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Whatever Happened to Africa's Rapid Urbanisation?

"It is widely believed that urbanisation is occurring faster in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world, as migrants move from rural to urban settlements. This is a fallacy. While the populations of numerous urban areas are growing rap...

Patience and Care: Rebuilding nursing and midwifery, in Somaliland

"Somaliland's maternal, infant, and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world. A rudimentary health system already beset by under-investment and neglect collapsed completely during the final years of a civil war which ended in 1991....

Between Extremes China and Africa

"China has re-cast Africa’s position in the global economy. Africa’s natural resources and China’s “Go Out” strategy have underpinned a rapid surge in Chinese investment and two-way trade. The array of Chinese enterprises active in Africa, and th...

Talking Gender to Africa

"International donors have sought to improve the social, political and economic position of women in Africa through an approach known as “gender”. This donor-driven strategy is failing. The jargon of gender programmes is ambiguous and easily misu...

Voices of Disquiet on the Malawian Airwaves

"Human Rights NGOs are considered vanguards in the struggle against injustice and authoritarianism in Africa. But their narrow focus on civil and political rights neglects widely held economic grievances. In Malawi, an audience-driven radio progr...

How Intellectuals Made History in Zimbabwe

"The history of Zimbabwe has been revised in the service of the governing ZANU-PF party. A ‘patriotic’ version of history, disseminated by public intellectuals and state media, has distorted legitimate grievances. Critics of patriotic history, in...

Kenya's Flying Vegetables: Small Farmers and the 'Food Miles' Debate

"In this highly personal and keenly argued commentary, James Gikunju Muuru makes the first detailed response by an African smallholder to the controversy over ‘food miles’. His account describes the serial feats of coordination, discipline, produc...

Why Africa Can Make it Big in Agriculture

"Self-sufficiency in food production is the new mantra of donors and policymakers in Africa. But farmers, large and small, can be much more ambitious. Agriculture is the continent’s most neglected – and important – potential competitive advantage....

Planting Ideas: How Agricultural Subsidies are Working in Malawi

"Malawi is the most densely populated country in southern Africa. Without affordable fertiliser and other inputs, small farmers have struggled to grow enough food from over-cultivated soils. But after successive food crises, the government of Mala...

Feeding Five Thousand: The Case for Indigenous Crops, in Zimbabwe

"About two thirds of Africa’s population depend for their livelihood on primary crops. Agriculture is the continent’s largest economic sector, far bigger than banking, brewing, mining or telecoms – all industries propelled by innovation and inves...

Bunge Lenye Meno: A Parliament with Teeth, for Tanzania

"East Africa’s most populous nation has been a beacon of political stability in a troubled region. Yet for most of Tanzania’s post-independence history, ethnic and religious tolerance has been underpinned by the dominant governing party Chama Cha...

Going Public: How Africa's integration can work for the poor

"In the heyday of African nationalism, the continent’s founding fathers plotted their vision of pan-African unity. The twin paths of closer political and economic integration appeared to them as the only means to achieve dignity, prosperity and s...

Nursing the Future: e-Learning and Clinical Care, in Kenya

"The Policy Voices Series examines the policy implications arising from the experience of innovators in Africa. This paper considers the work of an organisation, chronicling what must be the ultimate test of any distance-learning programme: to ac...

Think Small: The Example of Small Grants, in Madagascar

"Small grants are out of fashion – in big countries. As G8 industrialised nations move towards their target of doubling foreign aid to Africa by 2010, development policy has been revamped to accommodate a steep increase in aid budgets. Big money ...

Party Rules: Consolidating Power through Constitutional Reform in Tanzania

Since the creation of the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964, the basic law – katiba in Swahili – has been the subject of persistent controversy and contestation. Despite being presented at the outset with a seemingly unsustainable constitutiona...

Bank to the Future : New Era at the AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB), founded in 1964, has as its main purpose to provide capital to alleviate poverty, improve living conditions and spur economic and social development. It is the largest external funder of infrastructure in sub-S...

Diehards and Democracy Elites, Inequality and Institutions in African Elections

"Multi-party elections are a salient feature of Africa’s rapidly evolving political landscape. International support for elections is prioritised above all other strategies for consolidating democracy. The legacies of political reform are diverse,...

How Rwanda Judged it's Genocide

"Since 2001, the gacaca community courts have been the centrepiece of Rwanda’s justice and reconciliation process. Nearly every adult Rwandan has participated in the trials, but lawyers are banned from any official involvement. Human rights organi...

After the Promises: Re-thinking UK Policy in Africa

"Coalition government in the UK is an opportunity to revise policy on Africa. More aid is touted as proof of politicians’ compassion and conscience. But an emerging cross-party consensus has ignored significant policy failures. Democracy, trade, t...

Princes’ Progress Reconstruction and Authority in Eritrea and Rwanda

"Eritrea and Rwanda are among Africa’s smallest and poorest states. Substantial military resources, and expertise, have enabled both countries to exert dispropor-tionate influence over regional security. Aggression and authoritarianism have not p...

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