Editor's note

In the four years since John Pombe Magufuli became Tanzania’s president, there’s been a visible narrowing of freedoms – especially for the press and opposition parties. Independent journalists are harassed, arrested and some have even fled after receiving death threats. Nick Westcott traces these trends and how Magufuli, who swept to power vowing to uphold Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s legacy, is doing exactly the opposite.

Until recently, China’s aviation links with a range of African countries has differed from other countries that have taken to the skies over Africa. China’s focus has been on modernising, extending and building new airports. The grandest projects are in resource-rich countries. Gordon Pirie sets out what he found in his research.

Also today:

DNA’s secrets

Voting patterns

Julius Maina

Regional Editor East Africa

Top Stories

The statue of founding president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in Tanzania’s political capital Dodoma. WikiCommons

Why Tanzania’s attacks on free speech break with Nyerere’s legacy

Nick Westcott, SOAS, University of London

While sometimes intolerant of criticism, Nyerere tended to respond with argument rather than force.

Ethiopia’s national carrier is a key link between China and Africa. Wikimedia Commons

China has taken a different route to involvement in African aviation

Gordon Pirie, University of Cape Town

The aviation ambitions of several African countries are linked to Chinese investment.

Politics + Society

Mitochondrial DNA reveals unexpected ancestral connections

Debra Meyer, University of Johannesburg

Developments in mitochondrial DNA sequencing are returning South Africa's slavery heritage to view.

Black South Africans explain who they voted for in last poll, and why

Carin Runciman, University of Johannesburg; Marcel Paret, University of Utah

The survey findings show that people who had taken part in protests over the last five years were more likely to vote for opposition parties.

En español

¿Quiénes son los grandes escritores africanos y por qué no los conocemos?

Juan Miguel Zarandona Fernández, Universidad de Valladolid

A pesar de la proximidad geográfica, las referencias culturales que tenemos en España del continente africano, en especial de la llamado África subsahariana, son escasas.

El corazón de África está en llamas (pero el verdadero problema es la sequía)

Víctor Resco de Dios, Universitat de Lleida

La principal amenaza para el bosque tropical de la cuenca del Congo no son los incendios ni la deforestación, sino el cambio climático.

From our international editions

‘Gay gene’ search reveals not one but many – and no way to predict sexuality

Brendan Zietsch, The University of Queensland

The largest study of its kind - comparing the genetic sequences of almost half a million people - has revealed many different parts of our genetic code that seem to influence same-sex sexual behaviour.

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.


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