Africa

Chance for Kenya to Make Amends for Post-Election Sexual Violence

I had already heard many disturbing stories of violence by the time I interviewed Mercy Maina, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy.  Even so, what Mercy told me was truly disturbing. She said she was raped during the post-election violence in August alongside her sister by two men wearing uniforms and helmets, and carrying guns and walkie-talkies.

Can Uganda Reduce Financial Exclusion to 5% in 5 Years?

In October 2017, Uganda launched a new five-year National Financial Inclusion Strategy. The strategy seeks to reduce financial exclusion from 15 to 5 percent by 2022 by ensuring that all Ugandans have access to and use a broad range of quality and affordable financial services.

The Data Revolution Should Not Leave Women and Girls Behind

If there is one political principle that has been constant throughout the history of human civilization it is the fact that land is power. This is something that is particularly true, and often painfully so, for women who farm in Africa.

Policy Support Gap for “Climate-Smart” Agriculture

Conditioned that ploughing is the sure way to produce crops, Zimbabwean farmer Handrixious Zvomarima surprised himself by trying a different method. He planted cowpea seeds directly without tilling the land. It worked.

Ethiopia’s New Addiction – And What It Says About Media Freedom

On a Saturday afternoon in one of Addis Ababa’s khat houses, a group of men and women chew the mildly narcotic plant while gazing mesmerized toward a television featuring a South Korean soldier stripped to his waist and holding a young lady’s hand while proclaiming his undying love—somewhat incongruously—in Amharic.

Production Diversity, Diet Diversity and Nutrition in Sub -Saharan Africa

Lack of diet diversity is viewed as the major cause of micronutrient malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Imbalanced diets resulting from consumption of mainly high carbohydrate based-diets also contribute to productivity losses and reduced educational attainment and income. Consequently, micronutrient malnutrition is currently the most critical for food and nutritional security problem as most diets are often deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. In Tanzania, for example, most rural and urban households consume mainly staples as their main food, which are high in carbohydrates, but low in micronutrients and vitamins. Staple food items increase energy availability but do not improve nutritional outcomes if not consumed together with micro-nutrient rich foods.

South Sudan: a Nation Tormented by a Crisis

I come from Panyijar County, South Sudan, just south of where famine was declared in February this year and one of thousands of places badly hit by the conflict which enters its fifth year today. With each year the fighting continues, the hopes that I and my fellow South Sudanese had when voting for independence in 2011 are dimmed.

Libya: Up to One Million Enslaved Migrants, Victims of ‘Europe’s Complicity’

“European governments are knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities in appalling conditions in Libya,” Amnesty International charged in the wake of global outrage over the sale of migrants in Libya.

Migrants in Italy: “Shame Is Keeping Us Here”

Despite deplorable living conditions, loneliness and unemployment, many African migrants in Italy choose to stay - even when they have the means to return.

For Freedom from Poverty, Universal Health Coverage Is a Must

Today is 12 December 2017 is an auspicious day, as it marks Kenya’s independence from colonial rule in 1963. Today is also Universal Health Coverage Day. It is the anniversary of the first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, everywhere.

Are Value Chains a Pathway to Nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Although difficult to ascertain whether it is a trend reversal, two recent FAO reports (2017a, b) show a rise in hunger globally as well as in Africa. The number of undernourished (NoU) in the world suffering from chronic food deprivation began to rise in 2014 –from 775 million people to 777 million in 2015 – and is now estimated to have increased further, to 815 million in 2016. The stagnation of the global average of the proportion of undernourished (PoU) from 2013 to 2015 is the result of two offsetting changes at the regional level: in Sub-Saharan Africa, the share of undernourished people increased, while there was a continued decline in Asia in the same period. However, in 2016, the PoU increased in most regions except Northern Africa, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, Central America and the Caribbean. The deterioration was most severe in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-Eastern Asia (FAO 2017a,b).

South-South Cooperation Key to a New Multilateralism

“There are new challenges to all states: among them, the real threat to multilateralism... South-South and triangular cooperation can contribute to a new multilateralism and drive the revitalisation of the global partnership for sustainable development.”

Migrant Promoters and Musicians Spread Message of “One Africa”

The crowd in the park gave out roars of approval as the next act was announced:  Mothusi Bashimane Ndlovu, one of Zimbabwe’s most popular singers and actors, who took to the stage with a small axe in hand.

Uncertain Future for “Diabolic” Free Trade Pacts Between EU and Africa

In the run-up to the fifth EU-Africa summit in Côte d'Ivoire, the future of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Europe and its former colonies looks bleaker than ever. While most of Europe’s trade partners around the world keep refusing to sign the deals, the African Union’s Commissioner for Trade will most likely announce a moratorium on all EPAs.

Goodbye Mugabe, Hello New Zimbabwe?

Robert Mugabe - the world’s oldest head of state - is dead, politically at least.

For Africa to Root out Modern Day Slave Trade, Youth Empowerment Is Crucial

If the thought of a man armed with a rifle and driving with whips a group of African men, women, and children to sell them at a slave market makes you marvel at what kind of greed motivated such revolting barbarity centuries ago, the shocking truth is that we are witnessing a 21st century repeat of that abhorrent practice on African soil.

Ethnic Violence in Ethiopia Amid Shadowy Politics

Ethnic animosity unleashed in Ethiopia has displaced hundreds of thousands as well as rendering all manner of usually sacrosanct loyalties obsolete.

Who Are Kenya’s Financially Excluded?

The recent 2017 Finscope Tanzania report shows that while mobile money use in Tanzania continues to grow, the percentage of financially excluded adults has risen in parallel — from 27 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2017.

Are Prospects of Rural Youth Employment in Africa a Mirage?

Many recent accounts tend to dismiss productive employment of youth in rural areas in Africa as a mirage largely because they exhibit strong resistance to eking out a bare subsistence in dismal working and living conditions. We argue below on recent evidence of agricultural transformation that this view is overly pessimistic, if not largely mistaken.

Aid Groups Sound Alarm on DRC Crisis

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis and the international community must step in before it worsens, humanitarian agencies warn.

“Refugees Are Nothing but Commodities”

As countless refugees arriving on Italy’s shores report torture, extortion and forced labour in Libyan detention centers, many say they never intended to make the journey to Europe until the chaos in Libya left them no other choice.

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