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Extraordinary Times: A New Era for Ethiopia

On February 16, 2018, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn stepped down from office. Desalegn will go down into history as the first Ethiopian Prime Minister to voluntarily resign. The resignation being a positive event in itself, what comes after has even more positive potential: Desalegn’s successor is capable of turning the undemocratic environment of Ethiopian politics upside down for the ... Read More »

Egyptian Election 2018: Rubber-stamping the strongman?

The Egyptian election is due to be held at the end of this month. Ostensibly a “democratic” contest, the incumbent President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely expected to win a second four-year term in office, especially now that any serious rivals have dropped out the race, replaced with a candidate who up until recently campaigned for Al-Sisi’s party. Initially, various ... Read More »

Ethiopia at crossroads after Prime minister’s surprise resignation

According to analysts, Ethiopia might be at a critical juncture in its political history as key events have followed each other in rapid succession over the past few weeks. Amidst widespread anti-government protests, Prime minister and coalition leader Hailemariam Desalegn announced his sudden resignation, prompting the government to declare a six-month state of emergency. Although experts say Desalegn’s resignation had ... Read More »

The Beastly Component of Conflict: How War Endangers Species

New Year’s: it is the time of excessive drinking, an overdose of oliebollen and rants by cat ladies about the bombshells and fireworks their most beloved pets must endure. While their outcries are often ridiculed, there is a certain truth in them, as they shine light to the overlooked damage conflict causes on animals. War is viewed as being fought ... Read More »

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 »