United States President George W Bush left Africa on Wednesday at the end of a five-nation tour of the continent that took in Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia. The focus of Bush's visit, as he approaches the end of his second and final term in the White House, was humanitarian success stories.
Timbuktu's mythical reputation puts it at the edge of the world, in which case the annual Festival in the Desert would seem to have tumbled off the edge. Deep in the Sahara the festival in the Essakane oasis is hard to get to, but that doesn't deter a growing numbers of visitors from flocking there every January to hear Malian, West African and international world music acts perform.
Mohammed Jalloh leaps in celebration after scoring a goal on a makeshift pitch along Lumley Beach in Freetown. He's 23 and loves football. Like his hero, Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas, he is a midfielder. Taking up his position again, Jalloh prepares for the restart. He flexes his muscles as he leans forward on his crutches, his weight on his left leg, the stump where his right leg should be is bandaged and dangling from his shorts.
Philomena Appiah's factory is the surprising source of thousands of American uniforms and workwear items, tailored by Ghanaian seamstresses and shipped across the Atlantic to stores in the United States as part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).
On April 21, up to 61-million Nigerians will go to the polls to choose a new president in what is touted as the country's first democratic hand-over of power, from one civilian ruler to another. But despite this historic moment, the prevailing mood a week ahead of the polls is one of confusion, anger and disillusionment.
Historian Martin Meredith records that when Ghanaian independence leader Kwame Nkrumah learned he was expected to take the lead at an independence ball he "groaned, complaining he could only dance the highlife". He might have felt the same way if he were still alive to attend this week's official celebrations to mark Ghana's 50 years of independence from colonial rule.