Editor's note

Competing claims to urban space are central to everyday politics in Africa’s cities. For instance, groups native to a territory often hold special rights over migrants fuelling a political struggle over control of the city. Jeffrey W. Paller argues that focusing on everyday politics can help explain why powerful interest groups undermine policies that might improve the public good. This can lead to development of long-term, pro-poor, decision-making pathways instead of short-term solutions and personalistic politics.

Julius Maina

Regional Editor East Africa

Top story

The Korle Gono beach in Accra covered in plastic bottles and other items washed ashore following weeks of heavy flooding in 2016. EPA/Christian Thompson

How everyday politics shapes the way African cities are run

Jeffrey W Paller, University of San Francisco

Focusing on everyday politics can help explain why powerful interest groups undermine policies that might improve the public good.

Science + Technology

From medicine to nanotechnology: how gold quietly shapes our world

Werner van Zyl, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Gold is one of 12 confirmed elements on the periodic table whose discoverer is unknown.

New fossil find may shed light on how sabre toothed predators evolved

Julien Benoit, University of the Witwatersrand

The discovery of a fossilised large predator is a rare event that offers insight into these beasts from the past.

Business + Economy

South Africa’s informal sector: why people get stuck in precarious jobs

Moegammad Faeez Nackerdien, University of the Western Cape; Derek Yu, University of the Western Cape

Little is known about how many people transition between the informal and formal sectors, a phenomenon called "churning".

How South Africa can grow its gaming industry

Delon Tarentaal, Rhodes University; Jen Snowball, Rhodes University

To help establish South Africa's gaming industry as a viable career path for more diverse participants, more support for the technical training required has to be considered.

From our international editions

Curious Kids: what are meteorites made of and where do they come from?

Jacco van Loon, Keele University

Meteorites might look like boring bits of rock – but each one has a fascinating story.

Social media: should you share pictures of your children online?

Garfield Benjamin, Solent University

Teaching our children about consent is important in any aspect of life, and online privacy should be no exception.

En français

Peuls et Dogons dans la tourmente au Mali : histoire d’une longue relation ambivalente

Dougoukolo Alpha Oumar Ba-Konaré, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales - Inalco - USPC

Une grande partie des tensions actuelle est due à l’irruption d’acteurs externes. Mais sans État pour s’interposer, défendre et expulser les acteurs de la discorde, la violence risque de s’accroître.

Diaspora et mobilité : enrichir la recherche africaine

Luc Ngwé, Université Paris Descartes – USPC; Hamidou Dia, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD)

La mobilité des étudiants africains est essentielle au développement d’une pensée intellectuelle africaine fondée sur l’échange avec la diaspora et l’engagement des universitaires africains.


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