West Africa

Nigeria – From Sticks and Machetes to Rocket-propelled Grenades

Nigerians are beginning to adjust to the sad reality that they live in a country where suicide bombers and terrorists could be lurking around the next corner thanks to a ready supply of advanced weapons smuggled through the country’s porous borders. 

Sahel Food Crisis Overshadowed by Regional Conflict

Still not enough is being done to improve the food emergency in Africa’s Sahel Region as conflict and instability continue to exacerbate any response towards aiding a region where one in eight people suffer from food insecurity.

The Bitter Taste of Liberia’s Palm Oil Plantations

Sackie Qwemie works for Equatorial Palm Oil, the company that took his land in northwestern Liberia.

Fears for Food Security Rise with West African Floodwaters

Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by heavy flooding along the Niger River over the last few weeks. Niger, Mali and Benin have been particularly hard hit, with dozens of deaths, tens of thousands of houses destroyed and vast areas of farmland submerged by rising waters.

Guinea Grows NERICA Rice to Reduce Dependence on Imports

Kafoumba Koné sounds almost smug. "Our first rice harvest is in, and we're getting ready to plant again," he says, surveying his farm in southeastern Guinea. "Other farmers who have not yet tried NERICA are still preparing for their only harvest of the year."

Polygamy Throttles Women in Senegal

Fatou (40), Awa (32) and Aissatou Gaye (24) sit in a meditative mood on the tiled floor outside their matrimonial home in Keur Massar, a township in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

Agricultural Activity to Slow Clandestine Emigration from Senegal

"It was Ibrahima Sarr, a friend and fellow fisherman, who got me involved with smuggling people across the seas." Senegalese fisherman Doudou Ndoye speaks with the bittersweet conviction of a man redeemed.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Universities – Shedding a Legacy of Violence and Corruption

Yacouba Coulibaly was pursuing a doctorate in education at Cocody University in Abidjan before Côte d’Ivoire’s post-election violence started in 2010. But his classes were routinely disrupted by armed members of a powerful student federation that wished to hold meetings instead.

Filling the Granaries in Burkina Faso

The seeds were sown, and the harvest is beginning to come in. Burkina Faso farmers are reaping the benefits of their government's programme to develop and popularise improved varieties of maize.

The Gambian government, has provided farmers in 10 of the country’s most-vulnerable districts with inputs such as power tillers, tractors, rice threshers, seeders, sine hoes and bags of fertilisers. Credit: DW / Manuel Özcerkes/ CC by 2.0

“Operation No Back Way to Europe” Keeps Young Farmers at Home in Gambia

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.

Surviving on a Meal a Day in Ghana’s Savannah Zone

In order to ensure that he and his family survive this year's failed harvest, Adams Seidu, like farmers in other rural communities in Ghana’s Northern Region, has implemented a strategy for survival. They are using what Seidu calls the "one-zero-one strategy" for children, and the "zero-zero-one strategy" for adults.

Lean Times Get Leaner in Northern Cote d’Ivoire

Salimata Coulibaly, director of a medical centre in the town of Korhogo in the northern Cote d’Ivoire region of Savanes, stood before a chart displaying before-and-after photos of local children – one taken when each child arrived at the centre, and one after he or she responded to treatment for malnutrition.

Q&A: Military Action in Mali Would Be a ‘Huge Risk’

Military action by West African states against the insurrection in northern Mali would be extremely risky without diplomatic support from neighbouring Algeria and Mauritania, according to International Crisis Group researcher Gilles Yabi.

Breakthrough for Women in Senegal’s Lower House

A record number of women were sworn in as legislators as Senegal's new parliament was inaugurated on Monday. Sixty-four women now have seats in this West African country's 150-member National Assembly, thanks to a law on gender parity.

Flags fly at half-mast in Kumasi. President John Dramani Mahama has declared one week of mourning to commemorate the death of President John Atta Mills. Credit: Portia Crowe/IPS

President’s Death Could Drive National Unity in Ghana

The death of President John Atta Mills will have a sobering effect on national politics in the months leading up to Ghana’s December 2012 election, according to the Executive Secretary of the West Africa Network for Peace, Emmanuel Bombandey.

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