Stories written by Mantoe Phakathi

Fixing the Food System to Produce Healthy Diets

As the world accelerates towards achieving the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it is time to replace the current broken food system. With only a decade left to reach the deadline, evidence shows that the way food is produced, processed and transported is not only destructive to the environment but it is also leaving millions behind.

Digitisation Could Transform African Agriculture

Placing an online order for farming inputs saves Velebantfu Dlamini about USD12 in transport fees for a round trip of about 320 kilometres. The 26-year-old vegetable farmer from Nkhungwini in the Shiselweni Region, south of Eswatini, uses a portal to order from the National Agriculture Marketing Board (NAMBoard) Farm Store. NAMBoard then delivers his order leaving Dlamini with time to stay in the field and look after his crops.

COVID-19 an Opportunity to Build Resilience around Food Systems

The Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) has appealed to the United Nations to educate citizens to use their roles as consumers to create a momentum for change. This was ahead of the 2021 Food Systems Summit which the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, will host on November 25 next year.

Eswatini makes Progress on NDCs thanks to Crucial Partnership Support

Barry de Maine, the director of Green Cross Pharmacy, lost about $ 7,675 worth of stock when The Mall, the largest shopping centre in Mbabane, was flooded back in 2003. But when the flash floods hit again this year, he had already installed a flange to stop water from coming in. “This is the best I could do under the circumstances,” De Maine told IPS, adding: “Otherwise since we started experiencing floods at The Mall (17 years ago) nothing has been done.”

No ‘Business as Usual’ for Children Post-COVID-19, say Laureates & Leaders

Addressing delegates at the end of the virtual 3rd Fair Share for Children Summit, 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi told global citizens that “business as usual” in dealing with COVID-19 is not going to be tolerated. “We’re not going to accept the miseries of child labour and trafficking to continue to be normal,” he said.

Save 70 million Lives Through #FairShare of COVID-19 Response Fund, Youth Urge Governments

Young people have added their voice in calling on world leaders to allocate at least 20 percent of the COVID-19 stimulus package to the marginalised children and youth.

Hold Corporates Accountable for Using Child Labour, Nobel Laureates Urge World Leaders

The COVID-19 pandemic should give governments across the world an opportunity to hold corporates accountable against child labour. Kailash Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate, made this submission at the virtual 3rd Fair Share for Children Summit.


Report Shows Sri Lanka has Escalation of Violence During COVID-19 Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the escalation of violence against women and children in Sri Lanka.

Keeping Education within the Grasp of Refugee Children

“Not being able to go to school is not something I’d wish on any child in this world,” said 21-year-old Nujeen Mustafa, a young advocate for refugees who fled the Syrian war with her sister. Mustafa, who now lives in Germany, is also the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) high profile supporter.

Understanding the Benefits of local Wetland Encourages Eswatini Community to Save it

Sibonisiwe Hlanze, from Lawuba in Eswatini’s Shiselweni Region, lights up as she shows off her sleeping mat which she made from what she described as “the highest quality indigenous fibre”.

Providing an Education in Favour of Senegal’s Girls

When Fatima* became pregnant in the middle of the school year and dropped out, she was disowned by her parents. Hers is a story that could have ended as another statistic of dropout rates among female learners in Senegal.

Why Rwanda is a Great Green Growth Investment

In its effort to accelerate Rwanda's green growth development initiative, its local businesses encouraged their Italian counterparts to invest in the East Africa region.

COVID-19 – How Eswatini’s Garden Farmers are Keeping the Vegetable Supply Flowing

Nobukhosi Cebekhulu (68) and Khetsiwe Tofile (64) are small-scale vegetable farmers who are producing from their permaculture home gardens in Malkerns, Eswatini.

Can Eswatini’s Traditional Healers Encourage HIV Testing Among People Not Accessible via Routine Healthcare Systems?

Doctor Khalishwayo is a traditional healer based in Nhlangano, a town in the Shiselweni Region, in southern Eswatini. His clients are people who consult him when they are suffering from different ailments. And he in turn diagnoses them using divine methods.

Djibouti Intensifies Awareness-raising Efforts Against FGM

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is still widely practised in the African country of Djibouti. Despite efforts by the government and development agencies to curb this practice, culture, tradition and religion continue to slow down progress.

Climate-Smart Agriculture means More Time for Eswatini Women Farmers

Aside from the seven hours Mantfombi Msibi (63) would spend daily during the Eswatini farming season planting, applying herbicides and weeding her 1.2-hectare maize field, she would also spend E1 750 ($125) on tractor services. It was a huge cost of both time and money. But this season, Msibi will be benefiting from climate-smart farming technology that has opened up a new world of farming to her, saving her time in the process. 

Africa Must Prioritise Upskilling its Unemployed Youth, Development Bank Urges

Africa’s inability to produce adequate skills is negatively impacting its economic growth.

Ending Bullying and Humiliation over Menstruation as Girls and Boys in Conservative Eswatini are Educated about Reproductive Health

When 14-year-old Nomcebo Mkhaliphi first noticed the blood discharged from her vagina, she was shocked. Confused, she turned to her older sisters for advice. “My sisters told me that they were experiencing the same every month and that they used fabric, toilet paper and newspapers as sanitary wear,” recalls the now 45-year-old Mkhaliphi. She had to follow suit and use these materials because she had no money to buy sanitary pads.

India and Japan’s MPs Act Quickly to Implement Sexual and Reproductive Health Plans after ICPD25

Parliamentarians from India and Japan have hit the ground running by acting soon after the recent Nairobi Summit on International Conference on Population Development (ICPD25).

Art Helping Women to Highlight Gender-based Violence at ICPD25

While women find it hard to talk about their painful experiences, some have found a way of expressing themselves through art. Women, trained as artists, from Nairobi’s informal settlements Kibera and Kangemi, have produced a beautiful quilt that tells stories about their daily challenges.

World Youth Call to Governments to Ban All Hindrances to LGBTQI Communities

Governments across the world must ban all state-implemented harmful practices against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community delegates at the ICPD25 tells IPS.

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