Articles on Africa

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A couple of these and a nice chianti. Severin Tchibozo

Insects are key for food security in a growing world

Protein is a shrinking part of the diets of humans and animals. The deficiency is spreading rapidly across the world, but is particularly pronounced in Africa, even though many sources of protein can be…
Out of the lab and into real life. Mike Blyth

Africa should test smartphone microscope in the field

As a virologist working in the Gambia, the idea of a portable microscope that uses fluorescent imaging and can be attached to your smartphone to detect viruses and bacteria in the field sounds amazing…
An international team of forensic scientists from all disciplines is investigating Kenya’s mall attack. EPA/Dai Kurokawa

Can forensic science unravel the chaos of Westgate mall?

The entire world witnessed last month’s horrifying terrorist attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Now forensic experts from Interpol, US, UK, Germany, and Canada have joined Kenyan law enforcement…
The deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall demonstrates that a lack of security in Somalia has a direct impact on Kenya. EPA/Kabir Dhanji

Kenya mall attacks: Somalia’s anarchy spreads

The Somali-based Islamic militant group Al-Shabaab’s weekend attack on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi - which has left at least 60 people dead - poses a significant security threat not just…
Amid the chaos, a survivor is carried out of Westgate Mall. EPA/Kabir Dhanji

Terror in Kenya: literature and laughs turn into pain and loss

At 9.30am on Saturday I drove past the Westgate Mall on my way to the National Museums of Kenya. I needed a coffee after a late night, and contemplated stopping but for no particular reason I drove on…
An innovative approach to mobility in Uganda. The Advocacy Project

Disabled people in Africa have been marginalised for too long

Disabled people are severely marginalised and among the poorest in developing countries. Having a disability increases the risk of poverty, and being poor also increases the risk of getting a disability…
Accused: Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto in the dock at the ICC this week. ICC-CPI

International Criminal Court is not just for hunting Africans

The first of what are arguably the two most important trials in the short history of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have begun. Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, stood in the dock this week…
An expanding sea of junk in Lagos. Margaret Bates

Europe’s electronic waste has become Africa’s burden

The disposal of computers and other electronic and electrical goods, e-waste, is a growing global problem. In 2011, the world threw away 41.5m tonnes of electrical equipment, and this is expected to rise…
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta is currently facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court. EPA/Daniel Irungu

Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and politicising the International Criminal Court

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are currently facing crimes against humanity charges at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC). The charges result from the post-election…
Maasai herders have made life harder for Tanzanian wildlife, but that doesn’t mean one of them has to go. mar is sea Y/Flickr

Maasai versus wildlife: it’s an unnecessary choice

Tanzanian government plans to exclude Maasai from some traditional pastoral lands in the name of wildlife conservation have met with protest and global media attention. This is certainly not the first…
A US$5 million bounty has been offered for information leading to Joseph Kony (right)‘s arrest, but the African Union has stopped looking for him. EPA/STR

The hunt may be off, but a $5 million pledge might bring Kony to justice

Earlier this week, the new US Secretary of State, John Kerry, announced a US$5 million reward for information leading to the arrest, transfer and conviction of notorious African warlord Joseph Kony. On…
Malian troops patrol the town of Diabaly in the country’s north. AAP/Nic Bothma

Military intervention can be a cure worse than the disease

The new year is scarcely a month old. Yet we have seen enough to know that the fires raging in different parts of the Middle East and North Africa will not easily abate – and that the firefighting efforts…
Will history look kindly on the French intervention in Mali? EPA/Arnaud Roine

From Rwanda to Mali: France’s chequered history in Africa

Why the French intervention in Mali? Last week, French daily Le Monde asked this question of André Bourgeot, specialist on Sub-Saharan Africa with France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS…
French soldiers gather on the tarmac of the military airbase in Bamako, Mali. EPA/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD

French intervention won’t fix the mess in Mali

The French government has announced it will triple its troop deployment to the conflict-plagued state of Mali. On Monday, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, explained that France…
Toilets aren’t just a bin for human waste - they’re a receptacle for future fertiliser. Gates Foundation

The other benefit of sanitation: from human waste to human food

What goes down our toilet is commonly viewed as waste. This makes intuitive sense because separating people from their excreta - sanitation - is arguably the single most important public health objective…
Survivors of Namibia’s Herero tribe surrendering after a battle with German forces. Ullstein Bilderdienst Berlin/Supplied

Move over Breaker Morant: the forgotten story of Edward Presgrave

More than a century ago, on 26 September 1905, in a remote and isolated part of German Southwest Africa (present day Namibia) a young Australian lay dying amid the sand dunes and salt pans. Lured across…
The administration of Barack Obama - seated here with South African President Jacob Zuma - has been criticised for not focusing more foreign policy attention on Africa. EPA/Olivier Douliery

Africa and the US presidential campaign

This year’s US presidential election has been notable for the lack of focus on foreign policy issues by either candidate. Certainly Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, has attempted to gain traction…
It’s the dawning of a new day for South Sudan, but there is much to be done. EPA/Paul Banks/Unmis

Happy birthday, South Sudan – your struggle isn’t over yet

When I arrived in South Sudan in November 2005, the scars of war were everywhere. Intermittent power came from generators, there was no clean drinking water, schools were little more than benches under…
Hosting part of the Square Kilometre Array is a victory for Africa, but much work is yet to be done. EPA/SKATelescope.com

Astronomy for Africa – the SKA will lead to ‘brain gain’

On Friday, we learned that South Africa and Australia/New Zealand will jointly host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, rather than the facility going to just one of the bids. The split-site…

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