Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fourah Bay College: The Decline of Sierra Leone’s “Oxford in the Bush”, by Tom Gardner

Sitting astride Freetown’s Mount Aureol, Fourah Bay College (FBC) is often regarded as the crucible of Sierra Leone’s post-independence history. ‘When Fourah Bay College sneezes”, one student reflects, ‘all of Sierra Leone catches a cold’. In the mid-1980s, FBC sneezed. … Continue reading

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Rejoinder to Utas on the emerging Liberian middle class, by Ilmari Käihkö

In an earlier blog post, Mats Utas discussed the emerging Liberian middle class.[i] I found this text both refreshing and intriguing, and was asked to offer a written response to it. I hope it succeeds in developing some of the … Continue reading

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Liberia, the emerging middleclass and tiny bits of tension

He looks very frustrated behind the steering wheel of his SUV. He is making his way over the sandy road; crisscrossing between the people walking from the beach. There are many close escapes as his car skids in great speed … Continue reading

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Once a combatant, always a combatant? by Ilmari Käihkö

In the recent report of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Panel of Experts on Liberia the authors express a stern warning concerning the dangers posed by former combatants for the cross-border security in the Mano River belt. According to … Continue reading

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Ernest’s looking glass, by Anne Menzel

“Development” reflections from a long awaited return to Sierra Leone Among my friends in Sierra Leone I have a reputation for “not knowing how to walk properly” (“waka fine”) especially at night. One time in April 2009, during field research … Continue reading

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Economy of the street

We just launched a new website with images and texts from Freetown, Sierra Leone. The site is a platform for both a photo exhibition: Pentagon (photos and texts from my fieldwork) and a film: Jew-Man Business (directed by Maya Christensen, filmed … Continue reading

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Beyond the paradox: African youth research and the policy debate, by Joschka Philipps

During the past decade, African youth have become a hot topic in academic, public, and policy debates. The plethora of discussions, papers, policy notes, media reports, and conference panels is diverse, and yet often united by an intriguing concern with … Continue reading

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