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Africa roundup

I’m a bad blogger. Between three weeks in India, followed immediately by travel to Boston and San Francisco, my aggregator is crowded with stories I’ve yet to read, and I’m way behind in my posting. So here’s a quick post of half a dozen African stories that caught my eye over the past few days.

Somalia’s President and Prime Minister in exile visit Somalia, and are received with banners and cheering crowds. It’s unclear whether the leaders will be able to visit Mogadishu, which is under the control of rival warlords and may be unsafe for the leaders to visit.

Jonathan Friedland visits South Africa and is dissapointed by the “glacial pace” of social change and economic progress:

If you saw a smart car, its driver was white. If you saw a smart house, its owner was white. Its cleaner and gardener were black. This was not “many” or “most”. This was all.

The Addis Ababa Daily Monitor reports that mobile phone theft, including robberies organized by taxi drivers and accomplices, is on the rise at the same time as mobile phone penetration increases.

BBC’s excellent Ghana correspondent, Kwayku Sakyi-Addo (read his journal from the 2004 election if you need convincing that he’s one of the best African journalists writing today), found it easy to cross into Togo on foot from Ghana, despite the political turmoil Togo is undergoing.

Keith Smith, a missionary in Burkina Faso who blogs as Voice in the Desert, points out that Burkina is facing a major refugee crisis. More than three hundred thousand refugees have fled violence in C™te d’Ivoire and resettled in Burkina. They’re technically Burkinabes, at least by the ludicrious definition of Ivoirite put forward by Gbagbo’s supporters, though they’ve never lived in Burkina Faso. The refugee influx has increased the nation’s population by 3%, an impact the world’s third-poorest nation is extremely ill-equipped to handle. IRIN has more information on the situation.

My favorite Kenyan blogger, Ory Okolloh, has a typically smart set of reflections on what John Githongo’s resignation as Kenya’s chief anti-corruption official means for the Kibaki government.

Real blogging resumes just as soon as my head stops spinning from jetlag.