A Greener Melancholy

Even the poorest places in Africa are trying to reduce carbon emissions. Will shame change our behavior? I was incredibly touched with a heavy dose of admiration and melancholy when I read recently about 19-year old Tom Osborn of Kenya, the founder of a “green” charcoal briquette company in Kenya. As a high school top […]

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Bad Bloomberg Bit

Five years ago I suggested the only way to save the northern white rhino was “DNA deep-freeze.” This week scientists agreed and Bloomberg confused the world. The media was abuzz this week with reports that the remaining five “northern white rhino” in existence might now be saved by invitro fertilization, a report widely circulated by […]

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Shush! You’re in Tanzania!

The Tanzania government is inviting violence as it cracks down on all descent prior to two upcoming elections. Tanzania has never been a model of transparency. European governments suspended aid more than a year ago because of shady, under-the-table mining deals, and despite some demanding young mavericks in Parliament, the government continues to stonewall all […]

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Firing The Light

A California company is building plants and producing huge amounts of solar power for South Africa. Why not here? In collaboration with a Saudi financing company (and Google!), SolarReserve will produce almost 350mW of electricity from four solar plants in South Africa’s sunny Karoo (from Kimberly west into the northern Cape). In fact SolarReserve does […]

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Waterworld

The devastation of the torrential rains now falling on southern Africa is an unprecedented catastrophe of global warming. “The worst flooding in the history of Malawi,” according to Bloomberg News, has forced the president to declare more than half the country a disaster zone. Southern Tanzania, northern Mozambique and large parts of Zimbabwe and Zambia […]

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It’s Just a Joke, Right?

Xenophobia triggered by the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo has devolved in Africa from Christian/Muslim into primitive and very dangerous tribal racism. The demonstrations, lawlessness and violence we saw last week in places like Algiers and Niger was a direct response by Muslims to French secular dogma featuring Charlie Hebdo’s mocking Muslim cartoons. That grew in […]

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The Price of Democracy

Chad and Cameroon are defeating Boko Haram while Nigeria is losing. What’s going on? Cameroon shares a 500 km border with Nigeria on the east and Chad shares a much smaller border above the Cameroon/Nigerian border from Lake Chad north. Boko Haram controls virtually all the Borno State of Nigeria, which is its far northeastern […]

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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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Free Hate

Is Charlie Hebdo hateful, and if so, should it be banned? In the U.S. hate speech is constitutionally protected, but acts motivated by hate can be deemed illegal. It’s an extraordinarily complex if subtle distinction. It’s not surprising that the political and religious leaders of Africa are near universally condemning this week’s European terrorism, but […]

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Oiling The Works

Zambia, copper giant and Zambezi River namesake, is fraying at the seams, torn by a global recession manipulated by Sandia Arabia and an educated society intoxicated by democracy. What’s happening in Zambia today is a preview of the trouble hanging over much of developing Africa, and Zambia is in the focus just unluckily because of […]

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When None is Too Many

Zimbabwe has rejected an U.S./European entreaty not to sell 60 baby elephants to unnamed, likely disreputable buyers abroad. Just before Christmas the Zimbabwean Tourist & Natural Resource Minister said the country would sell the baby elephants, and he named China, U.A.E. and France as the destination countries. The actual buyers, though, were not named. The […]

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African Charlie

Last week an unbelievable 2,000 people were killed by terrorists in Nigeria and a believable 17 were killed in France. Are you Charlie? At the bottom is starvation. At the top is freedom of speech. Sometimes they seem unlinked, too far apart to have any meaning to one another. But not today. Towards the top […]

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Other Major 2014 Stories

Tense peace in The Congo, despair with ivory smuggling, ownership of The Nile, more pieces to the early man puzzle and break-through yellow fever research round out 2014’s Top Ten Stories. [For the summary of all Top Ten Stories in 2014 click here.] Actual war in The Congo is over: my # 5 Story for […]

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# 4 : Kenyatta Loosened

The President of Kenya is not quite a wholly free man, but a war criminal is no longer charged, and iniquity has trumped justice. The dropping of charges against the President of Kenyatta is my # 4 Story for Africa in 2014. [For the summary of all Top Ten Stories in 2014 click here.] Early […]

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# 3 : Bust Not Boom

The terrifying decline in energy prices will set the Third World back a half century, and this is the #3 Story of 2014 in Africa. This one is hard for Americans to understand and it came quite late in the year. [For the summary of all Top Ten Stories in 2014 click here.] The decline […]

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