mercatornet

Mathew Otieno

Mathew Otieno is a Kenyan writer who moonlights as a communications assistant at a university in Nairobi. As it happens, he is also studying for a Master’s degree in Applied Philosophy there. While an undergraduate student at another university, studying rocks and fossils, he found himself the unexpected recipient of the attention of the editors of MercatorNet, who wanted him to write articles about African issues. Since he had by then grown to admire the online magazine’s verve, he had no trouble accepting the proposal. Then he realised he had to be just as serious. And so he has lived the last few years trying to get his words in order.


Homosexual acts remain illegal in Kenya

11 Jun 2019
A high court ruling maintains that this is not discriminatory

‘The extinction of the dinosaurs’

1 May 2019
Africa’s dictators are falling off their perches

Ethiopia is more than an occasional disaster site: it’s Africa’s China

28 Mar 2019
It will have a big role to play in the global future

Bringing financial services to Africa’s unbanked masses

14 Mar 2019
African solutions to African problems

The DRC’s unexpected president has his work cut out for him

12 Feb 2019
Felix Tshisekedi is a compromise winner

Nairobi attack: nothing brings out the best in Kenyans like this kind of cruelty

18 Jan 2019
We are a quarrelsome lot, but we know how to rise above it.

Africa in 2018: a year of hope

14 Jan 2019
Things got better in many countries, but only just.

It’s time to kick an abortion giant out of Kenya

10 Dec 2018
Marie Stopes International has been called to account, but decisive action should follow.

Congo must go to the polls with hope

29 Nov 2018
The world’s most blighted nation can learn from its neighbour, Angola

Obama, Trump, Macron: rich-world politics and Africa

22 Oct 2018
By ignoring most of the continent Trump does Africans a favour.

Is Paul Kagame loosening his grip on Rwanda’s political space?

11 Oct 2018
Releasing political prisoners might be spectacular, but he needs to do more.

Closing down Africa’s Internet

27 Aug 2018
How governments are limiting the space for free speech online.

How Ebola was defeated in the Congo

16 Jul 2018
The response to a recent outbreak has lessons for the whole DRC health system

Why is Theresa May apologising for Africa’s anti-gay laws?

16 May 2018
White paternalism is still at work

What happened to all the bad news from West Africa?

18 Apr 2018
A once-violent region has become a poster-child for democracy

Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister

5 Apr 2018
Protestors have been asking for more, but he is a good start.

The extremes of healthcare in Africa

1 Mar 2018
From one country to another, living and dying could not be more different.

Africa in 2017: two steps forward, one backward

16 Jan 2018
The democratic impulse persists, in spite of all setbacks.

Why is Diane Shima Rwigara in a Rwandan jail?

8 Nov 2017
Perhaps the country is not the model of women's rights that it seems.

What the annulment of Kenya’s presidential election means for Africa

5 Sep 2017
It is a lesson in independence for all judiciaries.

Emmanuel Macron was wrong on Africa - as were most of his critics

28 Jul 2017
With 'defenders' like these, who needs enemies?

Is China colonising Africa?

8 Jun 2017
That’s a rather patronising, post-colonial question.

Progress and failure in Africa: two steps forward, one step back

22 May 2017
How the continent is faring after four months of 2017

The Grand Inga

24 Apr 2017
The Congo River may soon have the largest power station on earth

How one Nairobi woman saves young mothers from the pressure to abort

11 Apr 2017
Domitila Ayot is a humble heroine of the slums.

Africa is topping the right lists

23 Mar 2017
The continent ranks ahead of the world in some good things too.

The Netherlands wants to fund abortions in Africa

13 Mar 2017
Meanwhile a famine threatens the lives of 20 million people there.

Somalia has a new president

17 Feb 2017
He brings much needed hope to the battered nation.

Let’s be vague, who needs the Hague?

3 Feb 2017
How African politicians turned against the International Criminal Court.

The fall of an African dictator

27 Jan 2017
Gambia's strongman of 22 years has been knocked off his perch.

Killing Africa

18 Jan 2017
Marie Stopes International performs illegal abortions under the noses of African governments

Africa in 2017

12 Jan 2017
The direction it takes this year will be determined by how it handles the crises of last year

American democracy is still an example for Africa

24 Nov 2016
Free and fair elections are still a rarity in most of Africa.

Congo could become a warzone again

26 Oct 2016
Joseph Kabila’s attempts to overstay his presidential mandate has the country on the edge

Africa’s budding indie gaming industry

30 Sep 2016
A pioneering group of young Africans is taking African stories to the console.

Africa’s forgotten minorities

15 Sep 2016
Not all Africans are “indigenous”. In fact, most are not

Technical education is a hard sell in Kenya

6 Sep 2016
A new project seeks to end poverty by bootstrapping slum dwellers

In Kenya and America, absent dads linked with crime

29 Jul 2016
In Kenya the problem has a tribal aspect too.

Africa needs a sober debate on homosexuality

14 Jul 2016
Tradition does not excuse injustice and hatred.

From the slums to university

2 Jun 2016
How a program in Kenya’s capital is helping more students get to university.

Ahead in the cloud: East African digital pioneers

22 May 2016
Silicon Savannah is producing smart innovators.

Sevens heaven: Kenya’s rugby team attains world glory

22 Apr 2016
A bunch of relentless semi-pros smashes the world’s best team.

‘Tell my family not to expect me back’

15 Apr 2016
A terrorist cameraman captured the farewell messages of dying Kenyan soldiers to their loved ones

The LRA’s inexplicable resurgence

31 Mar 2016
Kony is only part of the problem.

Africa needs to invest in its youth, not prevent their being born

11 Mar 2016
The continent’s GDP growth shows that its young population is a resource.

Museveni: the ‘newest’ president in East Africa

3 Mar 2016
Strongman tactics undermine Ugandan democracy.

Is Burundi sliding into civil war and genocide?

18 Feb 2016
The red light is flashing and the international community is sitting on its hands.

Poverty is big business in the West

8 Dec 2015
A new documentary savages the philosophy of foreign aid.

On the cusp of an African energy revolution

12 Nov 2015
Kenya is electrifying from the rooftops up.

Nairobi’s matatus: in the midst of chaos, a transport system that works

29 Oct 2015
And an MIT study shows how to improve it.

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