Stories: Economy & Business

  • Congo’s quiet collapse

    Far from the international spotlight, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) crisis is silently suffocating its citizens. On a humid morning in Mbandaka — the crumbling provincial capital of the densely forested Équateur province in the DRC — 50-year-old Jerome Bokele sits on a broken wooden chair in the courtyard of his small breezeblock compound....

  • Gay, Out And On The Airwaves In Kinshasa

    Sitting at his desk in a stuffy office with a rainbow flag hanging behind him, 31-year-old Patou Izai says it takes a lot of courage to come out as gay in Kinshasa, the sprawling capital city of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Although this vast, volatile Central African nation does not have the harsh anti-gay laws adopted by neighbors such...

  • Meet Ami, Mali’s biggest female rapper

    There aren’t many female rappers in Mali. The West African country is known for the bedouin ballads of Tinariwen, the enduring voice of Khaira Arby, and the new-rock beats of Songhoy Blues. But Mali is not so famous for its rap scene—and even less so for its female rappers. Ami is an exception. “There is...

  • The hero rats of Africa sniff out land mines — and TB infections

    MOROGORO, Tanzania — The grass is still damp with dew as the sun begins to glint over the Uluguru Mountains. It’s only 7 a.m. in Morogoro, Tanzania, but Oprah and Malala and Taylor Swift and the others are already hard at work. They are heroes in the region, literal saviors to thousands of Tanzanians and those in the...

  • The child brides of Nepal: why education alone is not enough to stop underage marriages

    Inside the house of her husband’s parents, Apsara Devi Sah sits on a mat in a small, windowless storage room with a mud floor. Three days after her wedding she is still dressed in bridal finery – an ornately embroidered yellow veil and dress dipped in red, elaborate mehndi snaking down her arms and legs. Dozens of green,...

  • ‘We Are Not Yet Free’: Living in Slavery’s Shadow in Mauritania

    NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania—Maatalla Mboirick’s home sits a few hundred meters off the main road of this desert city, past high mounds of orange sand. It is little more than a collection of tarps affixed to wooden beams and scrap metal. Thin mattresses and sturdy pillows line the interior of a tent at the back of the property,...

  • How the prosperity gospel is sparking a major change in the world’s most Catholic country

    SAO PAULO — Speaking from a stage encircled by 12 large wooden crosses, Gabriel Camargo held up wads of fake Brazilian money, showing his flock what could be theirs. “God will bless you if you give a lot more to the church,” said Camargo, a pastor with the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Then he extended an...

  • Argentina bans abortion in most cases. So why is its abortion rate far higher than that of the U.S.?

    The woman stumbled into a public hospital late one night, her stomach turning as she approached the lobby. She was bleeding. Dr. Damian Levy ushered her into a room. Like many of his patients at Hospital Alvarez in Buenos Aires, she was young and poor. At first, she refused to tell him why she was there. Then she burst...

  • Mauritania’s Veterans in the Fight Against Sexual Violence

    NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA – Behind a bright turquoise gate, the El Wafa Center opens into a sandy courtyard. A group of women sit in the shade of an aluminum awning, escaping the blazing midday sun, while children play in the sand. Zeinebou Mint Taleb Moussa moves around the grounds, as the women and young children run up to shake her hand....

  • Donald Trump’s War on African Women

    It was a Tuesday in the district of Merhabete, in central Ethiopia, and the smell of burning spices infused the air. Hundreds of people — men and boys herding donkeys and goats, and women cloaked in white cloth with baskets atop their heads — lined the gravel roads leading to the government-run health clinic; some had walked for hours to...