SomaliPress.com

Rural

Google Leads Effort to Get South Sudan on Map

To help south Sudan prepare for independence, Internet giant Google is training volunteers to help improve maps of the new country. While the initiative aims to facilitate development in the south, it also could have political implications.What is a country without a map? On the brink of independence, south Sudan lacks a lot of basic information...

Drug Firms Fight Spread of Counterfeit Drugs in East Africa

The world's largest pharmaceutical companies have gathered in Nairobi to develop a strategy to fight counterfeit medicines in East Africa. A two-day conference opened Wednesday to discuss the dangers of counterfeit medicine, as well as ways to limit the spread of the drugs in East Africa and around the world. Health officials, police, customs...

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...

US Charges Madagascar Doing Little to Stop Forced Labor

A U.S. report on human trafficking has placed Madagascar in the lowest category and claims the country's de facto government has done nothing to crack down on the practice of sending thousands of women to the Middle East, where the majority of them encounter forced labor and abuse.  The new report reduces prospects of the U.S. resuming non-...

Ethiopia’s Low-Tech, High-Value Transportation

In many parts of the world, people now rely on the Internet, smart phones and Twitter in their daily affairs. In rural Ethiopia, the same can be said for donkeys, horses and mules. A new study looks at the animals’ contributions to people’s livelihoods. The study describes equines as a “lifeline” for both rural and urban people of Ethiopia. The...

Report: More Midwives Could Help Save Millions of Lives

A new report says more than three and a half million lives could be saved in 58 developing countries if there were enough well-trained midwives. The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011 was released Monday in Durban, South Africa, at the Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives. It says because of a lack of midwives, nearly...

UN Report: Higher Food Prices Here to Stay

Higher food prices and volatile commodity markets are here to stay. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. The report said a good harvest in the coming months “may keep prices below the extreme levels seen earlier this year.”...

Clinton: US Boosting Funds to Improve Nutrition in Tanzania

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration is increasing funding to improve nutrition in Tanzania, where more than half of pregnant women are anemic. Secretary Clinton walked through sweet pepper fields along the Tanzanian coast with farmers from the Upendo Women's Group. They are part of a program to help nearly 900,000...

Mobile, Wireless Devices Save Lives, Money

World Health officials have released the most comprehensive global survey to date of how mobile phones and other wireless communication technologies are improving health care delivery around the world. The World Health Organization survey notes that there are more than five billion mobile phone subscribers in the world today. That means more than...

Ivorian Refugees Strain Resources in Liberia

Ivory Coast is still reeling from a post-electoral crisis that killed at least 3,000 people and displaced more than a million after former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to U.N.-certified winner of last November's election, Alassane Ouattara. The Liberia office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says as many as 190,000...

Cell Phone Text Technology Helps Promote Health in Senegal

A pilot project in rural Senegal uses text messaging to remind women of upcoming doctor’s appointments and local health meetings.  Health reminders The sound of a text message, recognizable the world over, but in a small village tucked away down the sandy back-roads of Senegal, a few short beeps can be vital reminders.  For mothers living in and...

Domestic Rape in Congo a Rapidly Growing Problem

In Eastern Congo, rape can be an act of war or revenge, or a response to extreme poverty, ignorance and fear.A new study published by the American Journal of Public Health indicates that nearly 2 million women in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been raped. Many rapes are a part of military operations, designed to terrorize and control the...

Funding Development through Diaspora Remittances

A new initiative was launched this week to spur development with funds from the Diaspora. The Diaspora Investment in Agriculture [DIA] initiative is co-sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the International Fund for Agricultural Development [IFAD]. The program aims to tap into the hundreds of billions of dollars a year in Diaspora...

Tough Road Ahead For Zimbabwe’s New Constitution

Zimbabwe's main political parties are at odds again, this time over the process of transferring public opinion into 17 clauses of the proposed new constitution. About a million people attended some 5,000 public meetings last year, and President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party says its supporters’ views dominated this outreach program and should...

Opportunity International Says Microfinancing Blooming in Congo

A non-profit that helps people climb out of poverty says microfinance - the practice of giving entrepreneurs very small loans to help their businesses - is flourishing in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Less than one percent of the Democratic Republic of Congo's 68 million people enjoy that most basic of financial services: a bank account.But...