Talk about foul foundations: the Katwekera Tosha Bio Centre is built on the stuff that goes into toilets. This community centre in the Nairobi slum of Kibera goes well beyond solving sanitation problems - it is a model for green energy, a meeting place for locals, and turning a profit for its operators.
In the early 1990s, a group of researchers set off for a small rural village in the eastern part of South Africa. Their intention was simple: teach the community how to rehydrate sick babies.
Smallholder farmers in Bandundu Province are boosting their harvests with the help of the sweetly-named velvet bean.
Climate change has become an important part of the development agenda. In Africa, farmers and consumers alike are feeling its effects on productivity and food security.
A community-based organisation in the Kenyan slum area of Kibera set out to clean up garbage and deal with waste water; Ushiriki Wa Safi ended up creating a community cooker that turns waste into an energy source.
David Lenamira, watching as usual from a seat outside his compound, has no trouble picking out his sheep as the herd boys drive them home every evening. The red-brown animals are smaller than those in his neighbours' herds, but he's proud of them just the same.
Even while the country has faced civil war and political crisis, innovative research organisations have worked to meet the challenges of food security and rural poverty.
In Zambia, a silver lining has emerged for widespread rural hunger and poverty, thanks to homegrown agricultural research. Local scientists have successfully developed four new, early-maturing and high- yielding cassava cultivars in an ambitious research project conducted in the cassava-rich Luapula Province, under the on-going Root and Tuber Improvement Programme (RTIP).
While China faces grave water shortages, researchers at institutions across the country are working on new water- saving and desalination technologies that they hope can alleviate the crisis in the crucial years to come.
When French Jesuit priest and passionate agriculturist Henri de Laulanie developed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of cultivation for Madagascar’s poor farmers in the 1980s, he probably had no idea that millions of farmers elsewhere in the world would one day benefit from it as well.
Agriculture remains one of the most significant economic activities in Kenya. It accounts for over 24 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with an estimated 70 percent of total production coming from small scale farmers who typically have about 2-5 acres of land, depending on the region.
Researchers in China, the world’s leading provider of wind turbines and solar panels, are working toward making renewable energy cheaper, more efficient and a bigger part of the country’s power grid.
She is already eight months old, but Aiman Azam can neither sit up nor clutch anything with her tiny hands. She cannot even hold her neck up or roll on her back. All she does is moan.
Just two years ago, Ratha Majhi was at his wits’ end trying to eke out a decent living from his modest vegetable farm.
After successfully suppressing scourges of fruit, tsetse and screwworm flies in the Americas, researchers are exploring whether the same sterilised insect technique can be used to control malaria, which kills some one million people every year, many of them in Africa.