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Economy

The international economy, shaped by governments, businesses and other actors, touches the lives of everyone in the world. Pulitzer Center grantee stories tagged with “Economy” feature reporting that covers business, workers and the impact of global capitalism on people’s lives. Use the Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder to find and create lesson plans on the economy.

 

Nigeria: A Conversation with Economist Shuaibu Idris

In my last blog entry I wrote about the many commercial farms in northern Nigeria that have failed. I wrote that my visiting them did not help me much in fathoming what went wrong with them all. But I have since gotten more clues from talking with various experts such as Shuaibu Idris a development economist and the Executive Director of Dangote Flour Mills. He talked to me about some of the local and international constraints that big farmers face as well as the constraints faced by small peasant farmers.

Nigerians Go Hungry Despite Oil Wealth

I first came to the dry, remote north of Nigeria 25 years ago on a rather strange holiday to visit a Dutchman I knew who had the job of managing a commercial farm there. The farm owner was Usman Dantata, a member of one of Nigeria's wealthiest families. Besides 2,000 hectares of land for cereals, cotton and rows and rows of industrial chicken coops, Dantata's property had a private airstrip, three mansions for each of his three wives, plus two teams of polo horses, some of which I got to ride.

Nigeria: Paralyzed

I first came to the dry, remote north of Nigeria 25 years ago on a rather strange holiday to visit a Dutchman I knew who had the job of managing a commercial farm there. The farm owner was Usman Dantata, a member of one of Nigeria's wealthiest families. Besides 2,000 hectares of land for cereals, cotton and rows and rows of industrial chicken coops, Dantata's property had a private airstrip, three mansions for each of his three wives, plus two teams of polo horses, some of which I got to ride.

Gay in Istanbul

ISTANBUL — A gay peasant, a nymphomaniac and a lecherous imam all figure in a bawdy theatrical play about Turkey highlighting contemporary issues such as consumerism, emigration and the proliferation of a confessional talk-show culture. 

Finding Faith In Myanmar

Loud voices jolt me awake. It's past midnight and I'm here in the Himalayan foothills of northern Myanmar illegally. Adrenaline pumping, I roll under the bed as shouts shake my hut's thin bamboo walls:

"Happy Christmas! Merry Christmas! Jesus Christ is born!"

I check my clock. 12:10 am on December 1st. Here in Kachin, the Christmas season has begun.

Myanmar: Understanding the Kachin Conflict

"Myanmar politics are the most complicated in the world," said Daw Kong, director of the Kachin research and information network, as we settled down for tea and conversation on a hilltop near the Chinese border.

After three weeks in the small pocket of northern Myanmar held by the Kachin Independence Organization, I still struggled to make sense of the tangled history and delicate balance of power that defines the political landscape of Kachin state.

A Tale of Two Wildernesses

I knew things were bad when Paulino dipped his empty plastic water bottle into a shallow, muddy swamp puddle. After attempting to sweeten the sludge with a bright orange vitamin C tablet, the middle-aged Guatemalan archaeologist smiled at his Boy Scout ingenuity.

Click on the attachment below to read the article as it appeared in Earth Island.

Explore Guatemala's Ancient Maya Metropolis Before the Crowds Come

Buried beneath deep jungle growth in Guatemala's northern reaches, the ancient Maya metropolis of El Mirador is worth the walking. And walking, and walking some more.

Go now for the rare chance to experience lush tropical forest and have the ancient city — more and more of which is being uncovered by archeologists every year — largely to yourself. Soon, both the wilderness and the solitude may be harder to come by.

Nigeria: Durbah Festival Images

During the annual Durbah festival, over the period of Eid, the various district heads of each Emirate come to their Emir to show their strength in warriors and horsemen and to demonstrate that they are ready to defend his realm.

In former days, farmers would also seek to demonstrate their capacity in food production. The most productive farmers would be rewarded with courtly titles. But the role of the Emir is now largely symbolic; he can no longer offer incentives to increase production.

Nigeria: One Reason for Low Productivity

This weekend Nigerian journalist Abubakar Kabir Matazu invited me to drive with him and his children to his home town of Katsina in the far north of Nigeria to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Katsina is known as a ancient center of Islamic learning and Eid is the day thousands of brightly regaled horsemen parade before the Emir (see photos in my next posting). However I wanted to go to meet Matazu's father Alhaji Kabir Matazu, who is what one might call a middle class Nigerian farmer, and he is struggling.