The Horn of Africa Can Feed Itself

August 4, 2011

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Originally published in The National: In western Kenya, where plentiful rain has fallen this year, smallholder farmers are just beginning to harvest their maize. Many of the farmers that I know are expecting the best harvests of their lives. The towering maize stalks in their fields will yield 10 to 20 bags of produce per […]

Posted in: The National

East Africa Investment Climate Heats Up

April 28, 2011

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Originally published in GlobalPost: NAIROBI, Kenya — Investors are starting to realize there are business opportunities in Africa. Last year, Barron’s magazine published The Final Frontier, a cover story about investment in the continent. Consulting firm McKinsey published a report looking at African growth opportunities by sector. Boston Consulting Group published a report identifying the […]

Posted in: GlobalPost

Will South Sudan Be Able to Stave Off a Food Crisis?

January 9, 2011

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Originally published in The National: South Sudan went to the polls yesterday to vote on whether to secede from the north, the culmination of a peace process that ended decades of civil war. Balloting will last a week, but it appears a foregone conclusion that the country will vote for independence. No one is sure, […]

Posted in: The National

Africa Elections Expose Democracy's Fault Lines

January 5, 2011

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Originally published in GlobalPost: NEW YORK — More than a month after its presidential election, Ivory Coast remains in political crisis. The incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, refuses to leave office, though the official vote count shows that he lost to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara. The country is teetering on the brink of civil war. Gbagbo […]

Posted in: GlobalPost

Enrollment Season in Kenya

November 11, 2010

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Here in Bungoma, the entire month of November feels like the first day of school. We’ve hired a bunch of new field officers, and promoted the stars to field managers and assistant field directors, and everyone is busy enrolling new farmers for the next planting season. We’re up to 30,000 farmers in Kenya and Rwanda, […]

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Posted in: One Acre Fund

Ghana Must Ensure Oil Benefits Country

September 25, 2010

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Originally published in GlobalPost: TAKORADI, Ghana — A digital sign in the lobby of Tullow Oil’s office here reads 61 days — a countdown to the country’s first first oil. In November, Ghana will begin producing from its estimated 1.6 billion barrels of oil reserves. As oil workers prepare pipes for deepwater installation at the […]

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Posted in: GlobalPost

Lessons From Somaliland

September 5, 2010

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Originally published in GlobalPost: BUNGOMA, Kenya — These days, Somalia is known for two things: its pirates and its Islamic militants. When Al Shabaab, the extremist Islamic insurgents based in southern Somalia, claimed responsibility for the July bombings that killed 78 people in Kampala, international concern over the problem of Somalia spiked. Somalia’s transitional federal […]

Posted in: GlobalPost

Kenya's Constitution Presents New Challenges

August 14, 2010

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Originally published in GlobalPost: KISUMU, Kenya — This pleasant city on the edge of Lake Victoria gives little evidence that it was the site of serious upheaval following Kenya’s disputed 2007 presidential election. Shops along the city’s main drag were vandalized, looted and burned, disrupting commerce for months. Across Kenya some 1,200 people were killed in […]

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Posted in: GlobalPost

Circumcision Ceremonies and Harvesting

August 5, 2010

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It’s the beginning of August, which in Kenya means maize harvesting, and–because it’s an even-numbered year–circumcision ceremonies. On almost every drive I take out to the field, I’ll see several groups of adolescent boys, running along the side of the road and singing. Several days before the actual ceremony, boys go to the homes of […]

Posted in: One Acre Fund

Brazil Can Boost African Agriculture

August 3, 2010

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Originally published in GlobalPost: BUNGOMA, Kenya — Food security and agricultural development have become hot topics. U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has rolled out its “Feed the Future” initiative. The World Bank started a multi-donor trust fund for food security in April. Africa, with the world’s lowest crop yields and its greatest potential to produce […]

Posted in: GlobalPost