Web Features

The latest in-depth analysis of African and United Nations issues by the Africa Renewal team.

  • 2 October 2012

    ‘Inspire change, make every day a Mandela Day’

    Children of ProjectArt, a Harlem, New York summer arts camp, create Nelson Mandela inspired art and messages for peace

    Children of ProjectArt, a Harlem, New York summer arts camp, create Nelson Mandela inspired art and messages for peace.Photograph: Africa Renewal / John Gillespie

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  • 2 October 2012

    Human rights is essential in fight against HIV/AIDS

    Ms. Pillay wrote this article in advance of the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, 22-27 July.

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  • 2 October 2012

    Making waves: Malawi revives debate on gay rights

    Displaying the rainbow flag of gay rights activists

    Displaying the rainbow flag of gay rights activists: Despite vocal opposition in a number of African countries, acceptance is slowly gaining ground.Photograph: See-ming Lee

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  • 2 October 2012

    Desertification a threat to Africa’s development

    The good news is at the grassroots level,” says Luc Gnacadja

    Arable land is vital for Africa, both as a key asset for farmers and, together with vegetation, to help store carbon that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that by 2030 Africa will lose two-thirds of its arable land if the march of desertification — the spread of arid, desert-like areas of land — is not stopped.

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  • 2 October 2012

    ‘Invest in the people,’ says Seychelles president

    President James Alix Michel of the Seychelles

    The Seychelles, with its many Indian Ocean islands and beaches, is renowned as a high-end destination for tourists. Besides profiting from its beautiful landscape, it is also known as business-friendly, politically stable and a strong voice in international discussions on climate change.

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  • 2 October 2012

    Africa’s economy grows, but many stomachs are empty

    Examining high-quality corn for future cultivation in Cameroon

    Each year, governments, journalists, development experts and others look forward to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report. The report includes a ranking of countries based on life expectancy, literacy, quality of life and so on. Once it is released, governments and citizens of countries with high rankings immediately trumpet their achievements. Those with lower rankings, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was last in 2011, come in for criticism.

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  • 2 October 2012

    For girls, ‘it is possible to dream big’

    Juliana Rotich, co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi

    Growing up in her native Kenya, Juliana Rotich was the lonely, young “geek” with oversized glasses at school. Today she is a highly successful tech entrepreneur who is a co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi, a homegrown non-profit tech company that has taken the world by storm.

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  • 2 October 2012

    Helping the ‘collateral victims’ of AIDS

    Some of Teddy Nakawoeisi’s grandchildren returning from work on a nearby farm

    Here in Rakai, where Uganda’s first AIDS case was reported in the early 1980s, it is common to see children engaged in intensive labour activities. The children seem to have no other option to sustain themselves and their elderly family members.

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  • 6 September 2012

    ‘We need a sustainable path for our future’

    Kumi Naidoo, fighting for the environment, development and people's empowerment

    Greenpeace is one of the world’s foremost environmental advocacy groups. In advance of the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development — also known as “Rio+20” — Africa Renewal asked Kumi Naidoo, who became executive director of Greenpeace International in 2009, to reflect on some of the pressing issues affecting Africa.

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  • 19 January 2012

    World financial crisis and Africa: promises promises

    African countries are beginning to get some of the additional aid they need to survive the current global economic downturn. But there is considerable doubt that enough of the funds will arrive in time – if it arrives at all – to make much of a difference.

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  • 19 January 2012

    Africa needs to “play smart” in trade with Asia

    Africa’s success in avoiding the worst of the economic crisis that has swept the industrialized world has been due in large part to the remarkable growth of trade and investment with China, India, Brazil and other “emerging” developing countries.

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  • 19 January 2012

    UN helps foreign fighters head home

    The first few haggard Rwandan rebels started to trickle out of the Congolese forests of North Kivu in early January. Within weeks their numbers grew to hundreds. By June, more than 8,000 — including about 1,000 former gunmen — were back home in neighbouring Rwanda, aided by United Nations peacekeepers and refugee workers. One of the fighters, Antoine Uwumukiza told a reporter for the Washington Post why he decided to go back.

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  • 19 January 2012

    With money to invest, Kenyans say no thanks to banks

    Across the continent, Africans are saving and investing more of their own money but you won’t find them at the bank. According to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) the region’s domestic savings rate rose from just 19 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1998–2001 to 26 per cent in 2007.

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  • 19 January 2012

    Africa on the road to recovery

    Prospects are looking up again for African economies. With 2009 now over, so seem to be the continent’s hardest days. Africa is projected to grow by 4.3 per cent in 2010, nearly three times higher than in 2009, according to a recent UN report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010. “There is growing sentiment on the continent that the worst of the economic and financial crisis has passed as signs of recovery begin to appear,” write the authors.

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  • 18 January 2012

    Africans reach out in solidarity with Haiti

    A woman walking through the rubble in downtown Port au Prince

    A woman walking through the rubble in downtown Port au Prince, shortly after the earthquake: Though Africa is beset with numerous problems of its own, many countries have rushed aid to the stricken people of Haiti.Photograph: UN / Marco Dormino

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  • 18 January 2012

    Africa seeks to tap its diaspora

    Obiagali Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s vice president for Africa

    “It is important to look strategically at the diaspora’s role in African development,” Obiagali Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s vice president for Africa, told African expatriates.Photograph: World Bank / Arne Hoel

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  • 18 January 2012

    Uniting against terrorism across the Sahara

    Seven governments are combining efforts to counter terrorist groups

    Seven governments in the Sahara-Sahel region are combining efforts to counter terrorist groups, such as Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which took credit for bombing of the UN headquarters in Algiers in December 2007 (above), an act that claimed the lives of 17 UN personnel.Photograph: UN / Evan Schneider

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  • 18 January 2012

    Despite recovery, Africa needs more jobs, says ECA

    Harvesting sorghum in Sudan

    Harvesting sorghum in Sudan: By investing in labour-intensive sectors like agriculture and agro-industries, African countries could better tap the potential of their large work forces, says the UN Economic Commission for Africa.Photograph: UN / Fred Noy

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  • 18 January 2012

    Cameroon celebrates its 50th anniversary

    Cameroon’s 50th anniversary of independence

    School children march in celebrations marking Cameroon’s 50th anniversary of independence.Photograph: UN Africa Renewal / Ernest Harsch

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  • 18 January 2012

    Darfur: another tough job for Ibrahim Gambari

    Ibrahim Gambari, head of the Darfur peacekeeping mission

    When veteran United Nations trouble-shooter Ibrahim Gambari was named head of the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in the western Sudanese region of Darfur this January, there were reasons for cautious optimism. Although some 2 million people remain displaced, the conflict that had taken upwards of 300,000 lives since 2003 had receded considerably, accounting for less than 300 deaths from military confrontations in all of 2009. Talks between the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups seemed to be back on track.

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