Perspectives

Perspectives

Perspectives #03/2018: Through the Looking Glass: Images of African Futures

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.

Perspectives #02/2018: Not Always on a Boat to Europe: Movements of Africans within and beyond the continent

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. 

Perspectives #01/2018: The Quest for Political Accountability: Change Agents, Openings and Dead Ends

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Since the third wave of democratisation swept through the continent in the 1990s, the majority of African states have replaced military dictatorships and one-party-dominant systems with more democratic forms of governance. Today, 61 percent of sub-Saharan countries are “free” or “partly free” according to Freedom House’s 2018 survey – although this is down from a high of 71 percent in 2008.

Perspectives #01/2017: South Africa: Emerging Power or Fading Star?

Informed by the discussions at an international conference jointly organised by the German Development Institute, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Stanford University on “Emerging Power or Fading Star? South Africa’s Role on the Continent and Beyond”, held 12–14 July 2016 in Cape Town, the articles gathered in this edition of Perspectives shed light on some of the nuances and challenges that define South Africa’s place in the world today.

Perspectives #02/2016: Laughing Out Loud - The Politics of Satire in Africa

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.

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

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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.

Perspectives #02/2014: Greening the Continent, Reflections on Low Carbon Development Pathways

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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.

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

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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 #01/2011: Food Security in Africa

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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.

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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