Author: Lydia Cardwell

Lydia writes for The Borgen Project from Louisville, KY. Her academic interests include STEM, but she also enjoys the humanities, especially art history. Lydia is an avid Lincoln Douglas debater.

ABUJA — Lagos native Falz, raps in This is Nigeria, a remix of Childish Gambino’s latest hit, some powerful lyrics: “We operate a predatory, neocolonial capitalist system which is founded on fraud and exploitation, and therefore, you are bound to have corruption.” He should know — the Nigerian National Broadcasting Board targeted it for “indecent and vulgar lyrics.” This sort of political censorship is common in Nigeria, a country of poverty and potential. Development in Nigeria Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, has struggled with several development challenges. Amongst the issues Falz addressed in his song were poor infrastructure,…

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SEATTLE — This past year, the hit Marvel movie Black Panther astounded Western audiences with its images of a bright, peaceful, and technologically advanced African nation called Wakanda. Africa is consistently derided in the world press as backwards and its advances are often overshadowed by its post-colonial challenges. Seeing a positive image of a part of the world CNN described as “often lazily portrayed in the West” awoke moviegoers to the potential that Africa has always had. While Wakanda may be fictional, these are eight real-life leaders who prove there is hope for Africa. Leaders Proving There Is Hope for Africa…

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SEATTLE — Imagine a child walking miles over rough terrain in below freezing temperatures simply to get to school. While this might seem like an image out of a past century, it is the modern-day reality for Little Wang, an eight-year-old boy from Yunnan province in China. Wang, dubbed “Ice Boy” by the Chinese press because of the icicles that form in his hair during his daily commute, is representative of the larger issue of education in impoverished rural China. Students living in remotes areas often receive substandard educations compared to those living in urban zones. Urbanization in China Leaves…

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SEATTLE — Yeserash was between 12 and 13 years old when her father Simeneh arranged her marriage. He had 10 children and Yeserash was the oldest. According to her father, she had a happy childhood tending her family’s cattle. However, that all changed after Yeserash was taken out of school to get married. She soon became pregnant, and after a difficult labor suffered serious medical complications. The baby did not survive. Because of her child marriage and lack of access to medical aid, Yeserash became yet another victim of obstetric fistula in Ethiopia. The Global Problem of Obstetric Fistula Obstetric…

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SEATTLE — Imagine a world where the poor, the middle class and the rich are separated by a state-mandated sleep schedule, with each class only allowed to inhabit the city at its scheduled time. Resources are scarce and shared unequally. There is a constant air of hopelessness. This is the world of Folding Beijing, an award-winning novella by Chinese author Hao Jingfang. According to a New York Times interview, Hao was inspired by the “invisible people” living in modern Chinese cities, including migrant workers. While the world of Folding Beijing is fictional, the challenges facing China’s migrant poor are real.  China’s…

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