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Regional Spotlights Africa

#CreativeAfrica! ADF hosts representatives of African creative industries in an exciting lead-up to the 2014 African Development Forum!

On April 26, former Liberian President Charles Taylor was convicted by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international law for aiding and abetting rebels from 1996-2002 in Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war. Immediately after the verdict, announced on the eve of Sierra Leone's 51st Independence Day, emotions ranged from excitement to disappointment, showing the complexity of the case.

Somalia is no stranger to international interventions, having been colonised and invaded throughout its history. On Feb. 23, 2012, an international conference was held in London to plan a roadmap for Somalia’s future, with some arguing that this conference has stripped Somalia of its sovereignty. 

A country geographically located in the Eastern Horn of Africa, Somalia has been lodged in the international imagination as a failed state since 1991. But there’s another side of the country that we don’t hear about.

In part II of this two-part special on 2012 Elections in Africa, our producers interview Senegalese artists and activists who discuss the political forecast for heavily contested presidential elections scheduled on February 26, 2012. There has been an uproar about standing President Abdoulaye Wade, 85, seeking a third term even though he initially promised to step down after his second term. The bulk of the opposition voices have been young men, with a politicised musical movement gaining momentum in poor communities throughout the country. Their message?

In 2012 alone, almost 20 African countries will be conducting presidential and general elections. During part I of this two-part special, Africa Regional Spotlights host Robtel Pailey interviews academics from the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, Drs. Phil Clark and Dave Harris, to discuss whether or not elections represent the panacea to democratic consolidation in Africa.

Ghanaian singer Zagunor is our featured artist.

Executive Producer: Zoe Glatt
Associate Producers: Aminat Agoro and Catarina Inverso

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a documentary about the courageous efforts of Liberian women who mobilised for peace in 2003, when a raging civil war threatened to spiral into anarchy in their country. In part II of this two-part special on the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, our presenter Robtel Pailey interviews members of the production team and cast of the film, which features 2011 Liberian Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker, Leymah Gbowee, Asatu Bah Kenneth, and Etty Weah are our featured interviewees. Beninois singer Angelique Kidjo is our featured vocalist.

During part I of this two-part special, we hear from Liberian women who attended the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, where two of their own, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and peace activist Leymah Gbowee, were honored with Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman on Dec. 10, 2011 for their women's rights advocacy.

For the second part of this two-part special, Africa Regional Spotlights went to the TEDxEuston conference in London on November 26, 2011. We hear from the best and brightest of Africa’s emerging intellectuals, artists, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs. This year’s theme was redefine, re-imagine Africa.

In this show, our presenter Robtel Pailey interviews IT mogul Herman Chinery-Hesse, writer Chika Unigwe, artistic director of the World Festival of Black Arts in Senegal, Kwame Kwei-Armah, and eco-fashion designer Jose Hendo.

Producer: Zoë Glatt

For the first of this two-part special, Africa Regional Spotlights went to the TEDxEuston conference in London on November 26, 2011. We hear from the best and brightest of Africa’s emerging intellectuals, artists, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs. This year’s theme was redefine, re-imagine Africa.

In this show, our presenter Robtel Pailey interviews Hadeel Ibrahim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, Western Nigeria, and actress and presenter, Moky Makura.

Producer: Zoë Glatt

The question of if missionaries have had a positive impact on Africa is often seen as redundant. In this show, presenters Nayela Wickramasuriya and Alex Etchart take another look and consider if the colonialist label is always justified. To debate the topic, they are joined by Reverend Pritchard from the London Missionary Society and SOAS second year history student Mashall Khattak.