Mozambican Island Ibo Enters the Modern World

Inhabitants on a beach at Ilha do Ibo.

Reuters – Ibo, an island community with a history involving the slave trade and Portuguese colonization, finally received electricity this past spring 2012. Reporter Anya Schiffren writes what this benefit means for both Ibo’s economy and culture. I particularly enjoyed this excerpt which describes the island’s ante-electricity fish monopoly:

Since Ibo was not on the grid, some businesses bought generators, and some people had battery-powered radios and used solar power to charge their cellphones. The few that had televisions might charge neighbors a few pennies to watch sports, and the local disco was also known for letting local children and some others (mostly men) watch Kung Fu movies free of charge in the afternoon.

Apart from the opportunities afforded to a few local entrepreneurs with television, not having electricity was a sorry state of affairs. The administrator who was in charge of electricity reportedly had her own generator and a thriving sideline selling fresh fish, as she was the one person on the island who could keep it cool and transport it to the mainland. The local fishermen couldn’t afford to get to the mainland, so they had to sell her their fish to reach the larger markets outside of Ibo.


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This entry was posted on July 31, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , .
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