Newly hip Joburg

DJ Edu is on a mission to explore Africa's nightlife.

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These are the dreams of those who come to Maboneng, an area in Johannesburg's Central Business District that, until recently, was known as a no-go area – particularly at night.

The streets have changed a lot in recent years, says Bheki Dube, a skateboarder and entrepreneur who now runs a backpacker hostel in Maboneng. “When we were younger and the sun set, you knew it was time to go home because of the crime,” he says. “Now you have kids playing until evening, the streets are lit and there is 24-hour security – there is life.

Bheki Dube, founder of Curiocity Backpackers in Maboneng, remembers the bad old days

“It's cool to see it happening in an urban landscape, especially in a space that was associated with crime and grime.”

The gentrification of Maboneng is down to Jonathan Liebmann, whose company Propertuity developed the precinct from nothing.

Having returned to live in the Johannesburg suburbs after travelling the world, he felt something was missing.

“I was feeling empty in that existence. I mean the suburbs are completely gated, there is no walkability, there's no connectivity between people,” he says.

“So I started to think about how I could potentially connect with the city and bring the city back.”

Liebmann developed the area from scratch

He bought five warehouses and turned them into artists' studios, bars and creative office spaces.

He called it Maboneng, which means “place of light”.

Now people from all over the city go there to have a good time. It's cosmopolitan, arty – and safe. It may not be a gated community, but the area does have its own 24-hour security.

“I think what is happening in Maboneng is quite interesting because you have mixed race, mixed income, completely different ages… so you know, it's a very, very diverse community,” says Mr Liebmann.

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DJ Edu's quest for Africa's best nightclub leads him to a former South African no-go zone

“A space which is inclusive, somewhere people can live and work and play in an urban landscape,” agrees Mr Dube.

Another up and coming place in the city centre is called Braamfontein, where there is a popular club called Kitcheners. It has been here for years, but, like the street it's on, it has changed hugely.

Monty Narsoo has been going there since it was a whites-only pub.

“I used to come here and do crosswords, and they would wonder why this man of Indian descent is sitting here,” he says.

“It was important to engage even the racists in their own spaces. It was tough, but we were fighting for an un-racial society – it was the small little social spaces that you had to de-racialise. Now I don't have to do that, I can just hang out with great people.”

Braamfontein now attracts a diverse crowd

“It's as mixed as you're going to get in South Africa really – it's been amazing to watch,” says Andrew Clements, the new owner of Kitcheners.

“Different cultures mixing and getting used to each other, on a social level, nothing to do with where you work – it's cool. I think it is representing the future more than the present through the rest of the country.”

The future is bright – but not for everyone.

Dilapidated buildings surround the newly hip areas, ripe for development, but as hipsters replace hawkers, what happens to those who live there?

On Wednesday, violent protests erupted as people were evicted from Jeppestown, the area neighbouring Maboneng, by developers planning to build on the precinct's success.

“What happens is all these places more middle class and kids have new money but it displaces the poor here,” says Mr Narsoo.

“And what you have more and more is what some people call stronger governance measures – we can't have loiterers in the streets and so on. So how does urban regeneration actually impact on the poor?”

Photos by Manuel Toledo.

For more on the BBC's A Richer World, go to – or join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #BBCRicherWorld


Tunisians ‘must fight terror united’

Sally Adey was among the victims

21 of the dead were foreigners

At least 17 were cruise ship tourists

The authorities say the victims include four Italians, three Japanese and three French nationals, two Spanish, two Colombians and one each from Britain, Poland and Belgium

The nationalities of four victims remain unconfirmed

The British woman was a 57-year-old mother from Shropshire

Italian media say one of the Italian victims was Francesco Caldara, on his first cruise, accompanying his girlfriend on a birthday trip

French media have named two of the French nationals as Jean-Claude Tissier, 72, and Christophe Tinois, 59

Briton killed in Tunis attack named

Islamic State has said it was behind the attack on the Bardo museum, in an audio message in which it praised two “knights of the caliphate”.

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A worker from the parliament building next to the attacked museum tells BBC News of the horror Tunis had witnessed

Tunisian security official Rafik Chelli said the gunmen – identified as Yassine Laabidi and Hatem Khachnaoui – had slipped out of Tunisia in December and received weapons training in Libya ahead of the attack.

Tourists from cruise ship groups caught up in the terror attack have arrived in Spanish ports

Security remains heightened around the museum while the army has been deployed to large cities

He told the el-Hiwar el-Tounsi TV channel that authorities did not have details about where or with which group they had trained.

The men were killed as security forces stormed the museum.


The country where you can choose your tax rate

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Mr Kantako's office is enormous, with chairs lining three walls. That's normal too, because in hierarchical Mali, people move around in delegations. The meeting involves a lot of niceties. Curiously, I am expected to provide the British government's position on the demands from Tuareg rebels for self-rule in northern Mali.

''Err… Britain just wants peace,'' I say, limply. All my energy is going on trying to suppress my delight at paying 3% income tax.

''Now then.'' The tax boss asks Mr Kante to brief him about my case. Both men pore over a calculator and come up with a figure of 236,160 francs ($380, £260).

''Hmm, I would like to have seen a rounder figure,'' says Mr Kantako eventually. ''And the pound is strong – I think we would like 300,000 francs ($485, £327) from you.'' He gives me the same open look as you get when buying almost anything in Mali. As much as to say: “That's my offer what's yours?”

''Oh, and we'll want that in cash,'' he says, “but you will be given a receipt.”

Mr Kante offers some explanation as we go back downstairs. ''Eighty per cent of Mali's economy is informal,” he says. “The government believes the 3% rate will attract more tax payers. What people don't realise is that, as things stand, we struggle to raise 1% or 2%. So this new rate represents something of an increase!''

By that reckoning, the Malian tax authorities have actually done quite well out of me.

Perhaps because I had – strangely – volunteered to pay tax, a basic sense of fairness stood in the way of the staff putting me into the 30% bracket, where perhaps I belong.

As I leave, so does the man with the ram. Except the ram remains tied to the railings.

''Monsieur!'' I call out. He turns around.

''Your ram?''

He shakes his head. “No, no, I've had to give it to them,” he says matter-of-factly, and walks away.

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The Democratic Republic of Style

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A Richer World

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Of the Brazzaville Sapeurs, Six is scathing: “They are about cheap clothes,” he says. “We are expensive. They are like secretaries – we are the bosses.”

Kinshasa's Sapeurs are younger, their style more cutting edge, with influences from high fashion to hip-hop. Once Six is dressed to the nines we travel to a nearby square – his mates show up dressed in tuxedos with fluorescent patterned jackets, fur coats, and costumes that would not look out of place on a guard at the Tower of London.

They strut and bounce, dance and flounce. Everyone stops to stare, and when they are ready to have serious fun they lead an impromptu parade through the streets of Matonge.

Rush-hour traffic comes to a halt. People come out of their houses and jump up from their chairs at roadside cafes. Football games are abandoned. Kids start to whistle and shout. Within minutes we are in the middle of a crowd of hundreds. Young men sing: “We love the Sapeurs.” It is chaos – unbridled pride and joy.

Now of course, I should point out that this is a country where civil war still rages a thousand miles to the east – where the democratic transition is quite arguably neither democratic nor a transition. Six weeks ago anger at President Kabila turned in to riots in which nearly 50 people were killed. The Sapeurs weren't strutting then – nobody was.

There are terrible problems here with HIV, illegal mining, and of course all that stuff that kills poor people just because they're poor: malaria, stomach bugs, car accidents, childbirth.

That's reality of course. But so is this. Night has fallen in Kinshasa. At club Why Not, Six and his friends have arrived. The bass from this club, and from dozens of clubs all around, is thumping away like heavy rain. We go in and immediately the DJ is shouting to the Sapeurs. Somebody buys a bottle of whisky. And the Sapeurs and the Congolese who love them are in the mood. They're set to dance all night.

Photos by Manuel Toledo

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The ad that made Sapeurs famous

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Female intuition: Spotting Moroccan music talent

For the BBC's A Richer World season, DJ Edu is on a mission to explore Africa's nightlife – and find out about how young Africans live.

A Richer World 2015

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The bluff worked, and Van asked her to produce his album. It was her first project.

“Not a single, not a tour, not a booking – an album,” says Haddadi proudly. “Now I don't prove myself any more. It's not ego, but I know I'm the best.”

This confidence belies the struggles she has faced.

“As a woman I get a lot of sexual harassment – not from my artists, but from other artists in the business, from partners in the business, even from fans,” she says.

The biggest challenge has been to be taken seriously in this “exclusive men's club”. Most male musicians cannot accept that a woman might tell them what to do – their pride will not allow it, says Haddadi.

When she approached a big Moroccan artist – she doesn't mention his name – he told her he could never employ her as a manager.

“I cannot give my career, my life to a woman. I cannot do that,” he said.

DJ Van was the first to employ Janatte Haddadi as a manager – they have worked together from the start

The turning point came when she realised she had to think differently.

“If you want people to stop judging you as a woman in this business, stop judging yourself as a woman. Judge yourself as a manager, not as a female manager. Judge yourself on how you can push your artists to the limits.”

‘Best job in the world’

Now that she has an established group of artists who trust her, the next hurdle is to build up the Moroccan music industry as a whole.

“The biggest problem we have is distribution,” says Haddadi.

“You can make music, but where are you going to sell that product? I would love my artists to have their rights, their royalties” – and not just so that she can get her percentage.

“To have a productive artist he needs to wake up every morning not worrying about how he's going to pay his rent, he just needs to wake up and think about his art.”

Another of Haddidi's acts, the hip-hop duo Shayfeen

She has chosen not to accept an offer of work in the US, but to stay in Morocco.

“I hope one day I can say I made the right choice,” she says. “I have the chance to earn my living by living my dreams.

“I think I have the best job in the world – if I can take just one song from one of my artists, and pour it in the ears of just one person, and they feel the positivity from the song, then I will leave my mark on this world.”

Haddidi says the situation for women of her generation has progressed.

“Over the past 10 years Moroccan women have become more independent, they earn money, they party. I go nightclubbing with my friends, in a female group – it's not a problem.”

Moroccan women can travel alone, they can vote, run for election, can do business, be independent, says Haddidi – but these rules don't apply to all levels of society.

Poorer women still live in a traditional society where “she gets a lot of sexual harassment on the street because she is wearing jeans”, she says.

And another threat looms.

“Now we are dealing with radical Islam – women are the devil. But I will say we are really lucky if you compare with other countries.”

Photos by Manuel Toledo

For more on the BBC's A Richer World, go to – or join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #BBCRicherWorld


Nigeria’s five-to-nine work ethic

Listen to more about Nigeria's economy on Saturday 21 February at 08:30 GMT on the BBC World Service.

Six Routes to A Richer World, a co-production with US radio's Marketplace, is visiting six important places in the new global economy.

A Richer World 2015

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Every Nigerian is familiar with the concept of the side hustle – a business on the side. This is a country where everyone has a start-up in their front room, including my mother.

I'll never forget coming home from school to find the entire living and dining area stacked floor to ceiling with cartons of sunflower oil for sale.

It was my grandmother who'd taught my mum that if you were lucky enough to have a salaried job, that was just pocket money. The real money came from your five-to-nine, not the nine-to-five.

On the surface, Nigeria may not seem like a country that can teach the world much about how to do business.

Elections have been postponed because of the insurgency raging in the northeast. Corruption is still a huge problem. Government revenues depend on the oil and gas industry, which benefits the few.

For many Nigerians, the five-to-nine is more important than the nine-to-five

Motorcycle king

But in Onitsha and elsewhere while making Six Routes for the BBC, the people I met show that the Nigerian economy is finding other lubricants.

Innocent Chukwuma is a successful businessman. He owns five different manufacturing companies around the south-east, and is very optimistic about Nigeria's future.

Looking out over his sprawling complex just down the road in Enugu, it's easy to see why. The government gave him land to expand his business and now he's probably the largest private sector employer in Enugu state. 4,300 people work at the plastics plant we visited.

“In Africa today anyone who can invest in manufacturing – in a short time you'll make money as you want,” says Innocent.

Innocent started small. He was a spare parts trader in his native Nnewi. He had graduated from turning his brother's spare parts side business to establishing his own import venture.

As the prices of motorcycles coming in from Japan increased in the 1980s, he noticed something about the way they were shipped.

They were coming in by barge in containers. And being a spare parts trader he recognized that a motorcycle is made up of individual parts.

And so, he thought, if he imported the motorcycle in pieces it would take up a lot less space in the shipping container. And he was right.

At the time importers could fit about 40 pre-assembled motorcycles in a single shipping container. But as individual parts, Innocent could fit more than 200 motorcycles in each container. He now had a significant advantage over his competitors – and could sell his motorcycles for much less.

Importing bikes unassembled gave Innocent a key price advantage

Labour costs

Another advantage he had over his competitors was the cost of labour in Nigeria being relatively cheap. A factory worker in Nigeria would earn around $500 a month.

He explains, “When I brought the first one I called the local people, and gave them some training, they assembled it perfectly and the price was cheaper.”

Much cheaper in fact: “When they are selling for about 150,000 [naira] for one motorcycle, I sold my own for 80,000 ($400; £260).”

Innocent's bikes were nearly half the price of his competitors. He sold three containers' worth of motorcycles in about three months.

“So I went back and brought about 10 containers, and the 10 containers took me about one month to finish.”

By the time he had the process down he was buying 200 containers.

But Innocent's advantage didn't last forever, and soon everyone was copying his strategy.

“The price crashed to 60,000 but when I saw that the price had come down and everybody was doing it – that's why I built this plastic plant.”

Motorcycles were just the beginning for Innocent. He had another realization, that he could manufacture some of the motorcycle parts himself. Specifically the plastic parts.

Innocent's business now makes a range of plastic goods

Power cuts

The Innoson Group now makes all kinds of products. His motorcycle business has expanded to cars and buses while his plastics plants now manufacture tables, chairs, water drums, plates, boxes for electricity meters, and much else.

He believes anyone can follow his lead in Africa, which he refers to as a virgin place for entrepreneurs. Innocent's optimism is infectious and it's easy to get swept up in the euphoria of success, but business in Nigeria is not easy.

Back in Onitsha market it's also a microcosm of the obstacles entrepreneurs face every day.

The day I was there the traders were protesting against a new levy. The trade association decided to charge for a CCTV system, which the traders said the state governor had given them for free. It's the sort of surprise cost that wrecks a business plan.

But corruption is not even the biggest problem in Nigeria. Other countries have thrived despite corruption, and Nigeria shouldn't be different.

The lights go out constantly and nobody bats an eyelid or feigns surprise, everyone just carries on.

High energy costs are a limiting factor for many Nigerian businesses

‘Credit tomorrow’

People make do with costly diesel generators, and that even applies to big factories.

For Innocent the high cost of energy is a necessary part of doing business in Nigeria. But it puts a real brake on what entrepreneurs can achieve.

The people I met are not put off by these obstacles. If you walk into some shops in Nigeria, there's a sign which reads: “No credit today, come back tomorrow.”

If you keep waiting for the perfect conditions in which to do business, you'll be like the shopper who returns day after day, hoping that the shopkeeper might sell them goods on credit.

Listen to more about Nigeria's economy on Saturday 21 February at 08:30 GMT on the BBC World Service

For more on the BBC's A Richer World, go to – or join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #BBCRicherWorld


Your Ebola questions

Question from Sam Phodogoma: What measures are in place to help survivors quickly rebuild their lives, so they can in turn help bring back confidence in their communities?

Helen Clark answers: Survivors need support to resume their jobs and livelihoods, and psychosocial support in many cases too. This must be part of the recovery partnership.

Question from Kamara Abdulai: How will the West African affected countries regain their glories academically and economically after being threatened by the Ebola virus?

Helen Clark answers: Once declared Ebola-free, the three countries do have a good prospect of returning to reasonable economic growth rates. It will be important to prioritise investment in strengthening resilience to shocks like that of Ebola – stronger institutions, systems, and services are needed.

Question from Alhaji Alimu Barrie: The Ebola virus has caused so many problems in Sierra Leone, how would your organisation help rebuild our economy?

Helen Clark answers: All economic sectors were impacted by the crisis. UN agencies and other partners are moving to support small holders and local traders to get re-established.

Helen Clarke on stigma

Question from Merry Morlai: What is going to be done to stop the outside world from stigmatising the worst Ebola-affected countries?

Helen Clark answers: As we move towards zero new cases, I am confident that stigma against the countries will reduce. But it is vital to get there to get a return of investment, flights, and open borders.

Question from Adam Yusuf: How can UN eradicate discrimination against Ebola victims?

Helen Clark answers: The UN advocates for zero stigma and discrimination against survivors. They have a right to be able to resume their normal activities.

Question from James Daniel: What measure have you put in place so that money meant for reconstruction and rebuilding of Ebola victims gets to them without getting into wrong hands?

Helen Clark answers: Mutual accountability and transparency in the use of funds is vital to retain the confidence of the publics of the three countries and international partners.


Deadly bus bomb explodes in Nigeria

A suicide bomb attack has killed at least 13 people in Potiskum, north-eastern Nigeria, reports say.

An employee at Dan-Borno bus station told BBC Hausa that the bomber waited until the 18-seat bus was full before getting on board. Another local resident said he had seen 13 bodies.

He said the bus was completely destroyed by fire and others standing nearby were affected.

On Sunday, the town was hit by a suicide bombing by a young girl.


Satellites track snail disease risk

The watersnail hosts a key stage in the parasitic worm's life cycle

“One of the big challenges that all public health agencies have – and that's true you know in the UK, in the US or in Kenya – is limited resources.

“If we can help them target the resources in space and time, that is a huge service we can do.”

Ken Linthicum from the US Department of Agriculture has been using space data to forecast the future risk of malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya and Rift Valley virus.

He cautions that satellites, as wonderful as they are, still have to be supported by work on the ground.

“The key is understanding the ecology and transmission dynamics of the disease beforehand. It's not really appropriate to look at data and then say, 'ok, how can I use that data?'.

“You have to know what’s going on with the disease. In the case of Rift Valley fever, we discovered that it was heavy rainfall that floods habitats, producing the hatch of mosquito eggs that produce the virus. In the case of chikungunya or dengue in Africa, for example, it’s drought conditions that enhance mosquito-breeding habitats near people and then the high temperatures that boost transmission in the mosquito.”

European system

But used with care, the satellite information can prove very powerful, said Prof Kitron.

“Another good example is lyme disease. Soil moisture is very important for survival of the ticks that transmit it. So, by mapping soil moisture by satellite you can create a good risk map.

“Another obvious one is vegetation because different types of vegetation are associated with different insect vectors of disease, or with birds and rodents that might be important. We can now actually map not just where there is vegetation, but the type of vegetation.”

The volume of data used in these applications will jump massively over the next few years as the European Union rolls out its Sentinel satellites.

This fleet of spacecraft represents the largest commitment in history to the observation of Earth from orbit, and all the information will be open and free to use.

Archie Clements from the Australian National University commented: “I do think there is going to be some key advantages of the availability of this data, partly because the spatial resolution is going to be high and also because the temporal resolution is going to be high – which means we’re going to be able to track the dynamics of diseases much more effectively over time and look at patterns of disease emergence and change.”

The European Union is building a new constellation of satellites called the Sentinels an follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos


Understanding a little of the migrants’ pitiful journey

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“When I boarded the ship and saw the dirt, the lack of hygiene and the women and children so dehydrated who'd had no food and water for days… it was just so terrible and so moving. You know I have such a good life and to see those people struggling…” He trailed off and looked down at the deck. “We can't give up you know,” he said firmly. “These people need our help.”

The problem is too many people need Frontex's help. More than 19,000 migrants have arrived on Italy's shores since last November. Frontex which doesn't have any operational equipment of its own, relies on EU or Schengen member states (like Iceland) to lend it the planes, ships and helicopters it needs for operations. It currently has a handful of resources to cover the huge Mediterranean sea.

On the ship's bridge, Capt Einar Valsson shows me the course he is plotting to intercept the suspicious cargo ship. I'm alarmed when I realise it's over 100 miles out to sea. The captain shrugs.

“When the distress call comes, we have to answer that call. We come from Iceland,” he reminds me. “A small country of 300,000 people. One life is very important for us – we can't just leave people in the Mediterranean.”

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The BBC's Emma Jane Kirby joined a Frontex crew patrolling in the Mediterranean

But people are being left, no matter how many rules Frontex is bending. Aid agencies say that last week's tragedy, in which more than 300 migrants drowned off the coast of Lampedusa, shows how woefully inadequate the mission is. When the emergency calls for help sounded, both of Frontex's large vessels, including the Icelandic one I'd been aboard, were in port and too far away to help. Twenty nine migrants who were rescued by a small vessel died of hypothermia on the way back to shore. Doctors on the scene claimed if they had been picked up by a big naval or coastguard ship, they probably would have survived. Italy decided to end its Mare Nostrum mission after its EU partners refused to share the high costs of running the operation. Ironically it's those same reluctant EU partners who are now being relied on to offer handouts to Frontex.

More than 580 people – mostly from Syria – disembark in Italy after being rescued by Frontex last December

After 29 hours of misery, Captain Valsson finally steers us into the safety of Pozzallo port. It's been a frustrating mission for him – by the time he'd caught up with the suspicious cargo ship, it had moved to international waters meaning his crew did not have the right to board and inspect it. No-one can now be sure if it was hiding migrants in its hold – the ship has plotted a new course towards the Canary Islands.

“This,” he says, gesturing towards the water, “is what we call a pig of a sea. Tomorrow, it will be worse.”

Tomorrow, right now, more desperate people will be stepping into dinghies, inflatable rubber boats, handing over money for a place in the engine room of a rusted cargo ship. I understand a little now of how pitiful their journeys will be. I daren't guess as to how they will end.

The Icelandic coastguard vessel Tyr, off the coast of Sicily

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