Africans Praise Cuban Initiative

South Africans echoed most of the continent yesterday in praising Obama for normalizing relations with Cuba. In my lifetime Cuba has been active in Africa and seems to have chosen the right sides to support. The current Tanzanian regime, the current South African and Angola regimes, were all receiving aid and support from Cuba when [...]

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Free Kenyan Collapse?

Kenya democracy is on the brink of collapse, because … of democracy. Facing imprisonment if the bill in Parliament he is criticizing is passed, popular Kenyan journalist, Kwame Owino, wrote today that Kenyan society “is bound for a democratic recession, with the possibility that its constitutional journey will come to an abrupt and painful stop.” [...]

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Pretender or Defender

Once upon a time going on safari meant two weeks in a Landrover TDI110 “Defender” literally in the bush: no roads. You found trails, usually elephant paths, and plowed your Landrover TDI110 “Defender” into the wild. With roads and government tariffs and mercantile competition and especially, with tourists who are terrified that traveling off roads [...]

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Boom or Bust?

An extremely dangerous economic situation portends tremendous global unrest, especially in Africa. Obama’s energy policy has put American front and center, and while Americans are reaping enormous relief from falling energy prices the developing world is poised to suffer considerably. That may seem counter intuitive, because energy is needed by everyone. It isn’t only Americans [...]

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Ivory Ends

There may still be too many elephants in East Africa, but Tanzania is acting so irresponsibly with regards to increased poaching that the scales may soon tip. This week a group of environmental organizations led by the EIA petitioned the U.S. government to withhold aid from Tanzania until elephant poaching abates. It’s unlikely that the [...]

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Fighting Terror with Terror

Like father, like son: Kenya has now joined its military father, the U.S., using illegal force in failed attempts to fight terrorism. The Senate committee report released Tuesday is a shame on America that will follow our empire to its ultimate grave, but the extra-judicial killings of 500 detainees by Kenyan security forces is simply [...]

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Fat Children Starving

Comedy conveys reality to Americans today better than straight facts, and last Friday’s ‘The Daily Show’ masterfully presented the real Africa. Jon Stewart introduced his new correspondent from South Africa, Trevor Noah, who conveyed to Americans a lot more successfully than I and dozens of other bloggers have: (1) Eric Garner and Michael Brown demonstrate [...]

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Lion Realities

Never ‘in my life’ would I have expected to be concerned about declining lion populations in Africa, but despite grossly misunderstood and badly used statistics, they are definitely in decline. I always thought of lions, I suppose, like kitty cats: They’re ubiquitous! In fact, they are more of them than my birder friends think there [...]

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Broken or Manipulated?

Justice, fairness, equality – “legally” lost today around the world. Uhuru Kenyatta, Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo are today uncharged, and they should not be. What’s wrong? Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, was indicted for crimes against humanity by the World Court more than a year ago. Today the chief prosecutor dropped all charges. [...]

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Corrupted Index

Transparency International’s corruption index for East Africa is depressing, not wholly accurate and therefore more depressing, and becoming increasingly irrelevant. The index was released this week and the analysis of sub-Saharan Africa differs little from last year in the aggregate: Africa is still the most corrupt place in the world, and East Africa is among [...]

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Ebola Epilogue

The apparent slowing of the spread of ebola in West Africa is almost as worrisome as the outbreak itself. Many will think I’m crazy to write an epilogue to this story before it really is over, but like so many global crises the ebola epidemic will become forgotten the moment headlines disappear. We really shouldn’t [...]

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Music Magic

At a holiday party recently, someone asked me if when I’d been in Africa recently I’d heard any of Africa’s great new music, you know, gospel. This past weekend was Africa’s continent-wide music video award show which I found particularly interesting since artists and production companies from my neck of the woods, Tanzania and Kenya, [...]

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Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. (Canada celebrates it earlier.) Thanksgiving is one of Canada and the U.S.’ major holiday celebrations, characterized by copious amounts of food featuring seasonal recipes and lots of sweets. The traditional meat served at the feast is turkey. The two-day holiday originates with the first permanent settlers to the [...]

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You First, Dear Girl

A growing number of women are becoming jihadists, especially in Africa. Why? London’s Daily Telegraph claimed recently that one of every seven Britains who has traveled to troubled areas to join a jihadist cause is a woman. Elizabeth Pearson of Kings College points out this is nothing new, although it appears to be growing substantially. [...]

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Not Enough Eyes

Kenya’s an eye-for-an-eye policy against terrorists is doomed from the start and will only make matters worse. This weekend poor Kenya suffered still another horrific terrorist attack in its far northeast near the Somalia border. A commercial bus carrying about 60 people from the town of Mandera to Nairobi was hardly 30 miles from the [...]

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