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The success of “Black Panther” is spurring demand for African comics

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
SINCE the release of “Black Panther”, a film based on a Marvel comic, internet searches for African travel have spiked. But those seeking the African kingdom over which the titular superhero reigns will be disappointed. Wakanda does not exist, unless one counts a water park of that name in Wisconsin. Africa has been affected in more tangible ways by “Black Panther”, which has a predominantly black cast and is one of the highest-grossing superhero movies of all time. Its popularity extends to the continent, where filmgoers from Lagos to Nairobi dress in Afro-futurist garb for screenings. Fashion designers have received a boost from the film’s distinctive mix of traditional and contemporary African styles. African comic-book artists are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries. Take “Kwezi”, a com

How illegal charcoal fuels war and harms the environment

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
DRESSED in a faded T-shirt bearing the face of the American rapper 50 Cent, Samson Okenye leans on a shovel in Nyakweri forest in south-western Kenya. A 62-year-old from the Rift Valley, he has a new gig for his retirement. Having worked in a factory for most of his life, he is now chopping down trees and burning them for charcoal. He sells each bag he produces from his crude earthen kilns for 400 Kenyan shillings (about $4). Men carry it off on motorbikes to Nairobi, the capital, and Kisumu, Kenya’s third-largest city. Charcoal is one of the biggest informal businesses in Africa. It is the fuel of choice for the continent’s fast-growing urban poor, who, in the absence of electricity or gas, use it to cook and heat water. According to the UN, Africa accounted for three-fifths of the wor

Europe is sending African migrants home. Will they stay?

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ONCE considered the smartest hangout in town, the Benin Plaza motel in southern Nigeria’s Benin City has seen better days. Its chalet-style rooms are normally empty, and the Moat Bar, which promises “groovy nights and exotic cocktails”, has fallen into disrepair. For the Plaza’s recent influx of guests, though, the motel is the first comfortable night they have had in rather a long time. Requisitioned by the government for migrants repatriated from Libya, it offers new arrivals free accommodation for a few days while they find their feet. The repatriation programme is part of a joint UN and EU effort to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. It encourages those who have made it to Libya to go home voluntarily, rather than risk a rickety boat across the Mediterranean. People who turn back

Fifteen years after America’s invasion, Iraq is getting back on its feet

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WHISKY is back on the tables in Mosul, one of Iraq’s biggest cities. Until last year, boozing was punishable with 80 lashes. These days a refurbished hotel with a nightclub on the roof, set in a wood that had sheltered the high command of the so-called Islamic State (IS), is fully booked. Shops around the ruins of Mosul’s university have new fronts. Families queue at restaurants on the banks of the Tigris. There is not a niqab, or face-veil, in sight. The revival of Mosul is a metaphor for Iraq as a whole. When IS captured the city in 2014, Iraq seemed a lost cause. Its armed forces had fled. The government controlled less than half the country and the jihadists stood primed to march into Baghdad. With the collapse of oil prices in 2015, the government was broke. Iraq was a byword for c