After months of speculation and rumours, President Thein Sein of Myanmar (earlier Burma) has created a “super” cabinet to try to salvage his besieged administration – riven with divisions and inertia. Currently he is embroiled in a constitutional crisis – a battle for power between the president and the parliament – that threatens to paralyse the government until it is resolved. This has left the president increasingly isolated, with only the army offering concrete support.
Three years ago, the residents of the semi-arid Yatta district in Kenya’s Eastern Province lived on food aid due to dwindling crops of maize that could not thrive because of the decreased rainfall in the area.
That was until a local bishop, trying to find ways to prevent mothers from forcing their teenage daughters into prostitution, changed everything.
The world's smallest island nations wield more power than their sizes would suggest, with millions of square kilometres in their domains, said leaders of Pacific Island nations gathered at a special forum here in the Cook Islands.
For far too many households in Burkina Faso, going to the toilet means heading for the bush. The Burkinabè government has launched a new campaign to change this, calling on prominent personalities as both sponsors and champions.
Cameroonian urban famer Juliana Numfor has six plots of land where she grows maize, cassava, sweet potatoes and leafy vegetables, including cabbages, wild okra and greens.
A new power plant in the eastern Senegalese village of Kalom is generating more than just electricity. Powered by agricultural waste, the station has lit up homes, lightened women's domestic burdens and even put a little money in some residents' pockets.
When the international community was struggling to ward off a potential decline in development aid in early 2000, it came up with a novel idea: a proposal for "new and innovative sources of financing", including a tax on airline tickets and a levy on foreign exchange transactions.
Small-scale irrigation schemes can provide the biggest opportunity for boosting food security in Africa, according to Meredith Giordano, the research director at the International Water Management Institute.
Mohamed Ceesay, a 20-year-old farmer from the Central River Region in the Gambia, is a high school dropout. But thanks to an initiative to discourage local youths from emigrating to Europe, he earns almost half the salary of a government minister from his rice harvest.
Eight years ago Kenbesh Mengesha earned an uncertain income collecting firewood from local government forests and selling them to her fellow slum-dwellers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She would earn on average about 50 cents a day, if she was lucky.
After 18 months of talks, on Wednesday Egypt's government formally requested a 4.8-billion-dollar loan from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), hoping to stabilise an economy that has continued to badly stutter in the aftermath of the popular uprising that led to the downfall of former President Hosni Mubarak.
In Ghana, a country burgeoning with traffic congestion, increasing economic growth, and a stark urban-rural divide, making frames of bicycles out of bamboo could be the key to promoting sustainable development. It also makes stronger, longer-lasting bikes.
"The palm tree is a means of survival," said Tahya Mint Mohamed, a 44-year-old Mauritanian farmer and mother of three children. “We eat its dates; we make mats, beds and chairs from palms; the leaves are also used to make baskets and to feed our livestock.”
Like many other young Senegalese, Pape Mokhtar Diallo long dreamed of escaping his rural home in northern Senegal for a better life. Three times he tried and failed to go overseas. But the establishment of an agricultural cooperative here in the village of Boyinadji has put another dream within his grasp.
The building is standing empty now, but Fatimetou Mint M'Barkenni is looking forward to when it is again filled with the soft cheeping of day-old chicks. Earlier in the year, she raised a first batch of broiler chickens as part of a pilot project, to boost rural incomes and food security here at Bourate, in rural Mauritania.