This Kenyan Startup Uses Mobile Phones To Build Credit For Farmers

If you want to help the world’s poorest, help them to farm. So says Bill Gates, and it makes sense. More than three-quarters of the poorest live in rural areas and most are smallholder farmers working less than two acres. They often lack the seeds, machinery, livestock, and finance they need to grow, so they struggle to emerge from poverty.

Two young entrepreneurs from Kenya have an idea to help: FarmDrive develops credit histories for farmers, so they become more attractive to financial institutions offering loans. So far, they’ve signed up more than 3,000 farmers on their mobile-based platform. In 2016, working with a financial partner, they helped disburse about $130,000 in loans to 400 farmers.

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Photographer Jake Naughton documents the struggle to provide girls an education in Kibera

In Kibera, a division of Nairobi, Kenya, girls there don’t have much of a shot at an education. Kenya is still very patriarchal, and if a family has both boys and girls, it’s the boys who will be granted the opportunity to attend secondary school. (Photos)



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Mysterious ‘Bearded’ Antelope Discovered in Kenya


“Bearded” Antelope  Photo by Paola Torchio

Veteran wildlife photographer Paolo Torchio made a bizarre discovery while visiting Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve: a mysterious “bearded” antelope. While one expert suggests the animal might only be suffering from hypertrichosis, a condition once known as werewolf syndrome, Torchio’s experience is the only known encounter with such an animal.


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Student in Kenya Invents Solar Powered Forest Fire Detector


Kenya Forest Services workers use branches to put out a fire at Karura forest in Nairobi.

Efforts to curb forest loss around the world as a means of cutting carbon emissions just got a boost: A Kenyan student has invented a device to automatically detect forest fire outbreaks.



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The Mysterious Mima Mounds

The Mysterious Mima Mounds 

We don’t know what they are, where they came from, or what caused them

Scientists love a mystery. Biologists used to have the human genome, but now they have the structure of protein. Physics used to have cosmic rays, but now they have the God particle. Astronomers used to have black holes, but now they have dark matter. (Pics)

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In Africa, Inroads into Middle-Income Consumerism

 In Africa, Inroads into Middle-Income Consumerism

 Store workers texting their friends

Although Africa has always had a modest middle class made up mostly of government workers or others tied to the ruling elite, the middle ranks have begun to expand in recent years with private sector employees. They include secretaries, computer gurus, merchants and others who by virtue of education, geography or luck have benefited from economic growth of around 6 percent annually in such countries as Uganda, Ghana and Kenya, and around 8 percent in Rwanda. (Pics)

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