Stories written by James Jeffrey

Still in Limbo, Somaliland Banking on Berbera

Crossing African borders by land can be an intimidating process (it’s proving an increasingly intimidating process nowadays in Europe and the US also, even in airports). But crossing from Ethiopia to Somaliland at the ramshackle border town of Togo-Wuchale is a surreally pleasant experience.

Ethiopia Takes a Deep and Foreboding Breath

Smart phone users in the Ethiopian capital are rejoicing. After a two-month blackout the Ethiopian government has permitted the return of mobile data.

Int’l Effort to Help Ethiopia Shoulder Its Refugee Burden

A concerned-looking group of refugees gather around a young woman grimacing and holding her stomach, squatting with her back against a tree. But this is no refugee camp, rather the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) compound just off a busy main road leading to Sidist Kilo roundabout in the Ethiopian capital.

Unexpected Eritrean Journalistic Voice Rises in Ethiopia

It took Eritrean journalist Estifo* seven years to save up enough money to pay a fixer to get him and his family from the capital, Asmara, to the shared border with Ethiopia. After they crossed the border by foot, they turned themselves in to the Ethiopian authorities and claimed asylum as refugees.

Yemeni Refugees Still Stuck on Wrong Side of the Water

Tears emerge from the slit of 20-year-old Gada’s black niqab face veil. After more than a minute’s silence she still can’t answer the question: How bad was it in Yemen before you left?

Ethiopian Food Aid Jammed Up in Djibouti Port

Bags of wheat speed down multiple conveyor belts to be heaved onto trucks lined up during the middle of a blisteringly hot afternoon beside the busy docks of Djibouti Port.

The Art of Covering Up in Somaliland

Amid the hustle and bustle of downtown Hargeisa, Somaliland’s sun-blasted capital, women in various traditional Islamic modes of dress barter, argue and joke with men—much of it particularly volubly. Somaliland women are far from submissive and docile.

Ethiopia’s Smoldering Oromo

The Ethiopian government's most serious domestic political crisis in more than a decade began over a scruffy football field appropriated by local officials for development.

Benefits of Backpack Biogas

Billions of dollars of aid has been pumped into Africa. Yet effective change too often remains an elusive outcome, leading to a vicious cycle: more needs, more aid but still little change. How to resolve this seemingly intractable dilemma?

Response to Ethiopia’s Drought: A Story of Success or Anguish?

Inside a health clinic run by the Catholic Daughters of Saint Anne, a nurse wraps a special tape measure around the upper arm of 2-year-old Rodas cradled in her mother’s arms. The tape reads yellow, meaning “moderately” malnourished, according to the attending nurse.

Tourism and Natural Treasures to Pull Ethiopia Out of Poverty and Famine

Despite a cultural, historical and linguistic identity quite distinct from the rest of Africa, Ethiopia never became a major tourist destination on the continent.

Ethiopia: The Biggest African Refugee Camp No One Talks About

On a sunny November day in Addis Ababa the courtyard of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) centre is packed with people—some attend a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reception clinic, others get essential supplies, while students attend classes, and many simply play volleyball, table football or dominoes to pass the time.

Where Technology and Medicine Meet in Rural Zambia

When health officer Kennedy Mulenga was faced with a male patient developing breasts at the remote Ngwerere Clinic 30km north of the Zambian capital, Lusaka, he logged onto Virtual Doctors to get help solving the medical mystery.

Ethiopia Shows Developing World How to Make a Green Economy Prosper

Ethiopia has experienced its fair share of environmental damage and degradation but nowadays it is increasingly setting an example on how to combat climate change while also achieving economic growth. 

Water, Rivers and Runoff Challenge Ethiopia’s Expanding Capital

The streets of Addis Ababa are increasingly turning into water-logged obstacle courses as downpours increase in the run up to Ethiopia’s July to September rainy season. Strangers link hands to steady themselves as they step high and gingerly over the spreading puddles and slippery mud.

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