theconversation

Posts by theconversation:

MKO Abiola

ANALYSIS: Democracy Day: Why June 12 matters in Nigeria

Democracy Day in Nigeria is being celebrated on the 12th of June this year. This is the first time the day has been marked on this date. And the change carries heavy symbolism for a country that’s known more years of being ruled by military men than by democratically elected…

Liverpool player, Mohammed Salah. [PHOTO CREDIT: The Conversation]

What to expect from biggest ever Africa Cup of Nations tournament

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, popularly known as Afcon, is the biennial championship in which Africa’s top men’s teams compete for the gold-plated African Nation Cup trophy. The winner will hoist that trophy after the final on Friday 19 July at the Cairo International Stadium. This tournament, organised by…

Caster Semenya of South Africa from Team Africa in action during Mixed 4x400m Relay at the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic, 09 September 2018. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

Caster Semenya: how much testosterone is too much for a female athlete?

The South African athlete, Caster Semenya, has lost her case against the athletic governing body, IAAF, which means that she will have to take medication to lower her testosterone levels if she wishes to continue competing internationally in running events. Last year, the IAAF introduced new regulation for female athletes…

Learning in their mother tongue facilitates children’s ability to learn another language. [The Conversation - Cecil Bo Dzwowa/Shutterstock/Editorial use only]

Five ways indigenous languages can be championed for learners

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. In doing this, it says, it wants to acknowledge that languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people… Indigenous languages tend to be spoken by politically marginalised groups whose nations were historically…

Owner and two dogs going for a walk [Photo: https://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au]

Pets: is it ethical to keep them?

According to the UK veterinary charity The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), half of Britons own a pet. Many of these owners view the 11.1m cats, 8.9m dogs, and 1m rabbits sharing their homes as family members. But although we love them, care for them, celebrate their birthdays and…

Barry Aliman, 24 years old, bicycles with her baby to fetch water for her family, Sorobouly village near Boromo, Burkina Faso. Photo by Ollivier Girard/CIFOR cifor.org blog.cifor.org

Why women’s involvement is so vital to water projects’ success – or failure

When thinking about water management, gender is probably the last thing on many people’s minds. But in fact, the whole process of water management – technology choices, decision making, implementation, benefits and risks are all gendered. We know that men and women tend to have different priorities and needs when…

Insights from Uganda on why solar street lights make sense

By Andrew Sudmant, University of Leeds and Andy Gouldson, University of Leeds Street-lighting is important. It allows informal vendors and traders to operate for longer hours and improves road and public safety. It also makes streets feel safer and more secure, especially for women. But street-lighting is sorely lacking in…

What causes greed and how can we deal with it?

Recent news stories have highlighted unethical and even lawless actions taken by people and corporations that were motivated primarily by greed. Federal prosecutors, for example, charged 33 wealthy parents, some of whom were celebrities, with paying bribes to get their children into top colleges. In another case, lawyer Michael Avenatti…

Dogs get all the love [Photo:www.petspyjamas.com]

Why Americans value dogs more than cats

Cat videos may rule the internet, but dogs possess mastery of their owners’ hearts – at least if spending is any guide. Dog owners spend US$240 a month caring for their pets, compared with $193 for cats, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey from the American Pet Products…

The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is home to the famous wildebeest migration. [IMAGE: ANNA ESTES, PENN STATE]

People are taking a huge toll on the plains of the Serengeti-Mara

The 40,000 sq km Serengeti-Mara plain that straddles the border of Kenya and Tanzania is famous for its abundant and diverse wildlife. It is also home to one of the wonders of the world: the Serengeti-Mara wildebeest migration. Each year about two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles migrate from Tanzania…

Cervical pre-cancer rates down 88% in decade since HPV vaccinations began – first findings

Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women in the UK under the age of 35 after breast and skin cancer. In the majority of cases, the cancer only develops if the patient is infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 or 18. This virus is mainly transmitted…

Theresa May [PHOTO: The Conversastion - EPA/Stephanie LeCocq]

All too hard: understanding Brexit, Theresa May and the British humiliation

In a recent poll, 90% of the British public agreed that the way Brexit negotiations were being handled was a “national humiliation”. A lot of people have described the current situation as a constitutional crisis but they are wrong: the word “crisis” is not strong enough to capture the gravity…

Inside the Sainte-Famille Church which was the scene of killings during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. {Photo: The Conversation - EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo]

Portraying Rwanda’s genocide as an encounter with hell

Quoting the words of one local missionary, the Time magazine cover of May 1994 reads: There are no devils left in Hell, They are all in Rwanda. As many as 800,000 people, mainly Tutsi, were killed in a 100-day orgy of brutal murder and rape by members of the majority…

Algerians protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers, Algeria, 29 March 2019 [Photo: The Conversation - EFE/Mohamed Messara]

Bouteflika steps aside as Algerians push to reclaim and own their history

Algeria’s long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika has agreed to step down following a series of mass protests against his original plan to bid for a fifth term. After weeks of uncertainty, the country’s military chief Ahmed Gaed Salah declared the 82-year-old leader constitutionally unfit to rule. An interim leadership will be…

Okwui Enwezo [Photo: The Conversation, EPA/Frank Leonhardt]

The legacy of Okwui Enwezor — the curator who exhibited Africa to the world

By Rory Bester, University of the Witwatersrand Over two decades Okwui Enwezor emerged as a dominant and highly influential voice in curatorial practice and contemporary art history. He was a curator and art historian who engaged and grappled with the various iterations of what might be broadly construed as the…

Photo to illustrate an asthma patient

A new drug promises to lower risks of asthma attack

By Himanshu Kaul, University of British Columbia A recent study shows that a gamechanger drug called Fevipiprant promises to lower patients’ risks of suffering an asthma attack and being admitted to a hospital. This is the first time a drug reducing airway smooth muscle mass — a key clinical indicator…

Building collapses in Lagos have become common in recent years. BBC

Why buildings keep collapsing in Lagos and what can be done about it

There’s been a spate of building collapses in Lagos, Nigeria. In some cases, people have died. In one instance a building had been marked for demolition at least three times. There are also concerns about hundreds of other buildings in the city. The Conversation Africa’s Moina Spooner spoke to Ndubisi…

Gambian refugees return home from Senegal on January 21, 2017, the day Yahya Jammeh conceded defeat and left the country.

How The Gambia is going about its search for truth and reconciliation

Seeking uncomfortable truths about atrocities perpetrated against citizens has become an integral part of rebuilding societies after the fall of authoritarian regimes or at the end of armed conflicts. In West Africa, Nigeria (1999), Sierra Leone (2000), Ghana (2002), Liberia (2005) and Cȏte d’Ivoire (2012) are among countries that have…

New research holds promise of a shorter treatment course for people with drugresistant- TB. Daniel Irungu/EPA

Drug-resistant TB: a new study offers new hope

By Andrew Nunn, UCL and I.D. Rusen, University of Toronto Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death in the world from a single infectious disease, causing more deaths than HIV/AIDS. In 2017, 10 million people developed TB disease globally and an estimated 1.6 million died. One of the biggest…

Why rich parents are more likely to be unethical

Federal attorneys have arrested 50 people in a college admission scam that allowed wealthy parents to buy their kids’ admission to elite universities. Prosecutors found that parents together paid up to US$6.5 million to get their kids into college. The list includes celebrity parents such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Some might…

The Zimbabwean government recently shutdown the internet by ordering mobile companies to withhold mobile data. [EPA-EFE/STF]

Shutting down the internet doesn’t work — but governments keep doing it

As the internet continues to gain considerable power and agency around the world, many governments have moved to regulate it. And where regulation fails, some states resort to internet shutdowns or deliberate disruptions. The statistics are staggering. In India alone, there were 154 internet shutdowns between January 2016 and May…

Chibok schoolgirls freed from Boko Haram captivity shown in Abuja, Nigeria in 2017. [Photo: Olamikan Gbemiga/AP]

Once captives of Boko Haram, these students are finding new meaning in their lives in Pennsylvania

Of all the challenges faced by people who’ve been displaced, perhaps none is more important than to find new meaning in their lives. And so it is with the four young women who are students in a college prep class that I teach at Dickinson College. All four students were…

A woman weaves cane sticks to produce baskets in the Maryland community in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria [Photo: EPA - Ahmed Jallanzo]

Nigerian women entrepreneurs draw the short straw on education levels

By Tolu Olarewaju, Staffordshire University One estimate is that 40% of Nigerian women are entrepreneurs. This fits into a pattern in sub-Saharan Africa which has the highest female entrepreneurship rate globally. While this is good news, there’s a need to distinguish between high and low value female entrepreneurship. High value…

Nigerians celebrate the announcement of Muhammadu Buhari’s victory. But can he deliver jobs this time round [Photo: EPA-Stringer]

What Buhari has to do to take Nigeria’s economy to the next level

One of the main reasons newly-elected Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari had been widely expected to lose his bid for a second term was the poor state of the country’s economy. Under his presidency, Nigeria’s unemployment rate more than doubled, from 10.4% in January 2016 to 23.1% in July 2018 In…

Photo used to illustrate the story. [Photo: Artem Bali]

Keeping fit: how to do the right exercise for your age

The effect of exercise on health is profound. It can protect you from a range of conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. But the type and amount of exercise you should do changes as you age. To ensure that you are doing the right type of…