Black belt Canadian businessman brings tae kwon do to Kenya

The Globe And Mail
Kerio Valley, Kenya

Photo by Tristan McConnell
Photo by Tristan McConnell

A member of the the Toronto elite and the now-deposed Kenyan elite, businessman Charles Field-Marsham has made his fortune in novel ways. And his philanthropy is no more conventional.

His flagship business is a 9,000-acre mine in the Kerio Valley that supplies fluorite, the mineral that is key to refrigeration – and a key entry point. Mr. Field-Marsham bought the mine in the mid-1990s and over the years has reinvested hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of profits from there and other businesses into philanthropic projects.

Continue reading Black belt Canadian businessman brings tae kwon do to Kenya

Somalia’s city of war reopens for business

The Times of London
Mogadishu, Somalia

Mogadishu business
A soldier guards the catch at the fish market (Times photographer, Kate Holt)

The bombed carcass of an Ilyushin IL76 cargo plane which crashed next to the runway has welcomed visitors to Mogadishu since 2007, when insurgents shot it down with a missile. Last week, work teams began slicing it up and carting away the scrap. Continue reading Somalia’s city of war reopens for business

Hopes of recovery still burn in Somali town choaking on charcoal

The Times of London
Buur Gaabo, Somalia

Buur Gaabo elder
Clan elders say that most of their capital is tied up in charcoal (Times photography, Tristan McConnell)

Beached fishing boats and house-sized stacks of charcoal mark the front line at Buur Gaabo. Hundreds of thousands of sacks of charcoal languish here, worth millions of pounds in Somalia and tens of millions to the Dubai-based traders who once visited.

The charcoal trade ceased when the Ras Kamboni Brigades (RKB), a powerful Islamist militia backed by Kenya’s army, took control in October and pushed al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab militants across the channel and out of the area for the first time in years. Continue reading Hopes of recovery still burn in Somali town choaking on charcoal