Katrina Manson

Alternatives to poppy-farming and gun-slinging

I finally get to ask my question of the man who says he knows every statistic in a notoriously data-less country. ‘OK, mister-chief-statistics-officer-for-the-province,’ I say in my best Pashtu, with a little help from my ever-smiling interpreter. ‘Do you know how many businesses there are in Helmand?’ He gives a multi-syllabic answer. I wait keenly

Ever wondered who’s wearing your cast-offs?

Katrina Manson explores Africa’s extraordinary multimillion-pound trade in secondhand clothing, much of it imported from Britain and the United States Christmas might be a time for cheer and charity but, just as emotionally consuming, it’s also a time for clear-outs. As the annual wander through your wardrobe beckons, consider what happens to cast-offs dispatched to