Last time we looked at the stunning maps of segregation in America. Adrian Frith from the University of Cape Town made similar maps for South African cities, at a slightly lower level of detail because the data aren’t available. Unsurprisingly, segregation is strong. For example, consider Johannesburg:
See more images here.
Jeffrey Gettleman of the New York Times delivers a profile of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. It has its cringeworthy moments:
Rwandans tend to do what their leaders say, whether it’s hacking up their neighbors or stringing up mosquito nets.
and the always excellent blog Africa is a country identifies deeper problems with the piece:
What is disconcerting is that while the history of violence in the region and the politics and aftermath of genocide loom large behind the essay—not to mention that whole colonialism thing—the ongoing cycles of violence in Rwanda and the region and ethnic and political identities, are under-theorized. Instead, Gettleman focuses on the two (most recent) ways in which Rwanda and the Rwandese (Banyarwanda) diaspora circulate in mainstream global discourses: vis à vis the cult of personality surrounding Kagame as a leader-manager who gets things accomplished, and Rwanda as the celebrated neoliberal economic development poster-child of the US and the IFIs (international finance institutions)—i.e., the other (not South African!) African exception
Once again, Mr. Gettleman provides Western audiences with much more on the directives of rulers rather than the complexities of governance itself and the agency of those who are ruled.
Despite that, it’s worth a read. The profile is based on a 3-hour interview with the man, which is rare enough, and certainly offers some fascinating glimpses.
Now this is a profile well-worth reading, just because it’s so damn fascinating. It’s a piece on Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the dictator of Equatorial Guinea, a country blessed both with bountiful oil and corruption.
He owned at least three dozen luxury cars, including seven Ferraris, five Bentleys, four Rolls-Royces, two Lamborghinis, two Mercedes-Benzes, two Porsches, two Maybachs, and an Aston Martin… [and] had his drivers fetch the one he wanted for an outing, a choice that sometimes depended on his attire. “I’m wearing blue shoes, so get me the blue Rolls today,” he once told Benito Giacalone, a former driver.
His favorite was a blue Bugatti Veyron, a car that can reach speeds of more than 250 miles per hour and sells new for about $2 million. One night, Teodorin parked his toy near the entrance of L’Ermitage, a favorite hangout where he’d gone for drinks. When he saw gawkers stop to admire it, he sent Giacalone back to Malibu by cab so Giacalone could drive back his second Bugatti to park next to it.
Max Fisher at WaPo had this series of charts up a while back. They’re cool.
(That’s a lot of working-age people. Let’s just hope they actually have jobs, otherwise this graph doesn’t look so great anymore at all. Then we’re talking instability rather than growth).