Yesterday, NPR posted a new episode of Planet Money, all about refugees and their place in the world economy. One of their subjects was a man named Mohammed Osman Ali, who may be the only refugee in the world running a for-profit arcade.
In the south of Uganda, near the border with Tanzania, lies one of the worlds oldest and largest refugee camps. The Nakivale camp, founded in 1960, shelters 56,000 people. More than half of them children and young people, all of them victims of conflict in countries like Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Most refugees in the world are not allowed to have jobs, but Uganda is taking a different approach by encouraging entrepreneurship among its refugee population, and Ali is among this new wave of small business owners. Over the better part of a year he's cobbled together a sad-looking PlayStation, a FIFA football game and a working diesel generator to power it.
For 500 Ugandan shillings, or about twenty American cents, the residents of Nakivale can play 10 minutes.