Tag Archives: Quartz

African cities are too expensive for ordinary Africans — Quartz Africa


For the last decade or so, lists of the world’s most expensive cities usually include London, Hong Kong, perhaps New York, and then at least one African city—recently it’s been Luanda, Angola or an unexpected city like N’Djamena, Chad.

These reports by international firms are focused on expatriate corporate executives, and their calculations often include luxuries like personal drivers and security, with a corporate expense account to take care of the details.  Of course, that utterly ignores the reality of a vast majority of citizens face in fast-growing African cities. Trying to explain Lagos is an expensive city by comparing the price of a martini with the price of one in Manhattan might be a fun exercise—but it provides little insight into how ordinary Lagosians live.

A team of…

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Zambia says World War I ended on Nov 25 — Quartz Africa


As the world remembers the end of the First World War, Zambia is fighting to ensure that its role in the war is remembered. World leaders gathered in Paris on Nov. 11, Armistice Day, to honor the war’s fallen soldiers.

Zambia, however, wants to change the narrative and location of these commemorations. On Nov. 25, Zambia’s tourism agency plans to hold a commemoration of its own in Mbala, in the northeast of the country, close to the Tanzanian border.

The government also hopes attention to the region will “unlock the tourism and investment potential of Northern province.” For now, a monument of stacked rocks with a plaque in the middle of a traffic roundabout marks the spot where the Great War ended.

“It gives us an opportunity to tell our story, the forgotten story, that we played a…

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A Malaria vaccine is close thanks to African scientists — Quartz Africa


Malaria is still a major problem in Africa. There are over 200 million clinical cases each year and approximately half a million deaths.

There are different ways in which malaria can be controlled. Preventive measures include use of insecticides in bed nets or indoor spraying programmes. Medicines can also be used to prevent or treat malaria, but resistance often develops and drugs lose their effectiveness.

The World Health Organisation reported that progress in controlling malaria has stalled.

As an immunologist, I dream that one day we will have an effective vaccine that will help eliminate malaria. I think this is possible because for over a century, we have known that humans do become immune to malaria. In places where there is lots of malaria adults don’t succumb to the disease, but their…

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Africa needs to spend more on research and development — Quartz Africa


Of the many developmental challenges facing Africa, scientific research doesn’t often rise to the top of the discussion agenda, though thankfully that has been changing with high profile initiatives like the Next Einstein Forum. And yet research and development will be key to the kinds of improvements that African citizens need and expect.

The priorities, or lack thereof, are obvious when you consider the average sub Saharan Africa government spends less than 0.5% of GDP on backing research—the OECD country average is more than four times that at 2.3%. The governments have recognized this and committed, a couple of years ago, to increasing investment in science and technology to reach 0.7% of GDP by 2020 and 1% of GDP by 2025.

And yet, despite a lack of funding and the flight of many top…

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African cities are becoming tourist hotspots — Quartz Africa


In the global imagination, Africa’s cities are usually limited to safari stopover or the site of compounded suffering. Now, one of the advantages of increased investment on the continent is that more business travellers are jetting in, and they’re growing tired of the hotel’s bland buffet.

The African City Guide was created for travellers who want to get out of their chain hotel and is is one of a growing number of guides to urban Africa. The founders wanted visitors to be able find out more to a city than their conference centers, vacation resorts or tourist-friendly open markets.

The site offers curated recommendations of what to see, eat and do,  relying on insiders. In the search for experiences, it seems everything from playlists to ice-cream flavors are now “curated.” In Africa,…

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How to avoid flooded roads in Africa with better design — Quartz Africa


One of the fastest growing economies in Africa, Ethiopia, has an ambitious plan to cut a green, sustainable path to becoming a middle-income country by 2025. Along the way, the country faces growing urban migration and rising demand for food—challenges that are linked by, and depend on, roads for access, supply and mobility.

In 1997, the total road network in Ethiopia was 26,550 kilometers. By 2014 it reached 99,522 km. For the country to reach its ambitious growth targets it’s aiming to double this to over 200,000 km by 2020.

New roads in sub-Saharan Africa often change the landscape, bringing dust, flooding and erosion.

But new roads in Ethiopia and across sub-Saharan Africa often change the landscape, bringing dust, flooding and erosion. The impact is felt most by rural communities. Roads…

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