Combating Witch Persecution In Africa: Looking Ahead To 2021 By Leo Igwe

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While there have been reports of egregious abuses linked to witch persecution in Africa, very little is being done to eradicate this social menace. Local and international programs to combat witch persecution leave much to be desired on all fronts.

Although the coronavirus pandemic dealt a heavy blow to global public health and economy, this year has seen some positive developments, and some signs of hope for humanity and pointers to a better future. One of such developments is the launching of an advocacy campaign against witch persecution on the continent of Africa. Witchcraft allegations constitute a form of death sentence for the accused in the region. And this should not be the case because witchcraft is a form of superstition. Since January, the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AFAW) has been working to fill in the gaps in activism against witchcraft allegations in the region. Witchcraft belief has been associated with the African continent for too long. Western anthropologists designate witchcraft as the gatekeeping concept for Africa, which is the frame to study and understand Africa including African thought and culture. This designation is no longer helpful if it ever was and it is time that the concept was discarded.

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