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Environment

China’s Massive Appetite for Commodities Sparks Concern

China’s massive appetite for commodities is creating concerns for the global economy, the environment and workers in other countries. In a series of reports, VOA is looking at the economic power modern China wields. Correspondent Nico Colombant reports from Washington.Chinese government and company officials are signing agreements at a dizzying...

Civil Society Groups: Support Justice for Gravest Crimes

Civil society groups are urging African nations to show support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the AU summit in Equatorial Guinea. Some 125 organizations in more than 25 African countries issued a report Monday called Observations and Recommendations on the ICC. It calls on African member countries of the ICC to “support justice for...

Kenya Anti-Graft Czar Denies Political Interference

The top official of Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) has denied suggestions that political interference is thwarting his organization’s mandate to investigate public officials accused of corruption. PLO Lumumba said since he took office eight months ago, he has not received any phone call from any quarter telling him not to investigate. “...

Clinton: African Businesswomen Need More Access to Credit

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says African businesswomen need more access to credit.As African economies work to attract more outside investment and expand cross-border trade, Clinton said there should be more of an effort to help the continent's businesswomen.“No country can thrive when half its people are left behind," she said. "And...

Soutnern African Nations Urge Faster Progress on Zimbabwe Power Sharing

A SADC summit in Johannesburg urged Zimbabwe's political rivals to move faster to resolve differences. The Southern African Development Community called for South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique to appoint officials to a team to assist implementation of the country's power-sharing agreement.The multi-party Joint Monitoring and Implementation...

Water Scarcity Root of Darfur Conflict

The conflict in Western Sudan's Darfur region erupted more than eight years ago.  It has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced an estimated two million people.  Disputes over scarce water and grazing land between black African farmers and Arab pastoralist communities triggered the war.  Lack of access to water remains one of the...

Clinton Says Africa Must Fight Corruption to Boost Trade

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says African governments must do more to fight corruption and encourage cross-border commerce to better benefit from U.S. trade preferences. Secretary Clinton says the Obama administration is committed to extending trade preferences under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. But renewing that duty-free...

World Bank, IMF Fault Ethiopia's Economic & Development Policies

International financial institutions are urging Ethiopia to shift its emphasis away from central economic planning and adopt more market-oriented policies. Two departing senior economists are pointing to the need for a change of course to revive Ethiopia’s battered private sector and spur much-needed investment.In separate interviews this week,...

Swaziland Government Dismisses Calls for Democratic Reforms

Swaziland’s attorney general has dismissed opposition demands for democratic reforms, saying the campaign lacks strong local support. Majahenkaba Dlamini said the government would not kowtow to pressure from self-interest groups to work outside the confines of the constitution. He also said the groups are unsure about what they really want. “They...

Madagascar Moves to Protect Precious Forests

Madagascar's Ministry of Environment is heralding the success of a crackdown on illegal logging, notably in the country's northeast where vast protected areas have been the focus of huge trafficking scandals.  The ministry says more than 1,000 precious rosewood logs have been seized in the last two weeks of policing, and that members of a so-...

Zimbabwean Conservationist Seeks to Protect Black Rhinos

Zimbabwe has one of the largest populations of black rhinos in the world.But conservationists say their numbers are declining, mostly because of man-made problems, including poaching and human encroachment, as people look for new land to farm. Every year hundreds of rhinos are killed for their horns, which are sold for medicinal purposes in...

Botswana’s Government Closes Down Schools as Strike Continues

The spokesman for Botswana’s government says all primary and secondary public schools have been closed down as a temporary measure to address concerns of an ongoing nationwide public workers’ strike that include teachers. Jeff Ramsey said the move was necessary to protect students following a public sector strike that turned violent. “We’ve done...

Ethiopia-Egypt Talks Yield 'New Environment' in Nile Dispute

Egypt’s prime minister says his just-completed visit to Ethiopia has opened a “whole new environment” for settlement of the longstanding dispute over sharing the waters of the Nile River. As he completed a two-day visit to Uganda and Ethiopia, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf signaled an end to Egypt’s tepid relations with Sub-Saharan Africa that...

Fate of Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill Uncertain

Some lawmakers and activists in Uganda say voting on controversial anti-homosexuality bill has been postponed. Speaker of the Parliament Edward Ssekandi adjourned parliament Friday, saying there was not enough time to start debate on the bill.  The current legislative session ends Wednesday.The bill calls for mandatory death sentences for some...

UN Security Council Urges Somalis to Resolve Political Crisis

The U.N. Security Council expressed “its grave concern” Wednesday at the continued instability in Somalia, which it says has led to a multitude of problems, including terrorism, piracy and a dire humanitarian situation. In a statement, the 15-member Security Council said it regretted the decision by Somalia’s parliament to unilaterally extend its...