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European Pressphoto Agency

Africa is home to the 10 fastest growing cities in the world. Over the next 25 years, the World Bank projects that the continent's urban population will double to 1 billion. 

Yet along with gleaming skyscrapers and shopping malls, African cities are feeling growing pains. More than half of the 4 million people in the Kenyan capital Nairobi live in slums, often without access to running water, electricity or sewage systems. Traffic in Nairobi and other booming cities has become nightmarish. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the huge planning and infrastructure challenges for African cities as they undergo one of the most rapid periods of urbanization in world history. Will tomorrow's African megacities be economic powerhouses or giant slums?


AP Photo

Chinese workers have built bridges in Serbia, a huge railroad tunnel in Uzbekistan and a gas and oil pipeline across Myanmar. These are just a few of the dozens of massive foreign infrastructure projects China has financed across the world as part of President Xi Jinping's 'Belt and Road Initiative.'

In the six years since President Xi first floated the project, at least 124 countries have signed on to what is one of the largest international construction projects in history. Over the next decade, investment bank Morgan Stanley forecasts China will have plowed more than $1 trillion into the project.

But in spite of some notable successes, the project continues to be met with skepticism in the U.S. and other countries over concerns that China's deals with developing countries are not transparent and can land heavily-indebted governments in a 'debt trap.'

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at China's Belt and Road Initiative as dozens of foreign leaders prepare to travel to Beijing for a summit on the project.


European Pressphoto Agency

At this year’s Academy Awards a film called “Period. End of Sentence” won the Oscar for best short documentary. The movie focused on the subject of menstruation taboos in India and the story of a group of poor women who banded together to manufacture inexpensive menstrual pads.

The success of the film gave new visibility to what’s often referred to as “period poverty.”

On this edition of Global Journalist: a discussion about period poverty and some of the ways that stigma about the issue affects women from India to Kenya to the United States.


There are now nearly twice as many Christians in the Global South as there are in Europe and North America. As Christianity's center of gravity has shifted - so too is the flow of missionaries.

Thousands of Christians from places like Brazil, Nigeria and South Korea - where Christianity was first brought by European and North American missionaries - are now traveling to Europe and North America seeking to convert the natives.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a discussion about the growing phenomenon of "reverse missionaries."


EPA

Over the past two years, Tanzania's President John Magufuli has led what critics say is a broad assault on human rights, including freedom of expression.

His government has suspended the publication of newspapers that criticized him and attempted to silence critical bloggers and members of the opposition. It's even detained and interrogated researchers from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Also targeted: members of the East African nation's LGBT community, who have faced criminal prosecution and stepped-up intimidation.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Magufuli’s crackdown on civil liberties in Tanzania.


Jill Craig/VOA/via Wikimedia

When South Sudan became a country in 2011, there was a lot of optimism in a nation where people had endured decades of conflict to win independence from Sudan.

But within three years, the country had descended into its own civil war – a war that continues to this day.

Today more than a third of South Sudan’s population has been forced from their homes. Children are used as soldiers and mass rape as a weapon of war.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at why the government and the main rebel group have been unable to make peace, and whether a policy shift by the Trump administration may lead to a deal.


AP Photo

The use of orphanages fell out of favor in the U.S. around World War II, and the institutions were largely replaced by the foster care system.

But in parts of Asia and Africa, the number of orphanages has actually risen in recent decades – spurred in part by the death toll from conflict and HIV/AIDS. Many of these institutions are privately owned or run by non-profits and receive no government money. Instead, they are funded entirely by donations.

The growth has led to criticism by some child advocates. They argue that most children would be better off living with relatives or others. They also worry that in some countries the growth in orphanages has been spurred in part by adults looking to pad their own pockets by capitalizing on tourists willing to pay to volunteer at childrens’ homes.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the debate around institutional child care in developing countries and what might be perpetuating the problem of overseas orphanage scams.


AP Photo

A decade ago a disputed presidential election in Kenya led to violence that left more than 1,400 people dead and forced 600,000 from their homes.

Now political tensions are again running high after another disputed election in August. The country's electoral board declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the victor by 1.4 million votes over opposition candidate Raila Odinga. But Kenya's Supreme Court nullified the result, saying the poll had been marred by "irregularities" and ordered a new election. 

That poll was scheduled to take place Oct. 26, but its future is now in doubt after Odinga pulled out saying the new election would also not be free and fair. Odinga's supporters have taken to the streets and the government has sought to quell the upheaval by banning public protests in three major cities. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we take an in-depth look at the political crisis in a country once considered a beacon of stability in Africa. 


AP Photo

People in rural parts of Tanzania and other areas of East Africa face a lot of challenges. But life can be particularly difficult for people with albinism.

Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes a baby to be born without melanin, a pigment that gives skin color and protects it from the sun, and people with albinism have pale white skin and hair.

In parts of East Africa some traditional healers believe that body parts from people with albinism have medicinal or magical properties. Nearly 200 people with albinism have been murdered in Africa in recent years, according to the aid group Under the Same Sun. Hundreds of others have been abducted, attacked or had one or more limbs amputated.

But these attacks aren’t the only challenges faced by people with albinism East Africa. On this edition of Global Journalist we’ll hear more about this form of discrimination.


AP Photo

Might your children or grandchildren someday live in a world without rhinoceroses or African elephants?

The chances of that are probably higher than you might guess.

There are just 350,000 elephants remaining on African savannas, one-tenth the number in 1900. And the population is estimated to be shrinking by 27,000 a year. The black rhino population has declined 93 percent since 1970.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns that fuels the poaching industry that continues to decimate these endangered species. 


AP Photo

Kenya has long been one of the richest and most developed countries in Africa. 

But the country has a really big problem: corruption. Last year, the head of the country's anti-corruption commission said that one-third of the government's budget is lost to corruption.

The issue has become so large that President Uhuru Kenyatta even publicly labeled his own people as "experts at stealing and abusing each other."

Worse, the problem is fueling ethnic tension ahead of national elections in August. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Kenya's prospects for reversing the trend.


AP Photo

Might your children or grandchildren someday live in a world without rhinoceroses or African elephants?

The chances of that are probably higher than you might guess.

There are just 350,000 elephants remaining on African savannas, one-tenth the number in 1900. And the population is estimated to be shrinking by 27,000 a year. The black rhino population has declined 93 percent since 1970.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns that fuels the poaching industry that continues to decimate these endangered species.


(EPA)

Picture a city of about 300,000 people - something the size of Tampa, Fla. or Riverside, Calif.

Now picture all of those people in this city being told it’s being closed down and they have to move.

That’s what the Kenyan government in East Africa is trying to do with the 340,000 people who live in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp. Built 24 years ago by the U.N. to house people fleeing Somalia's civil war, many of the people living there today have never set foot in Somalia and don't want to go back. 


AP

After wars in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda killed nearly a million civilians, 120 nations came together to create what we know as the International Criminal Court. The goal: to prosecute those responsible for future genocides, crimes against humanity and other terrible war crimes.

But 13 years after it was created, the ICC has seen its share of controversy. Some African leaders are threatening to withdraw from the court for what they see as its unfair focus on prosecuting African cases. Others question the usefulness of a court that has convicted just two people in 13 years.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the controversies surrounding a court set up to prosecute the world's worst criminals.


kenya
AP Photo

The militant group Al Shabaab has wreaked havoc across Africa throughout this decade. A cell of Al Qaeda, the group has launched attacks on civilians throughout Somalia, Kenya and Uganda, and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. This past weekend, 29 people were killed in Kenya by armed militants; Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attacks soon after. Today on Global Journalist, we look at the rise of Al Shabaab, its attacks in the region, and what the group's emergence means for Africa. Our guests:

Nation Media Group flourishes in Kenya

Jul 18, 2013
Ben Curtis / Associated Press

Freedom of the press is rising steadily in Kenya. The constitution now specifically prohibits the state from interfering with the editorial independence of journalists and their media outlets, both state-owned and private.

Benedicte Desrus / AP Images

Five years ago, disputes over election results in Kenya sparked weeks of ethnic violence in the relatively well-developed African country. More than one thousand people were killed, as supporters of rival candidates clashed.