Tag Archives: Africa

This Nigerian Billionaire Just Pledged $100 Million to Help Grow 10,000 African Startups


Anyone who really knows Africa will tell you that the key to financial and social advancement is not foreign aid and transnational corporations, but rather an investment in Africa’s own human capital. A recent study of 10 developing African economies found that 53% of people had plans to start a business within the next three years. That number was as high as 70% in the countries of Angola, Botswana, Malawi and Uganda. But while many Africans see opportunities for entrepreneurship, they often find it difficult

Tanzanian Government Accused of Selling Maasai Land to Turn It Into Hunting Reserve

The Maasai people are one of Africa’s oldest indigenous ethnic groups. Originally from the lower Nile valley, the Maasai people began migrating south during the 15th century, finally settling in what is now Kenya and central Tanzania during the 17th and 18th centuries. Starting in the early 1900s, Maasai lands began to shrink as a result of British colonization in the region. In 1911, a British treaty shrank Maasai land by 60% – the Maasai living in these areas were evicted to make

Two of the World’s Biggest Chocolate Makers Warn of Global Cocoa Shortage

The holidays are traditionally a time when local stores and Pinterest boards explode with all kinds of elaborate, festive treats, many of them involving (what else?) chocolate. From the leftover Halloween candy bars to the cookies for Santa, many people could not imagine a holiday season, let alone any season, without chocolate. But according to two of the world’s biggest chocolate makers, that’s exactly where we’re headed. Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut claim that as chocolate consumption has risen, we

Chinese Officials Busted For Illegal Ivory Trade During Presidential Trip to Africa

Chinese investors call it “White Gold.” Carvers and collectors prefer the term “Organic Gemstone.” Smugglers, however, provide the most poignant and telling (not to mention chilling) name: “Bloody Teeth.” Critics say the Chinese government is not doing enough to stem the illicit ivory trade, which has exploded in the five years since conservationists and governments agreed to a program of limited ivory sales in an attempt to stifle poaching. Many are now going so far as to blame China for not only allowing

How Ancient Indonesian Cave Paintings Are Challenging Art History

A few simple cave paintings may be drastically changing how we view the history of art in the world. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, archaeologists have discovered cave paintings from as far back as 40,000 years ago, making them some of the oldest in the world. The paintings were actually discovered about 50 years ago – it was initially assumed that they were only about 12,000 years old. But earlier this month, archaeologists published a study in the scientific journal Nature that used exhaustive methods to show

16-Year-Old Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Agricultural Breakthrough

Every year, Google sponsors a global science fair in the hopes of finding young scientist with innovative ideas that could change the world. This year’s winners are no exception.  Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow (all 16) took the top prize with their project “Combating the Global Food Crisis”. The trio figured out a way to cut seed germination time in half, while also producing crop yields nearly 75% greater than normal. So how’d they do it? For starters, all three

Liberia Agrees to Completely Stop Cutting Down Trees In Exchange for Developmental Aid

In a monumental new deal, the government of Liberia has agreed to halt all logging operations within the country by 2020 in exchange for a $150 million development investment from Norway. Though Liberia’s forests are not the largest in Africa, they make up about 43% of West Africa’s remaining rainforest and are home to the last significant populations of species like western chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards. Logging in the country has increased significantly since the end of Liberia’s civil war

New Study: World Population Set to Hit 11 Billion By the Year 2100

A study published today in the online edition of the journal Science predicts that the world’s population will continue to grow steadily throughout the 21st century, contradicting the widely-held belief that world population was getting close to leveling off. The study, a joint project between the University of Washington and the United Nations, was the first to employ modern Bayesian statistics. This more complex statistical method combines all available information to make a more accurate prediction. Traditional projections only take into account life expectancy and

Did You Know You Can Take A Virtual Tour of One of The US’s Coolest Museums!?!

The Smithsonian National Museum Of Natural History located in Washington, D.C. opened in 1910 and is still one of the United State’s most visited and celebrated museums. The museum itself is pretty massive. According to Smithsonian’s website… “The main building on the National Mall contains 1.5 million square feet of space overall and 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space; altogether the Museum is the size of 18 football fields, and houses over 1000 employees.”   At the heart of

This Artist Used Copper Orbs to Show You the Permanent Costs of Mining (Pictures)

Dillon Marsh is a South African artist who focuses on capturing how human activity re-shapes and often scars the environment. Recently, Marsh has been focused on the impacts of mining, which is a major industry in his home country of South Africa. Marsh was also intrigued by the challenge of trying to create a visual representation of the effects of mining which, unlike many environmentally-damaging practices, happens very gradually: “Air and water pollution, acid mine drainage, toxic waste and abandoned, non-rehabilitated mines

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