Best of 2023: Essays


To Be in the World: Notes Against Forgetting A Case for New African Internationalist Politics

Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine has unveiled and deepened ideological divides in debates about state power and the use of violence; ethnonationalism and the ‘right to exist’; mass mobilization and solidarities across difference. At the heart of these debates is a growing awareness of the limits of Western liberal democracy and a call for new vocabularies and frameworks for political action that echo and extend Black internationalist and Third-Worldism movements of the twentieth century.

The Many Faces of Binyavanga Wainaina The Important Truths in How to Write About Africa

The late Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina, made a career out of collecting and creating certain truths, whether of Africa, or of food, or of colonialism, or of racism, or of any of the other things that excited him intellectually. In a new posthumous collection of essays collected by Achal Prabhala, the truths most important to him are presented to us.
Chukwuma Nzeogwu

Revolutionaries or Opportunists? Chukwuma Nzeogwu and the Contradictions of African Coups

As African nations continue to experience a resurgence of coups and the kind of political instability that characterized the 1960s-80s, it is important to draw lessons from the past. For the part he played in instigating one of Nigeria’s bloodiest coups, Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu is mostly remembered in infamy. But was he a misunderstood revolutionary or a bloodthirsty opportunist?
African Union

The African Union’s Most Elusive Dream Sudan, Somalia and the AU’s Unending Challenge of Internal Wars

The transformation from the OAU to the AU meant accepting that the challenges Africa faced had changed from those faced during the decolonization era. Among the new challenges, the most perverse were internal wars. The AU attempted to invest heavily in mechanisms that would ‘silence the guns’ on the continent. In Sudan and Somalia, it seems that silencing the guns has remained an elusive dream.