The Organisation of the African Unity (OAU) founding fathers gallery is hard to miss immediately upon entering the African Union complex in Addis Ababa. The gallery includes portraits of 38 heads of states. The OAU was founded by 32 countries. 23 countries have joined the Africa Union over the years which replaced the OAU in 2001.
Egyptian human rights advocate, Yara Sallam, stood up to be counted when Egypt’s revolution was in full tilt and paid the price for it: fifteen months in prison. The prison spell did nothing to diminish her resolve and since her release last year, the outspoken activist has shown no signs of backing down from the fight to ensure that the powers that be uphold the human rights of every Egyptian. This Is Africa’s Nancy Onyango caught up with Sallam on the sidelines of the recently concluded Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) forum in Brazil. She opened up about why some North Africans don’t feel “African,” her experience behind bars and why she thinks Egypt’s revolution is far from over.
Amina Doherty is an African-Caribbean feminist and women’s rights advocate. Her work is centered on raising awareness for social justice through movement-building and innovative approaches to philanthropy. Her work takes many forms: art exhibitions, community programmes, cultural events and grant-making initiatives. She is committed to promoting justice and working towards social change through the intersection of art, culture and activism. Nancy Onyango caught up with her on the sidelines of the Black Feminisms Forum (BFF), held in Bahia, Brazil in September 2016 ahead of the 13th Association for Women’s Rights in Development forum. They talked about what it means to be a feminist, collective self-care and the importance of listening to each other’s struggles.
“The exhibition Eroticism and Intimacy: Faces, Places, and Paths seeks to confront the gap in the discourse on African women on the historic worldwide celebration. Co-curated by Violet Nantume, Peter Genza, and Serubiri Moses, the show opened on 8th March in Kampala, comprising 20 artists from 5 countries, and
explores the question of intimacy and erotic desire. Further, the exhibition proposes that African women can be emancipated, not only on world stages, but in sexual relations and intimate encounters.”
Investing in African Mining Indaba, an annual professional conference held in early February, is dedicated to the capitalisation and development of mining interests in Africa. Nancy Onyango from This is Africa sought out Dirk-Jan Koch, envoy for Natural Resources at the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for a chat about about the Netherlands’ stance on illicit financial flows, mining, flooding and water management in South Africa.
Editorial cartoons do not change a society overnight, but they contribute to its evolution by reminding leaders that they are not monarchs. They also can help to defuse situations, notably ethnic or religious tensions, by putting into perspective the possible consequences.