10 episodes

Current issues that matter to Africa go under discussion and are brought to the attention of a global audience.

BBC Africa Debate BBC

    • News
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Current issues that matter to Africa go under discussion and are brought to the attention of a global audience.

    Can You Trademark Culture?

    Can You Trademark Culture?

    September's Africa Debate comes from Cape Town, a hub of design and fashion, where we focus on the appropriation of national or traditional designs, crafts and symbols by mostly western high-end brands and artists. We discuss when and how cultural borrowing turns into cultural appropriation.



    Accusations of appropriation range from the Damian Hurst sculptures at the Venice Biennale - which he says are stylistically similar to celebrated works from Nigeria's Kingdom of Ife but critics say are carbon copies. To Lesotho blanket makers whose designs now adorn a very expensive Louis Vuitton shirt. Is it wrong? Isn't art and design all about drawing inspiration from other cultures? Or should certain African cultural symbols and products be off-limits to non-Africans - given the history of cultural looting by outsiders that has deprived African communities from controlling and benefiting from their own cultural heritage?



    The BBC's Mayeni Jones and Pooneh Ghoddoosi discuss these questions with an audience of artists and designers.



    Photo: THABO MAKHETHA (TMCOLLECTIVE)

    • 49 min
    Is Uganda the Best Place to be a Refugee?

    Is Uganda the Best Place to be a Refugee?

    Uganda is now home to the largest number of refugees in Africa, according to the United Nations refugee agency. More than one million South Sudanese have sought refuge in the country to escape conflict and famine. Analysts say Uganda has progressive policies that allow refugees freedom of movement,access to land, free healthcare and education. But how effective are these laws?



    Nancy Kacungira chairs this month's debate with a live audience in Kampala, Uganda.



    Photo: Two South Sudanese children who fled across the border to Ngomoromo, Uganda. Credit: AFP

    • 49 min
    What Will Fix Africa’s Air Transport?

    What Will Fix Africa’s Air Transport?

    Often the quickest route from one African country to another is via Europe. More than 80% of airlines operating in the continent are foreign. Can Africa develop an efficient and affordable home-grown air transport sector?



    The BBC's Nancy Kacungira debates the big questions with an audience in Ghana.

    • 49 min
    What Will it Take to Rebuild The Gambia?

    What Will it Take to Rebuild The Gambia?

    After more than 20 years under the authoritarian rule of former President Yahya Jammeh, Gambians have great expectations of the new administration.

    They want a well-performing economy, jobs, good health care and education, and an accountable government that will uphold the constitution.



    Many people are also hoping the new government can help stem the large number of young Gambians who every year perilously try to cross the Mediterranean sea in the hope of making a better life in Europe.



    During his election campaign, the new President, Adama Barrow, promised to free political prisoners, remove repressive laws, return the country back to the International Criminal Court and restore relations with international community.



    Under former leader Yahya Jammeh, Gambia a country of fewer than two million people become largely isolated and its economy stagnated as donors withheld aid and grants to protest against human rights violations. The human rights watchdog, Amnesty International says dozens of people including human rights activists and journalists were imprisoned or died in mysterious circumstance for criticising Mr Jammeh. Others were forced to flee the country for their safety. Now many families are seeking justice and closure.



    With many democratic institutions broken down or non-existent, the new government has a big job on its hands. How best can Gambia rebuild itself? What should the new government prioritise?



    Presenters Umaru Fofona and Rebecca Kesby



    (Photo: Gambia's new president Adama Barrow waves to supporters, after returning from Senegal. Credit: Carl De Souza / AFP / Getty Images)

    • 49 min
    Is Journalism in Africa Threatened by Fake News?

    Is Journalism in Africa Threatened by Fake News?

    Plastic rice. Death hoaxes. ‘Marry twice or go to jail’. How can journalists preserve audience trust in an era of social media and – some say – fake news? Do social media platforms have a responsibility to curb the spread of fake news? And can government censorship can ever be the answer?



    The BBC’s Akwasi Sarpong and Didi Akinyelure debate the big questions with an audience in Malawi.



    (Image: A stack of newspapers branded with a red ‘fake’ stamp. Credit: Thinkstock; BBC.)

    • 49 min
    What is Life Like for Women Without Children in Africa?

    What is Life Like for Women Without Children in Africa?

    What are the options for childless couples? And, is choosing not to have children taboo? In many African communities fertility is highly prized and women without children are frowned upon. Infertility affects one in six couples of childbearing age worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. In Africa, the number of women unable to conceive after a first pregnancy can be as high as one in three.

    • 48 min

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