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South Africa

South Africa Approves Draft Carbon Tax

The South African cabinet has approved a draft policy on taxing carbon emissions. The official document will be published next month for public comment. International pressure and national interest obliges South Africa to do something to mitigate carbon emissions, according to Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane. The draft policy proposes a...

Plan to Protect Food Supply Against Global Warming Announced in Rome

The largest effort ever to protect global food supplies against climate change was announced Friday in Rome.One-fifth of the world's plants are threatened with extinction. It's Cary Fowler's mission to fight back. He's the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, a non-profit group based in Rome that works to preserve the world's...

WikiLeaks Revelations Put Zimbabwe in Jeopardy of Further Instability, says Analyst

A leading security analyst based in southern Africa says the spilling of United States government secrets about Zimbabwe by the WikiLeaks organization is “dangerous” for the region, and could lead to instability and violence ahead of the election Harare’s expected to call next year. “Certainly for southern Africa, the WikiLeaks Zimbabwe...

Migrant Deportations Could Lead to Disease and Death in Southern Africa, says Aid Organization

An international aid organization is warning that the deportations of thousands of Zimbabwean migrants from South Africa will pose serious public health risks. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says mass expulsions could also endanger the lives of many migrants, including some who suffer from potentially fatal conditions, such as HIV and...

Apartheid Legacy Remains in S. Africa’s Health Spending

In South Africa, despite the end of apartheid, there is still a big gap when it comes to health care spending.  A new study says the richest provinces - where most of the whites live - still receive more government funded healthcare than the poorest provinces. The research was led by Dr. David Stuckler, a research fellow at Oxford University and...

Are GM Crops Africa's Path to Food Security?

For decades, Africa has suffered the ravages of an unpredictable climate, repeating cycles of drought, diminished harvests, hunger and poverty. Now, proponents of genetic engineering see biotechnology leading the continent to a bountiful and prosperous future by genetically modifying crops to resist drought and pests, and fend off disease....

Search for Common Ground Celebrates Promoters of Peace

For the past 13 years, the US organization Search for Common Ground has celebrated individuals and groups that work on conflict resolution. This year, Search for Common Ground recognized groups that use a variety of tools to inspire others to overcome division and heal wounds of the past.American songwriter Peter Yarrow singing in English and...

Rights Group Critical of Zambian Invitation to Indicted Sudanese Leader

An official of Human Rights Watch (HRW) has expressed concern that Zambian President Rupiah Banda has invited indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to participate in a regional conference scheduled for 15th December. Reed Brody, spokesman for the rights organization, told VOA a majority of human rights groups across Africa have...

New Newspaper Hits South African Streets

A new newspaper hit the streets today in South Africa. The New Age  newspaper is owned by a family said to be close to South African President Jacob Zuma but its editors say the daily will be independent. The first edition of the New Age  newspaper sold briskly in its first hours on the streets. A crisp electronic version also opened on the...

Zimbabwe's Economic Woes Continue

Nearly two years into Zimbabwe's government of national unity, the country's economy is plagued by a declining industrial sector and continuing job losses. There is little foreign investment and little hope for financial assistance. The International Monetary Fund said last week that while it continued technical assistance to Zimbabwe, the...

More Affluent South Africans ‘Forced’ to Test for HIV at Public Clinics

People stare at the young woman as she enters the government clinic in a Johannesburg suburb. Some of them shuffle uncomfortably. She’s not like them. They seem disturbed by her presence. She’s dressed in fine clothes. Her face is made up. She doesn’t speak their language. Yet here she is, taking her seat among them on a hard plastic chair...

U.S. and South Africa to Host 2011 Microbicide Conference

The United States and South Africa have agreed to co-host a summit on microbicides next year.  The meeting follows this year’s successful trial of CAPRISA 004, a gel containing the antiretroviral Tenofovir, which was shown to protect women against HIV infection.  The research on CAPRISA 004 was conducted in South Africa. A successful microbicide...

Delay in Ballot Printing for Sudan January Referendum

The Southern Sudan Referendum Commission announced it will reopen bidding on the printing of ballot papers for the January 9 referendum on southern independence.  In the April general elections, the use of the national currency printing company caused a great deal of controversy. The requirements for bidding were changed to make it easier for...

South Africa Assesses Progress in Fight Against AIDS

International AIDS Day provides an opportunity to examine the efforts to combat the deadly virus that attacks the human immune system. In South Africa, whose 5.7 million HIV victims make it the most affected country in the world, officials and activists are assessing an ambitious campaign launched by the government on AIDS Day (Dec 1st) last year...

South Africa's Zuma Tries to End Political Paralysis

South African President Jacob Zuma is in Zimbabwe to try to end power-sharing disputes between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed to share power after disputed elections in 2008 but their unity government has been rocked by rifts over posts and privileges. Zuma has tried to resolve...