Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Lesotho takes tourism plunge

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A day at the races? Abseiling down a waterfall? These are among the attractions residents hope will lure tourists to Lesotho.

It is struggling with drought and an HIV/AIDS crisis that is believed to have infected about a third of adults.

Its economic fortunes have waned too, especially after a new global textile deal in 2005 removed quotas supporting an industry once seen as the kingdom’s future.

With limited resources bar its and mountainous landscape — grazing for angora goats — the former British protectorate is dependent on the continent’s economic powerhouse South Africa, which entirely surrounds it.

Storm in Madagascar

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In the relative political calm of the Indian Ocean, Madagascar has long been a centre of turbulence.

Now another political crisis is brewing as the opposition accuses President Marc Ravalomanana of abuse of power and threatening democracy. Tens of thousands of opposition protesters demonstrated in Antananarivo on Wednesday, two days after an earlier rally descended into violence that left nearly 40 people dead.

Forgiveness in paradise?

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If you lived on an archipelago that defined paradise with palm-fringed white sand beaches and emerald green waters, you would expect a relaxed, lazy pace of life.

Lazy would be a generous description of the Seychellois soldier’s wave at the entrance to State House as I arrived with my local colleague George Thande – who is admittedly a regular visitor here.

Saving Kenyan forest. Is it a turning point?

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mau-forest3.jpgAfter a decade of rampant destruction of the Mau forest water catchment in western Kenya, the country’s coalition government seems firmly united in trying to save the complex before more serious damage is inflicted on the economy.

U.N. officials say this is no longer simply an environmental issue but something that has huge importance for the whole country. Already two of the top three foreign exchange earners — tourism and tea — are feeling the impact of falling water levels which have also forced the postponement of a major hydro-electric project. 

On the Great North Road into forgotten Kenya

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kenya_northernroad_resized.jpgMARSABIT, Kenya – We are in two Land Rover Defenders, headed north to Ethiopia through one of Kenya’s remotest and harshest areas.

Our route is along the Great North Road, the famed Cape Town-to-Cairo highway on what is said to be the only untarmacked stretch on the whole continent – roughly 550 kilometres from where the highway ends at Isiolo town north to Moyale on the Ethiopian border.  It has all the wildlife and stunning scenery Kenya is world-famous for, but few tourists ever see it.

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