AfriGadget and African ingenuity

Items are recycled and reapportioned, and the stories are as entertaining as they are illuminating. The AfriGadget site was recently named, by "Time" magazine, "one of the 50 coolest websites of 2008." One of the driving forces behind the AfriGadget blog is Erik Hersman.

It is a team blog; made up of a bunch of African bloggers from around the African continent who put up stories of African ingenuity and innovation. Watch "The World's" profile of AfriGadget:

Hersman grew up in Kenya and the Sudan. He lives in the States now, but frequently travels back to Africa on business. Wherever he goes, he finds great stories and pictures for the AfriGadget blog.

"Junk in Africa has a long shelf life," says Hersman. There are places in metro areas where people bring junk. "There is a whole business set up to filter that junk," he continues.

If you read the AfriGadget blog long enough, you will be struck by the interesting collision of low- and high-tech in Africa. Take the incident that happened to Hersman in Nairobi, when a bottle of Tusker beer ended up on his mobile phone.

"If you don't have a phone in Nairobi, you are pretty much hamstrung. So, the next day I went down to Cell Phone Alley which is in downtown Nairobi to fix it. It cost me about $15, and it took about 20 minutes," he says. "I can't imagine having a service like this in the U.S."

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston.