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Evading bugs, catching fish and watching sunsets in the Okavango Delta | Adrian Seah

Evading bugs, catching fish and watching sunsets in the Okavango Delta | Adrian Seah | Expat Africa | Scoop.it


An oasis in Botswana’s harsh and arid Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is one of the largest inland deltas in the world. Originating in Angolan highlands as the Cubango River before it flows into Namibia as the Kuvango River and eventually ending up in Botswana as the Okavango River, it breaks up into a huge labyrinth of channels, lagoons and islands, forming the Okavango Delta, a haven for wildlife seeking water and respite from the Kalahari. The water from the Delta never flows into any river or sea, and 95% of it is eventually lost to evaporation. We spent 3 days bush camping in the Okavango Delta, a definite challenge for a ‘soft’ city boy. There was no running water, no electricity and basically, no facilities of any kind. The bush toilet was a hole in the ground with a spade to scoop some dirt in. We could not use any soap or detergent for fear of contaminating the pristine environment so our swims in the Delta served both to cool us off from the unrelenting heat and to act as sort of a bath. Food was cooked on a wood fire, which was also our primary source of light in the evenings. In short, life was pretty basic. There was a cacophony of sounds to be heard at night lying in our tents, nature is surprisingly noisy. Cows ambling by, elephants calling, the mating calls of bullfrogs and of course, the sounds from a million insects around us, kept at bay by copious amounts of repellent around the tent since we were not taking our anti-malarials.We spent mornings and evenings bush walking and spotting animals in the wild but admittedly, the most enjoyable parts of the trip for me was simply lazing around the campsite doing very little and swimming in the Delta....

The story behind:

Adrian left his job as an advertising Creative Director in August 2012 to travel Africa and South America for a year with his wife, documenting these beautiful places with the Fuji X-Pro1.

 


Via Thomas Menk
Eleanor Brown's insight:

The Delta is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not sure I'd fancy swimming there though, what with the hippos and crocs. Although that didn't seem to bother me when I was in a mokoro.....

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Eytan Magen's curator insight, April 27, 2015 5:32 AM

Okavango Delta - On our Africa Expedition - book Now - info@tamarbikes.com or call +44 20 315 00931

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Africa has an astonishing food waste problem--this is what one group is doing about it

Africa has an astonishing food waste problem--this is what one group is doing about it | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

25% in #Africa are undernourished. Yet 30-40% of food produced here is wasted or spoilt!! #foodwaste 

Check out FB page Disco Soup Nairobi, twitter @feedbackorg & @feeding5k for more

Eleanor Brown's insight:

25% in #Africa are undernourished. Yet 30-40% of food produced here is wasted or spoilt!! #foodwaste 

Check out FB page Disco Soup Nairobi, twitter @feedbackorg & @feeding5k for more


In Kenya alone, horticultural companies claim that they waste on average between 15-35% of their crops because of the high specifications on appearance by European Union supermarkets. 

Unfortunately, due to high transportation and storage costs, rejected produce is not re-distributed and is instead used as feed for pigs and cows. This is in a country where an estimated 1.3 million people are food insecure and in need of assistance. 


Food waste for cosmetic reasons is common across the continent but there are also vast quantities of food “loss”. Food loss refers to food that gets spoilt along the supply chain and in sub-Saharan Africa, food loss per capita is estimated at 120-170 kg/year. 

In most African nations, like most low-income countries across the world, these losses (40%) tend to occur early in the food supply chain - between the field and the market. Unlike industrialised countries, much less food is wasted at the consumer level. The causes of this food loss are predominantly poor practices in harvesting, careless handling of produce, lack of storage or poor storage conditions and transportation. 



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The Spaces In-Between - Africa Geographic Magazine

The Spaces In-Between - Africa Geographic Magazine | Expat Africa | Scoop.it
Why road tripping Namibia and Botswana is the best type of travel there is.
Eleanor Brown's insight:
Better to travel hopefully than to arrive? I love reading about these kinds of travel experiences but have to admit to getting too agitated to really enjoy them myself :-)
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The future’s not tribalism, it’s sovereignty

The future’s not tribalism, it’s sovereignty | Expat Africa | Scoop.it
From Accra to Zanzibar, interest in the Scottish referendum is running high, while Africans in Scotland debate the implications of a Yes or No vote. One way or another, a huge grassroots revival of political engagement could prove inspiring.
Eleanor Brown's insight:
An African view of the Scottish #indyref via @thisisafricaTIA
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Relocating to Kenya | On the Ground with Cartus – Cartus Blog

Relocating to Kenya | On the Ground with Cartus – Cartus Blog | Expat Africa | Scoop.it
 

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya—a country that is fast becoming a key economic hub in east Africa. The most recent video in our On the Ground series, produced in conjunction with global destination services provider Elliott Corporate Relocations, offers valuable information for companies and their international assignees relocating to Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLA56F4BB8C7389E1E&feature=player_embedded&v=KHyzh1GMt-s

Tips and advice covered in the video include:

Housing

Whilst there is a wide number of housing options available for assignees moving to Nairobi, availability is limited and rental prices have been rising over the past year. Safety and security is a key consideration in housing selection, with many families preferring to live in gated communities.

Commuting

Heavy traffic congestion is common in the city, and assignees are advised to choose a home close to their workplace and child’s school to avoid spending lengthy periods in traffic. Nairobi’s accelerated growth has challenged the road infrastructure in recent years; however, a number of road construction projects are underway, which will, when completed, ease the current congestion.

Schooling

Early school applications and flexibility are key, as there are limited school options available in the city. Parents should note that the academic year in Kenya runs from January to December, so children more used to the school year beginning in summer may need to move up or down a grade, either on arrival or upon departure from the country.

Assignees Love It!

Kenya has a great climate, friendly and hospitable people, beautiful beaches, and the unique experience of an African game safari. In addition, living in Nairobi offers a vibrant city life with rich history & cultural diversity, combines with a relaxed easy-going outdoor lifestyle.

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Produced before the awful events of September 21st, this article & the accompanying video still provide a useful starting point & tips for those considering a move to Kenya.

 

NB: an African safari experience is NOT unique to Kenya, however - apologies to Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, & Zimbabwe.....(and probably others)

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"I'd like to stay in Africa forever" - Your Expat Child

"I'd like to stay in Africa forever" - Your Expat Child | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

"Hello from South Africa! Yes, I'm finally online properly again! How are you all? I’ve been here for three months and I’m finally beginning to get everything sorted

....

I feel amazingly content and very positive about our stay here. Even though it’s only been three months, I truly feel I’d like to stay in Africa forever."

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Carole from Your Expat Child is happily ensconced in their new home in Pretoria - welcome to Africa, Carole!

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When Rich Westerners Don’t Know They are Being Rich Westerners

When Rich Westerners Don’t Know They are Being Rich Westerners | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

I have been wrestling with how to write about this for months. Starts and stops, lots of unfinished first sentences and barely coherent lists....

 

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Very powerful writing & essential, uncomfortable reading from the ever-excellent Rachel Pieh Jones.  

Please read the full article, but here are a few snippets:

 

"So, when does the rich westerner not know they (we) are being a rich westerner?

When the rich westerner doesn’t need to actually get involved with those in the developing world because they can simply buy a cool t-shirt....

When the rich westerner talks about Africa but not Nigeria. Africa but not Uganda. Africa but not Lesotho. Michael W. Smith sings a song: A New Hallelujah. “From Africa to Australia, from Brazil to China, from New York down to Houston.” The United States gets to be named by city, most of the rest of the world by country name, and Africa is one solid chunk of continent. We need to learn our details, our facts, we need to name places accurately. Naming implies seeing, honoring, respecting.....

When the rich westerner presents the other as holy in their suffering by focusing only on their generosity, smiles, and non-verbal communication while ignoring issues like greed, selfishness, gossip, and cruelty. Katherine Boo refers to this as the “western conceit that poverty is ennobling.” This kind of one-dimensional presentation makes cardboard characters out of real, complex people.

Rich westerner, and please know I am talking to myself as much as anyone else, we must be aware of our position, our privilege, the way history and current social structures affect us, our view of the world, and our interaction with the world."

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Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, Conservation International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, And World Wildlife Fund Announce $80M Clinton Global Initiative Commit...

Commitment’s Goal: Stop the Killing, Stop the Trafficking, Stop the Demand  


An unprecedented collaboration – moving beyond extinction stats to solutions for elephants 

Elephant numbers have plummeted by 76 percent since 1980 due to ivory poaching; 35,000 slaughtered by poachers in 2012 alone 

Commitment Makers include: Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, Conservation International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and World Wildlife Fund 

Commitment Partners: African Parks Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Freeland Foundation, Howard Buffett Foundation, International Conservation Caucus Foundation, National Geographic, Save the Elephants, TRAFFIC, WildAid and WildLifeDirect 

Nations joining in commitment include: Botswana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, South Sudan, Malawi, and Uganda


NEW YORK (Sept. 26, 2013) – Conservation groups announced today a three-year $80 million Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action that will bring together NGOs, governments, and concerned citizens to stop the slaughter of Africa’s elephants, which are being decimated due to poaching for ivory. The Commitment Makers and their partners commit to funding and facilitating partnerships to advance a new three-pronged strategy that will catalyze a global movement to coordinate and leverage influence, constituencies, and resources to protect key elephant populations from poaching while reducing trafficking and demand for ivory. Funding for this commitment has been provided by myriad public and private sources, including U.S., European, and African governments; along with multi-lateral institutions, foundations, and concerned individuals. Nations joining in the commitment include: Botswana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, South Sudan, Malawi, and Uganda.

These funds will be used to support national governments to scale up anti-poaching enforcement at the 50 priority elephant sites including hiring and supporting an additional 3,100 park guards. In addition, anti-trafficking efforts will be increased by strengthening intelligence networks and penalties for violations and adding training and sniffer dog teams at 10 key transit points. New demand reduction efforts will be implemented in 10 consumer markets over the next three years.

Further, leaders from African nations led a call for other countries to adopt trade moratoria on all commercial ivory imports, exports and domestic sales of ivory products until African elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching. 

The commitment was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting underway in New York City. CGI's 2013 theme, MOBILIZING FOR IMPACT, explores ways that CGI members and member organizations can be more effective in leveraging individuals, partner organizations, and key resources in their commitment efforts. 

Today’s announcement is the culmination of work by Secretary Clinton while serving as Secretary of State, as well as Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton’s engagement, who visited conservation sites on a trip with the Clinton Foundation to Africa this summer. Together, they have convened the NGO’s and nations to ensure rapid progress to a solution to prevent the extinction of Africa’s elephants and the proliferation of the violence caused by the criminal syndicates wiping out the elephants.

In addition to the funds already committed, the partnership urgently seeks additional partners to provide $70 million in financial or in-kind support over the next three years to reverse the decline of Africa’s elephants.

African elephants are being lost at an unprecedented rate, and the demand for ivory shows no decline. Tens of thousands of elephants are being killed illegally each year across Africa with some 35,000 lost in 2012 alone.

In addition to uniting national leaders and concerned groups and citizens, the commitment will focus attention on the national and global security implications of wildlife trafficking. As one of the world’s most lucrative criminal activities, valued at $7-10 billion annually, illegal wildlife trade ranks fifth globally in terms of value, behind the trafficking in drugs, people, oil and counterfeiting. Notorious extremist groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army, the janjaweed, and al-Shabaab poach ivory to fund terror operations.

Commitment Makers include: Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, Conservation International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and World Wildlife Fund.

Commitment Partners are African Parks Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Freeland Foundation, Howard Buffett Foundation, International Conservation Caucus Foundation, National Geographic, Save the Elephants, TRAFFIC, WildAid and WildLifeDirect.

The commitment runs through 2016 and addresses the problem on three fronts: stop the killing; stop the trafficking; and stop the demand:

Stop the Killing: The Commitment will scale up “on the ground” anti-poaching enforcement in African range states to reduce the amount of illegally killed elephants to below 50 percent.

NGO partners will support government efforts to scale up law enforcement in and around 50 key protected areas in Africa that together harbor approximately 285,000 elephants, or some two-thirds of the entire African population. NGO partners pledge to support the anti-poaching efforts of over 5,000 park guards at these sites. Partners project that this investment will reduce the average percentage of illegally killed elephants (PIKE) across these sites from 66 percent to 48 percent, with elephant population decline halted in about half of the 50 sites (PIKE less than 50 percent). Thus this effort will take the commitment halfway to its ultimate goal, reversing the decline in Africa’s elephants.

Stop the Trafficking: Partner NGOs will support governments in identifying and implementing priority actions to combat trafficking in ivory. A complimentary range of urgent actions will be used to strengthen enforcement capacity at ports and markets; increase intelligence-led crackdowns on illicit networks; secure ivory stockpiles, and reform laws and penalties can be tailored to rapidly reduce trafficking.

This commitment includes an African government led call for other countries to adopt trade moratoria on all commercial ivory imports, exports and domestic sales of ivory products until African elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching. Government partners will initiate and support an African range state-led call to other range, transit and consumer countries to declare or restate domestic moratoria on all ivory and ivory product sales and purchases.

The partners commit to helping governments to reduce the number of large scale ivory shipments by 50 percent from 2011 baseline levels (the worst year on record for these ivory seizures) and extrapolating for changes in enforcement effort. In addition, the partners will work with governments to improve the potential detection and prosecution of illegal ivory trade by increasing the number of law enforcement officers and judiciary trained in Africa and Asia by 50 percent compared to 2011 levels by 2016.

Stop the Demand: The Commitment will target key consumer markets to increase awareness about poaching and illegal ivory trade, including generating 10 million actions taken via social media platforms to reduce ivory consumption and highlight the impact of ivory sales on the African elephant. 

NGOs will use increased awareness to drive behavioral changes that will reduce consumption as well as result in “grassroots” political pressure on the governments of key consumer countries. Partners will work together to reduce the demand for ivory among potential consumers by both increasing awareness of the issues and providing mechanisms for civil society to take action. Partners pledge to take action, both individually and collectively, to reduce the stated intention to purchase ivory by at least 25 percent in key markets by the end of 2016 as measured by market research conducted at regular intervals throughout the duration of the commitment. This will be achieved by producing awareness content/materials and improving penalties and prosecutions that will spur behavior change and/or online action in key consumer countries. To measure success, standardized, replicable, scalable public opinion polls and surveys will be conducted within priority consumer countries.

Wildlife Conservation Society President and CEO Cristián Samper said: “On behalf of all the NGO partners involved in this initiative, I’m proud to announce that the Wildlife Conservation Society and their partners commit to providing $80 million over the next year to protect elephant populations by stopping the killing of elephants, stopping the trafficking in ivory, and stopping the demand for ivory across the world. We thank the Clinton Global Initiative, Sec. Clinton and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton for helping to convene all the partners and for their long-time dedication to end this crisis. I know, together, we can move beyond extinction stats to the solutions to save elephants.”

African Wildlife Foundation CEO Patrick Bergin said: "We cannot hope to reverse the dramatic decline in elephant populations in Africa without addressing all three parts of the problem: the poaching of elephants on the ground in Africa, the global trafficking of ivory, and the insatiable demand by consumers for ivory products. This joint Commitment to Action demonstrates how much the resolution of this crisis relies on the coordination of efforts by multiple parties, from conservation organizations to governments around the world. African Wildlife Foundation thanks the Clinton Global Initiative for providing all of us with an opportunity to elevate the visibility of this crisis, and we personally thank Sec. Clinton and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton for shining a spotlight on Africa's elephants."

Conservation International’s Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, Peter Seligmann, said: "We applaud the Clinton Global Initiative for bringing this issue to the world stage, and greatly appreciate the deep and sustained personal involvement of Secretary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, as well as that of our NGO, Foundation and government partners. Wildlife trafficking is directly connected to the global economy and security. It weakens ecosystems, fuels terrorist organizations, and threatens livelihoods. Conservation International is proud to be a part of this Commitment to Action, as it is in all of our enlightened self-interests to put an end to this deadly trade.”

Azzedine Downes, IFAW President and CEO, said: “The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) committed to this partnership from the outset because it represents the kind of large-scale and strategic collaboration it will take to save African elephants. Animal welfare and conservation organizations, range states and consumer countries, law enforcement and communities that live around the elephants—we all need to work together on a common plan if there is to be any hope of success.”

Carter Roberts, President & CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said: “We know how to solve this crisis. What’s been missing is a united front from governments, NGOs and the private sector to scale up resources to stop the killing and crush the demand. Look at what has been done with conflict diamonds and fur from endangered species. The more people are aware of the consequences of what they buy, it changes what they do. We need to do the same with elephant ivory and rhino horn and tiger bone. What person would buy these things if they knew they slaughtered the most magnificent animals in the world? Because when people buy parts of these animals, they are contributing to the catastrophic killing taking place right now.”

Increasing consumer demand for ivory, particularly in Asia, is causing the price of ivory to skyrocket and is driving elephant poaching. Today’s ivory traffickers are primarily well-organized syndicates that operate as transnational criminal networks and often participate in other illegal activities, including trafficking in narcotics and weapons, and with links to terrorist networks. The poachers not only threaten the lives of elephants, but at least 1,000 park rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the past ten years, as they try to protect elephants and other wildlife.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

WCS
Mary Dixon: ssautner@wcs.org
Stephen Sautner: mdixon@wcs.org

AWF
Kathleen Garrigan: karrigan@awf.org

CI
Patricia Malentaqui: pmalentaqui@conservation.org

IFAW
Shawna Moos, Director of Communications: smoos@ifaw.org

WWF
Steve Ertel: Steve.Ertel@WWFUS.ORG

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.organd follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook atfacebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit www.wcs.org.

About African Wildlife Foundation
Founded in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a leading conservation organization focused solely on the African continent. AWF's programs and conservation strategies are based on sound science and designed to protect both the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africa's people. Since its inception, AWF has protected endangered species and land, promoted conservation enterprises that benefit local African communities, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation—all to ensure the survival of Africa's unparalleled wildlife heritage. AWF is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Kenya and registered as a 501(c)(3) in the United States. For more information, visitwww.awf.org/ and follow us on Twitter @AWF_Official and Facebook atfacebook.com/AfricanWildlifeFoundation.

Conservation International - Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and its global biodiversity to promote the long-term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. CI employs more than 800 staff in nearly 20 countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please seewww.conservation.org or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visitwww.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebookand Twitter. 

About World Wildlife Fund
WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org/ to learn more and follow our news conversations on Twitter @WWFNews.


Via Francesco Nardelli
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Francesco Nardelli's curator insight, October 1, 2013 10:37 AM

This news shows that funding can be made available. Let's hope that WWF solution will be effective.

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4 Types of Expatriates | Djibouti Jones

4 Types of Expatriates | Djibouti Jones | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

What’s an expatriate?

“Someone who used to be a patriot,” my son said.

“Someone who pays double the rent,” my landlord said.

“Someone who eats pork,” my Muslim friend said.

“Someone who can get me a visa to the United States,” my English student said.

“Someone we laugh at,” my neighbor said.

Actually, an expatriate is someone who lives outside their passport country.

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Stick out, hunker down, blend in or chameleon - what kind of #expat are you?

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Want to help Africa? Do business here | Video on TED.com

We know the negative images of Africa -- famine and disease, conflict and corruption. But, says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, there's another, less-told story happening in many African nations: one of reform, economic growth and business opportunity.
Eleanor Brown's insight:

Great to be reminded in a high-profile setting about the sense of positivity & optimism about the future that you encounter in many African countries.  Shame its not the case in all of them, but it's such a stark contrast to the atmosphere of doom & gloom you feel in the UK & Europe these days.

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Africa's 20 most popular foods: Biltong, fufu, injera, couscous, ugali anyone?

Africa's 20 most popular foods: Biltong, fufu, injera, couscous, ugali anyone? | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

"African cuisine is as diverse as the hundreds of different cultures and groups that inhabit the continent. This diversity is reflected in the many local culinary traditions in terms of choice of ingredients, style of preparation and cooking techniques...."

Eleanor Brown's insight:

And let's not forget nsima/pap/sadza!! With, of course, tomatoes & onions....

Plus some sweet potato or pumpkin leaves & peanut butter.


I suppose they left out kapenta (small anchovy/whitebait-type fish), caterpillars & mopane worms (Zambian prawns) as poor-people's food. Or less reader-friendly. Which is a shame.

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The world’s $58 billion scam of Africa: every year, $134 billion in but $192 billion out

The world’s $58 billion scam of Africa: every year, $134 billion in but $192 billion out | Expat Africa | Scoop.it
Leaders like British Prime Minister David Cameron have said that aid sceptics are wrong. Aid is essential. Conditions on the African continent demonstrate that perhaps aid in its current form is wrong.
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The Chibok girls: Nigeria’s side of the story

The Chibok girls: Nigeria’s side of the story | Expat Africa | Scoop.it
Why has it been so difficult for the Nigerian government to fight the scourge of Boko Haram, which has infiltrated so many sectors of the society? Has the government really done nothing to try to get the Chibok girls back?
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Relocating to Nigeria: On the Ground with Cartus

Relocating to Nigeria: On the Ground with Cartus | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

Most people have never been to the African nation of Nigeria and, therefore, have no idea what to expect when the possibility of living there comes up. Luckily, our most recent video in our “On the Ground” series is now available to view. It explores Nigeria, including the country’s business capital, Lagos, and other major cities: Abuja (capital), Agbara, and Ibadan. Produced with global destination services provider Elliott Corporate Relocations, the video includes policy and programme best practices, as well as handy tips for day-to-day living.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LYtnetvMpC8

Be Safe
Safety and security are the biggest concerns voiced by assignees moving to Nigeria. Although it’s important not to be alarmist, we do recommend the following best practices:

•  Source preferred housing locations that a security company has deemed appropriate for expatriates.

•  Set out the minimum safety features that a property should have. For example, gated communities and alarm systems are strongly recommended.

•  Conduct security briefings on arrival for both the assignee and their family.

•  Ensure that your security company audits new homes (before the lease is signed) and new drivers (before they are hired).

Lagos: Bumper to Bumper
Located in the southwest of Nigeria and as Africa’s second most populous city (after Cairo), with more than 10.5 million inhabitants, Lagos has traffic congestion as one of its biggest challenges. This can have a knock-on effect to other areas of expatriate living.

Schools. We recommend that assignees choose a school before they search for a home. That way, you can calculate the commute to school and avoid spending hours in traffic each day.

Housing. Popular properties for assignees are located off the mainland on Victoria Island and Lagos Island. As the islands are linked via bridges, traffic issues can mean it can take up to three hours to cross, and this should be taken into consideration when sourcing a home. Good-quality housing can be low in availability across Nigeria, so assignees need to act quickly to secure the property they want.

Assignees Love… 
According to assignees, the top highlight about living in Nigeria is the sense of community amongst expatriates. A close second is the cuisine and restaurants! If you’re moving to Nigeria, be sure to embrace the unique culture and friendly locals!

Eleanor Brown's insight:

Excellent tips (watch the video) for those considering a move to Nigeria.

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Why Most African Kids are Multilingual

Why Most African Kids are Multilingual | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

The average Kenyan child speaks three languages. This figure is even higher amongst children in urban deprived areas who regularly speak five languages. This is no mean feat considering many children growing up in these areas do not have indoor plumbing or easy access to basic education. What they do have however is a high density of people from different ethnic communities living cheek by jowl all with a huge impulse to communicate."

Eleanor Brown's insight:

This is by no means exclusive to Kenya.  The majority of Africans  speak at least two languages - one or more African languages plus English/French/Portuguese. For largely monolingual English-speaking Westerners (I'm talking about Brits, Americans, Australians etc) this comes a shock.  We are used to thinking that only people who are "good at languages" (sic) & have a high level of education can speak more than one.  Well, no, actually.  And not just in Africa, just think about India, or Indonesia, or even much of Europe. Multilingualism is the norm in most of the world.  Why?  Because people need to communicate & children are surrounded by people speaking different languages from birth. It rather gives the lie to the idea that "languages" are some rarefied speciality that can only be learnt in school, doesn't it?

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Govt to make Zambia ICT regional hub

Govt to make Zambia ICT regional hub | Expat Africa | Scoop.it

Via Online Africa
Eleanor Brown's insight:

Not sure how, exactly, but the sentiment is admirable nonetheless......

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Evading bugs, catching fish and watching sunsets in the Okavango Delta | Adrian Seah

Evading bugs, catching fish and watching sunsets in the Okavango Delta | Adrian Seah | Expat Africa | Scoop.it


An oasis in Botswana’s harsh and arid Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is one of the largest inland deltas in the world. Originating in Angolan highlands as the Cubango River before it flows into Namibia as the Kuvango River and eventually ending up in Botswana as the Okavango River, it breaks up into a huge labyrinth of channels, lagoons and islands, forming the Okavango Delta, a haven for wildlife seeking water and respite from the Kalahari. The water from the Delta never flows into any river or sea, and 95% of it is eventually lost to evaporation. We spent 3 days bush camping in the Okavango Delta, a definite challenge for a ‘soft’ city boy. There was no running water, no electricity and basically, no facilities of any kind. The bush toilet was a hole in the ground with a spade to scoop some dirt in. We could not use any soap or detergent for fear of contaminating the pristine environment so our swims in the Delta served both to cool us off from the unrelenting heat and to act as sort of a bath. Food was cooked on a wood fire, which was also our primary source of light in the evenings. In short, life was pretty basic. There was a cacophony of sounds to be heard at night lying in our tents, nature is surprisingly noisy. Cows ambling by, elephants calling, the mating calls of bullfrogs and of course, the sounds from a million insects around us, kept at bay by copious amounts of repellent around the tent since we were not taking our anti-malarials.We spent mornings and evenings bush walking and spotting animals in the wild but admittedly, the most enjoyable parts of the trip for me was simply lazing around the campsite doing very little and swimming in the Delta....

The story behind:

Adrian left his job as an advertising Creative Director in August 2012 to travel Africa and South America for a year with his wife, documenting these beautiful places with the Fuji X-Pro1.

 


Via Thomas Menk
Eleanor Brown's insight:

The Delta is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not sure I'd fancy swimming there though, what with the hippos and crocs. Although that didn't seem to bother me when I was in a mokoro.....

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Eytan Magen's curator insight, April 27, 2015 5:32 AM

Okavango Delta - On our Africa Expedition - book Now - info@tamarbikes.com or call +44 20 315 00931

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Expat in Africa: how I got used to the Zambian way - Expat Telegraph

Expat in Africa: how I got used to the Zambian way - Expat Telegraph | Expat Africa | Scoop.it
From learning "African time" to accepting a total lack of privacy in the doctor's surgery: expat Bryony Rheam on how she got used to some of Zambia's more peculiar traits.
Eleanor Brown's insight:

God bless Zambia & all who sail in her..... :-)  I would go back tomorrow if I had the chance.

Like Bryony in the article, lack of privacy was the main thing I had trouble getting used to - in fact, after 9 years in Africa, I still haven't got used to it. The expat community is very small so everyone knows everybody else's business.  I have met my gynaecologist in the supermarket, the GP at school drop-off or playgroup, & the psychologist/counsellor at yoga.....

 

On a side note, when Zambians talk about getting used to something, the phrase is "getting used". Same pronunciation, so don't say "uzed" like a used car, just drop the "to". And the "it".

 

But I digress. Even harder to get used (to) though is a lack of privacy at home. What expats who've lived in Africa/Asia/Middle East refer to as "the staff thing". We in the West are simply not familiar with having someone who's not part of the family in the house/garden all day, every day.  I know it's the price you pay for not doing housework & having help with childcare but it still doesn't feel comfortable.  And let's not even start on the vexed issue of having said staff in the first place - that's for another post or seven :-)

 

You can learn more about Bryony & her debut novel about a Zimbabwean from the 1930's to 1980's, The September Sun (now no 1 in the UK Kindle Store) on her blog: http://bryonyrheam.blogspot.com

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Expat Coaching vs Cross-Cultural Training: always choose Expat Coaching | Expat Everyday Support Center

Expat Coaching vs Cross-Cultural Training: always choose Expat Coaching | Expat Everyday Support Center | Expat Africa | Scoop.it
Most money is spent on cross-cultural training, little money is left for on-site expat coaching. I think these companies are making a big ROI mistake.
Eleanor Brown's insight:

I'm with Norman on this one.  I have to confess that I've always been a bit suspicious of cross-cultural training (possibly tinged with envy, since we were never offered any such thing and I've never met anyone who had it either).

And I certainly agree that any classroom-based/out-of-country training is only useful up to a certain point. As Norman points out, "in most cases, as with much of formal education, what has been learned fades into the background in the swirl of the move and relocation, as well as the stark realities of life in the new environment." 

 

I don't know of any programs outside the diplomatic/UN/Peace Corps world that purport to provide training or support for expats moving to or within Africa.  For coaching, there's only Natalie Tollenaere http://theexpatcoachdirectory.com/dgx_members/natalie-tollenaere/ http://transitionstoafrica.com/ &; of course, me http://expatafrica.net/ though I don't describe what I do as coaching per se.  But still, two of us for a whole continent??

 

It seems to me that what's really lacking is practical help, especially on & immediately prior to arrival when you don't have a support network in place, you're in a hotel & you've got no stuff.  Basic stuff like a city map, a couple of SIM cards, access to a car/driver for the wife, with information about housing, schools, shopping, medical care, & other families to contact. This doesn't cost a company much at all if anything but makes all the difference to a newly arriving family.  But they don't do it.

[shameless plug alert]  Which is where I come in. Having been in exactly that position & seen many others encounter the same difficulties, I set up Expat Africa to try and fill the gap.

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