As the final few hours of 2018 dwindle away, let’s look back at 2018 and discover the best-read Africa@LSE blog posts of the year.

Legitimacy is not just about winning elections, it’s also about the social contract
Image Credit: Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


  1. Transformation euphoria in the Horn of Africa – As political transformation occurs across the Horn of Africa at an unprecedented pace, Abukar Arman provides a comprehensive analysis of the rapidly changing situation.
  2. The unenviable situation of Tigreans in Ethiopia – As ordinary Tigreans are increasingly targeted because of their ethnic association to Ethiopia’s ruling party, Yohannes Woldemariam points out that the vast majority do not benefit from the rule of Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and live in much the same conditions as most Ethiopians.
  3. EU-Africa trade relations: Why Africa needs economic partnership agreements – LSE Visiting Fellow Olu Fasan analyses why economic partnership agreements could be the key to helping African countries achieve their goal of industrialisation.
  4. The illegal economy of refugee registration: Insights into the Ugandan refugee scandal – Although Uganda has received much acclaim for the hospitable treatment it extends to refugees, it has recently become embroiled in controversy, with the scandal reaching the highest levels of both in country-UNHCR and the Ugandan government. In this blog post, LSE FLCA researchers Charles Ogeno and Ryan Joseph O’Byrne examine locals’ reactions to the recent influx of South Sudanese refugees and sheds light on one of the central concerns in the Ugandan refugee scandal: the buying and selling of refugee registration.
  5. Haile Selassie and his quest to develop a Westernised medical system in Ethiopia – Julianne Weis explores how a colonial mindset on Africa’s place and capacity in relation to Western medicine was fixed and applied to Ethiopia, even though the East African country had never been subject to sustained, colonial occupation like neighbouring African nations.
  6. Somalis in the First World War – As a new exhibition commemorates the Somali effort during the First World War, LSE’s Joanna Lewis analyses how scholarship of the Great War is increasingly encompassing the global contribution of the conflict.
  7. The political marketplace: Analysing political entrepreneurs and political bargaining with a business lens – Alex De Waal demonstrates how the political marketplace framework helps explain four enduring puzzles in contemporary Africa and the Greater Middle East.
  8. Nigeria is a fragile state, international studies prove it – It is a long march from poverty to prosperity, but according to Olu Fasan’s assessment, Nigeria has not quite made the transition yet.
  9. Wakanda, Afrofuturism, and decolonising international relations scholarship – As the highly-anticipated film Black Panther is released in cinemas, Yolande Bouka discusses how Afrofuturism tugs firmly on black memory, recalling the role of Africans in contemporary International Relations. 
  10. When archives speak back: Sexual violence in the Congo Free State – As apologists for colonialism gain prominence, Charlotte Mertens reports how the Congolese voices resting in the Africa archives of Brussels reveal the use of rape, sexual exploitation and torture as punishment, extortion and a display of colonial power.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of the Africa at LSE blog, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa or the London School of Economics and Political Science.