Stories written by Stephanie Nieuwoudt

DEVELOPMENT-BOTSWANA: Of Tourists, Bushmen – and a Borehole

A planned lodge development at the settlement of Molapo in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) has become a source of controversy.

Properly managed, small-scale farming may have a key role in keeping markets supplied. Credit: Antony Kaminju/IRIN

DEVELOPMENT-SOUTHERN AFRICA: Small Can Be Beautiful

Is small the new big when it comes to agriculture in Southern Africa? As rising food prices place this sector firmly in the spotlight, there are compelling examples at hand to make the case for greater investment in small-scale farming.

AFRICA: South Africa Welcomes Cuban Doctors

For more than a decade, Cuban doctors have filled part of a gap left by South African doctors who in large numbers leave the country looking for better salaries and employment opportunities.

EDUCATION-SOUTH AFRICA: Making the Blackboard Jungle Less So

Violence in South African schools has claimed the lives of a number of children in recent years, while many more have been hospitalised with injuries.

INDIA-AFRICA: Competition Does Not Exclude Cooperation

India, with its growing economy, has set its expansion sights on Africa. In an effort to form links and partnerships on different levels with the people of Africa, India will host an Africa-India Summit in Delhi in April.

TRADE-AFRICA: Liberalisation Eroding Poor Countries’ Advantage

The trade liberalisation of the past couple of decades is eroding the advantage that least developed countries (LDCs) enjoy in export markets as duty and quota free access has become less valuable.

African National Congress President Jacob Zuma. Credit: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN

RIGHTS-SOUTH AFRICA: Death Penalty Referendum Call – Critics Cry Populism

Jacob Zuma, the president of the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party in South Africa, has of late been called a chamaeleon who adapts his speeches to what his audience wants to hear. It's a tactic that has proved controversial, not least when Zuma took up the issue of the death penalty.

DEVELOPMENT-SOUTH AFRICA: Farmers Can Plan – But Not Indefinitely

Millions of dollars worth of agricultural produce have been lost due to the electricity crisis in South Africa, which has seen rolling power cuts - referred to locally as "load shedding" - across the country over the past few months. Yet industry players who spoke to IPS about the crisis seemed positive about their ability to weather the storm.

ENERGY-SOUTH AFRICA: Maize Farmers Lobby to Supply Biofuel Industry

South African maize farmers are pushing hard to change a government decision to exclude their crops as feedstock for bioethanol, in view of food security concerns.

POLITICS-SOUTH AFRICA: A Trying Passage for Women in the Ruling Party

The past weeks have been tumultuous for women in South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC).

POLITICS-SOUTH AFRICA: Mbeki – 1,505 Votes. Zuma – 2,329 Votes

It was, metaphorically speaking, dirty and very bloody. But the campaign leading up to the national conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in Polekwane, north-east South Africa - where Jacob Zuma was elected president of the party, Tuesday - was democracy in its rawest form.

ENERGY-SOUTH AFRICA: Food Security Hobbles Biofuel Strategy

Worried that it may be seen as insensitive to the food needs of Africa, the South African government, which is facing a general election in 2009, has chosen food security in framing a biofuel policy.

RIGHTS-RWANDA: UN Tribunal’s Most Wanted Remains Elusive

Félicien Kabuga has a reward of several million dollars on his head, and tops the list of fugitives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Yet, he's managed to escape justice for years.

TRADE-SOUTHERN AFRICA: Non-Tariff Barriers Blocking Flow of Goods

While the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has moved towards liberalising trade to make the flow of goods between countries easier and economically more rewarding, non-tariff barriers continue to be a concern, a recent study found.

AFRICA: Child Bride Symbolises Reasons Why MDGs Will be Missed

The woes of the child bride in many ways illustrate the conditions underlying the failure of African countries to achieve many of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

TRADE-AFRICA: Kenya and South Africa Growing Their Links

Strolling through the aisles of one of the shops of the biggest supermarket chain in Kenya, it is easy for a South African to spot familiar brands. There are boxes and bottles full of cereal, instant coffee, fruit, soup, toiletries and other products imported from South Africa. And then there are the well-known clothing retailers.

TRADE-AFRICA: Libya to Supply Kenya with Cheaper Oil

Kenya is set to receive oil from Libya at preferential rates according to a bilateral agreement signed earlier this month between the leaders of the two countries.

ECONOMY-KENYA: Branson Flying More and Cutting Carbon Emissions

With the introduction of Virgin Atlantic flights on the London/Nairobi route company chief Sir Richard Branson is not only tapping into a lucrative tourism market, he is also offering export opportunities to local farmers.

TRADE-AFRICA: How to Turn The Curse of Oil Into a Blessing

Africa's abundance in natural resources, especially oil, has been called a curse because of the fierce global thirst that exists for these assets.

TRADE-KENYA: Growing Maize Is Not What It Used to Be

Ask Kenyans what their favourite food is and they will most likely answer ugali.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: The Arrival of ”Homo Urbanus”

The year 2007 marks the birth of a new ''species'': Homo Urbanus. For the first time in history there will be as many city dwellers as rural inhabitants in the world.

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