Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, one of Africa's leading literary figures, publicly declared his homosexuality in an online essay last weekend. In an interview with NPR's Tell Me More, he said the recent anti-gay legislation in Africa influenced his decision to come out. He's shown here after giving a television interview in Nairobi on Wednesday. AP/Ben Curtis hide caption

itoggle caption AP/Ben Curtis

Nelson Mandela casts his vote during South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994. Mandela's example led to more democracy across Africa, although overall political freedom has declined on the continent in the last five years. John Parkin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John Parkin/AP

A mother and her son stand in their garden behind a fence at the perimeter of Nelson Mandela's property in Qunu, South Africa, as funeral preparations continue Friday. Mandela will be buried Sunday in the small, rural village that was his boyhood home. Yannis Behrakis/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Yannis Behrakis/Reuters/Landov

Arinafe Makwiti, 13, says her parents forced her to drop out of school and get married to an older man last year to help with the family finances. Makwiti has divorced her husband, but now has a 9-month-old daughter. Jennifer Ludden/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Video footage shows what appears to be Kenyan soldiers carrying plastic shopping bags as they leave a supermarket at Westgate Mall during a terrorist attack in Nairobi on Sept. 21. Kenya's security forces have long been rated as among the most corrupt institutions in the country, but even jaded Kenyans were shocked by the CCTV footage. Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters /Landov

Christina Asima says she had no choice but to marry last year at age 12 to help care for younger siblings after her mother abandoned the family. But she says her husband was abusive, so she left him, and now must look after her 8-month-old son, Praise, alone. Jennifer Ludden/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Young students in a Bridge International Academy school in Nairobi, in September. On the surface, there's little to distinguish these schools from others in the developing world. But Bridge's model relies on teachers reading lessons from tablets. Frederic Courbet for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Frederic Courbet for NPR

Some of the victims recovered after Thursday's wreck of a ship near Sicily were placed in body bags before being brought ashore to the island of Lampedusa. Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters /Landov

Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Westgate mall in Nairobi on Monday. Simon Maina /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Simon Maina /AFP/Getty Images

Kenyan soldiers outside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi on Monday. Inside, attackers had killed dozens of shoppers, wounded more and it was feared they also had hostages. Daniel Irungu /EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Irungu /EPA/Landov