East Africa

Valentine Rugwabiza, deputy director-general of the WTO, says Africa needs to strengthen domestic markets and integrate into the world market Credit:  World Trade Organisation

Intra-African Trade or Global Integration: A Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma?

Though the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has long held that trade between African countries is too low, experts at the South Centre, an inter-governmental think tank of developing countries, say intra-continental trade is already significant in manufactured goods and promises a new path to industrialisation.

Ken Menkhaus, political science professor at Davidson College in North Carolina, blames the USA Patriot Act for blocking aid to Somali famine victims Credit:  Linus Atarah/IPS

U.S. Patriot Act Kept Somalia Starving

When war-torn Somalia was also ravaged by a drought-induced famine last year, which killed tens of thousands and displaced over a million people, international media was quick to blame the Islamist Al-Shabaab for blocking humanitarian assistance from reaching its zone of control in southern Somalia.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange CEO Nicky Newton-King.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

Q&A: Increasing Investment Opportunities in Africa

More than three years after the start of the global economic crisis, which has had a considerable impact on African trade, investments and gross domestic product, investment prospects on the continent are increasing.

Southern Sudanese soldiers from the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. Militia groups affiliated with the army still recruit child soldiers.  Credit: Peter Martell/IRIN

Returning Sudanese Child Soldiers Their Childhood

As the process of reintegrating South Sudan’s child soldiers into their old lives begins soon, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army renewal of its lapsed commitment to release all child soldiers from its ranks in March could mean that within two years children will no longer constitute part of the country’s militia groups.

Tighter Security Ignores Root Causes of Somali Crises

As Western forces step up their military presence in Somalia, locals and experts are worried that the country – struggling under multiple crises from piracy, to drought – is doomed to churn in a cycle of violence that fails to acknowledge root causes of the problems.

Industrialised countries have voiced their unhappiness with theUNCTAD

The Battle over Development-Led Globalisation

Industrialised countries have mounted an unprecedented campaign to stop the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development from providing policy advice to the poorest countries in Africa and across the globe.

No man, except for those raised here as children, lives in Umoja village in Kenya.  Credit: Hannah Rubenstein/IPS

Where Men Now Fear to Tread

No man, except for those raised here as children, lives in Umoja village in Kenya; one has not for two decades. It is a village only of and for women, women who have been abused, raped, and forced from their homes.

Before Bor B Primary School built latrines on the school grounds (pictured in background), students would leave during their break and not return. Credit: Andrew Green/IPS

Latrines Critical to Keeping Kids in South Sudan’s Schools

Before Bor B Primary School built latrines on the school grounds two years ago, students would leave during their first break to head home. Most did not come back until the next morning.

Martha Borete Angela is a first-year students in a programme for midwives at the Catholic Health Training Institute South Sudan. Credit: Andrew Green/IPS

Saving Mothers’ Lives One Midwife at a Time in South Sudan

Martha Borete Angela’s gaze sinks to the ground as she admits neither of her two children was delivered by a midwife or doctor. The 28-year-old South Sudanese woman shared this fact in front of her classmates: first-year students in a programme for midwives at the Catholic Health Training Institute in Wau, a city in the western part of the country.

Maternal health is not a priority in Africa.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

Africa’s Political Instability Hinders Maternal Health Progress

Political instability, civil strife and humanitarian crises in Africa have over the past decades reversed countless maternal health development gains on the continent, health experts warn.

A Striga weed-infested maize field in Kenya’s Western Province.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Saving Kenya’s Maize Crop

While some maize farmers in Kenya’s Western Province are stilling living off the produce from last season’s harvest, Robert Oduor is counting his losses after the deadly Striga weed infested his one-hectare maize field.

A Let

Lessons in Democracy on South Sudan’s Airwaves

It is late afternoon and a group of men and women begin to converge under the shade of a huge mango tree in Yambio town, the capital of South Sudan’s western Equatoria state. The group is not gathering for an ethnic, political or religious meeting. They are here to listen to the radio.

The Sound of Peace in Kenya’s Kibera Slum

In a Kibera-bound mini-bus taxi, the driver changes the station just as he turns onto Ngong Road, kilometres away from the Kenyan slum. He tunes into Pamoja Radio 99.9 FM, a local community radio station that broadcasts only in Kibera.

Ruth Muriuki in the greenhouse she built with the help of a microloan. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: Microloans, Greenhouses Help Women Cope with Climate Change

At Gakoromone Market in Meru, in Kenya’s Eastern Province, Ruth Muriuki arrives in a pickup full of tomatoes and cabbages despite the scarcity of rainfall in the area, thanks to the greenhouse technology she uses on her farm – and microcredit.

In Kenya's urban slums the lives of many children remain a continuous fight for survival. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS

Africa’s Urban Slum Children Among Most Disadvantaged

Each day after school, nine-year-old Nelly Wangui hurries home with a bundle of firewood balanced on her head. The paper bag in which she carries her schoolbooks sits precariously on top of the stack and every now and then she reaches out to ensure that her books have not fallen down.

Africa’s Urban Slum Children Among Most Disadvantaged

Each day after school, nine-year-old Nelly Wangui hurries home with a bundle of firewood balanced on her head. The paper bag in which she carries her schoolbooks sits precariously on top of the stack and every now and then she reaches out to ensure that her books have not fallen down.

Somalia’s Rich Maritime Resources Being Plundered, Report Says

The international community has failed to grapple with the real underlying political and economic issues facing the troubled East African nation of Somalia, which has been surviving without an effective government for over two decades, according to a new study released here.

Somali Women Say “Consider Us for the Country’s Leadership”

As Somalia’s transitional government and various stakeholders meet Wednesday to discuss the inclusion of the country’s clans in the new government, women politicians have called for a greater role in the leadership of this East African nation.

Oil Brings New Friction to Sudan and South Sudan

As Sudan and South Sudan meet for the latest round of negotiations featuring oil as a key issue this week, four ships loaded by Khartoum with southern crude are carrying their disputed cargoes to unknown buyers.

Kenyan Chief Tweets His Way to Reducing Crime

Using 140 characters or less, Chief Francis Kariuki in Kenya, has tweeted his way to reducing crime in his and surrounding villages.

During the Lord

UGANDA: Using Community Radio to Heal After Kony’s War

Radio Mega FM’s transmission tower rises from the centre of Gulu town, transmitting talk shows and the latest Ugandan radio hits to listeners across the district. But it also serves as something of an informal memorial to community radio-driven peace efforts during the Lord’s Resistance Army’s destruction of northern Uganda.

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