Perspectives Publication Series

Perspectives is a publication series of the Africa offices of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. The series provides a platform for experts from Africa to express their views about issues pertinent to the democratic and sustainable development agenda in the region.

Mapping Agropoetics Of Liberation. © Filipa César, Ahmed Isamaldin, and Ali Yass. Photo: Raisa Galofre. Courtesy of SAVVY Contemporary.

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Perspectives #02/2019: Ecological and Social Transformation in Africa: Rethinking food systems for a +2°C world

Perspectives #02/2019: Ecological and Social Transformation in Africa: Rethinking food systems for a +2°C world

This special edition of Perspectives was compiled with the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s North Africa offices and the Transform Africa project. It is dedicated to the emerging conversation of alternative approaches that challenge the historical bias towards the industrialisation of agriculture and the food system as the main strategy to address food insecurity while preparing for a +2°C world.

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Perspectives #01/2019: Robbin’ the Hood: Inquiries into State Capture

This edition of Perspectives tackles questions of state capture, and how the concept can contribute to understanding and strengthening democracies across Africa. Our contributors also open the possibilities that emerge when “state capture” is released from particular institutional settings and national boundaries

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Perspectives #03/2018: Through the Looking Glass: Images of African Futures

Against a background of political and cultural disruption, Perspectives approached writers to inquire, speculatively or not so speculatively, into an African future. The result is an eclectic mix of contributions and conversations across the arts, culture, philosophy and politics. They offer glimpses of African futures – fantastic, idealistic, or sober, but always self-confident – that place the continent at the centre of a world to come.

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Perspectives #03/2017: The (Un-) Making of Icons in Africa

Which African leaders qualify as an icon? Perhaps this is always a controversial question, but it was much easier to answer, say, 25 years ago, when the public memories of Pan-Africanist champions such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere were still fresh, Nelson Mandela had just walked out of prison, and Robert Mugabe was a widely respected leader.

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Perspectives #02/2017: Putting People Back Into Infrastructure

This edition of Perspectives contributes to the ongoing debate on infrastructure development in Africa by sharing snapshots of experience from around the continent, exploring questions about democratic participation, the role of human and environmental rights, and economic transformation.

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Perspectives #01/2017: South Africa: Emerging Power or Fading Star?

Informed by the discussions at an international conference jointly organised by the German Development Institute, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Stanford University on “Emerging Power or Fading Star? South Africa’s Role on the Continent and Beyond”, held 12–14 July 2016 in Cape Town, the articles gathered in this edition of Perspectives shed light on some of the nuances and challenges that define South Africa’s place in the world today.

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Perspectives #02/2016: Laughing Out Loud - The Politics of Satire in Africa

When you write about Africa, make sure to always include sad and starving characters, advises Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana in his famously ironic essay “How to write about Africa”, which takes aim at Western prejudices. In the same way that everyday laughter has been excluded from all-too-familiar depictions of the continent, African humour and satire as a form of social and political engagement remains underexplored.

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Perspectives #03/2014: What Ya Looking At? Africa Returns the Gaze

For this edition of Perspectives the Heinrich Böll Foundation asked a number of African intellectuals, writers and analysts to provide their take on Africa’s relationship with Europe. The result is a small collection of interviews, short essays and comments that throw light on the complexities and complexes of this relationship, using analysis, imagery, experience, provocation and humour.

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Perspectives #02/2014: Greening the Continent - Reflections on Low Carbon Development Pathways

For this edition of Perspectives, the Heinrich Böll Foundation offered Africa-based thinkers and commentators an opportunity to critically reflect on what a “transition towards sustainability” means or should mean for the region. The articles gathered here go beyond ideological debates to also provide some case studies where green-economy principles have been applied.

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Perspectives #01/2014: Africa Rising: Who Benefits from the Continent's Economic Growth?

With this edition of Perspectives, the Heinrich Böll Foundation gives Africa based commentators and experts from across the continent the opportunity to critically reflect on the “Africa rising” story and the sub-narratives it carries, including the rise of the African woman, the rise of the African middle class and the power of innovation.

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