Africa

Cyclones and Struggling Economy Could Impact Mozambique’s Elections

Mozambique, which was affected by an unprecedented two tropical cyclones over a matter of weeks, is still reeling from the impact a month after the latest disaster. But resultant devastation caused by the cyclones could impact the country’s elections as concerns are raised over whether the southern African nation can properly hold the ballot scheduled for later this year.

Cameroon Crisis “More Alarming Than Ever”

The United Nations must act to prevent further devastation from the escalating crisis in Cameroon, human rights groups said.

Global Hunger Is Threatening Families Because of Climate Change

There is barely a corner of human life that will not be affected by climate change, and some of its impacts are already being felt. Consider this, 821 million people are now hungry and over 150 million children stunted, putting the hunger eradication goal, SDG 2, at risk. Today 15 May, is the United Nations International Day of Families and the theme for this year is, ‘Families and Climate Action’.

South Africans Look to Re-elected Government to Rebuild a Stagnant Economy

Millions of South Africans headed out in large numbers, some braving cold and wet weather to cast their ballot in the country's sixth democratic elections this week. The 2019 election was one of the most competitive and contested elections that also saw a whopping 48 parties on the national ballot—up 300 percent from a mere 10 years ago.

The Age of the Internet Calls for Younger Leaders

Days before Algeria’s 82-year-old strongman president Abdelaziz Bouteflika was ousted from power, the country made one last ditch attempt to keep control: it shut down the internet.

“We Move from Job to Job and Earn from Feast to Famine”

The fast-growing motion picture industry of South Africa is aiming for the stars. But the boom has a flipside. The South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) is fighting against precarious working conditions, being shut out of social security systems, and unfair copyright laws. This, and the legacy of apartheid.

The Ethiopian City Lost in the Shadow of South Sudan’s War

Right up against the border with South Sudan, the western Gambella region of Ethiopia has become a watchword for trouble and no-go areas as its neighbour’s troubles have spilled over. But now there may be reason for optimism on either side of the border.

UN Chief’s Reprehensible Bankrolling of Violence in Burundi

Last week the Washington Post published a scathing critique by the executive director of Human Rights Watch, titled “Why the U.N. Chief’s Silence on Human Rights is Deeply Troubling.” Kenneth Roth argued that Secretary-General António Guterres “is becoming defined by his silence on human rights—even as serious rights abuses proliferate.”

West Africa’s Fine Line Between Cultural Norms and Child Trafficking

On a bus in Cotonou, Benin’s commercial capital, four Nigerian girls aged between 15 and 16 sit closely together as they are about to embark on the last part of their journey to Mali, where they are told that their new husbands, whom they never have met, await them.

Women, Peace and Security: Let’s Turn Words into Action

To be able to tackle a problem we must first recognize that it exists. When I first spoke at the United Nations Security Council in 2009, I was asked why the issue of sexual violence was even relevant to peace and security. At that time, it was not generally accepted that rape is in fact a weapon of war. Today, that statement is both widely accepted and central to the international community’s understanding of this crucial issue.

Sierra Leone’s Journalists Demand Justice for “Murdered” Colleague and Call for Law Reform

Ibrahim Samura, erstwhile editor and publisher of New Age, an independent Freetown newspaper, was beaten up with “heavy-duty metal chains and sticks” during Sierra Leone's presidential run-off election in March 2018—in front of the police and army. He died from his injuries three months later. But more than a year since the assault the perpetrators are yet to be brought to book.

On World Press Freedom Day, Let us Ask: #WhereIsAzory?

Speaking in parliament recently, Tanzania’s information minister, Harrison Mwakyembe, wondered why people were still concerned about the whereabouts of Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist who went missing in November 2017 in the country’s Coast Region.


Benin’s Agriculture Has a Good Season, But it Wasn’t Easy

Théophile Houssou, a maize farmer from Cotonou, has spent sleepless nights lying awake worrying about the various disasters that could befall any farmer, often wondering, “What if it rains heavily and all my crops are washed away?” or “What if the armyworms invade my farm and eat up all the crops and I’m left with nothing?”

Kenya and Ethiopia Cross-Border Initiative: A Move Towards Sustainable Peace

Many years of internecine conflict is being replaced by a new narrative of peace along the Kenya-Ethiopia border. Communities that once fought each other are now dreaming of a joint journey towards a better future.

Land Conservation: A Risky Business

In light of land degradation and climate change, the protection of the environment is crucial—but the protection of the very people working tirelessly and with much risk to preserve nature should be just as important.

Improving the Lives of Millions of Mothers and Children

It is slightly after 3pm on a hot Wednesday afternoon in Chipata district, eastern Zambia, and a group of women are gathering for a meeting. It is Elizabeth Tembo’s turn to stand amongst the other mothers like herself and share key lessons on nutrition.

Women and Girls “Preyed on as the Spoils of War”

“They forcefully took us away and kept us like prisoners,” Lydia Musa, a former Boko Haram captive who was abducted at the age of 14 during an attack on her village in Gwoza, in Nigeria’s north eastern Borno State, tells IPS. Musa and two other underaged girls were captured and forced to marry Boko Haram fighters in spite of their protests that they were too young to marry.

Bleak Outlook for Press Freedom in West Africa

When former footballer George Weah became president of Liberia in 2018, media practitioners felt they had in him a democrat who would champion media freedoms. “But we were mistaken,” journalist Henry Costa told IPS.

Women in Ethiopia Still Struggle Despite Leadership in Government

Following 2018 elections in Ethiopia, a record-breaking number of women now hold leadership positions in the country's government. But women still struggle to rise up the ranks in other sectors.

‘You Cannot Muzzle the Media’: Nigerian Journalists on Press Freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president--who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985--and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let them "continue" their work and take the country to the "Next Level."

From Empowerment During War, Eritrean Women Must Fight Gender Discrimination in a New Peace

As the first anniversary of the swearing on Ethiopia’s Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed rolled around last week, Ethiopians – and observers worldwide – marvelled at the pace and scale of radical reform he has brought to the formerly repressed country in the past year.

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