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Senegal: Unstable Continent

Piles of salt at Lac Retba
Piles of salt, dredged by hand from the bottom of Lac Retba near Dakar, which is ten times saltier than the sea: the conditions are awful and the pay is pitiful, yet Senegal is one of the richer countries in West Africa

One of the more interesting things I've picked up in Dakar is the July/September 2002 edition of the BBC's Focus on Africa, the World Service's magazine for the region. It's interesting not only because it contains a bunch of fascinating articles about Africa, but also because I find myself waxing nostalgic over my old job at the BBC, less than a month after I finally managed to escape the shackles of its bureaucracy. OK, it's fair to say that less than a week after landing in Senegal I find that anything remotely British brings on a sharp intake of homesick breath, but to find a BBC-published magazine to be a source of heady nostalgia is a bit of a shock. But there it is; I find myself getting almost tearful at the Bush House address along the top of the letters page, and it's weird.

A colourful mural on Île de Gorée
This colourful mural tucked away in the backstreets of Île de Gorée prays for world peace, not just peace in Africa