East Africa

African Smallholder Farmers Need to Become Virus Detectors

Plant viruses are threatening the livelihoods of farmers and food security by attacking vital food crops in East and Central African countries. Cassava is the staple in most of these countries and it is one of the hardest hit crops.

African Smallholder Farmers Need to Become Virus Detectors

Unless African smallholder farmers, who comprise the majority of food growers on the continent, are given the tools and knowledge to cope with the increased occurrences of plant virus diseases, the livelihoods of millions will be at stake, according to Nteranya Sanginga, the director general of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.

/UPDATE*/ Uganda Oils Sales to China

Almost a decade since Uganda initiated negotiations with China for the favourable export of coffee beans to the Asian giant, it is struggling to create even trade relations with the world's second-biggest economy. But economic experts predict that the East African nation could close the gap through the promotion of agriculture and the eventual export of oil.

Men and Women Farming Together Can Eradicate Hunger

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 Truth is That All Problems Have Solutions” – Even Climate Change in Ethiopia

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.

Kenyan Differences Melt With Gold

When Kenyan athlete David Lekuta Rudisha simultaneously became the first person ever to break the 1min 41sec mark in the 800m while also becoming the first person to set a world record at this year’s London Olympics on Thursday Aug. 9, he managed another first. He briefly united an ethnically divided nation.

The Kakonko Health Centre in rural Tanzania is now equipped to perform surgeries, including caesarean sections. Credit: Erick Kabendera/IPS

Operating in Rural Tanzania “To Save a Life”

At the Kakonko Health Centre, about 250 kilometres from the nearest hospital in Kigoma Region, Western Tanzania, assistant medical officer Abdu Mapinduzi prepares to operate on Joanitha, a young pregnant mother.

Kenya Set to Run Away With Medals

On a chilly morning at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, the largest multi-purpose sports centre in Kenya, 800m world record holder David Rudisha looked like just another athlete.

East Africa’s Financial Integration Slow off the Starting Blocks

For months now East Africans have been expectantly waiting for an economic revolution to begin as they anticipate the launch of a new standardised payment system that will integrate the electronic transfer of money in the region. But continued delays in the launch of the system have economists fearing that the weak financial infrastructure here is hindering its implementation.


Community Volunteers Convince Ugandan Families to Have Fewer Children

It is midmorning at the Kanungu Health Centre IV and the queue of patients grows as more people start to arrive for treatment at this rural facility more than 400 kilometres outside the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

Treatment of Gays No Better in South Africa

When Junior Mayema boarded a plane to South Africa from his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010, he cried tears of joy because he was finally heading to a country where he could live openly as a gay man.

Bringing People “Back to Life” in Uganda’s Slums

As soon as Sanyu Nagia sits down outside Barbara Namirimu’s home, she asks to see her patient’s bag of medicine. It is too heavy for the ill Namirimu to carry, so her mother, Efrance Namakula, brings it out and hands it over.

Jane Karuku, the new AGRA boss, dreams of seeing smallholder farmers become the drivers in Africa

Q&A: Women Farmers Are Key to a Food-Secure Africa

While women constitute the majority of food producers, processors and marketers in Africa, their role in the agricultural sector still remains a minor one because of cultural and social barriers.

In Mauritania mobile phones are used in rural areas. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

Q&A: Skipping Lunch to Afford a Mobile Phone in Africa

On a continent of over one billion people, where half the population have mobile phones, the use of mobile communication and internet technologies is crucial to boost development in Africa.

Members of the Murle group displaced by ethnic violence await food distribution in Gumuruk, Pibor county, in South Sudan

Disarmament Sparks Violence in South Sudan

Civil society groups are calling on the United Nations peacekeeping mission to withdraw support from a disarmament programme they say could spark further violence in South Sudan’s volatile Jonglei state.

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