WSJ: In Africa, the Sky’s Now the Limit – This past year, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda have all initiated space programs, “using shoestring budgets to create high-tech jobs, get satellite data on their landscapes and inspire citizens to study science.” Ten years ago, space exploration was prohibitively expensive in Africa, but now, amid a continental economic boom, space travel is becoming cheaper, as the African continent is getting richer. (Drew Hinshaw)
The Economist: Boomtown slum – Kibera is often described as Africa’s biggest slum, and is home to around one million people. Government is absent in Kibera: “it offers residents … no services, opens no schools, operates no hospitals, paves no roads, connects no power lines and pumps no water into homes.” Despite this, Kibera is a “thriving economic machine” in which local residents provide the majority of goods and services.
IBTimes: Poverty-Stricken Equatorial Guinea Builds Expensive Capital City In The Middle of Nowhere – Most of the people living in Equatorial Guinea live near the coast in the western part of the small state, yet the new capital city of Oyala, currently under construction and expected to cost billions of dollars, lies about a hundred miles inland. But in this “poverty-stricken country of just 700,000 people, the president’s word is the law of the land.” For President Teodoro Obiang, Africa’s longest-serving dictator, the location of the capital city is a question of security rather than convenience. (Jacey Fortin)
VOA: Uganda’s Batwa Reclaiming their Ancestral Forest as Tour Guides – In 1991 Uganda’s Batwa were evicted from the forest to make way for a national park. Twenty years later, the impoverished Batwa are being allowed back to their land as tour guides. For the Batwa, this provides a welcome source of income, as several hundred had been living in poverty in makeshift camps on the forest edge. While nothing can restore their forest to the way it used to be, for now the Batwa “will have to be content walking their forest trail with strangers, preserving their culture by sharing it.” (Hilary Heuler)