Michael Schmidt
Michael Schmidt is a veteran investigative journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, and human rights activist with more than three decades’ experience, having worked in 47 countries on six continents. He is official rapporteur of the international Safe Havens arts rights justice summit, and convenor of the Creative African Defensive Network (CADENET).
Can South Africa’s ‘zombie utility’ Eskom afford to go green – and can it afford not to?

Can South Africa’s ‘zombie utility’ Eskom afford to go green – and can it afford not to?

As the world went into unprecedented lockdown in February last year, scientists scrambled to determine what the impact of the vastly reduced traffic volumes, industrial activity, and electricity consumption would be on greenhouse gas emissions. But although COVID-19 drove down the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of Africa’s worst polluter – South African power utility Eskom […]

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The pandemic has boosted Africa’s digital transformation

The pandemic has boosted Africa’s digital transformation

  Africa’s opportunity to transform itself into a “cyber-continent”, bypassing capital-intensive legacy infrastructure and leaping straight into the fourth industrial revolution, has been boosted by the unusual digitalisation demands of the global pandemic – but this new world requires its own unique infrastructure, skills, services, investors and entrepreneurs.Digitalisation’s strongest suit is, as noted by Dr […]

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The hole in Africa’s heart

The hole in Africa’s heart

Africa’s ‘lawless third’: duty of care Swathes of the continent are home to people whose efforts at self-rule or traditional ways of life have challenged state attempts to deal with COVID-19 The lack of access to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced by millions of Africans as a result of living in ungoverned, under-serviced, rebel-controlled, […]

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Local heroes

Local heroes

The media: no place to hide Journalism is a high-risk job for African reporters, who are often not only undertrained and underpaid but also face jail, injury, even death A promising young journalist told me of covering a recent riot and tweeting an update on the action on his cell phone when he fortunately looked […]

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Mapping ethnic conflicts

Mapping ethnic conflicts

Africa: an artificial patchwork? Understanding the dynamics of ethnic conflicts in Africa means appreciating the role of ethnic identity In 2011 Peter S. Larson, a professor at the University of Nagasaki, Japan, published an attempt to chart the interplay between ethnicity and African conflict. Larson used the 1959 map of 835 “ethnic regions” of Africa […]

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Reporting ethnicity in African politics

Reporting ethnicity in African politics

Africa: the scourge of ethnicity Understanding ethnicity—inherited or imposed—can go a long way to ensure accurate coverage of conflict in Africa As a journalist I have covered a range of conflicts, some of which had a clearly ethnic dimension. But ethnicity is a multidimensional concept that blends race, colour, creed, class, clan, language, lifestyle, identity […]

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Ghost cities: Africa’s moving in

Ghost cities: Africa’s moving in

While new metropoles sprouting across China remain empty, those they’ve built in Angola are housing the African nation’s growing middle class China’s construction boom has seen spanking new “ghost cities” sprout up across China in an effort to boost GDP. And fears that it would also leave similar Chinese metropoles littered across Africa have been […]

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Mapping ethnic conflicts

Mapping ethnic conflicts

Understanding the dynamics of ethnic conflicts in Africa means appreciating the role of ethnic identity In 2011 Peter S. Larson, a professor at the University of Nagasaki, Japan, published an attempt to chart the interplay between ethnicity and African conflict....

Michael Schmidt
Michael Schmidt is a veteran investigative journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, and human rights activist with more than three decades’ experience, having worked in 47 countries on six continents. He is official rapporteur of the international Safe Havens arts rights justice summit, and convenor of the Creative African Defensive Network (CADENET).
The hole in Africa’s heart

The hole in Africa’s heart

Africa’s ‘lawless third’: duty of care Swathes of the continent are home to people whose efforts at self-rule or traditional ways of life have challenged state attempts to deal with COVID-19 The lack of access to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced by...

Local heroes

Local heroes

The media: no place to hide Journalism is a high-risk job for African reporters, who are often not only undertrained and underpaid but also face jail, injury, even death A promising young journalist told me of covering a recent riot and tweeting an update on the...

Mapping ethnic conflicts

Mapping ethnic conflicts

Africa: an artificial patchwork? Understanding the dynamics of ethnic conflicts in Africa means appreciating the role of ethnic identity In 2011 Peter S. Larson, a professor at the University of Nagasaki, Japan, published an attempt to chart the interplay between...

Ghost cities: Africa’s moving in

Ghost cities: Africa’s moving in

While new metropoles sprouting across China remain empty, those they’ve built in Angola are housing the African nation’s growing middle class China’s construction boom has seen spanking new “ghost cities” sprout up across China in an effort to boost GDP. And fears...

Mapping ethnic conflicts

Mapping ethnic conflicts

Understanding the dynamics of ethnic conflicts in Africa means appreciating the role of ethnic identity In 2011 Peter S. Larson, a professor at the University of Nagasaki, Japan, published an attempt to chart the interplay between ethnicity and African conflict....