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» 09.03.2011 - How African land deals override locals
» 12.10.2010 - Africa sees successes fighting hunger
» 05.10.2010 - Scientists create African banana Wiki
» 27.09.2010 - Cowpea scientists promise to end African hunger
» 09.07.2010 - Researchers seek climate change-proof food crops
» 09.04.2010 - Can Africa feed herself...?
» 30.03.2010 - "Myths hinder potential of cassava in Africa"
» 10.03.2010 - Call for common African food market

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More African nations use DDT to cut malaria death toll

afrol News / SciDev.Net, 15 January - The once-banned insecticide DDT is being reconsidered by many countries in Africa as a means to combat malaria. But concerns remain that use of the chemical will damage agricultural trade with Europe.

Scientists, researchers and environmentalists met in Malawi on Friday (12 January) to discuss the risks and benefits of DDT, according to Storn Kabuluzi, manager of the National Malaria Control Programme in Malawi. DDT is one of the most affordable ways to fight malaria.

In September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued guidelines stating that DDT — implicated in extensive long-term environmental damage — could be used under restricted conditions, such as indoor spraying.

The Ugandan government announced last month that they would use the insecticide to fight malaria. But Ugandan horticultural producers say that European Union (EU) regulations would exclude them from the lucrative European market if the insecticide were to be used.

In Kenya, authorities are still hesitant because flower exporters say that the Stockholm Convention will ban sales in Europe if DDT is used, even if it is restricted to indoor use.

The EU is the major trade partner for most African countries, in particular when it comes to agricultural products. In Europe, consumers and authorities are strongly sceptical towards pesticides in general, and DDT in particular.

According to newspaper reports, Rwanda has chosen to invest in a technique used in Cuba, in which commercial fish farms are developed so that the fish will eat mosquito eggs, rather than use DDT again.

Malawi was one of seven African countries to join the US-funded Presidential Malaria Initiative in December. The initiative aims to cut malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in five years, by targeting those most vulnerable to the disease: pregnant women and young children.

Part of the US$ 15 million going to Malawi has been set aside to purchase DDT, if its use is agreed.

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Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

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