Editor's note

The Kingdom of Kush was a major power for more than 2000 years in the region where, today, Sudan meets Egypt. Temples and sacred sites were a crucial part of Kushite life – and it was accepted practice for visitors to these sites to carve graffiti to mark their presence. Suzanne Davis and Geoff Emberling explore what the ancient graffiti meant, and the efforts being made to preserve it.

The new African free trade zone came into effect in May this year. All of the African Union’s member states are now legally bound to allow goods to be traded without restraint throughout the continent. But, explains Christian Abadioko Sambou, there are some security concerns that come with free trade, particularly in border areas.

It’s tough to be a smallholder farmer on the African continent. There are political, economic and social barriers to deal with, and a lack of information often makes this important work even harder. But new affordable technologies like drones, text services and apps could help with all those issues. In this week’s episode of Pasha, Abdul-Rahim Abdulai and Emily Duncan explain how.

Natasha Joseph

Assistant Editor: News and Research and Science & Technology Editor

Top Stories

Graffiti bullheads carved on the temple walls. RTI: Suzanne Davis and Janelle Batkin-Hall/IKAP, 2016

Temple graffiti reveals stories from ancient Sudan

Suzanne Davis, University of Michigan; Geoff Emberling, University of Michigan

Visitors to these sites had one particular religious ritual that may strike some as strange: they carved graffiti in important and sacred places.

Millions of people have been displaced from countries like Mali. Can a free trade zone create more security? NICOLAS REMENE/EPA-EFE

The African free trade zone can’t ignore continent’s security issues

Christian Abadioko Sambou, Université de Lille

Given that some states are being asked to increase their presence in border and remote areas, free trade and free movement of goods and people could become a real cause for concern.

Science + Technology

Eye-tracking can help diagnose concussion, but it’s under-utilised

Nadja Snegireva, Stellenbosch University

Sports medicine clinicians see benefit in using eye-tracking for concussion diagnostics, but only few of them actually work with it.

Why forecasting floods should be a global collaborative effort

Andrea Ficchì, University of Reading

Tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth have shown how important it is to integrate local information and resources with global scale forecasts and support.


Pasha 34: How digital technologies can help farmers in Africa

Ozayr Patel, The Conversation

Over the past two decades digitisation has steadily transformed African farming.

Pasha 33: Staying healthy is difficult for young women in Soweto

Ozayr Patel, The Conversation

It’s not enough to simply promote healthy eating and exercise without considering South Africa's very real environmental and structural constraints.

En français

Comment sortir de la crise meurtrière qui déchire le Cameroun ?

Cheryl Hendricks, Human Sciences Research Council; Gabriel Ngah Kiven, University of Johannesburg

Les anglophones du Cameroun souffrent d’une marginalisation flagrante et sont traités comme des citoyens de seconde zone par le gouvernement francophone.

Les prairies africaines sont censées brûler - pas les forêts d'Amazonie. Ne détournons pas l'attention!

Colin Beale, University of York

Oui, il y a plus d'incendies en Afrique qu'au Brésil. Mais contrairement à l'Amazonie, la savane africaine a évolué pour repousser rapidement.

From our international editions

The Amazon fire crisis has been 500 years in the making – as Brazil’s indigenous people know only too well

Darren Reid, Coventry University

After five centuries of extraction, the Amazon region stands on the brink.

Boris Johnson to seek UK general election – but purging his party of rebels changes the rules of the game

Matthew Cole, University of Birmingham

An election is on the near horizon and the Conservatives are best placed to win. But that doesn't mean they will be popular.

How to get kids talking about their school day

Jessica Cooke, University of Calgary; Sheri Madigan, University of Calgary

Children's needs change as they grow and develop, so parents should attune themselves to talking to their children in age-appropriate ways that demonstrate ongoing care.

Genetic engineering and human-animal hybrids: how China is leading a global split in controversial research

David Lawrence, Newcastle University

A growing international divide over cutting-edge medical research could worsen predatory practices, medical tourism and health inequality.


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.