Free, but not fair?

The day of the local government elections in Banjul, on April 4, I went out onto the streets with my notebook, tape recorder and camera. Before I stepped out of my compound, I was greeted by concerned citizens wondering where I was going with all the equipment. When I told them my mission they begged […]

Government needs to raise revenue for social services in Gulu

Gulu town is the defacto capital of northern Uganda. The region has had peace for the last six years, after the two-decade long conflict between the government of Uganda and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) came to an end. With the return of normalcy, humanitarian organisations that during the war aided Gulu in the […]

Voters in Banjul not swayed by infrastructure needs

Many of Banjul’s citizens will tell you they support President Yahya Jammeh and his government. Those same civilians say development since 1996, when Jammeh took over as president, has rapidly expanded and increased. More than ever children (specifically girls) are going to school and more hospitals are being built. They call this progress. However, UN […]

Investing in Gambia’s youth

In June, The Association of Non Governmental Organizations (TANGO) and the African Capacity Building Foundation brought the Gambia’s Minister of Trade together with development organizations and bankers for the Top Employers Forum in Banjul. The aim was to discuss strategies for job creation, especially among the youth. The big question was, how can Gambia produce […]

Working for water in Banjul

Whereas most West African countries get their water from rivers and streams, in The Gambia many people use boreholes or wells. Having access to these water sources, and sanitation facilities, is crucial for public health, since other water sources often carry pollutants. And in the Greater Banjul area national and international organizations, such as UNICEF […]

Rights group wary of Chinese-Congolese infrastructure partnership

Launched in 2008, Sicomines is a Chinese-Congolese project, with an estimated cost of $3 billion, to build new roads and bridges in various cities in the DRC, including  Kinshasa. Sicomines has one clear intent: to facilitate exploration and development for the mining of non-ferrous metal. Notwithstanding benefits to the mining industry, human rights activists doubt […]

Purging plastic from Juba

In a city without running water, plastic bottles are not a luxury, but a necessity. In Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, they are quickly becoming an emergency. An estimated 750,000 plastic bottles are consumed every day, and there is nowhere to throw them away. “In 2012, when I first arrived in Juba, I […]

Heavy rains put Gulu’s already fragile infrastructure under pressure

On a rainy Sunday evening, the stench that comes from a burst sewer pipe on the main street in Gulu town is unbearable. It has been raining here on an almost daily basis for the last two months. And each time it does, the rain sends raw sewage that flows from old sewer pipes into […]

What future can there be for Kinshasa la Belle?

There was once a time when Kinshasa boasted the nickname “Kin, la Belle” (“Kinshasa, the Beautiful”). After all, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital and largest city is replete with what locals call “ambience”. It hosts Congolese pop music legends like Koffi Olomide and Papa Wemba and traditional dance scenes that rival if not […]

Is affordable housing in Nairobi a myth?

In Kenya, the yawning gap between demand for housing and its supply continues to grow. The estimated demand in urban areas for housing is approximately 150,000 units a year. The current supply is about 30,000 units.  The gap between supply and demand is felt more keenly in the lower income housing market. Less than 20% […]