Multimedia

The roller-coaster of Cuba’s dual currency system

The unification of the two currencies circulating in Cuba, announced by the government but without any clear timeframes, will put an end to two decades of a dual currency system that was introduced when the country was brought to its knees by the collapse of the Soviet Union. But experts say the inequalities that emerged during the severe economic crisis will not be resolved through mere monetary reform. The following graphic provides a timeline showing the key developments in the dual currency system and the way nominal wages, revenue, savings and liquidity have evolved.

Improved Seed Improves Ethiopian Farmers’ Lives

Ethiopian farmers are learning that seed security is the basis of food security.

Zimbabwe Finally Working on Climate Change Policy

Despite all the evidence of climate change, Zimbabwe has no policy on climate change. Garikai Chaunza reports from Harare that the country is finally working on a climate change policy.

Pinochet’s lingering political reforms

The dictatorship headed by General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) from start to end systematically dismantled every vestige of “the Chilean path to socialism” that the government of Salvador Allende (1970-1973) had attempted to follow. But it also established political structures that Chilean democracy has not yet managed to eradicate. See the process in the timeline below:

Education: The mother of all Pinochetista reforms

Free, public education is the main demand expressed today by Chilean society, especially the young. The issue is not that Chileans don’t study, or that school enrolment is low. The problem is the growing privatisation of the system, as shown by this graph, and how that has divided students into different categories, in terms of quality of education. It all began with the reforms ushered in by the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

Inadequate Support for Agriculture Costs Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe used to be self sufficient in maize, the staple crop and often produced a surplus which was sold to neighbouring countries. But since the land reform programme launched in 2000, the country has failed to meet its needs. Experts blame insufficient support by the government for the agricultural sector's poor performance.

Kenya Embraces Carbon Trading

Mary Itumbi reports from Nairobi that Kenya is taking advantage of carbon trading to contribute towards efforts to address climate change.

The debate on doctors in Brazil – in maps and graphs

The controversy is on: the authorities in Brazil say there are not enough medical professionals, and to resolve the problem, they decided to import this “non-traditional product”. Doctors, on the other hand, are opposed to both the diagnosis and the treatment. But there is one thing everyone agrees on: the areas suffering from a shortage of health professionals are the poor suburbs and impoverished areas in the hinterland and remote border areas. The situation in Brazil as compared to itself and to other countries can be seen in this series of interactive maps and graphs.

Pope Runs into Logistical Chaos in Rio

Pope Francis' first overseas trip, to Brazil, the country with the largest number of Catholics in the world, was marked with setbacks, disorganisation and lack of infrastructure for an event that brought half a million pilgrims to the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Fighting Drought, One Pond at a Time

Bangladesh, a country of 150 million people who depend on rice as their main staple, is gearing up for drought. Already huge areas of the rice-producing regions are on a knife's edge, as elusive rains and hotter temperatures team up on thirsty paddy fields and threaten to disrupt food supply.

Leasehold Forestry Breathes New Life into Nepal

Over 40 percent of Nepal is covered in thick forest, but most of it has been degraded. Rural communities that have traditionally relied on the forests for survival now live in abject poverty, struggling to secure the food necessary for survival. Most men have migrated to the Gulf in search of employment.

Girls Take Charge in the Fight to End Female Genital Mutilation

Some girls among the Pokot community in western Kenya are bravely defying what is considered cultural and traditional by refusing to be circumcised. More and more mothers, fathers and the women whose job is to do the cutting are beginning to support these girls’ right to bodily integrity.

Africa Leads Fight Against HIV

With its youthful population, fast growing economies and an expanding middle class, Africa has much to celebrate on 25th May, Africa Day.

Kariba Dispossessed Still Waiting for Promised Better Life

Fifty seven thousand people were displaced on the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides of the Zambezi River to make way for the construction of the Kariba hydroelectric dam.

SA’s Africa Day Awareness Lagging Behind

As the continent prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on Africa Day, 25th of May, IPS Africa speaks to ordinary South Africans to hear how they plan to celebrate this important day.

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