eds. Alex de Waal and Richard Dowden
Africa has long been the locus and the focus for the most impassioned and intellectually-informed debates. But for many years, specialist Africa coverage in the world’s media has been in decline, alongside the withering of many African journals and magazines that used to provide a forum for debate and opinion. African news and views have moved to the web, notably with the spectacular success of www.AllAfrica.com. But there has been no comparable Africa-wide site which provides in-depth analysis and debate of the issues and controversies that animate the continent today. With the launch of African Arguments Online we intend to fill this gap.
Three years ago we launched the book series ‘African Arguments’ with the International African Institute and Zed Books and distributed by Palgrave Macmillan in the USA. Our aim was to bring vigorous debates on the most pressing African issues to a wider audience. With eight books published and two more due shortly the series has quickly become a lively and high-quality imprint.
In launching African Arguments Online, we will bring these issues to a wider audience with the rapidity of a news magazine and the reach of the internet. We have asked a number of leading public intellectuals—writers, scholars, activists—to contribute regular columns. We are sponsoring debates on the books in the African Arguments series, engaging the authors in a conversation about their volumes and the arguments they are pursuing. And we will be convening debates on the issues of the day as they arise—beginning with what Africa should ask and expect from the new Administration of the United States of America.
This is a moderated website. We have chosen the initial columnists from our own networks but more will certainly join. Contributions to the debates are welcome and will pass the eyes of an editor before they are posted.