Editor's note

When baby sea turtles hatch they make an arduous, epic trek to the ocean that will be their home. This journey leaves distinctive trackways on the sand but these are quickly washed away, covered over by the elements. That’s why no evidence has ever been found of baby sea turtle trackways - until now. Charles Helm and Martin Lockley explain the 100 000 year-old trackways found preserved in South Africa.

Insufficient resources, dilapidated campuses and inadequate research infrastructure are some of the key issues crippling Africa’s higher education sector. However there are reasons to be hopeful: some universities are bucking the trend and increasing their research output rates. David Mba unpacks which academic institutions are getting it right and how.

Also today:

Natasha Joseph

Assistant Editor: News and Research and Science & Technology Editor

Top Stories

Baby sea turtles head for their natural habitat. noga f/Shutterstock

First fossil trails of baby sea turtles found in South Africa

Charles Helm, Nelson Mandela University; Martin Lockley, University of Colorado Denver

These trackways preserve an incredibly brief moment in time. More importantly, they tell us about ancient climates, and how turtle breeding ranges have changed over the millenia

It’s not all doom and gloom for African universities – some are getting it right. Shutterstock

Scholarly success of African universities: common contributing factors

David Mba, De Montfort University

With limited resources and inadequate infrastructure, African universities appear to be under tremendous strain. But some are beating the odds and getting it right.

Politics + Society

Politician who turned down a bribe offers a recipe to end South Africa’s malaise

Keith Gottschalk, University of the Western Cape

This book is a booster to morale. It tells South Africans they can enjoy the impressive economic growth they once achieved.

West African states have a science and technology plan. But it’s going nowhere

Joseph Ato Forson, University of Education

Policies that will drive investment and change the structure of economies in the West African sub region are facing several challenges.

Business + Economy

Central banks are waking up to climate change dangers. It’s about time

Danny Bradlow, University of Pretoria

Central banks are expected to act without fear or favour. But to deal with climate change, they may have to encourage financial institutions to favour certain types of activities over others.

Innovative tech might ease growth bottle-necks for entrepreneurship in Africa

Prince C. Oguguo, Grenoble École de Management (GEM)

Countries in Africa have some of the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the world, yet their contribution to the economy is limited. Technology such as the blockchain, drones and AI could provide a way forward.

From our international editions

New research shows vast majority of Hong Kong protesters support more radical tactics

Samson Yuen, Lingnan University

A survey of 8,000 Hong Kong protesters shows that participants increasingly feel that radical protests are the most effective way to make the government heed public opinion.

The Great Barrier Reef outlook is ‘very poor’. We have one last chance to save it

Terry Hughes, James Cook University

It’s official. The outlook for the Great Barrier Reef has been downgraded to “very poor”, and the window to act is closing.

Measles epidemic: parents reluctant to vaccinate their children need to hear of the horrors of forgotten diseases

Sarah Pitt, University of Brighton

It's not just measles you need to worry about.

Rosa Parks Barbie doll reflects popular misunderstanding of civil rights struggle

David Ballantyne, Keele University

It's great that toy companies are celebrating diverse role models, but children could be taught so much more in their write ups of their stories.


Would you like to republish any of these articles?

It’s free to republish, here are the guidelines. Contact us on africa-republish@theconversation.com in case you need assistance.