Stories tagged with Africa

Jul 7, 2008 NG Nigeria

There are a number of things here in Nigeria that are just different enough to bring laughter and puzzlement to my days…

“Oyibo” – Wherever I go, people call out “Oyibo.”  Naturally, I initially thought this meant “hello” or served as some sort of greeting.  I suppose it is a greeting of sorts, but literally means “white person.”  It isn’t an insult, just a way to get my attention and a wave.  Generally oyibos remain in Lagos, the business capital, or Port Harcourt, where the oil flows.  I’ve seen two other oyibos in my first month here in Benin City – not many.  I’m certainly an...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2008 GH Ghana

Microcredit undoubtedly represents a creative and original response to poverty. But I think that somewhere along the way, the innovativeness of the idea seems to have translated into an expectation of novelty and ingenuity for all “small-scale entrepreneurs.” I was reminded of this recently while reading a report published by IBM that described microcredit recipients as “creative” and “entrepreneurial.” While I’m certainly no expert on the subject, my time in the field has reinforced my belief that microloans do not generally enable budding...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2008 SL Sierra Leone

 

Musa Kamara is a simple man.  He lives in small hut in a remote region of the Sierra Leone jungle.  He lives with his wife and daughter under a palm-branch roof that he built himself.  For food he grows a few vegetables in his garden and hunts his own bushmeat.  Musa gets almost everything he needs for his family from the jungle.  Maybe you would...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2008 NG Nigeria

My small black notebook is quickly filling up with lengthy scribble detailing the businesses and lives Kiva lenders are touching in Nigeria. The ever-present entrepreneurial spirit in this country fascinates me while the big-picture political economy boggles my mind.

To put it all in context, Nigeria is the world’s 6th biggest oil producer. Oil revenues constitute over 95% of Nigeria’s export earnings and 85% of the government’s revenue (at US$50 billion in 2006). However, there are frequent power outages, the roads are slow and hazardous riddled with potholes and 57% of the...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2008 SL Sierra Leone

 

“Jalloh, you alive?”

“Yes, Nick… of course.”

“Oh, Jalloh, Jalloh, Jalloh! I think it’s time to get out of here.”...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2008 SL Sierra Leone

I’ve been in Sierra Leone now for about 6 days.  It feels like I’ve been here for about 6 months.  Not in a bad way, though.  It’s just a very intense experience.  Minus the unrelenting sweating it’s quite nice.  It’s kind of like a bare-bones boot camp in the jungle, but instead of a screaming drill sergeant there are a lot of excited little African kids waving at you.  Getting a feel for this place is all in...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2008 TZ Tanzania
By kafui
TIA

TIA

A Tanzanian friend, who stays at the same guest house as me, came up with an expression that can be used to make any frustrating, confusing, or illogical moment in Africa, funny. TIA (this is Africa!). I can’t even remember the origin of this phrase (bad referencing...

Continue Reading >>

Pages