Stories written by Moyiga Nduru

RIGHTS-BOTSWANA: ”We Will Die Like the Grass” – San

‘‘Eviction is like removing grass from its roots. We will die like the grass,'' said Jumanda Gakelebone, spokesperson of the First People of the Kalahari, the group that represents the rights of the San community in Botswana.

ENVIRONMENT-AFRICA: Getting Most of the Heat From Global Warming

Nobody will escape the effects of climate change but the poor in Africa will suffer the most because of decreasing food production and the heightened prevalence of diseases such as malaria, warn environmentalists, church leaders and researchers.

DEVELOPMENT: Keeping Civil Society on the Straight and Narrow

A few years ago, this IPS correspondent posed a question at a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, about whether non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should be held more accountable for their actions. Afterwards, the key speaker at the event pulled me aside, and issued a polite rebuke for my "dangerous question".

TRADE-AFRICA: Where Are the EPA Impact Assessments?

Civil society organisations in southern and eastern Africa have urged John Kaputin, the secretary general of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states, to insist that assessments be done to evaluate the potential effects of the European Union's proposed economic partnership agreements (EPAs).

TRADE-SOUTHERN AFRICA: EU Agreement Has ”Not Been Beneficial”

A senior member of parliament of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Ben Turok, says the existing trade agreement between South Africa and the European Union (EU) has not benefited his country.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: ”Extreme Water Events” Predicted

In Africa, 25 countries are expected to experience water scarcity or water stress in the next 20 to 30 years. This translates into 16 percent or 230 million of Africa's population facing water scarcity by 2025, and 32 percent or 460 million people living in water-stressed countries by that time.

ENVIRONMENT-SOUTH AFRICA: Political Sins Continue to Scar the Land

While South Africa's "homelands" - areas formerly set aside for blacks - have been relegated to the dustbin of history for more than a decade, their legacy lives on in the form of land degradation, and even desertification in northern and eastern parts of the country.

POLITICS-ZIMBABWE: Independence Day in Name Only, NGOs Fear

Reports that Zimbabwean Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu has annulled the registration of all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the country have been greeted with dismay by civil society representatives.

HEALTH-AFRICA: Beef up Budget Allocations to Achieve MDGs

African states should put in place sufficient budget allocations and the right policies if the continent is to meet the global and regional health care targets that governments have committed themselves to, say campaigners.

ZIMBABWE: “Mbeki Needs to Move from Quiet Diplomacy to Open Mediation”

A debate is underway among analysts and civil society activists about how South African President Thabo Mbeki should proceed in fulfilling the mandate given to him last month by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to continue mediating between Zimbabwe's government and opposition.

WORLD HEALTH DAY-SOUTH AFRICA: An Outbreak Kept From Breaking Out

South Africa seems to have succeeded in preventing an outbreak of Extreme Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) from spiralling out of control and spreading beyond its borders, at least for now.

ENERGY-SOUTH AFRICA: Fuel in the Car at the Expense of Food on the Table?

South Africa has joined the race to find alternative sources of energy: government has already approved a 'Draft Biofuels Industry Strategy', and called on stakeholders to discuss it.

POLITICS-ZIMBABWE: A Regional – and National – Embrace for Mugabe

Hopes that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe would be taken to task this week over human rights abuses in his country have been dashed - this after regional leaders reaffirmed their solidarity with Zimbabwe, and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) endorsed Mugabe as its presidential candidate for 2008 elections.

LESOTHO: Local Elections May Hold the Key to National Success for Women

As Lesotho's newly-elected legislators settle down to the task of governing, activists are expressing disappointment at the low representation of women in the country's parliament.

POLITICS-ZIMBABWE: “This Dictator Must Be Brought Down”

Zimbabwe's outspoken Catholic archbishop, Pius Ncube, has volunteered to lead peaceful, mass protests to remove President Robert Mugabe from power, as Cardinal Jaime Sin did to unseat dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines more than two decades ago.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: Forced to Choose ”Which Rights to Violate”

Images of tiny, malnourished African children, some scavenging for leftover food, have continued to grace the covers of brochures, posters and video clips of aid agencies since the devastating famine that claimed more than one million lives in Ethiopia 22 years ago.

HEALTH-AFRICA: Facing AIDS, Malaria Amidst Brain Drain

As though the decimating effects of HIV/AIDS and malaria were not enough to deal with, African countries also have to battle with the continuing exodus of health professionals leaving the continent for greener pastures.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: MDGs Depend on Power Relations Changing

‘‘The people of Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta are poor not because they do not have resources but because they do not have political power. Those who wield power in Nigeria are building skyscrapers in Lagos and Abuja while there is nothing in the Niger Delta. It is the same at the global level.''

POLITICS-AFRICA: Democracy Takes Root in Some Countries, Falters in Others

The progress of democracy in Africa has come under discussion this week at a conference in the South African commercial hub of Johannesburg.

INT’L WOMEN’S DAY-SOUTH AFRICA: A Fight Against Cultural Norms on Violence

International Women's Day, commemorated Thursday, is this year focused on bringing those who abuse women and girls to book. The theme is a pertinent one for South Africa, where the twin challenges of tackling domestic violence and ending impunity have topped the agenda of women's groups for years.

SOUTH AFRICA: How Discarded Bottles Led to the ‘DNA Project’

DNA profiling has rapidly proved an indispensable tool in fighting crime. The process offers a host of benefits, such as quick identification of criminals, and of innocent suspects - as well as solid evidence for presentation in court.

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