Reading is hard, but sharing fake news is easy

Some of the most memorable fake news in East Africa include the one in 2018 about President Magufuli appealing to Tanzanian men to “Marry two or more women to reduce prostitution among ladies”. Another, also in 2018, was about a fellow who said he was the head of an Illuminati...

Saturday, January 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

What quest to find EAC national public digital libraries reveals

There are a number of social media book discussion groups, and they are growing. It is one sign ebooks are being read and audiobooks listened to. It is unconscionable that many of the ebooks are pirated, but they nonetheless are being read. A national public library with a good selection of free...

Saturday, January 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

AfCFTA begins trading this July. Where will SAATM be?

African nations are protecting their airlines from stiff competition, making uncertain whether the dream of the SAATM open skies policy will be achieved. The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) was adopted in January 2018 to liberalize civil aviation on the continent and drive economic...

Saturday, January 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

Gift some of the Connect Rwanda smartphones to the teenagers

Pledges to the Connect Rwanda challenge have so far hit an impressive 30,000 smartphones. The organisers should consider giving some of them to the teenagers. I was intrigued to find out the potential impact of the smartphones already in our teens’ hands after reading the recent article,...

Saturday, January 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

Wishing South Sudan a New Year with many happy returns

Last week, President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar vowed to form a transitional government of national unity by mid-February 2020. This promise could finally be it, heralding the end to the more than five years of civil strife in South Sudan. The avowal follows the 100-day...

Saturday, December 28, 2019, 12:00 AM

Kigali beguiles this festive season

The commentary published on these pages earlier this week titled, “It’s Christmas in Kigali”, by Lauren Nkuranga, comes through as something of happy discovery. After a decade in the country, she recalls how “it used to be difficult to tell it was Christmas time in Kigali...

Saturday, December 21, 2019, 12:42 AM

Fund African research and consider progress studies

The proposal to introduce a new discipline of “Progress Studies” is worth consideration. It seeks to study known factors that determine progress, as manifests in transformed lives and raised standards of living, and investigate whether we can deliberately engineer conditions that...

Saturday, December 14, 2019, 12:55 AM

Colourism probably natural, knowing this could help deal with it

Many people, particularly women, will recognise colourism. It is defined as prejudice and discrimination because of dark skin tone among your own community, even in your family. Lupita Nyong’o, the award winning actress, has explained how her younger sister, whose skin was lighter, was...

Saturday, December 7, 2019, 12:00 AM

AU Member States: The protocol for rights of old people exists, ratify it

Some people I meet nowadays have started calling me mzee (elder). Perhaps it is because of my bald head and salt-and-pepper hair, whatever's left of it. When they address me as mzee, it is probably out of deference and respect for age, as is wont in many of our communities. But it is also...

Saturday, November 30, 2019, 12:00 AM

Reflecting on VAR and its overly accurate mischief

Soccer is one of our favourite pastimes around here. For me, it usually is a quiet weekend afternoon where I go with the flow of the game. I jubilate when a goal is won and quibble with the screen about why that player lost that one. I enjoy my quiet tipple and watch on. That was until that...

Saturday, November 23, 2019, 12:00 AM

In the village, the mobile phone is an equaliser

My village would be recognisable to many people in East Africa, even across Africa. There is a sense of community, entrenched in the everyday interactions between the people and their families. The village is neither rich nor poor and most of the people subsist on farming. You know many of them by...

Saturday, November 16, 2019, 12:00 AM

Revitalised agreement best chance yet for peace in South Sudan

The news that South Sudan President Salva Kiir and his archrival Dr Riek Machar have agreed to delay the unity government by a 100 days has been received with relief the world over. It now allows some space to address concerns about the unimplemented provisions under the revitalised peace...

Saturday, November 9, 2019, 1:05 AM

Data from e-Golf more than Rwandan, it’s African

The just-launched e-Golf arguably is going to be the first ready-to-drive electric vehicle to be fully tested on driving conditions in Africa. South Africa, the foremost country on the continent with over 1000 EVs already on its roads, receives quite some mention. But there is little if any EV...

Saturday, November 2, 2019, 12:00 AM

EAC internet not too bad, but can do better

Many East Africans take the internet for granted. It is not too slow or too fast and you are assured of fair connection in most areas. Rwanda, for example, has 95 per cent 4G coverage with her closest EAC countries not too far behind. It is of interest for those of us who traverse the borders...

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 12:00 AM

Women entrepreneurship and the week of economics in Africa

We see a lot of women in the region running businesses such as shops selling beauty and fashion items, or the ladies attending to us at their stalls in the market. We, however, don’t tend to see as many female entrepreneurs in most other business sectors. This is despite Sub-Saharan...

Saturday, October 19, 2019, 12:00 AM

EAC single currency: Consider the digital version

It is ten years since Bitcoin started trading spawning myriad other cryptocurrencies. There are now 2,400 digital currencies and growing. Even governments have been creating their own. Bitcoin and its descendants have become such a part of life that they are already been taxed in some countries...

Saturday, October 12, 2019, 12:00 AM

Talk of colonialism still bitter and why Europe and not China colonised Africa

At a literary event last weekend discussing African “histories” as one of its themes, a participant stood up and addressed the panel with this question: Was colonialism all bad? Did it not bring us some good – writing, for instance? The two panellists and the session...

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 12:00 AM

Member suspension doubtful, but EAC states must pay up

The East African Community remains the most integrated regional economic community in Africa. It, however, has an Achilles heel in the defaults to financial obligations by its member states. The delay or failure to honour their commitments has now been called out by the East African Civil...

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 12:00 AM

The matter of forest fires is urgent, even in Africa

My people where I come from have a saying that when the house is on fire, even the owner enjoys the warmth. This is to say that, despite the calamity, all is not lost. The proverb is, however, often used in happier occasions. When, say, a bull is being feasted upon, its owner may summon the...

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 12:00 AM

Kiswahili as an antidote to xenophobia in South Africa

This year’s International Literacy Day, observed last Sunday, was held under the theme Literacy and Multiculturalism. It came just after the latest round of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, aptly underscoring the role multiculturalism could play in quieting the mobs. Kiswahili, an East...

Saturday, September 14, 2019, 12:00 AM

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