Dreaming of a brighter future

Leaving Zambia this week, it is a challenge to feel brightly optimistic about her future. In truth the country has been struggling to develop in a concerted and sustained manner since the oil shocks of the 1970’s. Her economy remains vastly over dependant upon mining in general and copper in particular. Despite a water table … Continue reading

Not so civil after all?

‘Civil Society’ was not a term familiar to me before my time in Zambia. I have come to learn that is an elegant phrase for a rather inelegant grouping of sometimes strange bedfellows. Essentially anyone who can be said to have a stake in society but is not part of the state or private enterprise … Continue reading

If only it were just the drugs…

Modern HIV medications are a testament to pharmaceutical ingenuity. In the space of 15 years we have progressed from having one weakly effective and highly toxic therapy to a whole medicine cabinet of  anti-retrovirals (ARVs), targeting the virus in different ways and in combination providing highly effective and tolerable ways of keeping it at bay. … Continue reading

Southern Africa’s Little Gem

This week I was fortunate enough to spend my time in Gaborone, Botswana scouting out potential non-profit partners for next year’s PEPAL programme. A great friend from my time in Chicago hails from here so it is not my first visit to the city, but coming directly from its neighbour to the north allowed me … Continue reading

The New Colonials?

Russian President Dimitry Medvedev might just be flying over my head today as he travels to Namibia on a week long tour of African nations. In a sign of the times, he is taking the opportunity of the economic downturn to boost a series of energy deals with several countries on the continent (though not … Continue reading

The Crunch… African Style

I know you are all probably quite sick to death of hearing about the credit crunch, I certainly was back home but it is quite interesting to view it from a somewhat different perspective down here. At the start of the whole credit squeeze I seem to remember that the most commonly heard thinking was … Continue reading