Blog by Raevyn Goates

avatarRaevyn is an anthropologist with an interest in preserving the past while improving the future. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder.

In Case You Missed It: 2/27/17 – 3/5/17

By Raevyn Goates on March 9, 2017

Akon speaks at the Powering Africa Summit in 2016. The rapper is currently in Gambia to bring solar energy to isolated populations within the country.

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, Akon brings light to Gambia, and a new sickle cell treatment brings hope to millions.

Akon Arrives In Gambia

Rapper Akon arrived in the Gambia this week as part of his “Akon Lighting Africa” initiative. He will meet with Gambian President Adama Barrow before launching a solar power project in the country.

He will also meet with local young people as part of a youth empowerment program called “‘the Role of Young People in Building a New Gambia.”

Akon, who was born in the United States but raised primarily in Senegal, has made it a personal goal to bring electricity to millions of people throughout the African continent, particularly to those in rural or isolated areas.…

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In Case You Missed It: 1/23/17 -1/29/17

By Raevyn Goates on January 31, 2017

Carl de Souza/Getty Images

President Adama Barrow of the Gambia returns home after his predecessor finally steps down.

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, the Gambia’s new president comes home, African clinics face tough times, and one of African literature’s most important voices passes away.

Adama Barrow officially becomes President of the Gambia

A week after he was supposed to give up power, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh finally stepped down, allowing his successor, Adama Barrow, to take over. Barrow had defeated Jammeh in an election last december, but Jammeh, who ruled for 22 years, refused to accept the results.…

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How the Obama Administration Engaged with the African Continent

By Raevyn Goates on January 13, 2017

United States Agency for International Development, USAID

As Barack Obama wraps up his time as president of the United States, we are looking back at the relations he forged with the African continent and what was achieved during the last eight years.

A few months ago, we looked at what U.S. official trips to Africa can tell us about U.S.-Africa relations, especially during the Obama administration. Official visits made by the president and the secretary of state are a good starting point, but by no means are they the only way to gauge the importance of the African continent to the U.S.…

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In Case You Missed It 10/31/16 – 11/6/16

By Raevyn Goates on November 7, 2016

Georgina Goodwin/CNN

Miss Albinism Kenya, Loise Lihanda (center) is crowned at the “Beauty Beyond Skin” pageant while Mr. Albinism Kenya, Jairus Jzay (left) looks on.

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, beauty goes beyond skin, a Tanzanian professor gets a new job, and a missing Chibok schoolgirl is found.

World’s First Albino Beauty Pageant Held In Kenya

Over the years, many people and organizations have worked to spread awareness of the prejudices albinos face. One such organization is Beauty Beyond Skin Color, who recently hosted the world’s first albino beauty pageant in Kenya.…

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In Case You Missed It: 9/19/16 – 9/25/16

By Raevyn Goates on September 26, 2016

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

Leslie Lumeh uses his artwork to chronicle the ongoing effects of Ebola in Liberia.

In this week’s news, France invests in Africa, art saves lives, and floating power plants make waves off Africa’s coast.

Man Used Art to Save People During Ebola Crisis

During last year’s major Ebola outbreak, UNICEF called on artists to create informative posters on how to stay safe.

One artist, a Liberian named Leslie Lumeh, spoke about his work with CNN this week. While Liberia has been declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization, Lumeh has continued to document the diseases’ effects on the country through his art.…

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In Case You Missed It: 9/05/16 – 9/11/16

By Raevyn Goates on September 12, 2016

Getty Images

Nigerian actress Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama stars in three of the Nigerian films showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, Nigerian filmmakers get a big break and Ghana’s women take to the roads.

Toronto International Film Festival Turns Spotlight to Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria was chosen by the Toronto International Film Fesitval (TIFF) to take part in its 2016 City to City program. Each year, TIFF chooses a city whose filmmakers are showcased, and this year they turned their sights to Africa. The Nigerian film industry, known informally as ‘Nollywood’, is one of the largest in the world.…

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In Case You Missed It: 8/15/16 – 8/21/16

By Raevyn Goates on August 22, 2016

2016 Rio Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa.

In this week’s news, Africa takes home the gold at the Olympics, an Olympian uses his win to protest violence in his home country, and John Kerry plans an Africa trip.

Ten Gold Medals Go to African Continent

The 2016 Olympics have concluded, and it’s time to look at the scores. Several African nations competed, bringing home a combined total of 44 medals for the continent, 10 of which were gold.

Kenya won the most medals of any African nation: they won 13 medals, 6 of which were gold.…

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What Can Official Visits Tell Us About U.S.-Africa Relations?

By Raevyn Goates on August 12, 2016


U.S. President Barack Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta take part in a ceremony during Obama’s visit to Kenya in July of 2015.

As U.S. President Barack Obama’s presidency winds down, we at Africa Agenda feel it is important to look back at what he and his administration did – or didn’t do – for the African continent over the past 8 years or so.

Obama himself is half African; born to a Kenyan father and an American mother. It stands to reason that, from a personal standpoint, he would be invested in the welfare of the continent. Indeed, Obama did have aspirations for the continent from early on.…

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In Case You Missed It: 07/25/16 – 07/31/16

By Raevyn Goates on August 2, 2016

National Institutes of Health

Malaria is a blood disease that effects many Africans. However, innovators are coming up with new ways to battle the disease, including a new test that will simplify diagnosis.

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa

In this week’s news, Nigerian scientists invent a new Malaria test, thousands of protesters take to the streets in Ethiopia, Tunisia ousts its prime minister, and Chad’s former dictator is ordered to pay for his crimes.

New Malaria Test Allows For Self-Diagnosis

Fyodor, a Nigerian biotech company, has created a new malaria test that promises to make diagnosing the disease much simpler.…

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In Case You Missed It: 7/11/16 – 7/17/16

By Raevyn Goates on July 18, 2016


MeerKAT satellite dishes in South Africa have made major astronomical discoveries.

This week’s most important headlines out of and about Africa

In this week’s news, South Africa looks to the cosmos, Morocco seeks reinstatement in the AU and Zambia hopes for a peaceful election.

South African Observatory Discovers Hundreds of Galaxies

A radio array telescope in South Africa, known as MeerKAT, has discovered hundreds of previously unknown galaxies.

The telescope discovered over 1,300 galaxies in an area where only 70 galaxies were previously known. The telescope also discovered several black holes in the region. These discoveries come despite the fact that less than 1/4 of the site is operational; of a planned 64 radio satellite dishes, only 16 have been completed.…

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