IOA Position Papers

IOA at a glance

Over the past decade, In On Africa (IOA) has positioned itself as one of the top research, intelligence and publishing firms in and focused exclusively on Africa. The company works with a wide array of clients across the African continent through its complementary divisions, service offerings and insight-driven products.

The infographic provides a snapshot of IOA – its core offerings, mission, values, vision and key differentiators.

Journalists put their lives on the line to bring Southern Africa’s news to the world

Journalists face intimidation and death in parts of the sub-continent directly in proportion to a rise in political oppression in some countries. The role of the media is not appreciated by leadership in the region’s democracies, and is thwarted in non-democratic states.

A sign at a radio station in Mogadishu, Somalia. Governments across Africa attempt to silence the media to control their populations and quash dissent, a trend which is becoming more evident in Southern Africa.  Photo courtesy Tobin Jones/AU-UN IST/Flickr

A sign at a radio station in Mogadishu, Somalia. Governments across Africa attempt to silence the media to control their populations and quash dissent, a trend which is becoming more evident in Southern Africa.
Photo courtesy Tobin Jones/AU-UN IST/Flickr

Of all professions, journalism in Africa requires courage; and the reporter, whether consciously or just doing their job, becomes an activist. Intentional or not, his or her work is progressive, moving the continent forward by providing information. Despots are exposed and incompetency and criminality are revealed, while economic and social advancement is celebrated. Even in countries where democracy is stifled, the impulse of journalists to know what story is important and pursue facts is never entirely quashed. Read more

Mali: The Sahel’s gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa for jihadist terrorists

As a local election is held under a State of Emergency, jihadist militants linked with al-Qaeda mounted attacks to further destabilise a fragmented country. The Islamic State (ISIS) also seeks Mali’s breakup to open a way for the terror group’s migration southward. 

Militants from the al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Dine on patrol in Timbuktu. The terror group held the city, and others in northern Mali for several months, until it was expelled by French troops in January 2013. Photo courtesy Magharebia/Wikimedia Commons

Militants from the al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Dine on patrol in Timbuktu. The terror group held the city, and others in northern Mali for several months, until it was expelled by French troops in January 2013.
Photo courtesy Magharebia/Wikimedia Commons

Having postponed local elections four times for security reasons, Mali’s central government led by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita decided the polling must proceed on 20 November 2016. Further delays would have ensured continuing governance problems at the local level, where mayors, town councillors and others were needed to do administrative duties. The local governance system had to be defended against the Islamic jihadist groups whose goal is to impede governance at all levels. With Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) to the north gradually replacing chaos with national sovereignty and driving out ISIS fighters, Mali presents an opportunity for terror groups to further exacerbate a nation in crisis. Into Mali’s vacuum of lawlessness will filter ISIS fighters, creating a southern beachhead and teaming up with militants affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) to expand into Sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria and Cameroon, Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to ISIS, and this alliance will spread their fight. Read more

Journalists put their lives on the line to bring Southern Africa’s news to the world

Journalists face intimidation and death in parts of the sub-continent directly in proportion to a rise in political oppression in some countries. The role of the media is not appreciated by leadership in the region’s democracies, and is thwarted in non-democratic states.

A sign at a radio station in Mogadishu, Somalia. Governments across Africa attempt to silence the media to control their populations and quash dissent, a trend which is becoming more evident in Southern Africa. Photo courtesy Tobin Jones/AU-UN IST/Flickr

A sign at a radio station in Mogadishu, Somalia. Governments across Africa attempt to silence the media to control their populations and quash dissent, a trend which is becoming more evident in Southern Africa.
Photo courtesy Tobin Jones/AU-UN IST/Flickr

Of all professions, journalism in Africa requires courage; and the reporter, whether consciously or just doing their job, becomes an activist. Intentional or not, his or her work is progressive, moving the continent forward by providing information. Despots are exposed and incompetency and criminality are revealed, while economic and social advancement is celebrated. Even in countries where democracy is stifled, the impulse of journalists to know what story is important and pursue facts is never entirely quashed. Read more

Out with oil: New hope for Virunga National Park

Oil companies pose a threat to the future of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo but cases for sustainable development approaches to park management as an alternative means to developing the region economically, present greater long-term social, economic and environmental benefits for the region.

Democratic Republic of Congo. Shores of Lake Edward in Virunga National Park. Photo courtesy MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh/ Flickr

Democratic Republic of Congo. Shores of Lake Edward in Virunga National Park. Photo courtesy MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh/flickr

Written by Lonnie Kehler; Updated by Tanya Bruggemann

Through the World Heritage Convention UNESCO seeks to identify and preserve natural and cultural heritage sites that have incalculable value. Unfortunately, 55 established World Heritage sites are listed as “in danger”, and Africa has more than its fair share at 17. The high number of affected African sites reflects particular challenges of the continent, notably civil unrest and war.2 The Virunga National Park in the DRC and Uganda, Africa’s oldest national park, is one of those sites.

Instability in the region has had devastating consequences for the park, for its wildlife and for those who look after it. The park and its rangers are threatened by poachers and rebel groups, and now another threat, in foreign oil companies interested in exploration within park borders, has been developing over the last few years.

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