Jonathan W. Rosen


A selection of my recent and favorite clips, organized by subject.

Latest Work

How to Undermine a Democracy
New voting technologies promise to make elections worldwide more credible. Yet as Kenya's elections have proven, they're no match for a broken political system. The Atlantic, December 2017.

Exit the Strongman
The world saw the Gambia's Yahya Jammeh as a brutal, eccentric dictator. But his hometown still loves him. Roads & Kingdoms/Slate, August 2017.

Blood From the Sky: Zipline's Medical Drone Delivery in Africa
In Rwanda, an early commercial test of unmanned aerial vehicles cuts a medical facility’s time to procure blood from four hours to 15 minutes. MIT Technology Review, June 2017.

Leadership and Governance

Rwanda's President for Life?
An amended constitution could allow Paul Kagame an additional 17 years in office; not everyone is cheering. Al Jazeera America, December 2015.

Kenya's Dark Path to Justice
Witnesses and journalists connected to the international court proceedings against Kenya's leaders are turning up dead. Al Jazeera America, August 2015.

Last Dance for the Playboy King of Swaziland?
As Swaziland's economy struggles, Africa's last absolute monarch, King Mswati III, faces a growing chorus of critics. National Geographic, October 2014.

Economics & Geopolitics

Made in Africa: Will Ethiopia's Push for Industrialization Pay Off?
Can Africa's "developmental state" drive a manufacturing boom on the world's least industrialized continent? World Politics Review, June 2016.

How Do You Say Kimchi in Kinyarwanda? 
South Korea is offering lessons from its own economic ascent to Rwanda and other African countries - and bringing business, cuisine, and rice paddies along with it. Foreign Policy, August 2014.

A Regional Crisis
How the Rwandan genocide triggered an even more deadly regional crisis, which continues to fester in the heart of central Africa. Al Jazeera Digital Magazine, May 2014.

Energy & Environment

As World Cuts Back on Coal, a Growing Appetite in Africa
New coal plants in Africa are largely being paid for by China and developed countries that are turning away from the technology at home. National Geographic, May 2017.

Lake Kivu's Great Gas Gamble
In a first-of-its-kind endeavor, electricity-starved Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are trying to get power from a lake—and avert catastrophe. MIT Technology Review, May/June 2015.

The Battle for Africa's Oldest National Park
The mystery surrounding a wounded conservationist and the fight for the DRC's war-torn Virunga National Park. National Geographic, June 2014.

Business & Technology

Uganda's "Uber for Motorcycles" Focuses on Safety
Kampala’s moto-taxis have joined the ride-hailing movement with a promise to address one of its biggest transportation problems. MIT Technology Review, April 2017.

Ghana's Last Mile
Innovative African e-tailers are offering sought-after goods to the continent's growing middle class. But logistical challenges must be worked out delivery by delivery. MIT Technology Review, January/February 2017.

After Years of War, Goma, DRC, Is Open for Business
New entrepreneurs are bucking the eastern Congolese city's trend as a dangerous backwater. Al Jazeera America, February 2015.

Sports & Adventure

In Kenya, Running with Chinese Characteristics
China's top runners are training under an Italian coach in a Kenyan town that has produced some of the top marathoners in history. Roads & Kingdoms/Slate, May 2014

In Cambodia's Remote Southwest, a Village Revived through Tourism
Community-based ecotourism helps former war-torn province move toward a more productive and ecological economy. The Boston Globe, July 2012.

Amid Congo's Brute Forces, Volcanic Beauty
A trek up Mt. Nyiragongo reveals a magnificent lava lake — and a country still beset by crisis. The Boston Globe, January 2011. 


Line Dancing: Marches and Militarism at Wagah
A trip to the Wagah border of India and Pakistan reveals, in festive style, the roots of the sixty-six year standoff between the two countries. Roads & Kingdoms, May 2013.

Of Men, Okapi, and Rebels
Jon travels to the pygymy homelands at a tense time in the Congo and finds that the Mbuti, for all their troubles, are keeping calm and carrying on. Roads & Kingdoms, November 2012.

Road to a 'Cure' Costs and Pays Tanzanians
A journey to the Tanzanian hinterlands in search of a man who claims to have cured millions through an elixir prescribed by God. The Boston Globe, November 2011.

The African City

In Push to Modernize, a City Struggles to House its Population
Rwanda's capital, Kigali, has transformed into one of Africa's cleanest and safest cities. Yet its housing strategy doesn't quite match up with its residents' financial realities. Al Jazeera America, June 2015.

Kenya Tries to Build its Silicon Valley
The country hopes a budding digital technology industry will help drive its economic ambitions. But is a multibillion dollar "Silicon Savannah" the key to success? MIT Technology Review, November 2015.

Future Tense: A Mixed Outlook for Kenya's Coast
52 years after independence, a sense of exclusion in the coastal city of Mombasa has heralded an increasingly radical and sometimes violent politics. World Politics Review, November 2015.

Humanitarian Assistance

Stigma and Superstition
Hunted for their body parts and threatened by the sun, Tanzanians with albinism have long been isolated by fear. But their outlook is improving, thanks to some tireless local advocates. Rotary International, March 2017.

Healing without Borders
Indian surgeons bring relief to underserved patients in Rwanda. Rotary International, March 2016.

Reunited in Rwanda
Twenty years after war left her family separated, a Red Cross letter helps a grandmother make a shocking discovery. Al Jazeera America, December 2014.


Burundi on the Brink
Efforts by President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a third term in office could spark a regional security crisis. The New York Times, April 2015.