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How Chinese Traders Out-Compete in Africa

In the high-density suburbs of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, local chicken sellers complain that Chinese traders are stealing their customers by getting up earlier each morning, successfully outcompeting the traditional indigenous vendors.  “They get to the markets too early,” they told me when I asked about Chinese petty merchants in Lusaka. “Their chickens are cheaper, too,” … Continue reading

The Killing Fields of Africa

Why do Africans kill each other so easily? Atrocities abound, whether in Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan or Zimbabwe. Even South Africans, in fits of xenophobia, attack outsiders. Some of these episodes of murderous mayhem rise to the scale of genocide, as defined and prohibited … Continue reading

Curbing Ivory Trade Requires Curbing of Foreign Demand

Effectively reducing the killing of African elephants and rhinoceroses depends more on curbing the foreign demand for tusks and horn than on localized national endeavors to combat poachers. Although approaches from both angles are essential, it is the consumer appetite for elephant ivory and rhino horn that propels illegal attacks on innocent herbivorous mammals across … Continue reading

Southern Africa: Drought First, Famine Next

Warming waters in the east Pacific Ocean – the El Nino effect – is causing a massive drought in southern Africa, with famine to follow. Zimbabwe, in the centre of the southern third of the African continent, usually receives about 300 millimetres (12 inches) of rain by the middle of what is now the southern … Continue reading

Chinese Ships Exploit Weak, Poor and Preoccupied Africa

Outsiders have long exploited African resources. Now China, a prime purchaser of oil, gas, and valuable African underground minerals, is depleting what is left of Africa’s Atlantic Ocean fishery resources and thus depriving Africans of livelihoods and scarce protein. How to persuade or compel China to respect African rights is a central question for African … Continue reading

Slaughtering the Innocent: The Possible End of Elephants and Rhinoceroses

  Three hundred gentle rhinoceroses have been killed by poachers since the beginning of 2014 in South Africa alone.  About 15,000 unsuspecting elephants have similarly been gunned down by poachers so far this year throughout the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. Lions are dying out, too. Fabled Africa, with its profusion of big game, is now … Continue reading