“Not a Famine, but an Issue of Food Insecurity”

Millions of Angola’s poorest families are facing critical food insecurity as a prolonged dry spell across large parts of the country has destroyed harvests and killed off livestock.

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.

Malawi President Joyce Banda (left) and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a women

Africa’s Two Female Presidents Join Forces for Women

The only two female heads of state in Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Malawian President Joyce Banda, have just committed to using their positions to improve the lives of women across the continent.

Getting water is a daily chore for this woman in Swaziland.  Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

Q&A: Water Infrastructure Falls Far Short in Southern Africa

The cost of maintaining and expanding water infrastructure in southern Africa is high. And while South Africa may be in a better economic position than the rest of the region, it also faces funding challenges that are similar to those of its neighbours.

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.

Encouraging business in Africa will help reach the MDGs.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

Governments Can’t Do It Alone

African countries need more support from the private sector in order to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015, which include important development targets like poverty reduction, and improved health and education.

Farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo are embracing a new variety of cassava.  Credit: Credit: André Thiel/Flickr

DRC Cassava Farmers Reap Rewards from New Methods

Farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo are embracing a new variety of cassava which, in combination with improved agricultural techniques, easily outperforms yields from other popular types of this important crop.

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.

Farmer Selinah Mncwango is proud of her traditional sorghum seeds.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

South Africa’s Smallholders Lose Battle for Seed Security

In an almost ceremonial manner, Selinah Mncwango opens her big plastic bag and pulls out several smaller packets, each filled with different types of seeds: sorghum, bean, pumpkin, and maize. They are her pride, her wealth, the "pillar of my family," says the farmer from a village in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

Hundreds of residents in Diepsloot queue for hours to access clean, safe water. Credit: Siphosethu Stuurman

South African Township Desperate for Safe Drinking Water

Thousands of residents in Diepsloot, a large township north of Johannesburg, South Africa, are queuing for hours to access clean, safe water a week after their supply was contaminated by sewage.

 Zimbabwe’s challenge is to change people’s attitudes about sanitation and hygiene.  Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

More Toilets in Zimbabwe, Better Livelihoods

Government and sanitation experts say Zimbabwe needs to increase efforts to promote good hygiene and invest in toilets and clean water provision, as the country grapples with a typhoid outbreak.

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.

Bulawayo only has a 20-month supply of water left if the seasonal rains do not come.  Credit: Busani Bafana/IPS

Steady Water Supply for Zimbabwean City Still a Pipe Dream

Residents of Zimbabwe's water-scarce city, Bulawayo, are concerned about the government’s slow response to finding a permanent source of water to cover their needs.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world: 74 percent of the population here lives on less than 1.25 dollars a day. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

Banda Gives New Lease on Life to Malawi

She has been in office for less than a week but Malawi’s, and the region’s, first female president, Joyce Banda, has given many people in this poor southern African country hope that its social and economic woes will soon end.

On Jul. 20, 2011, the peaceful country of Malawi broke out into nationwide anti-government protests. Credit: Katie Lin/IPS

Social Media Activism Takes Root in Malawi

As Malawians celebrate Joyce Banda’s appointment as president on sites, like Facebook and Twitter, the increased use of social media in Malawi comes full circle as her new government takes office.

Recycling cooperative member Andiswa Konco sorts garbage.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

The Business of South Africa’s Garbage

Nokwanda Sotyantya sits among heaps of garbage and patiently sorts through it, separating cardboard, plastic, glass, paper and metal, piece by piece. The recycled piles of trash are then weighed and sold to packaging manufacturers in South Africa that reuse the materials to create new products.

Malawi’s Army Commander General Henry Odillo hands over the presidential sword to President Joyce Banda at her swearing in ceremony. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

“A New Dawn Rises over Malawi”

It would be too simplistic to think that Malawi’s problems have ended with the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. But it is an opportunity for newly appointed President Joyce Banda, who is also leader of the opposition People’s Party, to step up and offer a new and more responsive style of leadership.

Marcolino Moro, a member of Angola's ruling party, is concerned about the country’s stability. Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

After Ten Years of Peace, “Angola’s Future is Dark”

Angola is celebrating 10 years of peace on Apr. 4. Since the end of its 27-year- long civil war in 2002, the country’s economy has prospered thanks to oil. But experts fear that parliamentary elections later this year could return the country to violence and instability.

South Africa Looking to Make the Most of BRICS Membership

South Africa needs to stop agonising over whether it deserves to be in BRICS and start focusing on making the most of its membership to leverage better trade deals.

Mauritania – Small Steps Towards Ending Female Genital Mutilation

A multi-pronged strategy to end female genital mutilation in Mauritania is making gradual progress, though campaigners acknowledge much remains to be done in a country where more than two-thirds of girls suffer excision.

The G20 is not representative of the WTO because the poorest countries have no say in setting the trade agenda. Credit: Kim Cloete/IPS

BRICS Ministers Say New Trade Narrative Sinks Development

Trade ministers of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa – say that at the G20 trade ministerial summit later this month in Mexico they will try to ensure that attempts by industrialised countries to frame a new trade agenda do not drown development-led trade liberalisation and the World Trade Organization talks.

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