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Human Development and Poverty (280)

eAfrica Volume 2, July 2004 FIVE years ago, Banareng Primary School in Atteridgeville, a township near Pretoria, was losing its battle against the typical consequences of poverty. Attendance and grades were poor and illnesses among students frequent.
Monday, 28 April 2008

Seeding the Harvest

eAfrica Volume 2, July 2004 FOR two years 18 international experts in agricultural sciences and economics considered how to apply science and technology more effectively to respond to the central challenges of farming in Africa, which include: predominance of customary land tenure; lack of functioning competitive markets and politically enabling environments; and inherently poor soil fertility. The panel's recommendations follow:
eAfrica Volume 2, July 2004 Study sketches broad-based approach to achieving food security on world's hungriest continent
eAfrica Volume 2, July 2004 AFRICA, Henry Kissinger writes in his book Does America Need a Foreign Policy?, is destined to become 'the festering disaster of our age.' In his view, only the 'moral commitment of the American people and the international community' can save us from that fate.
eAfrica Volume 2, July 2004 But study highlights constructive ways to break continent's stubborn economic malaise
eAfrica Volume 2, July 2004   IN 1980, 133 million people living south of the Sahara faced constant malnutrition. Apparently, that wasn't enough to motivate Africa's leadership to promote reforms that would provide lasting food security on the continent. The succeeding years were punctuated by a series of heart-wrenching famines: Ethiopia in 1984; Somalia and southern Africa in 1992; Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi for the past three years running. The amount of food available per capita in Africa today is 3% lower than levels 15 years ago. Some 200 million Africans live with persistent hunger; 33 million of them are…
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004 ALTHOUGH most of Africa threw off colonial rule four decades ago, the continent's education systems still bear the heavy imprint of curricula designed by erstwhile foreign regimes. In the face of poverty, unemployment, disease, global competition and rapidly changing technology, Africa must ask whether those colonial models are still relevant.
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004 Poor teaching, insufficient resources beset maths and science education in Africa
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004 As free primary school swells classrooms, Tanzania deploys severely unqualified educators
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004 In a South African ghetto, a determined principal drives teachers and students to excel
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004 THE stench wafts for miles around. Nonetheless, people of all ages, mostly men, scurry around the Mbeubeuss dump near Dakar, the capital of Senegal, salvaging anything that can be sold.
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004 Study of 50 countries indicates high cost of inaction to private sector; Africa worst hit AN  ESTIMATED 36.5 million people engaged in some form of economic activity worldwide are HIV-positive, resulting in an annual loss of $25 billion in productivity - twice the yearly gross domestic product of Kenya.
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004 EDUCATION is a universal right, a prerequisite for democracy, a path out of material and spiritual poverty. These are the basic ideals behind the global pursuit of universal primary education, one of the Millennium Development Goals, a list of time-based targets for poverty alleviation towards which all 191 UN member states - including all 53 countries in Africa - have agreed to work. If the Goals are achieved, by 2015 the world will 'ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling.'
eAfrica Volume 2, September 2004   WHAT good is getting tested for HIV/AIDS if there is no support system when the results come back? Where is the incentive in finding out your status if the penalty for testing positive is losing some of your rights as a human being? It's almost like playing dead in a desert while a group of vultures circles above.  
eAfrica Volume 2, September 2004   IN JUNE 2004 the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS released a policy statement that cautiously endorsed a new approach to HIV testing in hopes of increasing the number of people worldwide who know their status. While the two organisations emphasise that all testing still needs consent, should be confidential and offered with appropriate counseling, they now say a variety of approaches to testing should be embraced, in addition to voluntary counseling and testing.
eAfrica, Volume 2, April 2004 More and more African countries embrace early mother-tongue instruction as foundational LUNGILE Mlaba stares quietly into her lap when her father speaks about her future. 'I am no good in English and I have got no good job,' he said. 'Lungile will go to university and be a lawyer.' An unskilled labourer, as haggard in the face as in the clothes, Skhonzi Mlaba has spent a lifetime traversing the outer edge of the formal economy, warding off hunger with serial odd jobs — gardening, painting, sweeping. He lives in a shack on the industrial eastern…
ON A continent where HIV/AIDS has become the primary killer and most controversial health-care issue, efforts to curb another deadly disease - malaria - have faltered. Almost five years ago, African leaders signed on to the UN Millennium Development Goals, which include halting and reversing the incidence of malaria worldwide by 2015.
SHE was the first woman in all of East Africa to hold a Ph.D and head a university department. She’s been beaten unconscious by security police, arrested and imprisoned, and appointed to the Cabinet. Her husband divorced her for being ‘too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control.’ A committee in Sweden gave her the Nobel Peace Prize.
AN ESTIMATED 2 million people die from malaria worldwide every year. Africa, where 90% of those fatalities occur, bears most of the human and economic costs of the disease. Most of those who die are children under the age of five. Survivors often suffer from impaired cognitive development and face a blighted future.
Yowerik Kaguta Museveni had other things on his mind when he first heard about HIV/AIDS. Three guerrilla factions - his and two others - were waging a fierce and fractured bush war against the despotic regime of Milton Obote. Museveni and his forces were constantly on the move, evading heavy fire from government troops in vast papyrus swamps and thick, steamy forests of western Uganda. One day, the BBC filtered through his shortwave with news of a strange new sexually transmitted disease ravaging far off Zambia.
AT MONTHLY support groups for children infected with the virus that causes AIDS in the hills of northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Ann Barnard doles out creams and antibiotics for simple HIV-related infections. But one of the most important bottles in her arsenal is not a drug, but a basic multivitamin, which she encourages caretakers to give daily to each infected child.
Capacity, not lack of cash, undermines Pretoria's bid to ease povertyIn February, residents of Phomolong, a township near the South African mining town of Welkom, looted local businesses and threatened to attack resident officials perceived as corrupt. Two days later, another township, Mmamahabane, erupted in violence as residents tried to block traffic on a main highway to publicise their frustrations. Similar episodes erupted across the Free State province, in central South Africa.
IN JANUARY, the UN Millennium Project, an independent body advising UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, published Investing in Development, A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Below are excerpts of the project's top 10 recommendations based on the findings of its 10 task forces.
LAST year, Neo Chitombo became pregnant with her third child. Unemployed, she turned to Thari ya Basadi - an income-generating project for women living with HIV in Botswana.
Friday, 25 April 2008

Development Diaries

eAfrica, May 2005MOROCCO, 1960s. The four-year-old US Agency for International Development is aggressively promoting a chicken improvement project in central Morocco. It has determined that Moroccan chickens (like Moroccan cows, goats, and sheep) are scrawny, under-nourished, and under-productive. If Moroccan chickens were to be improved, more chicken meat and more eggs would be available for less money; people would eat more healthily and producers would make more money. All of this makes sense, and everyone, including the Moroccan government approves of the project. Thousands of baby chicks (Rhode Island Reds, I recall), along with a number of poultry experts are…
eAfrica, June 2005AFRICAN banks are caught in a vicious cycle: lack of infrastructure and weak technology mean poor service and high costs. Few customers can access bank services, so savings levels remain low and businesses cannot borrow to expand.
eAfrica, June 2005Africa has the world's lowest savings rate, with little capital for banks to lend to grow productive enterprise. South Africa is changing the rules by bringing the poor into the banking system.
eAfrica, June 2005Bill Corcoran offers a first-hand look at a brutal campaign that's destroying livelihoods.IN LATE May, the Zimbabwean army and police drove into the large informal settlement at Hatcliffe, outside Harare with bulldozers, and either burnt to the ground or flattened the 3,000 homes in which about 15,000 people lived. For days residents stayed amid the rubble, trying to protect salvageable possessions and hoping for relief. As we drove into the wrecked township, people's possessions were piled up along the dirt road next to where their homes once stood.
eAfrica, July 2005Governments, donors must recognise the role of religious groups in caring for vulnerable children.
eAfrica, July 2005ON A maize-covered hill in Swaziland's central belt, 75-year-old Josphephia Sihlongonyane surveyed the coming harvest with her neighbour, Dorkas Dlamini. The ears were fat and drying on the stalk in the April sun. It would be a fine yield, the two women agreed.