African Arguments Books

African Arguments is a series of short books about Africa today. Aimed at the growing number of students and general readers who want to know more about the continent.

New titles in the series

Featured Posts
Outgoing AUC chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, mingles with AU heads of state in 2013. Credit: GCIS.

Why it doesn't matter who the next chair of the African Union Commission is

Unless there are meaningful changes to the AU structure, the Chair of the Commission will remain a largely irrelevant bureaucrat, whoever it is. When Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was appointed as the new Chair of the African Union Commission (AUC) in 2012, expectations were sky high. The former South African minister was ...

Read More

Credit: Tomas.

DR Congo's electoral process is at an impasse. Here are 3 scenarios for what comes next

The Congolese government is effectively boycotting its own elections In February 2015, when the Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission (CENI) published its calendar detailing all the steps in the process up to the elections slated for 27 November 2016,  it was considered by most to be unrealistic. More likely, most ...

Read More

Burials were a particular point of danger in the transmission of the Ebola virus.  Credit: UN Photo/Martine Perret.

How black bin bags and common sense helped end an epidemic, and what we can learn from it

Rather than formal health systems, it was local common sense, allied to local ingenuity, that was crucial in ending Ebola. Is it time for a bottom-up citizen science? In an essay famous among anthropologists, Clifford Geertz once tried to tie the notion of 'common sense' to culture.  By insisting common sense ...

Read More

What should we keep an eye on as the Gambia deepens ties in the Middle East? Credit: Rafael Vila.

New friends, new risks as the Gambia looks East

The decisions of the tiny Gambia and its enigmatic president could have more repercussions for the region than one might expect On 11 December 2015, President Yahya Jammeh unexpectedly declared the Gambia “an Islamic Republic". He proclaimed that the decision was “in line with the country's religious identity and values”, referring ...

Read More

Many refugees say life has been getting harder in the camps for the past few years. Credit: Moulid Hujale.

Kenya camp closures no surprise to refugees: We've been crying out but no one heard

If Dadaab were a town, it would be Kenya's third biggest by population. Kenya’s announcement earlier this month that it planned to shut down its refugee camps may have seemed sudden to outsiders, but it was no surprise to the hundreds of thousands of refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma, two ...

Read More