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Photographer's Note

This is my last photo from Swaziland for now. I was waiting for the bus to leave when I suddenly heard a lot of noise from the street. And what a better way to end my stay in this perfect little country than a parade (I'm sure it was for me :P ). At first I saw some bikes followed by a car and I thought "Maybe the one in the car is a celebrity?", but then came a whole bunch of people playing music and dancing.

I hope this serves as a contrast to the usual photos from Africa that is seen in commercials. Yes, poverty is there, but I guess in the so-called western world it is easy to think that poor people are poorer in pretty much every way. Africa is far richer than Norway when it comes to openness and happiness as I see it.

I will add an uplifting note I read July 18 in Times of Swaziland, the leading newspaper in the country.

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COTTON INCOME
Mbabane - The income generated from cotton sales skyrocketed from E1.6 million ($144,000) in 2008 to E13 million ($1,170,000) in 2013. As if that was not enough, the Ministry of Agriculture has set an ambitious target for the farmers to increase sales by E3 million ($270,000) this season. The Minister of Agriculture, Moses Vilakati, ecstatically disclosed that he had been greatly impressed by the dedication of cotton farmers towards increasing local production "With Swaziland focusing to attain the First World status by 2022, cotton has a major role to play."

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Additional Photos by Fredrik Henriksen (Bergenphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 271 W: 53 N: 637] (3294)
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