BBC Africa Debate

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Africa Rising - Can The Middle Class Drive Growth?2013062820130630 (WS)

We debate what the African middle class is; how fast it is growing, and what impact it.

We debate what the African middle class is; how fast it is growing, and what impact it is having on economies and governance.

Africa Rising - Can The Middle Class Drive Growth?2013062820130630 (WS)

We debate what the African middle class is; how fast it is growing, and what impact it.

We debate what the African middle class is; how fast it is growing, and what impact it is having on economies and governance.

Africa Rising: Who Benefits?2013062120130623 (WS)

Africa, once dubbed the hopeless continent, is now hopeful, according to the Economist, with six of the world's ten fastest-growing economies in Africa. Whilst investors are losing faith in stagnant or collapsing economies in Europe and elsewhere, they are increasingly excited about Africa's new boom.

But African economic growth has come with inequality. In programme one we explore growth in Nigeria and how it fits the perception of Africa rising.

Nigeria’s economy, as with that of many countries in Africa, is heavily dependent on the extractive industry – which drives growth but rarely creates substantial employment for local people. The official unemployment rate is nearly one in four, but many more Nigerians are under-employed, working in irregular and badly-paid jobs in the informal sector.

Nearly 85 per cent of Nigerians still live on under $2 per day. Lack of reliable access to water and electricity is a daily frustration for many. Yet there has been consistent economic growth in the country for the past decade – growing, on average, by 7.4% per year according to the most recent African Economic Outlook report. So who is benefiting from the boom?

(Image: A cyclist rides past detached three-bedroom apartments at Haggai Estate in Ogun State, Nigeria, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Africa Rising: Who Benefits?2013062120130623 (WS)

Africa, once dubbed the hopeless continent, is now hopeful, according to the Economist, with six of the world's ten fastest-growing economies in Africa. Whilst investors are losing faith in stagnant or collapsing economies in Europe and elsewhere, they are increasingly excited about Africa's new boom.

But African economic growth has come with inequality. In programme one we explore growth in Nigeria and how it fits the perception of Africa rising.

Nigeria’s economy, as with that of many countries in Africa, is heavily dependent on the extractive industry – which drives growth but rarely creates substantial employment for local people. The official unemployment rate is nearly one in four, but many more Nigerians are under-employed, working in irregular and badly-paid jobs in the informal sector.

Nearly 85 per cent of Nigerians still live on under $2 per day. Lack of reliable access to water and electricity is a daily frustration for many. Yet there has been consistent economic growth in the country for the past decade – growing, on average, by 7.4% per year according to the most recent African Economic Outlook report. So who is benefiting from the boom?

(Image: A cyclist rides past detached three-bedroom apartments at Haggai Estate in Ogun State, Nigeria, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Africa's Fragile Health Systems And Global Epidemics20140926

Ebola has so far killed over 2,800 people in parts of west Africa – that is more than all previous Ebola epidemics combined. President Obama has warned the outbreak could pose a global security threat. The UN has warned cases could treble to 20,000 by November, unless efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up.

So what has made this epidemic so severe? To what extent are fragile health systems to blame - or are regional and international responses at fault?

This edition of the Africa Debate is presented by Akwasi Sarpong and Graham Easton from Accra, Ghana. There are no confirmed Ebola cases in Ghana to date, but it is preparing for the worst.

Africa's Fragile Health Systems And Global Epidemics20140926

Ebola has so far killed over 2,800 people in parts of west Africa – that is more than all previous Ebola epidemics combined. President Obama has warned the outbreak could pose a global security threat. The UN has warned cases could treble to 20,000 by November, unless efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up.

So what has made this epidemic so severe? To what extent are fragile health systems to blame - or are regional and international responses at fault?

This edition of the Africa Debate is presented by Akwasi Sarpong and Graham Easton from Accra, Ghana. There are no confirmed Ebola cases in Ghana to date, but it is preparing for the worst.

Africa's Global Image: Justified Or Prejudiced?20120429

BBC Africa Debate discusses the issue of Africa's international image in Kampala.

There will be some who argue that the way the continent has been portrayed is a true reflection of what is happening in several countries, such as Uganda.

And that no amount of spin can wash the country if there are no meaningful reforms.

They argue that such countries have to clean up in order to be viewed more positively.

Some argue that Africa can only influence her image abroad if it gets to control/own part of the global media market.

There is also a growing buzz of businessmen who feel that Africa's image is changing and that the continent labelled by The Economist in 2000 as the "Hopeless Continent", is now rising.

Last year, the same magazine pointed out that over the past decade, six of the world's ten fastest-growing countries were African; and this trend looks set to continue.

BBC Africa Debate will be asking: Africa's international image, is it justified or prejudiced?

What do people mean when they invoke the name "Africa"?

Do they refer to a race? A geography?

What informs the global image of the continent?

To what extent does it reflect reality - is the portrayal the problem or is the product faulty?

Why have attempts to clean up the continent's image been unsuccessful?

Can Africa ever influence the way it is portrayed globally?

Panellists: Thebe Ikalafeng, Robert Kabushenga, plus an audience of invited guests.

Presenters Akwasi Sarpong and Fergus Nicoll.

(Image: A malnourished child in Sahel. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Africa's Global Image: Justified Or Prejudiced?20120429

BBC Africa Debate discusses the issue of Africa's international image in Kampala.

There will be some who argue that the way the continent has been portrayed is a true reflection of what is happening in several countries, such as Uganda.

And that no amount of spin can wash the country if there are no meaningful reforms.

They argue that such countries have to clean up in order to be viewed more positively.

Some argue that Africa can only influence her image abroad if it gets to control/own part of the global media market.

There is also a growing buzz of businessmen who feel that Africa's image is changing and that the continent labelled by The Economist in 2000 as the "Hopeless Continent", is now rising.

Last year, the same magazine pointed out that over the past decade, six of the world's ten fastest-growing countries were African; and this trend looks set to continue.

BBC Africa Debate will be asking: Africa's international image, is it justified or prejudiced?

What do people mean when they invoke the name "Africa"?

Do they refer to a race? A geography?

What informs the global image of the continent?

To what extent does it reflect reality - is the portrayal the problem or is the product faulty?

Why have attempts to clean up the continent's image been unsuccessful?

Can Africa ever influence the way it is portrayed globally?

Panellists: Thebe Ikalafeng, Robert Kabushenga, plus an audience of invited guests.

Presenters Akwasi Sarpong and Fergus Nicoll.

(Image: A malnourished child in Sahel. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Africa's Young Population - Opportunity Or Risk?2014013120140202 (WS)

The average age in Africa is 18. Is this an opportunity for the continent as some econo...

The average age in Africa is 18. Is this an opportunity for the continent as some economists suggest, or a ticking time bomb?

Africa's Young Population - Opportunity Or Risk?2014013120140202 (WS)

The average age in Africa is 18. Is this an opportunity for the continent as some econo...

The average age in Africa is 18. Is this an opportunity for the continent as some economists suggest, or a ticking time bomb?

Are Artists Free To Tell Their Own Stories?2013030120130302 (WS)

Making films in the developing world. What are the successes and the challenges?

As Fespaco opens, Africa's biggest film festival featuring movies from across the continent, we consider the successes in the developing world's cinema output.

But what are the political, financial and logistical challenges still faced by film makers and artists in Africa and beyond? Censorship, distribution, funding, language, the Hollywood version of their stories versus the versions they want to tell - all limit film-makers story-telling abilities.

Will the likes of Nollywood and Bollywood ever be able to compete with Hollywood – and if so, how? What defines 'success' anyway – is it always commercial?

(Image: A man walks past a video shop, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Are Artists Free To Tell Their Own Stories?2013030120130302 (WS)

Making films in the developing world. What are the successes and the challenges?

As Fespaco opens, Africa's biggest film festival featuring movies from across the continent, we consider the successes in the developing world's cinema output.

But what are the political, financial and logistical challenges still faced by film makers and artists in Africa and beyond? Censorship, distribution, funding, language, the Hollywood version of their stories versus the versions they want to tell - all limit film-makers story-telling abilities.

Will the likes of Nollywood and Bollywood ever be able to compete with Hollywood – and if so, how? What defines 'success' anyway – is it always commercial?

(Image: A man walks past a video shop, Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Are The International Media Getting Africa Right?20130830

What do African audiences want from the BBC, and is the BBC delivering? Listeners question the Director of BBC World Service.

Are The International Media Getting Africa Right?2013083020130901 (WS)

For decades, the BBC has dominated the media landscape in many countries in Africa. How much do you trust your national broadcaster and other international media - enough to switch off the BBC? Over the years, BBC output has evolved as audience demands have changed and competition has increased – from radio, TV and digital media. What is the place of the BBC in Africa today? What do audiences want from the broadcaster – and is the BBC delivering? How should the BBC change or adapt in order to retain or increase its influence? This programme is a rare opportunity for listeners in Africa to put their questions to the director of the BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks. It is one of three debates and discussions ahead of the transition of the BBC World Service to funding by UK audiences in April 2014.

Picture: A young boy with broadcasting equipment, Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Are The International Media Getting Africa Right?20130830

What do African audiences want from the BBC, and is the BBC delivering? Listeners question the Director of BBC World Service.

Are The International Media Getting Africa Right?2013083020130901 (WS)

For decades, the BBC has dominated the media landscape in many countries in Africa. How much do you trust your national broadcaster and other international media - enough to switch off the BBC? Over the years, BBC output has evolved as audience demands have changed and competition has increased – from radio, TV and digital media. What is the place of the BBC in Africa today? What do audiences want from the broadcaster – and is the BBC delivering? How should the BBC change or adapt in order to retain or increase its influence? This programme is a rare opportunity for listeners in Africa to put their questions to the director of the BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks. It is one of three debates and discussions ahead of the transition of the BBC World Service to funding by UK audiences in April 2014.

Picture: A young boy with broadcasting equipment, Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Are Women Winning The Power Battle In Africa?2012092820120930 (WS)

BBC Africa Debate will be looking at women in power in Africa – in politics, in business and in management.

Are the landmark appointments of the last year part of a wider trend, an acceptance in women's leadership more generally?

How much have attitudes towards women changed?

What barriers remain for women with leadership ambitions – and how can they be overcome?

Are affirmative action and quota systems necessary and do they work?

What difference do women in leadership make anyway?

Do they perform any differently from their male counterparts, and should they be expected to?

Are women on the rise in Africa?

BBC Africa Debate looks at women in power – in politics, business, and management.

Are Women Winning The Power Battle In Africa?2012092820120930 (WS)

BBC Africa Debate will be looking at women in power in Africa – in politics, in business and in management.

Are the landmark appointments of the last year part of a wider trend, an acceptance in women's leadership more generally?

How much have attitudes towards women changed?

What barriers remain for women with leadership ambitions – and how can they be overcome?

Are affirmative action and quota systems necessary and do they work?

What difference do women in leadership make anyway?

Do they perform any differently from their male counterparts, and should they be expected to?

Are women on the rise in Africa?

BBC Africa Debate looks at women in power – in politics, business, and management.

Can Africa Set The Science Agenda?2013032920130330 (WS)
20130331 (WS)

Scientists from around the world consider the state of science on the continent.

This edition of the BBC Africa Debate comes from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, where the BBC is hosting a science festival. We bring together scientists from across Africa and around the world to consider the state of science on the continent. With the majority of funding coming from outside the continent, are African scientists in control of their own research agendas? Is African science meeting Africa’s needs – and can it be used to drive growth on the continent? One Ghanaian doctor cites the fact that many children who were admitted with cancer come from a particular area of the country, but there doesn’t appear to be any effort to research the reasons why.

Funding bodies themselves insist that it is local partners who design their projects. Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council in the UK, insists that his organisation has a "grass roots up" approach, which results in researchers based in Africa setting the local MRC agenda. Some African countries have tried to move away from the old reliance on outside funding – although not always to great effect. Uganda's government chose not to renew a low-interest science loan from the World Bank in 2010, for example, pledging to provide the money itself. But the money was not allocated in that year’s budget. The Ugandan government has also so far failed to establish a promised science ministry.

Ghanaian-born Nasa scientist Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, believes that scientists in Africa need to be pragmatic. If it wasn't for foreign funding, there would be no research happening on the continent at all. At least students are trained, labs are built and infrastructure is put in place. Some will argue that, when much of the continent's population is still living without basic necessities, is it right for vast amounts of money to be spent on experiments that may never yield tangible results for years, or even decades?

(Image: A lab technician. Credit: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Can Africa Set The Science Agenda?2013032920130330 (WS)
20130331 (WS)

Scientists from around the world consider the state of science on the continent.

This edition of the BBC Africa Debate comes from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, where the BBC is hosting a science festival. We bring together scientists from across Africa and around the world to consider the state of science on the continent. With the majority of funding coming from outside the continent, are African scientists in control of their own research agendas? Is African science meeting Africa’s needs – and can it be used to drive growth on the continent? One Ghanaian doctor cites the fact that many children who were admitted with cancer come from a particular area of the country, but there doesn’t appear to be any effort to research the reasons why.

Funding bodies themselves insist that it is local partners who design their projects. Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council in the UK, insists that his organisation has a "grass roots up" approach, which results in researchers based in Africa setting the local MRC agenda. Some African countries have tried to move away from the old reliance on outside funding – although not always to great effect. Uganda's government chose not to renew a low-interest science loan from the World Bank in 2010, for example, pledging to provide the money itself. But the money was not allocated in that year’s budget. The Ugandan government has also so far failed to establish a promised science ministry.

Ghanaian-born Nasa scientist Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, believes that scientists in Africa need to be pragmatic. If it wasn't for foreign funding, there would be no research happening on the continent at all. At least students are trained, labs are built and infrastructure is put in place. Some will argue that, when much of the continent's population is still living without basic necessities, is it right for vast amounts of money to be spent on experiments that may never yield tangible results for years, or even decades?

(Image: A lab technician. Credit: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Can Democracy Deliver For Africa?2013092720130929 (WS)

Is a Western model of democracy always the best means of governance in Africa? We deba...

Is a Western model of democracy always the best means of governance in Africa? We debate if democracy is working in Africa.

Can Democracy Deliver For Africa?2013092720130929 (WS)

Is a Western model of democracy always the best means of governance in Africa? We deba...

Is a Western model of democracy always the best means of governance in Africa? We debate if democracy is working in Africa.

China In Africa: Partner Or Plunderer?2012052520120527

Has China's involvement in Africa been sensationalised by the West?

Is China a genuine partner or just a plunderer of Africa's resources?

Who is benefiting from China's growth in Africa?

China has a well-designed strategy for dealing with African countries, and is clear and open about its objectives in Africa.

But what about African countries, what is their agenda?

What is driving Africa's sudden interest in China?

Do African countries have clear strategies or are they just meekly responding to an unfolding development?

Is China an opportunity for African countries to finally unlock their economic potential or a menace to Africa's development?

These are some of the questions BBC Africa Debate will attempt to address in Zambia, at the new Goverment Complex in Lusaka.

Presenters Akwasi Sarpong and Yuwen Wu will address these questions in front of an audience of about 100 invited guests including Zambian Vice President Guy Scott, politicians, civil society activists, trade unionists, religious leaders, academics, students and leading journalists as well as Zambian and Chinese business executives.

These are some of the questions BBC Africa Debate will attempt to address in Zambia, at the Goverment Complex, Lusaka.

Among the 100 invited guests will be Zambian Vice President Guy Scott, Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, Zambian and Chinese businessmen, politicians, civil society activists, trade unionists, religious leaders, academics, students and media executives.

China In Africa: Partner Or Plunderer?2012052520120527

Has China's involvement in Africa been sensationalised by the West?

Is China a genuine partner or just a plunderer of Africa's resources?

Who is benefiting from China's growth in Africa?

China has a well-designed strategy for dealing with African countries, and is clear and open about its objectives in Africa.

But what about African countries, what is their agenda?

What is driving Africa's sudden interest in China?

Do African countries have clear strategies or are they just meekly responding to an unfolding development?

Is China an opportunity for African countries to finally unlock their economic potential or a menace to Africa's development?

These are some of the questions BBC Africa Debate will attempt to address in Zambia, at the new Goverment Complex in Lusaka.

Presenters Akwasi Sarpong and Yuwen Wu will address these questions in front of an audience of about 100 invited guests including Zambian Vice President Guy Scott, politicians, civil society activists, trade unionists, religious leaders, academics, students and leading journalists as well as Zambian and Chinese business executives.

These are some of the questions BBC Africa Debate will attempt to address in Zambia, at the Goverment Complex, Lusaka.

Among the 100 invited guests will be Zambian Vice President Guy Scott, Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, Zambian and Chinese businessmen, politicians, civil society activists, trade unionists, religious leaders, academics, students and media executives.

Do Failed Health Systems In Africa Make Global Epidemics Inevitable?2014092620140928 (WS)

Do failed health systems in Africa make epidemics inevitable?

Ebola has so far killed over 2800 people in parts of West Africa – that’s more than all previous Ebola epidemics combined. President Obama has warned the outbreak could pose a global security threat. The UN has warned cases could treble to 20,000 by November unless efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up.

So what has made this epidemic so severe? To what extent are fragile health systems to blame - or are regional and international responses at fault?

This edition of the Africa Debate is presented by Akwasi Sarpong and Graham Easton from Accra, Ghana. There are no confirmed Ebola cases in Ghana to date, but it is preparing for the worst.

Do Failed Health Systems In Africa Make Global Epidemics Inevitable?2014092620140928 (WS)

Do failed health systems in Africa make epidemics inevitable?

Ebola has so far killed over 2800 people in parts of West Africa – that’s more than all previous Ebola epidemics combined. President Obama has warned the outbreak could pose a global security threat. The UN has warned cases could treble to 20,000 by November unless efforts to tackle the outbreak are not stepped up.

So what has made this epidemic so severe? To what extent are fragile health systems to blame - or are regional and international responses at fault?

This edition of the Africa Debate is presented by Akwasi Sarpong and Graham Easton from Accra, Ghana. There are no confirmed Ebola cases in Ghana to date, but it is preparing for the worst.

Do Inheritance Laws Make Second-class Citizens Of Women?20131024

In many countries across Africa inheritance laws still favour men. Some argue that giving property to daughters and widows undermines links between a people and their ancestral home others say this is outdated - and that denying women property also forces them into poverty.

In Botswana, the High Court recently backed three sisters against their nephew's claim to the family home. The old law was said to be unconstitutional because it violated gender equality. But how much have things really changed - and do they need to? What is the wider impact of inheritance practices for women in Africa?

Join Bola Mosuro and an invited panel of guests discuss if inheritance laws make second-class citizens of women.

Picture: A woman carrying water in Uganda, Credit: Cecile Wright

Do Inheritance Laws Make Second-class Citizens Of Women?20131024

African inheritance laws favour men. What does this mean for women across the continent?

Do Inheritance Laws Make Second-class Citizens Of Women?20131024

In many countries across Africa inheritance laws still favour men. Some argue that giving property to daughters and widows undermines links between a people and their ancestral home others say this is outdated - and that denying women property also forces them into poverty.

In Botswana, the High Court recently backed three sisters against their nephew's claim to the family home. The old law was said to be unconstitutional because it violated gender equality. But how much have things really changed - and do they need to? What is the wider impact of inheritance practices for women in Africa?

Join Bola Mosuro and an invited panel of guests discuss if inheritance laws make second-class citizens of women.

Picture: A woman carrying water in Uganda, Credit: Cecile Wright

Do Inheritance Laws Make Second-class Citizens Of Women?20131024

African inheritance laws favour men. What does this mean for women across the continent?

How Welcome Are Africans In The Uk?2013112920131201 (WS)

Akwasi Sarpong and Mark Easton lead a debate in Slough in the United Kingdom, examining...

Akwasi Sarpong and Mark Easton lead a debate in Slough in the United Kingdom, examining the country's new immigration policies.

How Welcome Are Africans In The Uk?2013112920131201 (WS)

Akwasi Sarpong and Mark Easton lead a debate in Slough in the United Kingdom, examining...

Akwasi Sarpong and Mark Easton lead a debate in Slough in the United Kingdom, examining the country's new immigration policies.

International Justice - Is Africa On Trial?20120330

Akwasi Sarpong and Karen Allen chair a debate on international justice as Africans question the role of the ICC.

Akwasi Sarpong and Karen Allen chair a debate on international justice as Africans ques.

International Justice - Is Africa On Trial?20120330

Akwasi Sarpong and Karen Allen chair a debate on international justice as Africans question the role of the ICC.

Akwasi Sarpong and Karen Allen chair a debate on international justice as Africans ques.

International Justice: Is Africa On Trial?20120401

While human rights advocates and victims of human rights violations appreciate the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in international justice, some politicians and experts have accused the international court of placing undue emphasis on Africa.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, whose government had earlier referred the LRA rebel group case to the ICC, complained that, while Africa supported and participated in the formation of the court, "the way it is being implemented [makes] it seem like it is only Africans committing crimes".

All the court's active cases are from the continent.

Supporters of the court argue that most investigations to date have been determined by referrals, either by African states or the Security Council.

"Why are African leaders not celebrating this focus on African victims?" asked former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who mediated Kenya's post-election crisis.

"Is the court's failure to help victims outside Africa a reason to leave the calls of African victims unheeded?"

The ICC's incoming chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensoudais, from The Gambia says - if anything, the focus on the continent "shows commitment by African leaders to international criminal justice - African governments are saying impunity must end".

Some critics, however, have gone as far as accusing the ICC of politicising justice in Africa and undermining other alternatives such as reconciliation and traditional justice.

Some question the fact that three veto-wielding Security Council members (China, Russia and the USA) have not signed up to the ICC.

Their nationals would therefore never be referred to the court.

So is Africa on trial?

BBC Africa Debate will be discussing the issue in front of a live audience in Nairobi, panellists include:

• Fadi El Abdallah - Spokesperson and Head of the Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court

• Barney Afako - Ugandan lawyer and expert on transitional justice

• Donald Deya - Chief Executive of the Pan African Lawyers Union

Presented by Akwasi Sarpong and Karen Allen.

(Image: A wooden gavel. Credit: 1998 EyeWire, Inc.)

Is the International Criminal Court (ICC) placing an undue emphasis on Africa?

International Justice: Is Africa On Trial?20120401

While human rights advocates and victims of human rights violations appreciate the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in international justice, some politicians and experts have accused the international court of placing undue emphasis on Africa.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, whose government had earlier referred the LRA rebel group case to the ICC, complained that, while Africa supported and participated in the formation of the court, "the way it is being implemented [makes] it seem like it is only Africans committing crimes".

All the court's active cases are from the continent.

Supporters of the court argue that most investigations to date have been determined by referrals, either by African states or the Security Council.

"Why are African leaders not celebrating this focus on African victims?" asked former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who mediated Kenya's post-election crisis.

"Is the court's failure to help victims outside Africa a reason to leave the calls of African victims unheeded?"

The ICC's incoming chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensoudais, from The Gambia says - if anything, the focus on the continent "shows commitment by African leaders to international criminal justice - African governments are saying impunity must end".

Some critics, however, have gone as far as accusing the ICC of politicising justice in Africa and undermining other alternatives such as reconciliation and traditional justice.

Some question the fact that three veto-wielding Security Council members (China, Russia and the USA) have not signed up to the ICC.

Their nationals would therefore never be referred to the court.

So is Africa on trial?

BBC Africa Debate will be discussing the issue in front of a live audience in Nairobi, panellists include:

• Fadi El Abdallah - Spokesperson and Head of the Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court

• Barney Afako - Ugandan lawyer and expert on transitional justice

• Donald Deya - Chief Executive of the Pan African Lawyers Union

Presented by Akwasi Sarpong and Karen Allen.

(Image: A wooden gavel. Credit: 1998 EyeWire, Inc.)

Is the International Criminal Court (ICC) placing an undue emphasis on Africa?

Is Africa Under Threat From Islamist Extremists?2013053120130602 (WS)

Many see Africa as a breeding ground for violent Islamist extremism. But is this true?

Many see Africa as a breeding ground for violent Islamist extremism. But is this true? And if it is, how big is the threat?

Is Africa Under Threat From Islamist Extremists?2013053120130602 (WS)

Many see Africa as a breeding ground for violent Islamist extremism. But is this true?

Many see Africa as a breeding ground for violent Islamist extremism. But is this true? And if it is, how big is the threat?

Is An African Spring Necessary?20120127

It's one year this week (27 Jan) since the people of Tunisia and Egypt against their autocratic governments.

Three presidents have so far been deposed in the so-called Arab Spring.

As the protestors took to the streets in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, there were high hopes amongst observers and commentators that the Arab Spring would spread down the river Nile.

There have been pockets of protests and demonstrations in several Sub-Saharan African countries.

Many of them related to harsh economic conditions and legitimate claims on authority in those countries.

While ripple effects from the Arab Spring are visible across the continent, the protests in the south have failed to topple any of the continent's leaders.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the world's longest serving and oldest leaders - 19 of whom have been in power for a decade or more.

Why has there been no African Spring? Is an African Spring necessary?

The debate is chaired by Alex Jakana and Sam Farah.

THE PANEL

Dr. George Ayittey

A Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC. He is a professor at American University, and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Anne Mugisha

Ugandan opposition activist and co-ordinator of the Activists for change movement that organised the "walk to work" protests earlier in 2011 in Uganda.

Kuseni Dlamini

A South African political analyst.

(Image: Protesters gather at Gani Fawehinmi square during a protest against a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, Nigeria. Credit: Reuters)

After the Arab Spring, is Africa ready for its own democratic leap forward?

Is An African Spring Necessary?20120127

It's one year this week (27 Jan) since the people of Tunisia and Egypt against their autocratic governments.

Three presidents have so far been deposed in the so-called Arab Spring.

As the protestors took to the streets in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, there were high hopes amongst observers and commentators that the Arab Spring would spread down the river Nile.

There have been pockets of protests and demonstrations in several Sub-Saharan African countries.

Many of them related to harsh economic conditions and legitimate claims on authority in those countries.

While ripple effects from the Arab Spring are visible across the continent, the protests in the south have failed to topple any of the continent's leaders.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the world's longest serving and oldest leaders - 19 of whom have been in power for a decade or more.

Why has there been no African Spring? Is an African Spring necessary?

The debate is chaired by Alex Jakana and Sam Farah.

THE PANEL

Dr. George Ayittey

A Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC. He is a professor at American University, and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Anne Mugisha

Ugandan opposition activist and co-ordinator of the Activists for change movement that organised the "walk to work" protests earlier in 2011 in Uganda.

Kuseni Dlamini

A South African political analyst.

(Image: Protesters gather at Gani Fawehinmi square during a protest against a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, Nigeria. Credit: Reuters)

After the Arab Spring, is Africa ready for its own democratic leap forward?

Is Nigeria Ready To Lead Africa?20140628

Can Nigeria lead Africa? It has Africa’s biggest economy, but is wracked by insecurity. What can be done to stabilise Nigeria?

Is Nigeria Ready To Lead Africa?20140628

Can Nigeria lead Africa? It has Africa’s biggest economy, but is wracked by insecurity. What can be done to stabilise Nigeria?

Is Satellite Tv Killing Local Football?2013020120130202 (WS)

The BBC Africa Debate will discuss current issues that matter to Africa, and bring them to the attention of a global audience.

Is Satellite Tv Killing Local Football?2013020120130202 (WS)

The BBC Africa Debate will discuss current issues that matter to Africa, and bring them to the attention of a global audience.

Is Tribalism Undermining Democracy In Africa?2012113020121202 (WS)

Kenyans go to the polls on 4 March 2013. The general election will be the first national ballot since the 2007 poll, when disputed presidential results opened up deep-rooted ethnic tensions – leading to widespread violence, particularly between the Kikuyus – the group of president Mwai Kibaki, and the Luos – the tribe of opposite candidate Raila Odinga. More than one thousand people were killed and an estimated 300,000 displaced.

It’s not only in Kenya where tribal loyalties run deep. Examples abound from Sierra Leone in the west – where ethnic considerations look set to play a key part in November elections – to Rwanda in the east, where close to 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the genocide of 1994.

In the newly independent South Sudan, the administration has been accused of tribalism – dominated as it is by the Dinka group of President Salva Kiir.

At the heart of the issue is the struggle for resources: when a leader, elected to govern an entire area or country, decides to play favourites with members of his community. This inevitably creates dissatisfaction and resentment amongst other groups. So how can this be avoided?

There are examples of African democracies which have bypassed the divisive influence of tribalism, including Botswana and Tanzania. Tanzania is home to over 130 tribes and the various communities there live and vote peacefully alongside one another.

Independence leader Julius Nyerere is often credited for this; his creation of a truly national identity, and his adoption of Swahili as a national language, superseding local or ethnic loyalties. Nearly 30 years since his retirement and 13 years since his death, that legacy remains.

Strengthening democratic institutions is another approach – election results people can trust and independent law courts which deliver honest verdicts would give people less need to rely on the protection and provision of tribe.

(Protesters Kenyan election in 2007. Credit: AFP/Getty)

The BBC Africa Debate will discuss current issues that matter to Africa, and bring them...

Kenyans go to the polls on 4 March 2013, the first national ballot since the 2007 poll, when disputed presidential results opened up deep-rooted ethnic tensions – leading to widespread violence.

It's not only in Kenya where tribal loyalties run deep. Examples abound from Sierra Leone in the west – where ethnic considerations look set to play a key part in November elections – to Rwanda in the east.

Is Tribalism Undermining Democracy In Africa?2012113020121202 (WS)

Kenyans go to the polls on 4 March 2013. The general election will be the first national ballot since the 2007 poll, when disputed presidential results opened up deep-rooted ethnic tensions – leading to widespread violence, particularly between the Kikuyus – the group of president Mwai Kibaki, and the Luos – the tribe of opposite candidate Raila Odinga. More than one thousand people were killed and an estimated 300,000 displaced.

It’s not only in Kenya where tribal loyalties run deep. Examples abound from Sierra Leone in the west – where ethnic considerations look set to play a key part in November elections – to Rwanda in the east, where close to 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the genocide of 1994.

In the newly independent South Sudan, the administration has been accused of tribalism – dominated as it is by the Dinka group of President Salva Kiir.

At the heart of the issue is the struggle for resources: when a leader, elected to govern an entire area or country, decides to play favourites with members of his community. This inevitably creates dissatisfaction and resentment amongst other groups. So how can this be avoided?

There are examples of African democracies which have bypassed the divisive influence of tribalism, including Botswana and Tanzania. Tanzania is home to over 130 tribes and the various communities there live and vote peacefully alongside one another.

Independence leader Julius Nyerere is often credited for this; his creation of a truly national identity, and his adoption of Swahili as a national language, superseding local or ethnic loyalties. Nearly 30 years since his retirement and 13 years since his death, that legacy remains.

Strengthening democratic institutions is another approach – election results people can trust and independent law courts which deliver honest verdicts would give people less need to rely on the protection and provision of tribe.

(Protesters Kenyan election in 2007. Credit: AFP/Getty)

The BBC Africa Debate will discuss current issues that matter to Africa, and bring them...

Kenyans go to the polls on 4 March 2013, the first national ballot since the 2007 poll, when disputed presidential results opened up deep-rooted ethnic tensions – leading to widespread violence.

It's not only in Kenya where tribal loyalties run deep. Examples abound from Sierra Leone in the west – where ethnic considerations look set to play a key part in November elections – to Rwanda in the east.

Rwanda 20 Years On2014041120140413 (WS)

Audrey Brown and Mark Doyle chair a discussion asking how the Great Lakes region has re...

Audrey Brown and Mark Doyle chair a discussion asking how the Great Lakes region has recovered since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rwanda 20 Years On2014041120140413 (WS)

Audrey Brown and Mark Doyle chair a discussion asking how the Great Lakes region has re...

Audrey Brown and Mark Doyle chair a discussion asking how the Great Lakes region has recovered since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

South Africa At 18: Does 'black And White' Still Matter In The Rainbow Nation?2012083120120902 (WS)

Earlier this year, on 27 April, the country marked the 18th anniversary of its first multiracial elections heralding the birth of Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow Nation".

This 18th year of freedom also marks the coming of age of the first South African citizens to be born after the end of the racist apartheid regime. These teenagers are now able to vote for the first time.

South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, racially as well as ethnically. It is also one of the most unequal societies in the world. Its inequalities correlate with race and concern is growing that this socio-economic imbalance or divide is increasingly threatening the country's stability.

According to the South African Institute of Race Relations, per capita personal income among white South Africans is nearly eight times higher than that of the country's black citizens. Statistics show that 29% of black South Africans are unemployed compared with 5.9% of their white compatriots.

President Jacob Zuma has called for greater state involvement in mining and land ownership to address inequalities inherited from apartheid - which he said pose a "grave threat" to Africa's biggest economy.

Nobel Peace Laureate and former South African president, FW de Klerk, has warned about new racism in South Africa. He said the governing ANC's rhetoric was increasingly becoming hostile to white South Africans and that the ANC is using racism as a "smokescreen" to hide its failures.

Earlier this month, South Africans were shocked when more than 30 striking mine workers were shot dead by police during protests over wages. The incident highlighted the growing frustration by South Africa's workers with poverty, unemployment and inequality.

BBC Africa Debate presenters Audrey Brown and Karen Allen will be talking to the panel and an invited audience including politicians, government representatives, policy makers, trade unionists, business representatives, academics, students and media executives.

(Image: Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (R) receives the Rugby World Cup from South African President Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park in Johannesburg 24 June 1995. South Africa won the final against New Zealand 15-12 after extra-time. Credit: PHILIP LITTLETON/AFP/Getty Images)

Audrey Brown and Karen Allen ask whether race relations in South Africa have improved.

South Africa At 18: Does 'black And White' Still Matter In The Rainbow Nation?2012083120120902 (WS)

Earlier this year, on 27 April, the country marked the 18th anniversary of its first multiracial elections heralding the birth of Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow Nation".

This 18th year of freedom also marks the coming of age of the first South African citizens to be born after the end of the racist apartheid regime. These teenagers are now able to vote for the first time.

South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, racially as well as ethnically. It is also one of the most unequal societies in the world. Its inequalities correlate with race and concern is growing that this socio-economic imbalance or divide is increasingly threatening the country's stability.

According to the South African Institute of Race Relations, per capita personal income among white South Africans is nearly eight times higher than that of the country's black citizens. Statistics show that 29% of black South Africans are unemployed compared with 5.9% of their white compatriots.

President Jacob Zuma has called for greater state involvement in mining and land ownership to address inequalities inherited from apartheid - which he said pose a "grave threat" to Africa's biggest economy.

Nobel Peace Laureate and former South African president, FW de Klerk, has warned about new racism in South Africa. He said the governing ANC's rhetoric was increasingly becoming hostile to white South Africans and that the ANC is using racism as a "smokescreen" to hide its failures.

Earlier this month, South Africans were shocked when more than 30 striking mine workers were shot dead by police during protests over wages. The incident highlighted the growing frustration by South Africa's workers with poverty, unemployment and inequality.

BBC Africa Debate presenters Audrey Brown and Karen Allen will be talking to the panel and an invited audience including politicians, government representatives, policy makers, trade unionists, business representatives, academics, students and media executives.

(Image: Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (R) receives the Rugby World Cup from South African President Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park in Johannesburg 24 June 1995. South Africa won the final against New Zealand 15-12 after extra-time. Credit: PHILIP LITTLETON/AFP/Getty Images)

Audrey Brown and Karen Allen ask whether race relations in South Africa have improved.

South Africa Decides - Is Democracy Delivering?2014050220140504 (WS)

In Johannesburg, Audrey Brown & Lerato Mbele discuss the ANC’s record, 20 years after S...

In Johannesburg, Audrey Brown & Lerato Mbele discuss the ANC’s record, 20 years after South Africa’s first democratic elections.

South Africa Decides - Is Democracy Delivering?2014050220140504 (WS)

In Johannesburg, Audrey Brown & Lerato Mbele discuss the ANC’s record, 20 years after S...

In Johannesburg, Audrey Brown & Lerato Mbele discuss the ANC’s record, 20 years after South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Will Africa Ever Benefit From Its Natural Riches?2012102620121028 (WS)

Audrey Brown and Justin Rowlatt present a debate from Addis Ababa.

Africa is endowed with abundant natural wealth. The last few months have seen major new discoveries of natural resources in several African countries. Coal, oil and gas in amongst others Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Mozambique and Uganda.

Over the next decade, billions of dollars are expected to flow into countries previously starved of financial capital. The question many are asking is; will these windfalls be a blessing that brings - prosperity, sustainable economic growth, new jobs and investments in health, education and infrastructure? Or a political and economic curse that brings conflict, spiraling inequality, corruption and environmental disasters, as has been the case in several countries on the continent?

Presented by Audrey Brown and Justin Rowlatt, from Addis Ababa.

Will Africa Ever Benefit From Its Natural Riches?2012102620121028 (WS)

Audrey Brown and Justin Rowlatt present a debate from Addis Ababa.

Africa is endowed with abundant natural wealth. The last few months have seen major new discoveries of natural resources in several African countries. Coal, oil and gas in amongst others Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Mozambique and Uganda.

Over the next decade, billions of dollars are expected to flow into countries previously starved of financial capital. The question many are asking is; will these windfalls be a blessing that brings - prosperity, sustainable economic growth, new jobs and investments in health, education and infrastructure? Or a political and economic curse that brings conflict, spiraling inequality, corruption and environmental disasters, as has been the case in several countries on the continent?

Presented by Audrey Brown and Justin Rowlatt, from Addis Ababa.