Daallo Airlines

When the Somali government collapsed, the country also lost its airline and all air links for people and goods to move in and out of Somalia. As thousands fled, Mohammed Yassin Olad, a Somali businessman, saw opportunity and started Daallo Airlines. As he notes, Daallo Airlines is a business, but also a humanitarian endeavor as

House, Home & Finance

Before HFC Bank began writing home financing loans, Ghanaians typically saved their entire lives to purchase a home. HFC Bank changed that. Writing Ghana’s first mortgages served as the big bang that created a housing industry boom. Fifteen years ago when HFC Bank first opened its doors, the Developers Association of Ghana had 26 members.

Barack & Curtis

With Barack Obama’s historic nomination as the first black presidential candidate to a major party filmmaker Byron Hurt turns his lens to an unlikely contrast study of Barack Obama and the infamous hip hop rapper 50 Cent. Hurt’s last journey into hip hop allowed room for a national conversation on the negative connotations associated with

Calling Congo

In the late 1990’s, international experts predicted there would be a market for only 10,000 cell phones in all of Congo. The day Alieu Conteh launched his cell phone company, he had capacity for 4,000 customers, but 35,000 people lined up. In less than five years he broke the one million mark. Alieu promised a

Pictoons: Animated in Senegal

Pictoon’s studio in Dakar is quite rustic, but the production quality coming out of Africa’s only animation house devoted to long-format films is world-class. Founder and Artistic Director, Pierre Sauvalle, says when he shows Pictoon’s work to foreigners, they often don’t believe it comes from Africa, assuming goods produced in Africa must be inferior. Pictoon’s

Made in Lesotho

Jennifer Chen, Managing Director of Shining Century’s factory in Lesotho, is setting her sights on competing with China. Shining Century employs 1,500 people and makes garments for Old Navy, GAP and other well-known brands. Lesotho was considered a tremendous AGOA success story, but in January 2005, WTO released China from quotas, putting at risk all

Ruff ‘N Tumble in Nigeria

Adenike Ogunlesi decided to make some pajamas for her kids, and soon friends and relatives were asking her to make some for their children. Next came skirts, shirts, pants, and more. Today, she has a factory and several franchises. At the time she started, almost all children’s clothing in Nigeria was imported. Nigerians of any

Touch Adventure

In Zambia,Touch Adventure, a specialist in white water rafting and cultural tours, is part of a movement to diversify traditional tourism offerings in Africa. Founder Ndaba Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean adventure seeker who worked as a river rafting guide, says when he looked at starting his business, he realized the political climate in his country was

1,000 Coffee Cups in Uganda

1000 Cups Coffee House offers some unusual blends, from a lemon grass infused coffee to a traditional roast that is lightly toasted in clay pots. The owner, Michael Kijjambu, notes of his special blends, ‘These do appeal to the young, free-spending Ugandans.’ Noting that Uganda’s President Museveni has promoted Ugandan coffee at shops in South