Africa

Afro Modernism: Africa's Avant-Garde Architecture Boom

The 1960s and 70s were an explosive period for experimental architecture in Africa – from vast Toblerone-shaped exhibition centres to giant lily-bud auditoriums. Swiss architect Manuel Herz has tracked down 80 of these lost monuments of African independence for a new book, "African Modernism". Pictured on the left are some of the many triangular prisms that form the FIDAK exhibition centre, which was built in 1975 in the Senegalese capital Dakar to host the country’s biennial international trade fair.

African Poetry Goes Mobile

The Badilisha Poetry X-Change is the largest online archive of African poetry, accessible via mobile phone, in the world. It was originally conceived as an annual poetry festival overseen by the Africa Centre, a pan-African organization based in Cape Town in 2008. Over the following years it grew to become a powerful mouthpiece for showcasing African wordsmiths. And by 2012, the institution decided to move online in an effort to break down geographical borders and open up their diverse anthology to a wider audience in Africa.

10 Examples of 'Green' Architecture in Africa

We are all trying to go ‘green’: ‘green’ world, ‘green’ city, ‘green’ household. ‘Green’ has become a buzzword for sustainable, safe, energy efficient and/or economic. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes green architecture as a ‘philosophy of architecture that advocates sustainable energy sources, the conservation of energy, the reuse and safety of building materials, and the siting of a building with consideration of its impact on the environment’.

Uganda Voted Best English Speaking Country in Africa

A study conducted by World Linguistic Agency has rated Uganda the Best English Speaking Country in Africa. After Uganda, the following countries came in closely: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia. Despite their strong traditional accent, Nigerians were credited for taking the spot for constructing good sentences that are grammatically flawless.

Africa in 2014: 10 Things We've Learnt

From the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the schoolgirls' kidnapping in Nigeria to the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius and the conflict in South Sudan, it's been a busy year for Africa. But can you remember some of the quirkier headlines from 2014? Here are 10 things we've learnt in the last 12 months, and these include jollof rice, campaigning by bike, bobble hats, and a rabbit.

The Best African Art in 2014

2014 had no shortage of exceptional images and stories from the African art world. Artists like Wangechi Mutu, Hassan Hajjaj, and Chris Saunders continued to perfect their trade with exhibition openings across the globe. Morocco opened its first contemporary art museum. Street art took over Accra’s streets for the fourth year running. The Brooklyn Museum made a commitment to African art with an ambitious new long-term installation. 1:54 in London, Europe’s leading contemporary African art fair, drew in work by over 100 of the Continent’s top artists.

The State of LGBT Equality in Africa

Homophobia thrives in most countries in Africa, making the continent an oppressive place to live for countless LGBT people. A staggering 32 countries in Africa criminalize same-sex sexual contact with jail time. Months after Uganda's Constitutional Court overturned its Anti-Homosexuality Act, nearly identical legislation returned - this time in the Gambia. In October, Chad took up a sweeping bill that calls for 20-year prison sentences for those perceived to be LGBT. In 2013, more LGBT people were arrested in Cameroon than any other nation in the world.

Africa Rising Music Video

This music video is part of a campaign launched by MultiChoice Africa, designed to inspire Africans to become involved in community-based social improvement projects. The Africa Rising project is supported by Channel O Africa, who brought together some of the finest voices and high-profile African artists into one song, to celebrate the greatness of Africa. The "Africa Rise Up" song was produced by Shizzi, and the star-studded video was filmed in Ghana by Call Back Dreams.

The Human Security Implications of Anti-Gay Law on Sexual Minority in Nigeria

On 7th January 2014, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed an anti-gay bill into law, with punishments including 14 years imprisonment for anyone that enters into same-sex marriage, 10 years for any organization or people that support gay rights as well as any individual who displays same-sex affection in public. This invasive law made Nigeria the 36th country in Africa to prosecute gays.

World Pride: Binyavanga Wainaina on Gay Rights in Africa

Kenyan writer and one of "Time" magazine's 'most influential' people of the year, Binyavanga Wainaina, rocketed to the forefront of Africa's gay rights movement when he came out in his essay "I Am a Homosexual, Mum". 

He also comments on the changes happening in Africa, and his commitment to being a positive force in the developments. "Africa is going through an amazing time. Both turbulent, terrible but moving," he says. "Change is in the air, and I want to be inside those changes."

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