Camel trains are holding up Ethiopia’s new railway line

“MORE than any other technical design or social institution,” wrote the late British historian, Tony Judt, “the railway stands for modernity.” But the road to modernity can be a bumpy one. So it was at the opening of the world’s first steam passenger railway in 1830, when a dignitary in Liverpool was crushed by a ...


Africa’s biggest internet company isn’t making the right bets on African internet companies

Naspers, the Cape Town-based media and internet conglomerate, made one of the biggest and most transformative bets in its 102-year old history back in 2001. That was when it bought a 46.5% stake in Tencent, an up and coming Chinese internet company, for $34 million. It seemed expensive at the time but today (even after ...

What fuel, bread and water reveal about how Egypt is mismanaged

WITH less than two months to go before Egypt’s presidential election, no one is talking about the choice of candidates, because there is no choice. All serious rivals to President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who seized power in a coup in 2013, have been scared off. A single challenger, Moussa Mustafa Moussa, who until recently was an ...


Enchères pour une « Mona Lisa africaine » découverte à Londres

Ce portrait de la princesse Ife Adetutu Ademiluyi, surnommée « Tutu », peint en 1974 par l’artiste nigérian Ben Enwonwu, sera mis en vente le 28 février par la maison d’enchères Bonhams.


A gay love story set in South Africa’s secretive male traditional initiation has sparked outrage

The creators of Inxeba/The Wound always knew the film would be controversial. A hidden gay romance set in the secretive world of a traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys, the film sparked outrage long before it was released. The film’s weekend release on Feb. 2 in cinemas around the country led to protests and some ...

What is cheaper than beer and “gives you energy”?

STRONG, smooth, with notes of melon and a hint of a buttery aftertaste. Leopord Lema’s banana wine may not delight the critics, but it is a hit in northern Tanzania, where it sells for 500 shillings ($0.23) a bottle. It’s cheaper than beer, says Samuel Juma, a security guard, and “brings more energy”. Locals glug ...


A dodgy balance sheet just cost one of the richest South Africans his billionaire status

Steinhoff’s drive to become the African Ikea has been halted by allegations of corruption. German authorities are investigating the furniture retailer for allegedly inflating its balance sheet in recent years. The investigation has been a blow to the company and cost its main shareholder and one of the richest South Africans, Christo Wiese, his billionaire ...


More Than 300 Child Soldiers Freed in South Sudan

The United Nations is working to win the release of more child soldiers in South Sudan, but all sides in the country’s civil war are believed to have recruited more than 19,000 children as fighters.

How It Feels to Survive Slavery: Ira’s story

By Olga BorzenkovaFeb 7 2018 (IOM) “A client called at night and ordered a girl. I was sleeping when suddenly I was told to go to the client. He was already drunk and aggressive. I was scared to stay with him. He made me drink and I had to obey. You feel neither pain nor ...


This will be the most African Winter Olympics ever

More African flags will fly at the opening ceremony of this year’s Winter Olympics than ever before. Since the first appearance by an African nation in 1960 when South Africa, still under apartheid rule at the time, sent a whites-only team to participate, a total of 13 African countries have been represented at the games ...

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