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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 »

…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 »

Putting a Stop to the Export of Babies

International adoption seems like a win-win phenomenon; an orphan is offered a chance at a better life while the adoptive parents can fulfil their wish to have a child. This romantic image is, however, problematic. Taking a human-rights-prone perspective, questions need to be asked regarding the salience of the international adoption system and the international agreements guarding it. Over the last decades, ... Read More »

Tinder: how consumerism drastically altered the way we love

Tinder stands for 24 million users, of whom 30% are already married and 12% are already in a relationship. 70% of these ‘love seekers’ already have an account on another dating site and on Tinder, the chance that they would find a match is approximately 1%. But how do applications such as Tinder change our contemporary society? Tinder, infinite choice ... 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 »