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· July, 2020

Stories about Sub-Saharan Africa from July, 2020

Nigerians counteract COVID-19 denialism with social media campaigns

Nigerians directly confront coronavirus denial headlong with counter-narratives that use ordinary language in campaigns devoid of the usual mistrust between citizens and governments. 

The day Liberia shut down freedom of expression amid a mass protest

Last year, the Liberian government disrupted social media access to prevent live protest coverage and the mobilization of protesters, shutting down freedom of expression and the right to access information.

Musicians with albinism defy social stigma and break new ground in Cameroon’s creative sector

Albinos in Cameroon have brushed aside stigma to participate in the country’s vibrant arts and cultural scene. "It wasn’t easy for me growing up as an albino," says Boy TAG.

Congolese journalist forced into exile for documentary on violent evictions

Congolese filmmaker Gaël Mpoyo and his family have been forced to live in exile, given the sensitive subject of his film and a climate of insecurity in South Kivu province.

Angolan pastors break away from the Universal Church of Brazil

The new congregation could call itself the Reform Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Angola.

Satirical comedy skit lands four Ugandan comedians in jail

The arrest of four comedians in Ugandan for a satirical comedy skit that went viral comes at a time when the government has passed regulations controlling the creative arts industry.

Zimbabwe governance crisis: Arrests over COVID-19 corruption and planned protests

The arrest of two prominent figures in Zimbabwe signal new levels of crisis in governance as the nation heads toward unprecedented economic decline and social unrest amid COVID-19 corruption.

A never-ending cycle of doctors’ strikes and funding debacles leaves Nigerians at the mercy of the pandemic

Events such as doctors’ strikes and funding debacles are bound to recur until the root cause of the problem is exorcised from Nigeria's public health system.

Liberian fishing communities stand up to Chinese supertrawlers

Liberian fishing communities are threatened by Chinese supertrawlers capable of catching about twice the nation’s sustainable catch — potentially decimating vital fish stocks in just a few years.

In Liberia, a new mobile phone tariff collides with digital rights

The cost-prohibitive surcharge will make it harder for everyday Liberians to get online, limiting digital access at the height of a pandemic when citizens need reliable information more than ever. 

How does Rwanda’s genocide ideology law regulate speech online?

Rwanda’s genocide ideology law seriously limits freedom of speech online and creates a culture of fear and self-censorship among opposition and dissenting voices.

Is Namibia walking a fine line between Chinese and European spy technology?

Namibia denies accusations that it is building an internet war chest to effortlessly check up on its domestic critics.

Mauritania: A racial pyramid seemingly resistant to change

"This is not the Africa of Lumumba, Nyobe, Cabral and Sankara."

Sudan uprising: Sweeping reforms usher in justice and freedom

These laws show the identity of a new Sudan that recognizes rights, diversity, freedom of belief and expression.

Tanzanians debate the meaning of new ‘lower-middle-income’ World Bank status

The World Bank’s updated classification of Tanzania as a middle-income country has evoked a national debate about what development means and how it should be measured — as election season approaches.

As COVID-19 cases climb in Cameroon, a cleric claims his herbal cure works

In Cameroon, many doubted Archbishop Samuel Kleda's claim that he created an herbal cure for COVID-19, but he says he has cured over 1,500 people of coronavirus symptoms so far.

This women’s college in Ghana leads the way on e-learning during the pandemic

St. Teresa’s College of Education, one of five female-only colleges in Ghana, is leading the way with e-learning by consolidating the use of messaging applications like Telegram and WhatsApp. 

Sudan uprising: Nertati sit-in, the new wave

On June 28, citizens in Nertati, Darfur, held an ongoing sit-in with several demands: An end to armed militia attacks on civilians, disarmament, the arrest of perpetrators and agricultural protection.

How COVID-19 affects education for people with disabilities in Ghana

In Ghana, students with disabilities shifted unexpectedly to online learning and faced several technical, economic, and social challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria declares ‘state of emergency’ on rape and sexual assault

In Nigeria, a culture of rape and impunity persists, making it difficult for victims to hold their abusers accountable. Police often dismiss rape cases and blame the victims.

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