The more time I spend in Africa the more I realise that I was totally wrong about the best way for this blighted yet beautiful continent to lift itself out of its trough. From the vantage point of Royal Tunbridge Wells (in the south-east of England) it was easy to blame Africa’s problems on colonialism. … More The Aubergine’s Role in Ending Rural Poverty
This series is inspired by a moment last week when my slick journalist’s poise deserted me. Briefly. It is not the first time and probably won’t be the last. Anyway, it happened as I introduced myself to a rebel commander via telephone. ME: So where are you? REBEL COMMANDER (VIA SATPHONE): Erm. Erm. Who did you … More Things Not to Say to a Rebel Commander – An Occasional Series
Khartoum needs no excuse to make life difficult for the international charities that operate in Darfur. Now Zoe’s Ark has handed them a perfect reason to get tough on organisations trying to dish up food or provide water to some four million people. Newsweek has taken a look at this issue. But I think they’ve … More Khartoum’s Big Stick
Several of my journalist pals made the trip up to Sirte, Libya, for the Darfur peace talks. They reckoned there were about 120 journalists or so. And three rebels.
You may remember that President Bashir garnered waves of positive headlines first by going to Rome and telling the Pope that his forces would implement a ceasefire in Darfur once peace talks in Libya began. Once a week, for the next six weeks his officials parroted the anouncement. Then the doomed peace talks themselves began … More If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…
Nairobi saw a nasty spate of crime at the start of the year. A senior figure with the aid agency Care was shot dead in a carjacking. Two Americans died in the same way. Gunfights erupted at a roadblock out of town. Dozens of locals died without the headlines afforded the unfortunate foreigners. And then the … More Nairobbery No More
From time to time in Africa I’m reminded of the years I spent on local papers in Britain. In particular, the stories about charities collapsing. On an almost monthly basis we would run a story about some well-meaning individual who has got it into his or her heart that it is about time they gave … More The Peadophile Hunter and Me