In Burundi, birthdays, baptisms and burial ceremonies tend to be marked with big family gatherings. Guests are expected to help out by offering, for example, a case of beer. For families with modest incomes, the price of so much partying is often untenable.
A year and a half after the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood is in many ways enjoying a historical triumph. But in Egypt, where it was born, the movement is challenged by a splintering of political Islam -- and by its own political errors.
More than 30 people were killed last August when NATO jets bombed the small Libyan town of Majer. NATO says it was a "legitimate" target. Villagers tell a very different story, of innocent victims, and pain made worse by NATO's refusal to admit its tragic error.
Off the Nigerian coast, near the country's largest city of Lagos, is a "graveyard" of some 100 grounded and rusted vessels that pose an environmental and security challenge to the oil-producing African country.
Despite political highjacking, corruption and lack of information, a campaign to promote insecticide-treated mosquito nets is helping the Democratic Republic of Congo fight its number one child killer: malaria.
In Mogadishu, artists have been forced to work underground for the past 21 years. Now as the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab warlords lose their grip on the city, Somalian culture rises from its ashes, as symbolized by the reopening of the once bombed Mogadishu National Theater.
The 100% Made in Africa sneaker company Sawa is struggling to keep its brand in Africa, faced with corruption and consequences of the Arab Spring. But the touch of local handcraft combined with cheap labor is loaded with potential.
Since the end of the civil war, many of the refugees exiled in neighboring African countries have been coming home to the Democratic Republic of Congo, only to find that their homes have been stolen or sold, and that there's little they can do about it.
Along the mountainous border between Sudan and the now independent country of South Sudan, a German health worker continues to treat members of the local Nuba population, even as Russian-made Antonov planes litter the war zone with bombs.