South African president Cyril Ramaphosa recently led his party, the African National Congress, into an election in which it lost the parliamentary majority for the first time in 30 years. Some critics blame this on his leadership style, which they say is over-consultative and too consensus-seeking. Keith Gottschalk argues, however, that these qualities will serve him well in making a success of the planned government of national unity, composed of parties with divergent worldviews.

The idea of a freeport has existed for centuries. When used properly these special economic zones – where goods aren’t subjected to the usual regulations or taxes – can bring many benefits. Transport economist Jonas Aryee explains why the successes associated with freeports have been hard to come by in west Africa.

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Thabo Leshilo

Politics + Society

Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership style didn’t impress voters – but seeking consensus may be what South Africa’s unity government needs

Keith Gottschalk, University of the Western Cape

Following Jacob Zuma’s tenure, during which corruption became endemic tarnishing the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa was touted as the party’s saviour. But he failed to impress.

Africa’s freeports should boost trade and foreign exchange earnings – but evidence is thin

Jonas Aryee, University of Plymouth

Freeports have not reached their full potential in west Africa.

Girls usually read better than boys. Why this isn’t the case in some African countries

Pearl S. Kyei, University of Ghana

Improving school sanitation, reducing household chores, and addressing harassment and bullying could enhance girls’ reading performance relative to boys’.

Senegal’s remote Bassari people talk about climate change, and how their local knowledge is key to coping strategies

Anna Porcuna-Ferrer, Cirad; Laura Calvet-Mir, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Victoria Reyes-García, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The remote Bassari community, located between Senegal and Guinea, experiences climate change as one of many changes. They are best placed to come up with solutions that work for them.

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