Call for Papers

Hbs in partnership with African Feminism seeks academic contributions that illustrate the convergence and/or role of patriarchy in the roll-back of democracy in East and Horn of Africa, as well as the role of feminist theory and practice in widening democratic spaces. We encourage African writers from or working across the region to submit abstracts for papers on a topic of their choice relating to the theme.

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Democracy

Sudan’s Civil Society - Aspirant Revolutionaries Once More

Article

Civil society has always played a key role in Sudan’s long ongoing struggle for political reform and the National Congress Party, which has ruthlessly clung to power for nearly 30 years, is cognisant of this.

Very few political analysts could have predicted what has transpired in Sudan over the past four months. On 19 December, a small protest ostensibly over a treble price hike in bread triggered a domino effect of protests across the country, including in former ruling party strongholds. It soon became clear the initial protests lit a powder keg within Sudanese society, frustrated at 30 years of authoritarian rule with mass corruption and an unwieldy security apparatus --Sudanese citizenry have had enough.

Kenya's Appeal Court upholds registration of rights body

Article

The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), a long-standing cooperation partner of hbs on LGBTIQ issues in Kenya, scored a major legal victory today: The Court of Appeal this morning upheld a 2015 High Court decision compelling the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Board to officially register the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) as an NGO.

Highlights from the Somali Heritage Week 2018

Event report

It is becoming clear that in order to build communities that are successful at improving conditions and resolving problems, we need to understand and appreciate different cultures, establish relationships with people from cultures other than our own, and build strong alliances with different cultural groups.

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Environment

Civil society reiterates call for a ban on geoengineering

Article

Geoengineering is an ineffective and irresponsible approach to the challenges posed by climate change. Its risks and potential impacts are global and extend far beyond the climate discussion. All of the proposed technologies carry large-scale risks for biodiversity, ecosystems, food security, human rights, health and democracy. It creates new threats to peace and security at the national, regional and global scales, both through the unintended but foreseeable exacerbation of underlying conflicts and through the potential for weaponization of geoengineering technologies. And it would further entrench our dependence on a fossil fuel economy.

Anti-Coal Demonstrators in Kenya March to Deliver Demands to Parliament and the President

Article

In commemorating World Environment Day on 5th June 2018, anti-coal activists across Kenya including from Lamu and Kitui held the #CoalNiSumu (Coal is Poison) demonstration in Nairobi, Kenya. About 250 people participated in the peaceful march through the Central Business District.

It was the first anti-coal demonstration in Nairobi, but just the latest action by the deCOALonize movement (www.decoalonize.org).

Listen to the latest Podcast (http://www.otherwisepodcast.com/episodes/episode-55-decoalonize/)

This Nairobi event follows a peaceful anti-coal demonstration in Lamu two weeks ago, in which two activists were arrested for public assembly and face possible charges.

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International Dialogue

New Website Documents Extrajudicial Executions in Kenya

Article

Missing Voices is an effort by Heinrich Boell Foundation and lobby groups under the Police Reform Working Group to track and document all extrajudicial killings and disappearances and follow cases that are in court. The website is a one-stop database of all extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances that happen in Kenya; it explains the circumstances under which the victims were killed and/or disappeared.

Celebrating Whispers 15 Years On: How Satire Can Further Civic Discourse

This year, 2018, marks 15 years since the death of Wahome Mutahi (1954 – 2003), who was one of Kenya’s most prolific fiction writers, as well as a playwright, columnist, political satirist, pundit and public opinion leader. He was popularly known as Whispers after the name of the column he wrote for The Daily Nation from 1982 to 2003, offering a satirical view of the trials and tribulations of Kenyan life. According to George Ogola in The Idiom of Age in a Popular Kenyan Newspaper Serial, at a time when the state had all but monopolized public sites of expression in the country, Whispers kept the Kenyan popular media porous, opening up spaces for the discussion of social and political issues that could otherwise only be ‘whispered’. It became the most visible site of social, cultural and political expression for the last two decades at a time when freedom to such expression was highly constrained by the state.

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Newest Publications

The Evolution of Kenyan Art and the Kenya Arts Diary

Supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and coordinated by Nani Croze of Kitengela Glass, the Kenya Arts Diary has become a popular annual art exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya and identified with the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The diary has built a new physical but portable space whose multi-functionality allows local artists to display their craft, advertise their skills, join a regional network, and find belonging.

First published in 2011, the Kenya Arts Diary is a catalogue - complete with descriptors - of photography, installations, oils, acrylics, patch-work quilts, wood, cement and scrap metal sculptures, some from “stitched found objects”. The Diary also carries artists’ bios and a directory that provides artists’ contacts and announces the range of collectives and studios where contemporary artists pursue their passions.

 

 

The Ocean Atlas illustrates the important role played by the ocean and its ecosystems – not only for people living on the coasts but for all of us. It aims to give a current insight of the state and the threat of the seas, that are our livelihoods.

Catch up with all our latest publications.

Energy Futures in Eastern Africa

Publication
Whereas the momentum of economic development in the 20th century depended on abundant fossil fuels and centralized electric power, countries are now revisiting their energy strategies to reduce the risks of unpredictable climate change. Our countries are not exempt from this dilemma. Should they continue to power their transition from agricultural to industrial societies by exploiting fossil fuels and centralized power? Or is a different energy system possible? Which investments will get priority? Who will benefit from whatever energy system is put into place, and who will be the biggest losers? 
 
Produced by the Society for International Development (SID) with the support of  Heinrich Böll Stiftung, East and Horn of Africa Regional Office, this booklet presents and explores possible scenarios that could unfold in four Eastern African countries. The analysis and three stories presented imagine practical future scenarios for energy and how these would affect energy poverty in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

Series of Event

Blogs