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Progress Towards New Zimbabwe Constitution

Despite a troubled start, Zimbabwe is making  progress towards producing a new constitution. There is broad agreement on most constitutional principles between the majority party in the legislature, the Movement for Democratic Change, and President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. A key stipulation in the political agreement that brought the MDC and...

Libyan Crisis Threatens Regional Food Security

The crisis in Libya could put food security at risk, not only in Libya, but in neighboring countries as well. Daniele Donati, chief of the Emergency Operations Service for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, says, “They employ a lot of workers from neighboring countries.  And these people, they are now fleeing the country and they are back...

Investment In Infrastructure Crucial to Africa's Economic Growth

Some development analysts question whether Africa’s current rapid economic growth will fade like the surge in the 1970s. Others say today’s growth is different.  The last such period was centered on Africa’s oil; today, they say, investors are interested in a number of sectors, including banking, tourism and agriculture. And, economists say...

Increased Investment Rapidly Changing Africa’s IT landscape

Africans must have greater access to new technologies if they are to catch up with the developed world, say development experts.  Technology improves the lives of consumers and attracts foreign investors eager to profit from a growing consumer population. McKinsey & Company, a leading global management consulting firm, estimates Africa’s gross...

At 50, US Peace Corps Still Draws Volunteers

Alex Gordon volunteered in the Peace Corps in the early 1990s. He has a box full of keepsakes from the more than two years he spent building a rural school in Paraguay. “Yeah it brings back a whole lot of memories,” he admits.Gordon says volunteering in the Peace Corps is about more than doing good in the world. “It gives you the confidence that...

Foreign Investors See Potential in African Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the most important economic activities in Africa.  In addition to providing employment, agriculture has the potential to transform African societies through the increased export of produce to Western markets. Many agree that transformation will not take place without increased investment in agriculture, including public or...

Peace Corps Making a Difference Again in Sierra Leone

Fifteen years after pulling out because of Sierra Leone’s civil war, Peace Corps volunteers are back in the West African nation. A look at the organization's work as the Peace Corps marks its 50th anniversary this year, March 1st. Amanda Pease is one of the first Peace Corps volunteers to work in Sierra Leone in over a decade. She has been...

EPA Chief Promotes Green Partnerships in E. Africa

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency has been promoting green technology partnerships during a trip to East Africa. One project is aimed at resolving Ethiopia’s most pressing environmental concerns.Tedla Woldemichael is an environmental activist working to promote fuel-efficient cooking stoves in mostly rural southern Ethiopia.He was...

Zimbabwe Activists Charged with High Treason

Forty-six people in Zimbabwe, charged with high treason, appeared in court in Harare Thursday.Defense lawyer Alec Muchadahama said he estimates 10 of the defendants in court were having difficulty sitting down or walking.He said they claimed they were assaulted in detention at Harare Central Police Station after their arrests last Saturday.  He...

Governor of Nigeria’s Rivers State Prepares for Re-Election Campaign

In Nigeria, preparations for the campaigns have begun now that the Independent National Electoral Commission has released the voter registration lists. One of the states where campaigning is expected to be fierce is the oil-rich Rivers State.  The incumbent governor, Chibuike Amaechi, is expected to face a formidable opposition led by his...

Rural Egyptians Welcome Change, Economic Worries Linger

The Egyptian village of Kafr Torky lies along the banks of the Nile, seemingly a world away from the passions that played out further north, in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Yet even in such a bucolic setting, the demonstrations and ultimate victory of the protesters proved riveting.  The villagers share some of the complaints, especially economic, that...

Lack of Infrastructure a Major Challenge for South Sudan

South Sudan is due to become the world’s 193rd nation on July 9, following a referendum last month in which nearly 99 percent of its voters chose to separate from Sudan. Africa’s newest nation will also join the ranks of the world’s least-developed countries because of decades of war and neglect by the government in Khartoum. The new government...

Ivory Coast UN Ambassador Seeks More Pressure on Gbagbo

The Ivory Coast ambassador to the United Nations is calling for more international pressure to make incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo cede power. The Ivorian diplomat warned the situation could turn more violent if outside help is insufficient to force out Gbagbo. Youssouf Bamba was the first appointee by internationally-recognized President...

Ethiopia Seeks to Keep Trade Restrictions While Joining WTO

Ethiopia is asking to join the World Trade Organization without meeting WTO standards for liberalizing key sectors of its economy. The move is an attempt to kick-start Ethiopia’s WTO accession process, which has been stalled for seven years.Senior World Trade Organization officials joined a delegation from Ethiopia’s Trade Ministry this week for a...

UN Warns Floods Could Lead to Food Shortages in Southern Africa

Heavy rainfall and flooding in of southern Africa have damaged large areas of farmland and crops, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today, warning that communities in poorer parts of the region could experience food shortages in the coming months. "Food insecurity levels are already critical in the affected areas of...