Web Features

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

  • 20 March 2013

    To be forever free!

    Every day sees visitors breaking down in tears while touring 97,000-square-foot Elmina Castle, west of Cape Coast, Ghana. Built in 1482 by the Portuguese as a gold trading post on the Gulf of Guinea, it was turned into a fortress for the transatlantic slave trade by the Dutch in 1637.

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  • 22 February 2013

    In Zimbabwe, learning Chinese is a lucrative investment

    Ni hao, Chinese for “hello,” or ting bu dong, meaning “I hear you, but I don’t understand,” are two expressions one often overhears today in Zimbabwe’s capital. It is one of the results of tenacious efforts by governments, private companies and individuals across Africa, but in Zimbabwe particularly, to learn the Chinese language and understand China’s culture.

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  • 11 February 2013

    Mothers’ health is improving across Africa

    In recent years, the shrill cries of a newborn baby have been bringing more shouts of joy than of anguish in maternity wards across Africa. That is because maternal deaths are decreasing on the continent, says Gifty Addico, a South Africa-based adviser for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). New figures in a UN report, Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010, show that maternal mortality has declined by 41 per cent in the past 10 years in sub-Saharan Africa.

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  • 1 February 2013

    ‘Take away the guns,’ women tell UN envoy

    Zainab Bangura, UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, speaking after her mission to the Central African Republic.Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

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  • 28 January 2013

    Somali diaspora’s remittances cast a lifeline

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  • 15 January 2013

    What does the ‘Doha Climate Gateway’ mean for Africa?

    Parched earth in Tahoua Province, Niger. Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change.Photograph: UN/WFP/Phil Behan

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  • 28 December 2012

    Floods: Stemming the tide in West Africa

    Flooding can be particularly devastating for poor communities.Photo: UN/Logan Abassi

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  • 21 December 2012

    New HIV infections are falling dramatically in Africa

    A Liberian soldier shows off his juggling skills at a World AIDS Day event, “Zero New Infections”, sponsored by the Joint UN Programme on AIDS and HIV (UNAIDS), in Monrovia, Liberia.

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  • 3 October 2012

    Photo highlights of the General Assembly

    Behind the scenes with Africa Renewal at the 67th UN General Assembly

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  • 2 October 2012

    Burundi’s push for universal education

    Offering free education, making it compulsory and supporting it politically has been the winning strategy behind Burundi’s successful bid to ensure that virtually all children get a primary school education. In a recent report by the UN Secretary-General, Burundi topped the list of countries having made the greatest strides in education, although it remains among the poorest countries in the world.

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  • 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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