Face It

Face It

Steve Farrand and I have now completed four days in the northern Serengeti after a couple down at Manyara. Tomorrow we pick up five more intrepid travelers to continue my survey of post-pandemic Tanzania.

The troubled world goes well beyond Fox News. Vaccine is available in the most remote corners of Tanzania, but much of it’s sitting in fridges unused. One of Africa’s most prestigious safari companies, AndBeyond, admitted to me this week that most of their staffs remain unvaccinated.
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WorkKing

WorkKing

Worldwide the pandemic response was a society — like a house with windows — pulling down all its blinds. As we cautiously pry open the levers what will we see?

In the developing world we’ll see how young societies fared without the heavy influence of world powers. In normal prepandemic times there was hardly a move that an African government made without first running it by a host of global powers. That didn’t happen the last two years.
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Not At Last

Not At Last

How times have changed! I love cliches. And the pandemic has helped refresh traditions and with that, nostalgia, and with, sentimentality and so now I’m terrified. In a few weeks I head back to my most loved Serengeti. What will it be like?

I drove my first safari vehicle into the Serengeti from Kenya’s Mara in February, 1972, and when I’m reminded that’s a half century ago I feel like putting on a toga and sitting on a park bench dribbling bread crumbs to pigeons.
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Afghan Parts

Afghan Parts

Chinua Achebe, author of “Things Fall Apart,” was a greater seer than any of his characters: Today Africans across the continent are filled with worry, nervous with a sense of helplessness. Across the continent it feels like things are falling apart.

“The Americans wanted revenge over the 2001 September 11 attack on the Pentagon Building,” Nigeria’s largest newspaper, The Sun, says today in its lead editorial. “What they now have is a defeat.”
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Afghan Apprehensions

Afghan Apprehensions

“U.S. abandoning Afghans sends terrible message” is the headline in South Africa’s BusinessLive. The Daily Maverick calls it an “unmitigated disaster.” Kenya’s Standard: “U.S. Government has let down Afghanistan.”

None argue that America should stay. The criticism is entirely for abandoning the tens maybe hundreds of thousands of Afghans who live in mortal danger because of their American connections. And for the stupidity of having extended the original mission:

“The purpose of armies is war, not peace,” writes BusinessDay this morning in Johannesburg. “The failure of military intervention [in Afghanistan] shows the time has come to disband Nato and US bases around the world.”
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Masking Up

Masking Up

Here’s what yesterday’s CDC mask-wearing recommendation changes means for travelers:

For the foreseeable future if you travel most anywhere you’ll be significantly changing the way you traveled before: Mask wearing, social distancing and many other pandemic protection characteristics will now become the status quo when traveling, perhaps for years to come.
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Social Media Accelerating

Social Media Accelerating

South African leaders are in a slow about-face with regards to charging Zuma, his friends and family, with inciting the July 12th insurrection, just like everyone from Mueller to Biden was reluctant to hand-cuff Trump and family and probably for the same reason: it’d just make things worse.

At the same time South Africans are coming down hard on social media, something unthinkable at the moment in America.
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Streets of Anarchy

Streets of Anarchy

In a scene that could well be that of Donald Trump in a few years, Jacob Zuma was put in jail Wednesday, and the days and weekend that followed exploded in violence. The South African military has now taken to the streets to contain the fighting especially in Johannesburg and Durban. Six protestors are confirmed dead and many more assumed hurt.
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Fatal Optimism

Fatal Optimism

Every citizen in sub-Saharan Africa expects Wave Three at any moment. The vaccination rate is only around 1% with the bulk of that in Kenya and Zimbabwe (although Zimbabwean health reporting is under serious scrutiny), and winter is right around the corner when viruses thrive.

So the vaccination slugfest in sub-Saharan Africa is scheduled to hit a major turning point momentarily. What can we predict?

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New Day

New Day

In the runup to Earth Day a leading bank in Africa convened some of the world’s most provocative if controversial financiers to foretell Earth’s future.

ABSA may not have the assets or power of Deutsche or CitiGroup but it has the unique advantage of being untied to the world’s toughest institutions like The Fed, Exxon or the Trump Family. Unfettered from a world economy that is about to massively change, ABSA’s Daniel Mminele is probably a better convention organizer for the view of a future world economy than Jamie Dimon.

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Nonemployment

Nonemployment

Is “unemployment” an important metric? Very similar controversies in the United States and South Africa throw this goldmark standard for economic planning into question.

Both countries currently suffer from chronic waves of refugees exacerbated by a wry mixture of politics with pandemic. Both countries’ fairly liberal policies towards refugees are at contentious odds with large parts of their citizenry. Both deal with growing social unrest that many argue impedes difficult struggles with institutionalized racism.

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Covid Conservation

Covid Conservation

Wild animals and wildernesses are seriously endangered by the pandemic … not from disease, but from humans.

Poaching is increasing worldwide… not as in the past for black-market animals, but for food. Equally important communities worldwide are reducing their support for wildlife conservation, because wildlife authorities are ignoring the increasing human/wildlife conflict.

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