Frank Langfitt

Frank Langfitt is NPR’s foreign correspondent in East Africa. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, he covers nine countries, from the jungles of eastern Congo to the streets of Mogadishu. His stories on conflict, wildlife and the continent’s growing ties with China can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Tell Me More and the Planet Money series.

Before moving to Africa in 2010, Langfitt was a NPR business correspondent based in Washington, D.C. In that beat he covered a wide variety of labor stories, including coal mine disasters in West Virginia, factory life in South China, the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler.

Langfitt traveled to China to cover the 2008 Summer Olympic Games for NPR. He was part of a team that won an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. Langfitt's print and visual journalism have also been honored by the Overseas Press Association and the White House News Photographers Association.

Africa is Langfitt’s second foreign posting. Prior to arriving at NPR in 2004, he spent five years as a correspondent for the Baltimore Sun in Beijing. In his time overseas, he covered the Hong Kong handover, the fall of Suharto in Indonesia and reported from Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam. In the early days of the Afghan War, Langfitt reported from Pakistan and Kashmir. In China, he also traveled on horseback with Tibetan nomads and spent six months documenting the government's demolition of an old Beijing neighborhood.

Lanfitt’s start in journalism began when he worked as a stringer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Later he spent several years in Hazard, Kentucky, covering the state's coalfields for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Before becoming a journalist, Langfitt drove a taxi in Philadelphia and dug latrines in Mexico.

Langfitt is a graduate of Princeton and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He now lives in a British, colonial-era bungalow in Nairobi with his wife, Julie, a veterinarian, and their two children, who think Africa is a blast.

 

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4:05pm

Wed June 15, 2011
Africa

South Sudan Works To Aid Wildlife That Survived War

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:45 am

Conservationists feared most of South Sudan's wildlife had been killed during more than two decades of civil war, but a survey several years ago found many had survived, including hundreds of thousands of white-eared kobs.
Frank Langfitt NPR

South Sudan is poised to become the world's newest country in just a few weeks. Two decades of civil war cost more than 2 million lives and wiped out much of the region's wildlife — but not all of it.

A few years ago, conservationists made a surprising discovery: large herds of antelopes and elephants. The government of South Sudan and the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society are now trying to protect animals that were once thought lost to war.

Saving Animals

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12:01am

Wed June 15, 2011
China: Beyond Borders

In Nigeria, Chinatown Vendors Struggle For Profits

The Chinatown in Lagos, Nigeria, was built in 2004. It's home to more than 100 shops that sell everything from ceramic coffee cups to Hannah Montana backpacks.
Frank Langfitt NPR

This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investments, infrastructure, military power and more. In this installment, a tale of two Chinatowns in very different circumstances — one in Nigeria and the other in the Italian town of Prato.

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8:00am

Sun April 17, 2011
Africa

Cattle Rustling A Deadly Business In Sudan

Cattle rustling sounds like a quaint notion from the 19th century American West, but in South Sudan — soon be the world's newest nation — it's a very modern and very real problem. Sudanese cattle raiding isn't like the Old West with Winchester rifles. It's the African Bush with automatic weapons — and high body counts.

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12:01am

Fri April 15, 2011
Africa

Inside The Pirate Business: From Booty To Bonuses

The last in a three-part series.

In recent years, Somali piracy has grown into a multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise. Rarely a week goes by that pirates don't attack or seize a ship.

Ransoms now average between $4 million and $5 million, and researchers estimate as many as 2,000 pirates operate from Somalia's shores.

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12:01am

Thu April 14, 2011
Africa

Catching Pirates With A Kind Of Neighborhood Watch

The second in a three-part series.

Somalia is among the world's most lawless countries. That's one reason piracy thrives there. After hijacking ships, pirates return to shore, where government turns a blind eye — or may not even exist.

But one part of Somalia — a self-ruling region called Somaliland — is slowly trying to build the rule of law and a sense of civic duty. The result: Ordinary citizens occasionally catch pirates and turn them in. It's an informal, coastal neighborhood watch.

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