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African business, politics and lifestyle

Does Madonna do Malawi any favours?

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Malawi, an impoverished Southern African nation, rarely makes international headlines. But when rumours spread that U.S. pop star Madonna, who adopted a child from the country, will visit, it makes news. Malawian officials say she will visit again this month.

Madonna has said she may adopt a second child from Malawi, despite the controversy over the earlier adoption. Critics accused the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi, which has been badly hit by an AIDS epidemic.

A second adoption would surely spark another media frenzy, with photographers and cameramen racing to the country to capture images of her every move as millions of poor scratch out a living, oblivious to the photographs that will appear around the world.

Madonna has started a charity in Malawi and has said she wants to help the country. But questions may still arise.

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