Great article describing the experience of a student who studied abroad in Kigali, Rwanda for a few weeks last summer.

A report from Sky News sheds light on the rising trend of ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa, in which openly gay women are being raped ‘in order to teach them a lesson’.

Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party is looking to replace the Zimbabwean President, despite unanimously re-electing him as first secretary of the party. After last year’s election in which the government was forced into a coalition with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, members of the party are blaming Mugabe for its declining public support.  Mugabe has historically pitted different factions within ZANU-PF against each other in order to keep hold of power and, along the way, has left the country of Zimbabwe in complete despair.

The BBC’s Southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen in Harare says much of the debate these past few days has focused on factionalism and claims that individual personalities are seeking to undermine the party for their own personal gain.

IOL reported a quote in which Mugabe stated, “The party is eating itself up. The more intense the internal fighting is, the greater opportunity we give to the opposition. We should be able to admit that the election produced a result that left a huge dent on the party.  We are responsible for the poor performance in the election last year.”


According to Al-Jazeera English many senior officers in the security forces fought in Zimbabwe’s war of independence and remain loyal to Mugabe and have vowed never to recognize Morgan Tsvangirai, prime minister and opposition head, as leader.

During a political rally in Harare on Saturday, Mugabe said the country’s unity government had a ‘short life span’ and asked for the support of the 10,000 delegates in attendance.

Still, political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe, Eldred Masunungure said those predicting that Zanu-PF was mortally wounded were making a mistake: “People should confound wishful thinking with sober analysis. Zanu-PF went through tumultuous times 30 years ago.”

A video from the BBC which shows how Africans are working together to combat the climate change in Mali.

Cosmetic products which bleach dark skin have found an ever-growing market on the Ivorian Market and it seems to be affecting women of every caste.  One women when asked to describe the products said they work by  ‘making the skin more beautiful and facilitates relationships.’ This video from Africanews shares more about the phenomenon.

With this week’s release of Clint Eastwood’s film Invictus, many are wondering if football really does have the impact to be a ‘force for good in Africa’ as it seems to have had in 1995 apartheid South Africa.   The BBC conducted a survey in which they included two historical examples in which football has had an impact on the political, military, and government agencies in Africa and then asked for readers opinions on the importance of the sport.

Ethopian Football Fans

Here are four responses from individuals in various African nations.

“Football, like anything else, can be a focre for good or ill.Off the pitch, its influence to a large exent is positive.In Liberia for instance ,during the civil war when the nation had nothing to look up to,people like George Weah and his team mates through football gave his compatriots the invaluable gift of HOPE for the future.Something to cheer and live for.In Ghana a good performance of the national teams as happened in Egypt 2009, and Germany 2006 helps in calming the political space,

Kojo, Accra , Ghana”

Yes I believe in Africa Football can change Africa. The most important feature with football is its ability to bring people together because of one cause. Africa has many tribes and ethnicities but with football all this is put aside and people celebrate as one. This has been witnessed in Uganda. Its also through football that resources in the dark continent can be discovered and utilized.

kagga Louis, Kampala Uganda”

“Football is the only language that Cameroonians speak in unison. This is a complex country of about 245 ethnic groups, each with its own language and culture. Plus, politics has polarised Cameroonians to the extent that some citizens canot bear to see their fellow country men eye ball to eye ball. But when it comes to football, we are one: enemies become friends. The government is so much aware of this that it can seize advantage of a football mach and raise fuel prices without any qualms.

Austin achunkwe, Buea, Cameroon”

Football can’t change africa for better neither can 8s improve any segment on the continent.since 1930 we heard of football history we having seen d impact football had made cuz we only know of millionaries footballers n having seen any estates of these highly paid soccer legeed.we cheer them everyday but they r not willing 2 give 2 their respective country.footbal had only change our mind from stress and an unhappy spirit.we don’t ve an academy of sport in africa.football made us 2 b happy

Jefferson G Togba, Monrovia, Liberia”

Uganda Bans Female Mutilation

December 12, 2009

The Uganda parliament has unanimously passed a bill banning female genital mutilation, a practice mostly used in the northeastern region of the country.

Female mutilation, or female circumcision, involves the removal of a female’s clitoris or other genital parts at a very young age in hopes of ensuring virginity and in preparation for marriage. Critics say it prevents pleasure for women during sexual intercourse, leads to complications during childbirth and increases other health risks such as infection and bleeding.

Anyone convicted of female circumcision may face up to10 years in jail, or a life sentence if a victim dies as a result of the surgery.

In some countries FGM is seen as a way to ensure virginity (BBC)

MP Alice Alaso told the BBC’s Focus on Africa program that, “It’s a very bad practice. It’s cruel, it traumatizes people, it’s led children to drop out of school, it’s a health hazard.  This is a warning signal – whoever dares practice female genital mutilation will be subject to the law.”

And another MP, Lulume Bayiga, said the ‘law would liberate both men and women – who often face being ostracised for shunning the custom.’

Uganda’s shadow health minister, Francis Epetait, told AFP, “This operation is so painful, so cruel, and these so-called surgeons are paid to do it.  I supported the bill with all my strength and heart.”

In 2007, the United Nations passed a resolution which labeled female genital mutilation “irreparable, irreversible abuse” and deemed it  a violation of the rights of women.   The United Nations estimates that 100 to 140 million women worldwide are victims of female mutilation.