Five years into democracy, with the elections just a few weeks away, the majority of Congolese children continue to face a bleak future.
Africa will have to present a strong position at the United Nations climate change conference later this year to ensure the continent will receive the financing to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
While many scientists, academics and politicians still theorise about ways to adapt to climate change, a South African civil society organisation has launched a hands-on project that mobilises communities to take easy steps to reduce carbon emissions.
South African scientists have developed an environmentally friendly method to clean highly toxic water and convert it into drinkable water. Once available commercially, the method could drastically reduce the negative impact industry has on water pollution worldwide.
Projects to fight climate change are being designed all around the world. But only five percent of them can be financed with the current international funds available, which means resources have to be used more wisely. Microfinance could be one solution.
Of the millions of dollars spent on climate change projects in developing countries, little has been allocated in a way that will benefit women. Yet, in Africa, it is women who will be most affected by climate change.
Access to treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) remains compromised, especially in developing countries, because too few pharmaceutical companies manufacture quality-assured drugs. Lack of competition has led to skyrocketing prices and this means that public health budgets are quickly spent.
With homophobia on the rise, large numbers of South African lesbians are being subjected to discrimination and violent assaults. There has also been an increase in "corrective rape" by men trying to "cure" them of their sexual orientation. More than 30 lesbians have been killed since 2006. But most of these crimes go unrecognised by the state and unpunished by the legal system.
At the age of 13, Chantal Kifungo* is mother to a ten-month-old baby girl. It wasn’t her choice. Almost two years ago, she was raped by her stepfather – and fell pregnant with his child.
A grouping of six civil society organisations (CSOs) has called on the South African government to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
Frances Mandla is visibly filled with pride. Together with her colleague, Nouniform Nqevu, she stands tall and smiling in front of a wide bed of lush spinach. The harvest will be their ticket to a better life. A life where there is enough money to buy food, clothes and pay school fees.
South African farm workers – especially female labourers – continue to be exploited, despite the existence of national labour laws and regulations designed to protect them. But in the absence of information and education about their rights, workers have a hard time claiming them.
When asked if they have already felt the effects of climate change, Mary-Anne Zimri and Katrina Scheepers eagerly nod their heads. The two small-scale farmers say lack of rain this winter has foiled their planting season, ruined their harvest – and drastically slashed their income.
"I had a lump in my breast for a few years that I ignored [mainly because] it didn’t hurt. It’s so easy to try to deny illness," says Tracey Derrick. When she finally went to see a doctor for a biopsy, she got a big shock. The result came back positive: breast cancer.
By the time Thandi Khumalo* brought her seven-month-old daughter to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, help came too late. The infant had developed acute diarrhoea and kwashiorkor, a condition caused by severe protein and calorie deficiency, and died a few days after being admitted.
African medical experts have realised they need to make a much bigger effort to educate rural communities if they want to effectively contain the continent’s tuberculosis (TB) epidemic.
Even though tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause for illness and mortality in children, South Africa lacks the political will to tackle the disease, health experts say.
Two small boys play quietly on a jungle gym, some distance away from other children. The six-year-old twins, who live at the Masigcine children's centre in Mfuleni township, 35 kilometres out of Cape Town, are severely traumatised from being orphaned at the age of one and have difficulty relating to their peers.
Neatly paved walkways, regularly spaced streetlamps, well-designed public squares and multi-functional, modern public buildings: this kind of thoughtful town planning is rarely found in South African townships and informal settlements.
"I sometimes drink alcohol because it makes things funny," 15-year-old Senelo* giggles shyly. "I go to unlicensed taverns. They sell alcohol without asking questions."
Miss, Miss, there are tiny creatures here in the water!" a Grade 7 pupil shouts excitedly, trying to draw attention to his water sample. At first, the liquid looks clear, but upon closer examination, one can make out a tiny aquatic invertebrate.