Stories written by Miriam Mannak

Prince Feisal Credit: Miriam Mannak

Q&A: Play for Peace

Sport could be one way of alleviating the thousands of children drawn into armed conflicts around the world. Certainly Prince Feisal Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, also president of the Jordanian Olympic Committee, believes this, and has been using sports to heal traumatised children all his life.

Inshore catches are dwindling, putting the survival of fishing communities at risk. Credit:  Patrick Burnett/IPS-WCN

ENVIRONMENT: Climate Change Threatens Livelihoods Along Africa's Coast

Environmental experts warn that climate change will lead to oceanic acidification and increase surface water temperatures, especially around the African continent.

A Congolese man transports charcoal on his bicycle outside Lubumbashi in the DRC. As a result of the global economic crisis, charcoal prices have also shot up. Credit:  Miriam Mannak/IPS

ECONOMY-DR CONGO: Joblessness Rises As Global Crisis Hits Mining

It is busy at the gates of Bralima brewery in Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). About 60 men are waiting at the doors, hoping for them to open and someone to offer them work. Their numbers have grown since the global economic crisis which has caused the collapse of the local mining industry.

Congolese farmer cooking maize porridge and fish - changing rainfall patterns threaten production of staple foods. Credit:  Miriam Mannak/IPS

AFRICA: Climate Change Threatens Food Security

Climate change will have a significant impact on southern Africa’s already compromised food security, environmental experts warned at the fifth Alexander von Humboldt International Conference at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa.

Children from the Bakanja Ville night shelter. Credit:  Miriam Mannak/IPS

DR CONGO: Poverty Pushes Children Onto the Streets

Despite being Africa's treasure chest in terms of natural resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) struggles with widespread poverty.

HEALTH-AFRICA: Cervical Cancer Strikes Poor Women Hardest

Of the 490,000 women worldwide who are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, 80 percent live in the developing world. Every year, 55,000 women in sub-Saharan Africa alone develop this disease, which is ten times more likely to affect women living with HIV.

Jorge Maia: "Global crisis will affect African commodity exporters" Credit:  Miriam Mannak/IPS

ECONOMY: Global Crisis Should Spell End of Laissez-Faire Doctrine

The real question to ask about the global financial crisis is whether ‘‘it will go deep enough for the big economies to realise that the market should be controlled more. The philosophy of laissez-faire simply does not work’’.

HEALTH-DR CONGO: Malaria Remains Biggest Killer

With almost 200,000 people dying of malaria each year in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the disease remains the country's biggest killer.

The 2006 Kampala Declaration has brought only limited improvements for prisoners like these men in Congo. Credit:  Hugo Rami/IRIN

RIGHTS-AFRICA: Prisons Under the Magnifying Glass

"Prisons worldwide face the same crises and problems as those in Africa," says Jeremy Sarkin. Chronic overcrowding, unsafe and unhealthy living conditions, lack of resources, and violence can be found on every continent.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: Why The Richest Continent Is Also The Poorest

The ecological impact of natural resource exploitation on the lives of the poor in Africa and other regions is not being addressed sufficiently in aid effectiveness and development discussions, aid experts say.

Mary Chenery-Hess -- "We can't just talk about it, we must act."  Credit:  Miriam Mannak/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Coming Together To Aid the Poor

In what is turning out to be hard-fought negotiations between rich and poor nations, more than 1,000 government and civil society delegates are gathered in the Ghanaian capital to agree the best ways to deliver and administer aid.

Agnes Nyoka Peter -- "In order to make aid more effective, donors should engage more with civil society." Credit:  Miriam Mannak/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Accra Agenda for Action – A Step Backwards?

Ahead of the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF3), opening in Accra on September 2nd, representatives of civil society at a parallel forum have raised concerns that the HLF could represent a step backwards in efforts to improve aid effectiveness.

DEVELOPMENT: Africa Still Hampered by Lack of Geographical Data

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) could play a vital role in improving agriculture and boosting food security in Africa. However, only a few African countries are capable of developing such systems, partly because of a lack of basic geographical data.

Charles Villa-Vicencio questions the ICC's deterrent effect on human rights violations.  Credit:  Miriam Mannak/IPS

AFRICA: Proving Ground For International Criminal Court?

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is using Africa as a guinea pig, and is too selective when it comes to arresting, indicting and prosecuting perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This was one of the opinions raised during a recent seminar in Cape Town organised by the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR).

AFRICA: Link Between Crop Failure and Climate Change Often Missed

Climate change has a profound effect on food security in Africa, as increasing temperatures and shifting rain patterns reduce access to food across the continent.

China's dominance in the clothing sector has pushed sub-Saharan Africa out of the market. Credit: Miriam Mannak/IPS

AFRICA: Concerns over Chinese Investment and Working Conditions

Chinese investment in African countries comes with few strings attached – which is exactly what concerns civil society organisations.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: High Food Prices Here For Another Five Years

Hundred million people worldwide - mostly from developing countries - may sink deeper into poverty when food prices continue to rise, the World Bank predicts.

ECONOMY-AFRICA: HIV/AIDS Reduces Children’s Education Chances

Children who live in communities with an HIV prevalence rate of 10 percent or more have half a year of schooling less than children in other communities.

ECONOMY-AFRICA: Informal Sector Also Needs Skills Training

Bringing basic skills training programmes to workers in the informal sector can help to bring down poverty and unemployment levels, while improving economic growth.

Namibian Lukas Mwashekele refuses to flee xenophobic attacks. Credit: Miram Mannak/IPS

RIGHTS-SOUTH AFRICA: They Will Have to Shoot Me First

Thousands of foreign residents of Cape Town have sought refuge at police stations, churches, community halls and in camps set up by municipal disaster management services.

"Women understand what other women need" - Yassina Fall Credit: Miriam Mannak/IPS

POLITICS: Democracy Unfinished

A new report by the Geneva-based Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) has shown that women are changing the priorities and sometimes the tone of legislatures around the world. But, it also highlights the slow pace at which the number of parliamentary seats held by women is increasing.

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