IEET African Futures Project

African Futures Project Initiatives




African Futures Project News


While the world watches Ebola, Meningitis continues to kill in West Africa

Witch hunts, Misogyny and the Imperative of Enlightenment in Black Communities

Tom Friedman, Globalization’s Man in Madagascar

Witchcraft, Mass Hysteria and Uncanny Behavior in Namibia

Boko Haram and the Threat of Islamic Extremism in Africa

How the Separation of Church/Mosque and State Will Benefit Africa

American Embassy Should Tackle Witchcraft Accusations, not the Witch Camps


African Futures Project Events





African Futures Resources


The IEET’s African Futures Project was started in 2012 as a multifaceted program to develop our understanding of how emerging technologies, combined with human rights and democratic empowerment, are transforming Africa, the poorest region of the world.

The project started with two separate initiatives, the first an accumulation of the intellectual thoughts and dreams of academic scholars and policy leaders, and the second a program aimed to empower ordinary Africans by putting communication devices in their hands.

In 2013, the IEET is relaunching the African Futures Project, and building on these established initiatives to support a revisioned mission for the project that focuses on the former goal of sustainable development for Africa.

Therefore, the new mission of the IEET’s African Futures Project is to work to promote and distribute products, and partner with other scholars and organizations under the common goal of discussing, developing, and delivering sustainable technological advancements to Africa.

The IEET will start towards this mission by expanding the two current projects, Fone4U and the African Futures Essay Collective. For more information on these projects, please click on the links in your left-hand side bar. In the future of the project, other initiatives will be developed to assist in fully realizing the goals and mission of the African Futures Project.

It is also our goal is to use this website to not only collect videos and articles that relate to the project, but to also offer full transparency in the progress with our initiatives.

For more information on the project, or if you would like to submit articles or get involved with the African Futures Project, please email Kris at Kris@ieet.org.



Aug 26, 2014

While the world watches Ebola, Meningitis continues to kill in West Africa

by Andrew Maynard

“This year alone, there have been 17,000 cases of meningitis in Nigeria, with nearly 1,000 deaths”. It’s a statement that jumped out at me watching a video from this summer’s Aspen Ideas Festival by my former University of Michigan Public Health student Utibe Effiong.


Aug 25, 2014

Witch hunts, Misogyny and the Imperative of Enlightenment in Black Communities

by Leo Igwe

If one hates a woman and wants to get rid of her; if a person dislikes particularly an elderly female member of the family and wants to destroy her socially, one of the most effective ways of getting rid of her is accusing her of witchcraft. This is the case in Northern Ghana as in other parts of the African continent.


Aug 7, 2014

Tom Friedman, Globalization’s Man in Madagascar

by Richard Eskow

Thomas Friedman recently filed an editorial from, and about, Madagascar. In a new piece for Salon, we point out the flaws in his thinking – flaws that mirror his shortsighted and trend-infatuated view of the domestic economy. 


Aug 7, 2014

Witchcraft, Mass Hysteria and Uncanny Behavior in Namibia

by Leo Igwe

Is strange behavior due to witchcraft or is it a natural occurrence? Is uncanny attitude a diseased manifestation that can be processed through prayers or an occurrence that can be explained without reference to magic and mysticism? British historian, Ronald Hutton, identified uncanniness as one the characteristics of witchcraft that cuts across all cultures. Witchcraft is an uncanny craft. Witches exhibit strange behavior in course of their occult operations. They employ means that are beyond the ordinary, the normal and the natural to cause misfortune and injury. In Namibia, ‘‘uncanny behavior’’ in a school is causing confusion and fueling accusations of witchcraft. Parents are panicking and are asking the authorities to close down the school.


Jul 30, 2014

Boko Haram and the Threat of Islamic Extremism in Africa

by Leo Igwe

Today, there is a growing threat of religious fundamentalism in many parts of the globe. Worldly organisations driven by otherworldly agenda are on a rampage-waging ‘holy wars’, killing, maiming, kidnapping, raping in furtherance of their destructive and divine vision of this world. The forces of dark age are trying to push back the tide of enlightenment and intellectual awakening on many fronts.


Jun 25, 2014

How the Separation of Church/Mosque and State Will Benefit Africa

by Leo Igwe

To most politicians across Africa, separating religion and state presents a very difficult challenge. Secularism is viewed with suspicion, and sometimes with opposition. Many countries across the region have the principle of separation enshrined in their constitutions. But this constitutional principle is hardly translated into reality because of enormous influence of religious establishments on politics and governance.


Jun 25, 2014

American Embassy Should Tackle Witchcraft Accusations, not the Witch Camps

by Leo Igwe

I must commend the Embassy of the United States in Ghana for its decision to engage Ghana’s Ministry for Chieftaincy and Culture in addressing the human rights abuses in the name of witchcraft. This project is long overdue. The American Embassy is sponsoring a research program on the violations that lead to the banishment of alleged witches to camps in the region. Such a program is a clear example of how the international community can help Africans tackle this cultural scourge, and help make witch hunts history in the region and beyond.


May 30, 2014

Stopping Witch Burning in Kenya?

by Leo Igwe

Last Sunday, a 45 year old woman, Christine Jemeli Koech, was accused of witchcraft. A neighbour claimed that Koech, a mother of six had been responsible for her child’s illness. A local mob stormed Koech’s house early in the morning while she was asleep. They murdered her and burnt her body. This gruesome practice of lynching continues in the East African country of Kenya.


May 2, 2014

Banishing ‘Witches’ in Northern Ghana

by Leo Igwe

‘The woman has been banished’, Hamid, my research assistant called to inform me a few days ago. ‘Which woman?’ I asked. ‘The woman I told you about yesterday’, he said in a tone that sounded prophetic. Hamid is a teacher in a local school in Yendi, the traditional capital of the Dagbon state, as the Dagomba is politically described. He confirms that the belief in witches is very strong among the people of Dagbon despite the widespread profession and practice of Islam.


Apr 22, 2014

How a public-private healthcare partnership threatens to bankrupt Lesotho

by Kris Notaro

Lesotho is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world. More than half of its population live below the poverty line and the poorest people are the least likely to get the healthcare they need. A quarter of people living in rural areas have to travel more than three hours to reach their nearest heath facility.


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