Stories written by Mantoe Phakathi

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.

Nairobi Summit to Redouble Efforts to Urgently Deal with Reproductive Rights for Women and Girls

More than 6 000 delegates in the population development sector are gathering in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi this week to renew the promise made to girls and women 25 years ago in Cairo.

From Subsistence to Profit, Swazi Farmers Get a Helping Hand

Men in blue overalls are offloading vegetables from trucks while their female counterparts dress and pack the fresh produce before storing it in a cold room.

Marriage a Barrier to ARV treatment for Swazi Women

For months, Nonkululeko Msibi could not find her voice each time she wanted to share the news to her husband. She had learned that she was infected with HIV at the age of 16 when delivering her firstborn baby at Swaziland's Mbabane Government Hospital.

Breast Is Best, But Not in Swaziland

Smiling as she breastfeeds her six-week-old baby boy, Lindiwe Dlamini, 38, is optimistic about his future.

Big Coal Angles For a Slice of Climate Finance Pie

Power generation is a major contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Choosing the right options for less-polluting energy sources in the future is a vital question – in which energy-starved Africa has a keen interest.

Concerns Over Role of Corporates at Climate Talks

As deliberations continue in earnest at the 19th United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Warsaw, negotiators from the Global South welcome a focus on financing adaptation – but reject a new emphasis on a role for the private sector.

It’s the Day to Buy Votes in Swaziland

As Swaziland goes to the polls for the second and final round of voting in its general elections on Sept. 20, giveaways have become the order of the day in this southern African nation.

Swazi Chiefs Shut Women Out of Parliament

Archaic and chauvinistic practices are being used to prevent Swazi women from taking part in the upcoming primary elections, despite the country having a constitution that guarantees their rights, says political analyst Dr. Sikelela Dlamini.

Crossing Borders with Trade

Experts are agreed that the key to unlocking the economic potential of the Southern African Development Community lies in easing cross-border flows of people, goods, capital and services.

Dirt Isn’t So Cheap After All

Each year, 12 million hectares of land - where 20 million tonnes of grain could have been grown - are lost to degradation.

Eradicating Hunger in a World of Plenty

The world today faces a rather stunning paradox. We produce enough to feed seven billion people, but high prices and other factors have pushed adequate nutrition out of reach for more than one in 10, says Maria Helena Semedo, deputy director general-knowledge at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). 

African Farmers Lead the Way

Development in Africa will only be led through agriculture, says the CEO of the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki.

In Swaziland, Seeds Beat Drought

The overcast sky is a sign that it might rain, and Happy Shongwe, a smallholder farmer from rural Maphungwane in eastern Swaziland, is not exactly happy.

The Search for Swaziland’s TB-Infected Mine Workers

For more than a decade after 1992, when Swazi gold miner Benson Maseko, 50, fell ill with chest pains and a nagging cough, he did not seek treatment.

/UPDATE*/Boreholes, Boreholes Everywhere….And Not a Drop to Drink

Every day for the last four years, 52-year-old Tintfombi Msibi has had to walk past the borehole in her village of Ekuphakameni, one of the driest rural villages in southern Swaziland, to a dirty stream two kilometres away to collect drinking water.

The Struggle to Keep Swaziland’s Primary Schools Free

As the Swazi government struggles to guarantee a no-cost nationwide primary school system, it finds itself sparring against school principals over the question if it is a lack of funds or an abundance of corruption that is standing in the way of its success. 

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