A newborn baby lets out a feeble cry as midwife Anna Mungara tends to a small wound on its head, at the provincial hospital in Masvingo, a town in southeast Zimbabwe.
In his new book, “The Great African Society – A Plan for a Nation Gone Astray”, Hlumelo Biko, the son of late Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, says that if nothing changes in South Africa, the country will become engulfed by corruption, crime, social decay, hopelessness and anger.
Despite the rapid economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, the continent has shown a poor capacity to commensurately boost jobs and reduce poverty, according to a report by the African Development Bank titled “Assessing Progress in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals.”
A nurse working in a remote clinic in Mueda, a small town in northern Mozambique’s Makonde Plateau, receives a shipment of vaccines from the national health department. Using special software on her mobile phone, she sends out a mass text message to alert mothers in the area about the availability of immunisations.
Half asleep, Anuary lies exhausted on his bed in Amana Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. His mother, Mariam Saidi, sits on the edge of his mattress, staring blankly out of the window. Every now and then, she turns to wipe her 18-month-old son’s forehead.
The protection of children remains critical in the Central African Republic, where parents willingly give their children to armed groups in exchange for protection and services.
The reality of Indian and Chinese investment in Africa is much more complex than the good cop, bad cop image of Asia’s two emerging economic giants.
Africa needs to reduce its dependency on foreign aid and get to the point of financing its own development, some of the continent’s key development experts say. Timing is optimal now that Africa is experiencing an economic boom with annual growth rates of up to eight percent.
On a continent of over one billion people, where half the population have mobile phones, the use of mobile communication and internet technologies is crucial to boost development in Africa.
African countries need more support from the private sector in order to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015, which include important development targets like poverty reduction, and improved health and education.
In an almost ceremonial manner, Selinah Mncwango opens her big plastic bag and pulls out several smaller packets, each filled with different types of seeds: sorghum, bean, pumpkin, and maize. They are her pride, her wealth, the "pillar of my family," says the farmer from a village in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.
More than three years after the start of the global economic crisis, which has had a considerable impact on African trade, investments and gross domestic product, investment prospects on the continent are increasing.
Nokwanda Sotyantya sits among heaps of garbage and patiently sorts through it, separating cardboard, plastic, glass, paper and metal, piece by piece. The recycled piles of trash are then weighed and sold to packaging manufacturers in South Africa that reuse the materials to create new products.
Angola is celebrating 10 years of peace on Apr. 4. Since the end of its 27-year- long civil war in 2002, the country’s economy has prospered thanks to oil. But experts fear that parliamentary elections later this year could return the country to violence and instability.
Political instability, civil strife and humanitarian crises in Africa have over the past decades reversed countless maternal health development gains on the continent, health experts warn.
The group of children playing in a shaded courtyard in Côte d’Ivoire’s economic capital Abidjan seem carefree. But when a car exhaust blasts, they tremble. When a soldier walks past, they shudder. And they become anxious when an unknown adult approaches them.
"I would like to use contraception, but my husband is against it," says Bintou Moussa*. The 32-year-old mother has just given birth to her sixth child at the Abobo General Hospital in Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial capital Abidjan.
One-year-old Angama Ouattara lies on a rusted hospital bed, a drip attached to her tiny, left foot. Her mother, Minata, sits on the edge of the mattress, smoothing out the sheets she had to bring from home.
Seven out of the eight governments in the Sahel – the arid zone between the Sahara desert in North Africa and Sudan’s Savannas in the south – have taken the unprecedented step of declaring emergencies as 12 million people in the region are threatened by hunger.
Mariem Mint Ahmedou sits cross-legged on a worn-out carpet in a basic tent built with mud bricks and layers of sewn-together fabric. Her eight-month-old twins, Hussein and Hassan, lie weakly against her body. Both of them have been malnourished since birth, because Beydar, undernourished herself, cannot produce enough breast milk to feed them.
If there was no HIV/AIDS, South Africa would have 4.4 million more people than today, the size of a major city. This significant slow-down in population growth is causing a slow down in economic growth and resulting in social ills, researchers warn.