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M-Pesa: the mobile revolution in Kenya

In our world, technology has always been a driver for innovation. However, nowadays we tend to perceive it  more and more often as a burden – being available all the time, having to reply to masses of emails and feeling the urge to check our phones every minute of the day. For some it is hard to imagine that in ... Read More »

…Living Through the Shock of Contrast and Difference: An Interview

Mustapha Abdu-Aguye comes from Zaria, Nigeria. He moved to Groningen, the Netherlands, 5 years ago to do a Master’s degree in Nanoscience. Currently, he’s half way though his PhD in Photophysics and Optoelectronics. Mustapha agreed to talk with Checks&Balances about the cultural differences between the Dutch and Nigerians, as well as discuss his personal growth. ‘I attained both my Bachelor ... Read More »

Nigeria’s Fight Against Radical Islam – Boko Haram and the Chibok Kidnapping

Boko Haram is a Nigerian Sunni-Muslim terror organization established in 2002 after a long time of conflicts during the decolonization process in Nigeria. It focuses on the strict application of Sharia law throughout the country, and opposes any form of Western ideology. First off, it was a response of multiple classes in society towards the elite that profited excessively from ... Read More »

From Groningen to the World Bank

                 written by Alexandra Voinescu                            edited by Casper de Boer   Brussels has the world’s most renounced European and International business environment. Most business-orientated students dream literally daily about working in such a competitive and complex-networking environment. Last week, 51 students crossed the border between the Netherlands and Belgium, awaiting to be ... Read More »

The Power of a Flower: Recovering Rwanda’s Agriculture

Chrysanthemum Cinerariifolium – it is the name of a flower that promises hope and revived agriculture in Rwanda, a country that justifies the very word recovery and proves to utilize every chance to reclaim its economic prosperity. Blooming in between Rwanda’s hills these delicate flowers are re-establishing their position among the most exported products, namely among coffee and tea, and ... Read More »

Exchange in Stellenbosch: Feeling Alive!

As the exams are drawing to a close, and more and more students are leaving this little town for greener (and considerably warmer) pastures, Stellenbosch surely is a different place than it was a mere month ago. At the moment, I’m snuggling up in my bed with a cup of hot chocolate, because the rain has been pouring down for ... Read More »

Eight Weeks With Ebola

Letters of Andrius Slavuckis Sierra Leone, 2014 September-October Source: Intelligent Life, 2015 April, Nr. 3 (30) Week I As I presented my passport to the frontier-guard I was kindly asked to state the reason of my arrival. Without any further explanation I showed her the MSF – Médecins Sans Frontiéres – sign on my jacket and I was greeted with ... Read More »

UNEA: from economic to sustainable development

At first glance “UNEA” appears as just another agency of the international community with an abbreviation that hardly anyone recognizes. However, a second look reveals a new development in the international arena. UNEA, the United Nations Environmental Assembly, was held for the first time in June this year. The newly constituted body is a child of the UN Environmental Programme ... Read More »

The Failure of the ‘War on Drugs’: Drug Trafficking in West Africa

As the West Africa Commission’s on Drugs (WACD) report asserts, since the mid-2000s drug offences have ‘taken on a dimension that threatens the security, governance and development trajectory’ of the West African countries. The convergence of international drug cartels and diverse West African criminal networks has played a major role in political upheavals, such as those processed in Guinea-Bissau and ... Read More »

“White Gold”- changing symbol of wealth and power?

 Nature has repeatedly been portrayed as the enemy of human, which has evolved into the civilized urban environment. The common narrative follows along the line “First humans lived like savages in forests and caves hardly different from apes and other animals. But then, we started to think and invent technology to assist in our daily life. We learnt how to ... Read More »