Africa

Comic Book Convinces Kenyans to Dye Their Chickens Pink

It does good things for education, too.

It also has good advice about chickens.

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How Did Zimbabwe Become So Poor—And Yet So Expensive?

The shockingly high prices of one of Africa's most impoverished countries

The shockingly high prices of one of Africa's most impoverished countries.

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Africa's Obsession with Shopping Malls

Al Shabab attacked the perfect symbol of Kenya's rise

A year ago, a friend from rural South Africa called me full of excitement. His hometown, a large village called Burgersfort, was finally “getting on the map,” he said. I had read that the Burgersfort region had been selected to host 15 new chrome and platinum mines, a huge source of jobs in an otherwise jobs-starved country. I assumed it was the mines he meant, and congratulated him on them. But that’s not what he meant at all, he said. “We’re getting a shopping mall.”

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The Next Darfur?

In Sudan's Rebel-Held Nuba Mountains, War Rages On

SOUTH KORDOFAN, SUDAN — The squat, tin-roofed buildings of the Mother of Mercy Hospital lie surrounded by rocky hills in a natural amphitheater in Sudan’s rebel-held Nuba Mountains. The hospital was made for 80 patients, but last month there were four times that number. Beds lined the corridors and the outside verandas. Injured civilians and wounded soldiers lay alongside the sick, diseased, and malnourished.

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Judging from the fervor of their celebrations, the Libyan people are acutely aware that they will benefit from the fall of Muammar Qaddafi. But Libya is hardly the only country that has reason to rejoice. As committed as the dictator was to destroying his own country, he posed an equal—perhaps even greater—danger to developing countries in other parts of the world. From the time he assumed power, Qaddafi leveraged Libya’s oil money, and his own willingness to have his country become a pariah state, to support insurgencies from East Asia, to South America, to southern Africa.

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Benghazi, Libya—Earlier this week, a delegation from the African Union (AU), composed of 53 African states, shuttled between the Libyan capital of Tripoli and the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, seeking to end the fighting that has been peppered with airstrikes by the NATO against Muammar Qaddafi’s forces.

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Oilmen have feelings, too. Take the industry executive who lobbied the White House last year to lift the ban on U.S. corporations doing business in Libya. When National Security Council officials rejected his plea, he broke down and wept. The Libyans, he sniffled, were a gentle people. They deserved better. White House officials offered him a tissue. That was then. If proponents of warmer relations with Libya are shedding tears today, they are tears of elation.

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Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, who was a driving force behind that administration's Africa initiative, writes plaintively about GOP cuts to programs he helped create: Senegal is conducting indoor spraying campaigns and providing effective, new combination drug treatments. Volunteers are going door to door in impoverished neighborhoods, instructing women in the proper use of nets. The result? From 2005 to 2008, mortality among Senegalese children ages 6 and under dropped by a third, with reductions in malaria playing a major role.

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The New Middle East

The president has found his fall guy, his collective fall guy, for his failure to see that several sort-of U.S. allies were in terrible trouble: The intelligence community, we are now told, was to blame. But the truth is that, if anyone is at fault for misreading the Arab world, it is Barack Obama himself. Not that many other presidents and their administrations have seen these realities clearly. (John Foster Dulles, secretary of state to Dwight Eisenhower, believed he could transform the Egypt of Gamal Abdel Nasser from a Soviet satrap into a pro-Western republic.

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Time for a Reset

President Obama is in a tight spot. The 2010 elections have sharply contracted his ability to achieve legislative victories, while his room to maneuver on other issues will be limited by the intrusive investigations which are almost certainly coming his way. Progress will be harder to attain than ever.

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