Stories written by Travis Lupick
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Africa’s Economic Growth Not Matched by Poverty Reduction

Despite the rapid economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, the continent has shown a poor capacity to commensurately boost jobs and reduce poverty, according to a report by the African Development Bank titled “Assessing Progress in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals.”

Sierra Leone’s Waters of Life

A coastal city, Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, is an area where people have relied on the ocean for food and employment for as long as they have lived there.

Liberia Looking for a Sustainable Economic Future at Rio+20

Deep in the forest in Gbarpolu County, northwest Liberia, a group of men working a surface gold mine are asked what will happen to the land when they are finished with it.

Agriculture Key to Liberia’s Youth Unemployment Challenge

With his gold chain, baseball cap, and baggy denim shorts, Junior Toe wears the uniform of Liberia’s urban youth. Spend just a few minutes with the young man and it is evident that he possesses the street smarts to match the look.

Malawi President Joyce Banda (left) and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a women

Africa’s Two Female Presidents Join Forces for Women

The only two female heads of state in Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Malawian President Joyce Banda, have just committed to using their positions to improve the lives of women across the continent.

FGM is a taboo and complicated topic in Liberia and it is dangerous for women to speak out about it.  Credit: Travis Lupick/IPS

Liberia’s Government Finding a Way to End FGM

"There were three people. One person was holding me down; one person was holding my hand; and the other person was doing the job. They lay me down, and…" Fatu said of the female genital mutilation she underwent as an eight- year-old in Liberia.


MALAWI: Women’s Education the Path to the Presidency

On an elegant veranda adorned with a red carpet, Malawi's Vice President Joyce Banda recalls how her childhood friend Chrissie Mtokoma was always top of their class and how she struggled to beat her. But now decades later Banda is a likely contender for the country's presidency in 2014, while Mtokoma lives in poverty.

MALAWI: Changing Climate Compounds Environmental Degradation

As Daniel Chakunkha and Mussa Abu talk on the side of a dirt path in Makunje village, Malawi, a steady stream of bicycles loaded with charcoal passes by. The men stand at the halfway mark between Mwanza, a small city in the country’s southwest, and Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial hub.

Manes Feston, flanked by her children, holds her four-month-old son Fedson. He was one of triplets but his siblings did not survive. Credit: Travis Lupick/IPS

MALAWI: No Social Safety Nets for the Poor

In Mbedza village, a remote rural community in southern Malawi, Fedson Feston beams an infant’s awkward smile and swings his tiny arms up towards the face of his mother. Four months old, Fedson is too young to know how lucky he is to be alive.

A suspicious fire gutted Malawi

MALAWI: Markets Torched Ahead of Cancelled Protests

Soot and ash filled the air the day after a fire gutted Malawi's Blantyre Market. Men and women merchants wore solemn expressions as they shovelled piles of debris from the site on Tuesday.