Small Business

Africa/Middle East Briefing— Global


Beirut's first street atlas creates order out of chaos, Nairobi gets an airport "bush hotel" and Lagos motorists get some hi-tech help to avoid traffic.

Abuja, Ghubril, Go-slows, Nairobi Tented Camp

According to plan


Navigating the streets of Beirut can be a tricky exercise. Landmarks – from the name of an old pharmacy to the colours of a building’s shutters – are points of collective reference, as street names are seldom used or do not exist.

Inspired by London’s A-Z and Rome’s Tutto Città, social entrepreneur Bahi Ghubril (pictured) published Zawarib Beirut (Beirut Alleys). Beirut’s first street atlas has been going from strength to strength with everyone from the Beirut marathon to the city’s municipality and the local…


Andry Andriamanga

Executive secretary, VG


Andry Andriamanga is executive secretary of Voahary Gasy (VG), a new environmental alliance trying to keep alive efforts to save biodiversity in Madagascar. Since a 2009 coup, the international community has withdrawn almost all aid and plundering is rife.

How bad is the eco-crisis?
We estimate that 26,000 rosewood trees – worth up to €3,500 each – left Madagascar in 2009 alone. The previous annual average was 1,200 trees. In the first five months of this year, 114 tortoises were seized in Asia.

What can be done?
The international community should re-engage with Madagascar on the condition that authorities stop the smuggling.

Can one control what leaves the world’s fifth largest island?
Absolutely. Aid money should be spent on boosting our control infrastructure. The judiciary should also take action against smuggling syndicates. Madagascar has 10 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity. Saving it is a joint responsibility.


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