South Africa's nine provinces will begin phasing out provision of free formula to HIV-positive mothers and implement a new policy on breast-feeding. Credit: Nastasya Tay/IPS

Breastfeeding, Not Formula, for South Africa’s HIV-Positive Mothers

South Africa's nine provinces will begin phasing out provision of free formula to HIV-positive mothers and implement a new policy on breast-feeding from Sunday. But despite the clarity of the policy and its supporting data, vocal critics, including respected individuals from leading medical and academic institutions, have decried the choice.

South Africa

Brazil and South Africa Hit Hard by Exchange Rate Complications

Brazil and South Africa have experienced a widespread contraction of their manufacturing industries, with the latter suffering massive unemployment as well, thanks to the rampant volatility and misalignment of dominant global currencies like the dollar, trade experts from the two countries say.

Rail networks in Africa remain underdeveloped only 10 percent of transport goes via rail. Here a train crossing the Namib Desert. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

South Africa No Longer the Gateway to the Continent

South Africa’s membership of the bloc of leading emerging economies and its unique position in Africa heralded the country’s role as a gateway into the African continent. However, trade experts question whether it can live up to this position as investors begin to increasingly look towards other African markets.

Tale of Two Approaches – the WTO Torn Asunder?

Trade envoys of India, Brazil, and South Africa have warned industrialised countries not to hijack the Doha multilateral trade negotiations by adopting the controversial plurilateral approach to liberalise trade in services.

DRC Elections – U.N. Condemns Rights Violations

A report by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office has slammed the government and security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, condemning electoral violence linked to the Nov. 30 elections which led to at least 33 deaths in the capital, Kinshasa.

The Mopani worm is the protein-rich caterpillar of the Emperor moth, which can supplement any diet.  Credit: Ignatius Banda/IPS

Zimbabwe’s Mopani Worms Disappearing from Rural Diets

Job Mthombeni loves traditional food. One of his favourite culinary delights is Mopani worms, referred to locally as amacimbi, which means caterpillar in Ndebele. At an early age he understood the nutritional value of the worm, which is found in his rural hometown of Plumtree, in southwestern Zimbabwe.

Mauritius has been experiencing a water shortage for months as the anticipated summer rains are yet to arrive with the season close to its end. Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

As the Taps Run Dry in Mauritius

Rani Murthy, a public officer who lives in Plaines Wilhems, central Mauritius, wakes at three every morning to wait for the water tanker from the Central Water Authority so that she can collect water for cooking and household chores.

Margaret Gamedze earns a living doing laundry for people in her community in Msunduza, Swaziland.  Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

Living on a Meal a Day in Swaziland

Margaret Gamedze earns a living doing laundry for people in her community in Msunduza Township, which lies about a kilometre outside Swaziland’s capital city of Mbabane. But since the country’s fiscal crisis began, she no longer earns enough to pay the rent for her one-roomed mud shack, which she shares with her five children.

IBSA has denounced the ongoing attempts to craft an exclusive, plurilateral agreement to liberalise trade in services.  Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

An Assault on Multilateral Trade Negotiations

India, Brazil, and South Africa, the international grouping for promoting international cooperation among the three countries known as IBSA, along with China and several other developing countries, have denounced the ongoing attempts to craft an exclusive, plurilateral agreement to liberalise trade in services without concluding the multilateral trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization.

An anti-government demonstration photo. Credit: Louise Redvers

Angola’s Police Silence the Media

Rights groups and activists are warning of a rapidly deteriorating political climate in Angola following a police raid on a private newspaper and a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

RIGHTS-DR CONGO: Disabled Left to Fend for Themselves

The outlook for people living with disabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo remains bleak, despite a variety of efforts to improve their lot and bring them in from the margins of society.

Joaquina Xavier - who currently collects water from the river - in front of the new AQUAtap machine in her village. Credit: Louise Redvers/IPS

ANGOLA: Solar Panels Turning Dirty Water Clean

The brightly painted old shipping container with solar panels on its roof and high-specification filtration devices inside looks out of place in this dusty Angolan village of Bom Jesus, 50 kilometres east of the capital Luanda.

Zothe, the school caretaker at Three Crowns Rural School in Lady Frere District oversees the feeding of the bio-digester.  Credit: David Oldfield/IPS

SOUTH AFRICA: Rural School Running on Methane Bio-Gas

Tucked against the rolling hills of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, a small rural school has been turning its kitchen scraps, and agricultural and human waste into methane gas for cooking, and nutrient-rich fertiliser, and is even recycling its water.

The Barotse Flood Plain, about 190 kilometres long and 70 km wide, floods during the peak rainy season that starts in late January.  Credit: Lewis Mwanangombe/IPS

ZAMBIA: No Longer “Waiting for the Mangoes to Ripen”

Eight years ago when Mary Sitali’s husband divorced her, by sending a traditional letter to her parents saying that he no longer wanted her and they could "marry her to any man of your choice - be he a tall or a short man, the choice being entirely yours," she returned to her village in rural Zambia with their two children and no way of supporting them.

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.

Mozambique Prepares for Dangerous Cyclone Giovanna

Over 100,000 people in Mozambique are still recovering from losing their homes and crops, and from being cut off from schools and shops after a tropical storm and cyclone hit the southern African country in January. But the worst may not be over as another dangerous cyclone is expected to make landfall Friday evening as emergency stocks run low.

MALAWI: Cholera in a Time of Floods

They survived floods and witnessed the horrific scenes of their houses, livestock, household items and gardens being swept away at the end of January. Now, the people of the Nsanje and Chikhwawa districts on Malawi’s southern border with Mozambique are facing another menace; a cholera outbreak, which has already killed one child and infected up to 103 people.

ZIMBABAWE: Not Prepared for Floods Amid Conflicting Weather Forecasts

Sibongile Dube knows the devastation heavy rain can leave in its wake. A villager in the lowveld area of Mberengwa in Zimbabwe’s Midlands province, Dube’s home is one of many that were washed away by flash floods last year.

Swaziland’s Cooperatives No Threat to Banks

Nomsa Tsabedze is one of the many people at the Bunye Betfu, Buhle Betfu Credit and Savings Cooperatives waiting to apply for a loan to pay for her children’s school fees.

Radio Zibonele began broadcasting under the bed of a shipping container truck in 1995.  Credit: Davison Mudzingwa/IPS

Social Media Shows Support for Africa’s Oldest Community Station

When a financial crisis threatened the existence of Africa’s oldest community station, Bush Radio, an outpouring of sympathy and appeals went viral on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. However, despite this outspoken support that showed that the station is worth saving, its future remains uncertain.

Malawi’s Consumers Have a Right to Fuel and Forex Black Market

The black market for foreign exchange and fuel is booming in the midst of an acute scarcity in Malawi. The shortage is so severe that even the Consumer Association of Malawi, an influential consumer rights body, has come out in support of the black market.

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