We Must Unite now or Perish – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah


Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah’s speech at the founding of the OAU has since become a classic, even iconic. In front of 31 other African heads of state who met in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 24 May 1963, Nkrumah appealed, cajoled, and did everything in perhaps his greatest speech ever to convince his colleagues to go the whole ...

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My last coordinates


GPS is a new technology. Just over two decades ago ships navigated on the high seas using stars. My father was a Navigant. He’d been regional best in maths and physics, so Mobutu paid his astronomy and maritime Science. Predictably, Mobutu’s fleet had gone bankrupt by the time he graduated, he spent his young adulthood aboard Belgian supertankers navigating away ...

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‘Petit, viens..’ The true face of the French Army


This is a photo of a Rwandan peacekeeper in Central African Republic (CAR). It was twitted by french channel France 24 and much of the French media with their story: ‘UN peacekeepers accused of Central African Republic Abuse’. In the alleged abuses, Rwandan troops aren’t mentioned, yetFrance 24 chose to tweet a peacekeeper with a Rwandan flag to go with ...

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Did Umushyikirano 2016 signal the end of ‘Atalaku’?


“What has really differentiated Koffi Olomide to his emblematic predecessors in Congolese music was the role he assigned to the ‘atalaku’”. Who is an ‘atalaku’? It is the annoying guy in the background of a soft and southing rumba, announcing random names of random people that no one cares about, throughout the entire song. For your name to be mentioned, ...

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The cleaner the University of Pretoria assigned to my apartment was called Violet. A mother in her late forties. She was very pretty, always smiling. She liked me and encouraged me to eat more. ‘Look at you, you are skinny, you must eat!’ she said to me. I liked Violet, I called her Aunt. In my mind she was part ...

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Abasongarere bo muri leta


You can’t really be passionate about changing the world and passionate about logistics at the same time… John Kayihura, a veteran Rwandan Tour operator is having an early, much deserved breakfast on the shores of the Shanga River in the ‘Dzanga Sangha Forest reserve, situated deep in the south-eastern jungles of the Central African Republic and nestled between Cameroon and ...

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Paul Kagame is Rwanda’s product, not the other way round


When Fred Rwigema, the first RPF commander suddenly died at the beggining of the struggle, I am told, all seemed lost. In the absence of a unifying figure, small factions typically formed within the rebel movement. Chaos reigned as no other person came even near from commanding the same authority and legitimacy. Power struggles and lack of direction prevailed among ...

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Dear Simon Turner, don’t jump off a cliff


Towards the end of 2012 as I lived in South Africa, I receive a call from my Danish friend Andreas Christensen in Kigali. He is outraged by a report he read on the website of the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). As a good Danish citizen he frequently consults DIIS’s space to be informed about world politics, and know ...

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To Sana Maboneza, Yesterday…


Since yesterday, John Lennon’s song has been playing through my mind: Yesterday: ‘Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, Oh I believe, in yesterday…’   I hear it and I cry, for dire news’ coming from afar. News of death, news of despair… Somebody keep the news away from me, ...

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