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  • Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 9–22 May 2008


Below is a round up of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 9–22 May 2008.

Free antiretrovirals save lives in Malawi
Researchers report a ten per cent drop in overall mortality in Malawi following the distribution of free antiretroviral drugs. The government distributed free drugs to over 80,000 HIV/AIDS patients between 2004 and 2006. The authors, writing in The Lancet, say continued acceleration of the programme should lead to further drops. More>>*

Rift Valley farmers still battle to get appropriate maize seeds
Researchers from Kenya and Ethiopia say smallholder farmers continue to struggle to access maize varieties specifically developed for the drought-prone Rift Valley, as the public sector dominates seed supply. Without private sector participation in seed supply, limited competition, restricted seed choice, seed shortages and high costs will continue, according to the study. More>> [131kB]

Radio advice initiative fails to reach Nigerian farmers
Only a quarter of farmers surveyed listen to the advice in a radio show run by Nigeria's Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme. A study by the University of Nigeria revealed that the shows are not as effective as hoped, partly because they air at inappropriate times of the day for farmers, who also have no way to ask questions. More>> [129kB]

Care for healthcare workers slow Swaziland brain drain
Wellness centres for healthcare workers — where healthcare workers can receive medical attention, participate in continuing education programmes and get counselling for work-related stress — have been credited with slowing the brain drain among healthcare workers in Swaziland, where about 96 per cent of nurses leave for the United Kingdom after training. A similar centre has opened in Lesotho, with two more being built in Malawi and Zambia. More>>

South Africa and EU strengthen research cooperation
South Africa and the European Union (EU) agreed on further cooperation at a meeting in Pretoria. Forty-seven South African scientists are taking part in the EU's Seventh Framework Programme, receiving over six million Euros in funding for research in sectors such as aeronautics and nuclear energy. New priorities for future work include information and communication technologies, and biotechnology. More>>

Nigeria offers US$10 million to African Bank for seed initiative
The Nigerian government has offered US$ 10 million to help the African Development Bank supply fertiliser and seeds at reduced prices to farmers. The effort is part of a US$1 billion project to revamp African agriculture. More>>

Engineers to fix South Africa's crumbling infrastructure
South Africa has launched a National Engineering Task Force to help tackle the country's infrastructure crisis. The Engineering Council of South Africa says the force will contribute to a national engineering plan to help several sectors including electricity, water and sanitation, sewage, roads, telecommunications, the effects of global warming on infrastructure, and the shortage of skilled engineers. More>>

Northern Sudanese climate adaptation breeds peace
Increasing drought from climate change has been blamed for worsening tensions in Sudan's northern Sahel region. But a study by the University of Khartoum has found that farmers in northern Sudan have found ways to adapt and co-exist peacefully with nomads. More>>

Compiled by Christina Scott.

If you would like to suggest a story for this news in brief, please contact the Africa News Editor Christina Scott ([email protected]).

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