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Open Society Voices

“Rogues” and “Vagabonds” No More: Ending Africa’s Imperial Legacy of Absurd Petty Offenses

February 3, 2017 | Louise Ehlers

Archaic colonial era laws originally imposed to control local populations still endure in Africa, allowing police to harass and arrest people who have done nothing wrong.

Inside a Virtual “Situation Room” for West Africa’s Election Observers

February 2, 2017 | Mamadou Diallo

An online platform allows election observers to tackle problems in real time.

West Africa’s “Promise Trackers” Hold Politicians to Their Word

November 4, 2016 | Catherine Kyenret Angai

A new tool monitors candidates’ vows―and puts their feet to the fire when they break them.

A Photo Exhibit Explores Life in the “Urban Now”

October 27, 2016 | Yukiko Yamagata

The collaboration between a photographer and an anthropologist takes viewers inside Congo’s urban spaces.

Zambia Is Pioneering a New Approach to Criminal Justice for People with Disabilities

September 21, 2016 | Louise Ehlers

Once in the system, people with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities can remain trapped forever. Now, a coalition of advocates is altering the landscape.

A Photo Contest Captures Life with Ebola in West Africa

September 19, 2016 | Christopher Ifeanyi-Nwanze

Traumatized yet resilient, the region is rebounding after the outbreak that claimed 10,000 lives.

Women Who Survived Ebola Find a Space to Rebuild Their Lives

September 16, 2016 | Fatou Wurie

Two years after the worst health crisis ever to hit West Africa, entrepreneurship, community, and joy are returning to Sierra Leone.

Celebrated as an Athlete, Murdered as a Lesbian

August 25, 2016 | Neville Gabriel

The murder of Eudy Simelane, the South African national football star, illustrates the contradictions that define life for LGBTI people in Africa.

In Zambia’s Contentious Election, the EU Finds a New Challenge

August 12, 2016 | Bram Dijkstra

The election in Zambia—a country with 25 years of peaceful democratic consolidation—is a chance for the EU to show it still has serious clout as a foreign policy actor.

Liberia’s Next Generation Finds Room to Grow

July 27, 2016 | Tina Hyder, Massa Crayton

Despite an array of life-threatening challenges, young children in Liberia are finding support in a country that’s making strides in early childhood development.

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