DiA: The Best of 2018

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This year has been a great one for DiA, with a new website, a new editorial team, and new features … read on for the best of 2018.

One of our most popular new features was the DiA book club, which brings you short and accessible summaries of the most important books of the year. And one of the most popular Book Club posts was Kim Yi Dionne’s brilliant analysis about the relationship between AIDS, politics and democracy.

Here’s how the global response to AIDS in Africa has made me think more deeply about democracy

In addition to great analysis and cutting edge scholarship, we also brought you the best radio, podcasts and videos from across the web. One the most popular podcasts that we featured in 2018 was a debate over whether democracy is working for Africa hosted by Christina Okello on RFI that featured a range of high profile guests from across the continent and also our very own @fromagehomme.

Podcast: Does Democracy Work for Africa?

Always concerned to speak out over democratic backsliding and human rights violations, we also did our but to raise the profile of stories that are being overlooked in the wider media, such as Zambia’s fall from grace under President Edgar Lungu. In May, we carried this heartfelt letter from Sishuwa Sishuwa to the president – who have received death threats for his powerful analysis of the state of democracy in Zambia – which details the challenges facing his country.

An open letter to President Edgar Lungu over human rights

Recognizing that change needs to occur not just in countries like Zambia but also in the academy, and in websites, and … pretty much everywhere, we have continued to promote and expand our decolonizing the university reading list, which brings together brilliant readings on African politics written by Africans. Please do share this with those who are looking to diversify their reading lists.


Of course, we also remained committed to keeping you informed of cutting edge developments, with great analysis of Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and many more. For many, one of the most striking pieces of the year was Thomas Balila Sama’s account of the troubled elections in Cameroon, and the rise of a new phenomenon: Zombie observers!

Cameroon: “Zombie observers” confuse narrative of dubious elections

We look forward to seeing you again in 2019, when we will have new features, new authors, and the launch of our mentorship scheme!

Stay in touch and see you on the other side.

The DiA team

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