Tightening the Screws on Microfinance

By Faith Kiarie South Africa is currently embroiled in a debate regarding interest rates in the microfinance sector. In my previous article, I briefly referred to a “dearth of microfinance” in South Africa. This is a term that’s often associated with micro lending, microcredit and consumer credit. Here, it is used broadly for all providers of microfinance services ...
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Gambian Media: Haunted by its History

by Sanna Camara Independent media is the Gambian population’s last bastion of defense against tyranny and suppression. This form of media first developed after in 1888, after the European division of the kingdoms of the coastal West African region. It was designed to give a voice to a group of people, later known as Gambians. In short, the country’s freedom from colo...
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Energy Innovation Where It’s Most Needed (In Africa)

By Aurelien Chu and Samuel Miles It is sundown in Warri East, a community of several hundred thousand people in southern Nigeria, and the lights have gone out again, just as the continent’s largest election results are being announced. The coughing of generators picks up as community residents prepare to be cut off from the national grid. Despite the joy and relief...
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How Entrepreneurship is Transforming Africa

By Peter Bamkole "No country can achieve its full potential unless it draws on the talents of all its people" — Barack Obama at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 2015. African countries are progressively realizing that entrepreneurship is the key to reducing youth unemployment and including young people in economic activities. Innovation and creativity are riding ...
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LGBT Rights in Kenya: A Conversation with David Kuria

by Patrick Kurth In anticipation of Barack Obama's recent trip to Nairobi, many Kenyan politicians publicly disparaged the president's support of LGBT rights, with one MP demanding that he leave 'the gay agenda' at home. Despite their protestations, Obama candidly addressed the state's discrimination against sexual minorities, prompting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to...
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Empowering Farmers on the Kenyan Coast

By Esther Ngumbi The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that over 795 million people in the world are affected by severe hunger and poverty. The majority of these people live off the land, many as smallholder farmers. Their farms often have unproductive soils and are dependent on increasingly erratic rainfall patterns. When crops do grow,...
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Understanding the Crisis in Burundi

By Roland Rugero Although the media’s coverage of the current crisis in Burundi has focused on the debate over a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza, this is merely an easy-to-sell substitute for the real issues at stake. The matter of constitutional interpretation over term limits does have a role in Burundi’s political drama, but more important are questio...
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Countering Human Trafficking in Uganda

By Agnes Igoye Human trafficking is a pervasive, global problem with severe implications for its victims. Most of these victims are lured into leaving their homes and countries to chase their dreams and to improve their lives, only to fall prey to exploitation as sex and/or slave labor. Both internal and external trafficking exist in Uganda, which is a source...
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Reintegrating Boko Haram

By Tarila Marclint Ebiede As the fight against Boko Haram continues, discussions of the how to approach post-conflict reintegration are becoming increasingly important.  There are currently two possible approaches to the Boko Haram conflict. Most Nigerians who have commented on the issue favor a solely military solution, which the Nigerian government has put at the top o...
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Making Financial Services Work for South Africans

By Faith Kiarie It is often argued that for economic growth in Africa to be politically and socially sustainable, it must be inclusive. Considering the unpredictability of the future, it is crucial that individuals and businesses have access to affordable financial services so that they can weather income shocks and spend easily. The number of people with ...
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