Local authors as well as researchers on literacy trends say that Zimbabwe’s reading culture is in decline, citing accessibility and the rising prices of physical books. A new group of authors is eschewing traditional publishing and finding readers where they are – on social media.
A new initiative in Zambia aims to connect the police with the public by providing direct phone lines to local police stations. But the phone numbers do little good when callers from unplanned settlements report crimes in progress – and police can’t find their homes.
In Nepal, many families view the birth of a baby girl as an economic burden. To reduce sex-selective abortion, one city in Nepal is encouraging families to keep their daughters - and it’s paying them for having baby girls.
Zambian banks demand substantial collateral and charge high interest rates for loans, so local women are increasingly turning to informal lending cooperatives, called village banking, for loans large and small. The groups operate on trust, but the high volume of money outside the formal banking sector comes with risks.
Wherever you turn in the city of Kisangani, you’ll find makeshift eateries where hunger is economically satisfied – and diseases like typhoid fever may lie in wait. One health official states that none of these establishments in Kisangani meets hygiene standards, and many operate without officials’ knowledge.
Zimbabwe’s electricity grid is in bad shape, and the country is forced to import power from neighboring Mozambique and South Africa. As the government looks for energy self-sufficiency, and citizens look for ways to cut their energy bills at home, many are finding an alternative that seems to offer a sustainable solution: solar power.
High rents and high taxes present major barriers to operating a store in Kampala, especially in the city center, so more and more enterprises are making their businesses mobile. Even as the practice booms, there’s still one lingering problem: It’s illegal.
Tobacco is one of DRC’s most valuable agricultural exports, and traditional healers there often tell patients to sniff tobacco as a remedy for common health problems. But sniffing tobacco carries many of the same deadly health risks as smoking tobacco, and addiction to snuff is on the rise.
Rents in many informal settlements in Buenos Aires are just as high as rents in the city’s safer districts, which boast better utilities. But many have no choice but to live in the former, because rental contracts in the latter demand costly down payments beyond the reach of many locals.
Adriana González is the only female taxi driver working in her village of Chaquijyá, Guatemala. She’s not only making money in a male-dominated industry, but she’s serving as a shining example to other young people and women.