Where Has All the Power Gone?

Are you tired of political debates? Join presidential front-runners Donald Trump and self-appointed president-for-life in Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. Trump and Museveni have a lot in common: similar policies (e.g., none) and style (dismissive, offensive, threatening). And … they’re both way ahead in the polls. Museveni’s spokesman told reporters yesterday that he can’t make the last […]

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Virtual Video

What’s the difference between a video game and a terrorist? The family of a controversial Angolan rebel leader who died in 2002 is suing the manufacturer of the “Call of Duty” video game for defaming Jonas Sivimbi. I interviewed Sivimbi in Paris when I was covering the Paris Peace talks (on Vietnam) for several U.S. […]

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Halisi na ukweli!

Letter to my African Friends: Last night I watched the first official tallies of this presidential election. I realized that meaningful social change using democracy is something possible in Africa but not very likely in America. This because in places like South Africa and Kenya you’re tinkering with new constitutions; in Tanzania you’re considering a […]

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Virgin Applications

A South African mayor has reserved part of her town’s college scholarships for virgins. Concerned with the high rate of Aids and unwanted pregnancies, Mayor Dudu Mazibuko told the BBC that 16 of the town’s 113 college scholarships would go to girls cleared as virgins. The certification is performed by an elder woman as part […]

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Lion Futures

A ranger’s report filed yesterday from northern Kenya explains so perfectly why lions in the wild may quickly becoming a thing of the past. Ewaso Lions is a stellar NGO working in the Laikipia/Samburu region of northern Kenya, a beautiful semi-arid terrain just north of Mt. Kenya. The small under 25-person group is run by […]

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No Vote Can Change This

Weather events – like football – keep getting nastier, and the more we comment on them the less attention we pay. El Nino is flooding away America, but it’s also drying to a crisp much of southern Africa. That’s what severe weather is all about: When part of the world burns up another part freezes […]

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All Alone

Just as you sensed an iota of stability settling onto the Middle East another Syrian debacle starts up in Africa. And for all the same reasons. South Sudan is exploding. A UN Report issued last week compares what’s happening in the South Sudan to Syria and Iraq. More than 2.2 million people have fled recent […]

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Freedom As You Wish

The Daily Nation Doth Protest Too Much and freedom of speech is redefined in Kenya. January 1st one of the paper’s veteran editorial writers published an editorial summarizing 2015 in Kenya as a debacle wholly the fault of the President. Heavy on hyperbole, Dennis Galava mocked the president by continually introducing each criticism with a […]

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Time for Odd Bedfellows?

Hey, conservationists! How about big game trophy hunting to protect national wilderness areas? And will you put your money where mouth is? Africa’s asking. I don’t know yet how I’ll answer, but I want to clearly lay out the questions for all of us. Fact 1: For the first several years running in my entire […]

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#10 – Prices Far Away

Financial realities are overwhelming African safari vendors whose Life-of-Riley is slowly coming to an end. Right now safari vendors are falling all over themselves to offer better and better “specials.” It’s the wrong way to do the right thing, and they’re just going to end up in a deeper hole. My last most important story […]

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#9 – People Come First

There’s a lot similar between poaching in Africa and robbing 7-11’s in Baltimore. Poaching and other animal/human conflicts is my #9 most important story in Africa for 2015, because that’s exactly how I’ve always viewed poaching: a human/animal conflict. Fanatics who give elephants souls and would save a meerkat before a Maasai are finally falling […]

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Martin Luther King

Today is one of the most important benchmarks in the American calendar, the Martin Luther King federal holiday. Yet in America in recent years King’s dreams have retreated into the fog of self-righteousness. His detractors, America’s Right, has rolled back many of the voting freedoms he had fought for a half century ago, assisted by […]

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#8 – Evolutionary Excitement

My #8 most important story in Africa was the wondrous advancement in evolutionary science the continent provided us in 2015! Paleontology — especially in Africa — is just simply growing in leaps and bounds. Not too many years ago when it was presumed we (homo sapiens sapiens) evolved in a linear way from just a […]

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#6-7 – Pathetic Politicians

My #6 and #7 most important stories of 2015 in Africa sort of go together, “Zuma the Clown” and “Trump,” two of the most unimagineable politicians in history, one in South Africa, one in the U.S. They are inextricably linked by their unique ability to sustain their popularity by maligning their supporters, a sort of […]

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#5 – Trumps Influence

Last week the new Tanzanian president, already nicknamed “Bulldozer,” announced he was deporting all illegal workers. It was a direct hit on neighbor Kenya, because much of Tanzania’s professional class comes from Kenya. The #5 story in Africa for 2015 was the Tanzanian election, and it tells a horrible tale of democracy and may be […]

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