Stories written by Issa Sikiti da Silva

Mo Money Mo Solutions – the African Development Bank’s Ready to Double Investment Across the Continent

Buses carrying cross-border traders and goods from Cotonou in Benin to Bamako in Mali have recently been using the Lomé route — travelling through the capital of Togo and then getting onto the Ouagadougou corridor on their way to the Malian capital.

Burkina Faso: Climate Change Triggers Rural Exodus

Ibrahim Harouna and his neighbours sit under a tree at his uncle’s house, playing chess and chatting amid the simmering heat of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

Displaced by the Desert: An expanding Sahara leaves Broken Families and Violence in its Wake

Abdoulaye Maiga proudly displays an album showing photos of him and his family during happier times when they all lived together in their home in northern Mali. Today, these memories seem distant and painful.

A ‘Cure’ for Ebola but Will it Stop the Outbreak if People Won’t Get Treatment?

While people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are slowly being made aware that scientists have discovered two drugs that are effective in treating Ebola, letting go of the fear and anxiety that has prevailed across the country this year will require more work.

Of Leaders Then and Now

Richard Dossevi parks his motorcycle taxi on one of the busiest street corners in Cotonou, Benin's commercial capital, to wait for commuters amid the summer heat.

West Africa’s Fine Line Between Cultural Norms and Child Trafficking

On a bus in Cotonou, Benin’s commercial capital, four Nigerian girls aged between 15 and 16 sit closely together as they are about to embark on the last part of their journey to Mali, where they are told that their new husbands, whom they never have met, await them.

Benin’s Agriculture Has a Good Season, But it Wasn’t Easy

Théophile Houssou, a maize farmer from Cotonou, has spent sleepless nights lying awake worrying about the various disasters that could befall any farmer, often wondering, “What if it rains heavily and all my crops are washed away?” or “What if the armyworms invade my farm and eat up all the crops and I’m left with nothing?”

Call for Returnee Migrants to Join Forces to Fight Irregular Migration

Elhadj Mohamed Diallo wants to make sure that others won’t experience what he has lived through. The former irregular migrant who has returned home to Guinea from a jail in North Africa is calling on his fellow returnee migrants to establish associations in their respective countries, which will serve as powerful platforms to combat irregular migration across the continent.

Senegal’s Migrant Returnees Become Storytellers

Khoudia Ndiaye and Ndeye Fatou Sall set up a smartphone on a tripod to begin recording a video interview with Daro Thiam in Hann Bel-Air, a neighbourhood in Senegal’s capital Dakar. Hann Bel-Air is the departure point for many of the migrants who leave the city and country on irregular routes – boats to Spain, crossing the Sahara desert to the Mediterranean Sea, or to countries nearby.

‘All the Roads Leading to Agadez and Italy are Dangerous’

El Adama Diallo left his home in Senegal on Oct. 28, 2016, with dreams of reaching Europe in his heart and a steely determination that made him take an alternative, dangerous route to get there despite the absence of regular migration papers in his pocket.

Benin – the Launchpad and Home for African Migrants

Last year, Mohamed Keita returned home to Mali after living and working in Libya for six years. Eighteen months ago he was arrested by security forces in Libya as he and other migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe via a makeshift boat. After spending a traumatising six months in jail, he was transported back to Mali. But as soon as he arrived he immediately knew that it would be difficult for him to stay put.

War, High Tariffs and Nationalisation – their Cost to Africa’s Climate

Africa’s political instability, its armed conflicts and regulatory issues are placing at risk investment needed to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the continent. 

West Africa Moves Ahead with Renewable Energy Despite Unpredictable Challenges 

The West African nation of Guinea may be a signatory of the Paris Agreement, a global undertaking by countries around the world to reduce climate change, but as it tries to provide electricity to some three quarters of its 12 million people who are without, the commitment is proving a struggle.

Great Green Wall Brings Hope, Greener Pastures to Africa’s Sahel

Hope, smiles and new vitality seem to be returning slowly but surely in various parts of the Sahel region, where the mighty Sahara Desert has all but ‘eaten’ and degraded huge parts of landscapes, destroying livelihoods and subjecting many communities to extreme poverty.

DR Congo’s Mai-Ndombe Forest ‘Savaged’ As Landless Communities Struggle

Thousands of logs loaded into makeshift boats at the port of Inongo at Lake Mai-Ndombe stand ready to be transported to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Senegalese Returnees from Libya, Niger Face Uncertain Future

Bouba Diop looks in delight at his uncle’s newly refurbished food canteen in the poor township of Keur Massar on the outskirts of the Senegalese capital Dakar.

Far from Home, Malian Refugees Strive to Rebuild Their Lives

Malian widow Mariama Sow, 30, and her three children are trying to find some semblance of normalcy in their lives in Dakar, Senegal, since they left the historic city of Timbuktu in northern Mali last June to escape the Islamist occupation.

Small Miners – from Digging in Danger to Becoming Legal

Congolese small-scale miner Elizabeth Tshimanga has made a successful living from prospecting. But like many artisanal miners in Africa, hers has been a long and tough journey marred by harassment and disputes over her legal status as a miner.

Little Hope for the Children Abducted in Mali’s War

One of Amina Diallo’s sons, 14-year-old Salif, has been missing since August last year. She thinks Islamists kidnapped him while he was on his way to the market in their hometown of Gao, in northern Mali, and recruited him as a child soldier.

Senegal Growing Up Over Marriage

When Abdoulaye Ba heard his local Imam in Dakar, Senegal, speaking out against child marriage, he found that the idea was not very palatable to him. As head of his family, he had intended to marry off his three teenage daughters.

Senegal Seeks to Curb the Baby Boom

A 25-year-old mother of five hailing from Senegal’s eastern Tambacounda province believes that contraceptives damage the womb and cause health problems in the long term, such as a rise in blood pressure and chronic headaches.

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