Editor's note

West Africa’s most powerful economy has lost a significant legal tussle in a London court that has the potential to derail economic growth. Oludara Akinmidu explains how a little-known oil and gas company took on the Nigerian state’s unwillingness to live up to its contractual obligations.

There’s no doubt that digital technologies have a crucial role to play across sectors on the African continent. From agriculture to creative industries, digital innovation is a powerful tool. But it’s not all plain sailing. Elvira Bolat and Nasiru Taura examine what works and what doesn’t when it comes to our new digital reality.

Also today:

Godfred Boafo

Commissioning Editor: Ghana

Top Stories

Oil and gas is the lifeblood of Nigeria’s economy. Wikimedia Commons

Explainer: how Nigeria got hit with a $9.6 billion judgment debt in London

Oludara Akanmidu, De Montfort University

One of the world's largest producers of oil has lost a legal battle that could have dire consequences on its fragile economy.

Digital technology is being used to improve rice processing in Nigeria. Shutterstock

Digital technologies are transforming African businesses, but obstacles remain

Elvira Bolat, Bournemouth University; Nasiru Taura, Bournemouth University

Digital technologies have created new opportunities for businesses in sub-Saharan Africa, but they must be aimed at meeting the sub-continent's needs.

Science + Technology

Curious Kids: What is the Earth made of?

Rosalie Tostevin, University of Cape Town

Of all the planets in the solar system, there’s a reason we call Earth home. It’s made of just the right stuff. It’s not too small, or too big, or too hot or too cold. It’s just right.

Curious Kids: why does Saturn have rings?

Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer, Swinburne University of Technology

Most people think that many millions of years ago, Saturn didn't have rings at all. Instead, it had a big moon moving around it. Eventually, the moon burst and broke into pieces.

Politics + Society

Xenophobia: time for cool heads to prevail in Nigeria and South Africa

Gilbert M. Khadiagala, University of the Witwatersrand

South Africa and Nigeria need to lead policy debates on long term measures to address migration in Africa.

South Africa: a new narrative could tackle anti-migrant crisis

Cuthbeth Tagwirei, University of the Witwatersrand

Faced with the same problem, South Africa is turning to the familiar toolkit to explain a recurrent problem.

From our international editions

India’s moon mission should be considered a success, and a lesson in spacefaring

Rebecca Allen, Swinburne University of Technology

Despite a last-minute crash-landing, efforts behind India's moon mission should be applauded. The endeavor has set an example for emerging space programs across the globe.

In Brazil’s rainforests, the worst fires are likely still to come

Robert T. Walker, University of Florida

As deforestation rates in Brazil rise, it's worth asking whether the country can repeat the successes of the last decade. Current trends don't bode well.

Toddler language learning: Richer and more complicated than you might think

Katherine White, University of Waterloo

Adults aren't the only language teachers: six-year-olds still produce sounds differently than adults, but toddlers are extremely good at understanding the speech of children six years and older.

Urban growth, heat islands, humidity, climate change: the costs multiply in tropical cities

Taha Chaiechi, James Cook University; Silvia Tavares, James Cook University

The world's fastest-growing cities are in the tropics. They are highly exposed to climate change, especially as urban heat island effects and humidity magnify the impacts of increasing heatwaves.


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.