Nambia

C’mon. You knew I was not going to let that one slip by.

President Trump, in a meeting with African leaders, twice name-dropped Nambia and in one mention held it up as having a nearly self-sufficient healthcare system. Funny thing to mention as the US is on the brink of eviscerating its healthcare system. But I digress. The point is that when you are speaking to the president of a country, you take a minute to learn how to pronounce the country’s name correctly. Even write it phonetically in the text if you have to. (I’ve done that.) So where is Nambia?

This was just too too good to pass up…
This was just too too good to pass up…

Do You Know Africa?

Beyond the fact that it isn’t a country? This week the White House hosted the US–Africa Summit. The Washington Post took the opportunity to quiz readers on their knowledge of African countries’ locations on a blank map. So this Friday, you get to take the quiz and post your results if you dare. A nice touch is that the map colours the countries by the number of guesses and then provides different colour outlines for your selection and the correct one—should you err.

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone

I messed up Burundi—I always confuse it and Rwanda—and only got a 98%. /humblebrag

Credit for the piece goes to Kevin Schaul.

In the World of Damnit, Man

If you haven’t heard, there is a fairly significant outbreak of Ebola occurring in western Africa these days. The most attention has been drawn since the death of an American national in Nigeria. He had been working for the Liberian government and collapsed at the Lagos airport and died shortly thereafter. So the Centers for Disease Control has been reporting and advising on the outbreak and they have at least two graphics.

This first is good. It looks at the spread of the disease through different areas of several countries. It also identifies sites of interest for treating/containing the outbreak.

Outbreak map as of 3 August
Outbreak map as of 3 August

The second, however, takes prominence as an “infographic” on the CDC homepage. How this qualifies as an infographic I have no idea. It is…just sad. I mean I get it, too many people do not understand how Ebola is transmitted. But to call this an infographic does disservice to other, real infographics.

The infographic
The infographic

Credit for the map goes to Elizabeth Ervin. For the “infographic”, no idea.

How Africa Tweets

Today’s piece is hit and miss. It comes from the World Economic Forum and the subject matter is the use of Twitter across Africa. I think the subject matter is interesting; mobile communication technology is changing Africa drastically. The regional trends shown in the map at the core of the piece are also fascinating. Naturally I am left wondering about why certain countries. Does spending on infrastructure, GDP per capita, disposable income levels have any sort of correlation if even only on a national and not city level?

How Africa tweets
How Africa tweets

But what really irks me is the content that wraps around the map. First the donut chart, I think my objections to donuts—at least the non-edible kind—are well known. In this case, I would add—or sprinkle on—that the white gaps between the languages are unnecessary and potentially misleading.

Secondly, the cities are eventually displayed upside down. Thankfully the labels are reversed so that city names are legible. However, the continually changing angle of the chart makes it difficult to compare Douala to Luanda to Alexandria. A neatly organised matrix of small multiples would make the data far clearer to read.

In short, I feel this piece is a good step in the right direction. However, it could do with a few more drafts and revisions.

Credit for the piece goes to Allan Kamau.

Ivory Poaching

The South China Morning Post had a fantastic infographic detailing the hunting of elephants for their ivory. Despite bans to make such hunting illegal, the problem continues and is worsening because of the Asian trade in ivory.

Cropping of the infographic
Cropping of the infographic

Credit for the piece goes to Adolfo Arranz.