CONNECTING THE DOTS
- Africans trust agencies of the executive branch (the presidency, army, and police) even more than the legislative branch (MPs and local councils). And they distrust electoral institutions most of all - so why have elections?
- Support for term limits is the majority view in the 29 countries surveyed, including those that have never had term limits, and (surprisingly) even in those that have removed them from their constitutions.
- But it seems Ethiopians define 'democracy' more instrumentally, in terms of provision of material welfare or effective governance, rather than intrinsically -- that is, protecting individual freedoms or following procedures
- More than half of mobile users in five African countries check their phones within five minutes of waking up. But there's more to that story.
- Along with Boko Haram and other armed groups, sectarian violence is responsible for over 16,500 civilian deaths in Nigeria over the past five years. That's 50% more than the recent Ebola epidemic
- Madagascar leads Africa in reptile biodiversity at 383 reptile species in the country. Second is South Africa with 364 species, and Tanzania is third at 335. DR Congo and Kenya round out the top five.
- Overall malaria infection prevalence in Africa has halved since the year 2000; 663 million clinical cases of malaria have been averted in the past 15 years
- The data shows that although Kenyans downplay ethnicity when portraying themselves, 'other' Kenyans are the ones who are tribal. The result is that people tend to vote defensively in ethnic blocs.
- If a country has a high HIV prevalence, it is correlated with a higher percentage of girls having comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS. For boys, however, their knowledge has a weaker correlation with national prevalence
- In Africa, countries that have a relatively sound higher education system are necessarily the rich ones. And those whose economies are doing well do not always have the best universities.
- Length Of Coastlines In Africa, By Country; Madagascar Has A Long Beach View
- Africans Are Living Longer Today, And We Have The Mosquito Net To Thank For It
- Oldest African Football Clubs: Some Are More Than A Hundred Years Old
- Reptile Species In Africa, By Country; Southern And Eastern Africa Scaly Paradise
- Africans Love Term Limits, But Will Readily Vote For A ‘Third Termer’. What’s Going On?
- The story of sleeping sickness in Uganda tells us why you should definitely invite army generals and warlords to your next medical research conference.
- On the kind of growth trends that emerging markets boasted 2000 -2009, it would take them only 30 years to catch up with the rich world, in terms of per capita wealth. Now, the projections put it at 300 years
- South Sudan's coffee bushes were abandoned in the long years of war, but continued to naturally cross-pollinate. The result was something special – Robusta coffee with a very distinct and unusual taste profile.
- Why would young people say faith was their most important value, but fail to esteem integrity? It suggests faith may be more of a kind of 'insurance', rather than a code for moral and ethical living.
- I find the word ‘peasant’ to describe a rural subsistence farmer very jarring, yet my Ugandan friends use it quite casually. What's going on?
- Mobile network subscribers in countries surveyed view the actual or perceived reliability, coverage and speed of the voice/data network as the most important criteria for choosing an operator; price comes fourth
- Repetition rarely leads to better performance. Pupils become discouraged at having to do the classwork again, feel awkward at being the oldest in their new class and being left behind by their peers
- City dwellers eat more fruits, vegetables, meat and fish that those living in the rural areas; consumption of cereals and pulses is lower. It's counter-intuitive, as one might expect a rural diet to be richer in fresh produce
- Nairobi has more retail floor space newly available for rent than Windhoek and Gaborone, which - like South Africa - are considered more formalised markets in retail.
- A new customs management system means time of transit from Mombasa to Uganda has dropped from 21 days to just 4 days, boosting market competitiveness and lowering the cost of doing business.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
- The use of motorcycles for commercial transport has grown very rapidly in recent years, for several economic reasons that have been well articulated. But its social and political impact is a bigger, more layered story.
- Streamlining logistics and clearance is an existential issue for landlocked countries, but the coastal countries have the “luxury” of dysfunction.
- Since the prize was launched, there have been more years when it has not been awarded, than when it has
- Kenya is punching above its weight in diversification of exports – in the analogy of anthropologists, it is less of a hunter economy and more of a gathering one – all sorts of small items find their way to the export market
- Some of the 'happiest' countries in Africa also have high FGM rates, they score badly on representation of women in politics, and female folk tend to be treated badly in these countries. A contradiction?