Africa

Opinion: Africa, the Need for Greater Integration

There is a misconception, by some, that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a barrier to regional integration. It is one of a number of misconceptions that do not match up with the facts like the perception that the WTO is a rich man's club. Today the WTO has 162 members and rising at all stages of development. 43 of those members are African countries and rising. The organization now covers around 98% of world trade. It is a truly global organization, one where everybody has an equal say. And it is an organization which supports regional integration in Africa. Indeed, I would say that the need for better integration across the continent is indisputable.

Plan for Poorer Countries to Fund HIV Response Raises Concerns    

Calls for low and middle income countries to contribute an additional 6.1 billion dollars to the global HIV response by 2020 could see some vulnerable groups left behind, said HIV activists meeting at the United Nations last week.

Focusing on Future of Food: What’s Next for Global Agricultural Research?

Food security scientists from around the globe gathered in Johannesburg last week with one objective: to work towards the transformation of agriculture as engine for growth in developing regions of the world. The gathering was also an opportunity to examine what farmers need to prosper in the face of social and environmental challenges.

Ethiopia’s Smoldering Oromo

The Ethiopian government's most serious domestic political crisis in more than a decade began over a scruffy football field appropriated by local officials for development.

Turning to Agriculture

Facing an unprecedented economic crisis, South Sudan -- the newest nation of the world -- has urged its 12 million inhabitants to turn to agriculture instead of depending on declining oil revenues.

‘Little Boy’ Devouring African Food

There is a ‘Little Boy’ who has nothing to do with the atomic bomb that the United States dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. This time it is about another ‘Little Boy’ who has been devastating the harvests in many regions, especially in Africa.

Saving Beira

Mozambique’s second largest city, Beira, is heading for climate change-induced disaster. Cyclones, floods, storm surges and the rising sea level are threatening to annihilate this important Indian Ocean coastal city; a city which is strategic for landlocked countries like Zimbabwe and Zambia.

OPINION: Why South Africa Must Not Lose Plot on Civil Society

South Africa celebrated human rights month this March with President Zuma recalling the “heroism of our people who stood up for their rights.” However, this same month which commemorates the sacrifices of those who took part in the struggle against apartheid and those who died in the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960 was not a happy one for today’s civil society activists and organisations engaged in defending human rights. Two shocking incidents raise troubling questions for the future of civil society in the country.

Balancing Economic Potential of Marine and Social Life

When Africa’s oldest protected marine area, Tsitsikamma -- the largest in the world, incorporating 80 km of rocky coastline, bustling with marine life, much of it endangered -- was opened as a pilot for public fishing on December 15, 2015, there was a big outcry.

Women Benefit From Simple Economic Ventures

Angelina Chiziane starts her day by getting her husband ready for work in a small village in the southern province of Gaza, Mozambique, some 216 kilometers away from the capital, Maputo.

Benefits of Backpack Biogas

Billions of dollars of aid has been pumped into Africa. Yet effective change too often remains an elusive outcome, leading to a vicious cycle: more needs, more aid but still little change. How to resolve this seemingly intractable dilemma?

Press Freedom in Peril

A single phone call from an irate security official is enough to shutdown a newspaper in Sudan. Security agents sometimes employ unorthodox methods: they storm the premises of a newspaper or a printing press and confiscate print runs in full view of employees. No reasons are provided. And there is no legal recourse.

Opinion: World Bank Reinvents Tainted Aid Program for Ethiopia

I was taught that responsibility means admitting your mistakes and being accountable when you make a mistake. I still believe this to be true for individuals and institutions. So when a powerful group like the World Bank makes a mistake, I expect it to be accountable for its wrong-doings, and to do everything possible to make sure those mistakes don’t happen again.

The Rise of Investor-State Dispute Settlement in the Extractive Sectors

African countries have been active in concluding international investment treaties. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), as of end 2013, 793 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have been concluded by African countries, representing 27% of the total number of (BITs) worldwide.

Saving Children’s Lives Through Drones

The first successful test-flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone was an unhindered 10 km journey from a community health centre to the Kamuzu central hospital laboratory in the capital Lilongwe. Local community members watched with excitement as the drone rose into the sky, after being launched by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and government of Malawi at the area 25 health centre.

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