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  • Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 22 April–5 May 2010

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Below is a roundup of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 22 April–5 May 2010

New seed institute for Nairobi
Kenya's University of Nairobi will join forces with the US-based Iowa State University to establish an African seed institute in Kenya. The institute will aim to boost food security through capacity building across the continent, where seed supply chains "are lacking or inadequate". It will also provide seed training to graduate students and support the production of improved seed varieties. The project is funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. More>>

Guinea telecommunications industry thriving
Guinea's telecommunications industry is on the rise, with mobile phone and Internet access extending outside of the country's capital and two deals signed with London-based telecommunications company Gateway Communications. Currently mobile phone penetration is just over 20 per cent but new investments are expected to boost this figure. The country's telecommunication market is growing increasingly vibrant, said Mike van den Bergh, a CEO at Gateway. More>>

Climate models to predict African disease outbreaks
African and European researchers are teaming up to use climate models for predicting disease outbreaks in Ghana, Malawi and Senegal. The project — which will involve 13 institutes in the two regions, and integrate data from climate modelling and disease forecasting systems — hopes to give decision-makers sufficient time to establish intervention methods and prevent large-scale transmission of diseases such as malaria. More>>

South African innovation takes a leap forward
Recyclable paper calculators may one day become a reality thanks to nanotechnology research at the University of Cape Town (UCT). UCT professors have spent the last seven years investigating the use of silicon nanoparticles in ink. Research shows it might be possible to 'screen-print' semiconductors onto materials such as paper. More>>

Namibia government for new approach to climate change impacts 
The Namibian government has announced that it will boost the Ministry of Environment's capacity to better tackle the impacts of climate change on the country. It hopes to put new structures in place to replace the ill-functioning climate change committee with a more robust approach. A one-day workshop will be organized to brief ministers on the topic and update them on developments since December's conference in Copenhagen. More>>

Computers for Ugandan school children
Uganda pupils in government-aided schools will begin using computers as part of a scheme to boost education quality in the country. Laptops will be provided to schools by the One Laptop per Child scheme. Rukutana Mwesigwa, the education state minister, said the computers "would increase pupils' capacity to learn quickly and sharpen their minds". More>>

Phase II clinical trials for TB vaccine begin
Phase II clinical trials of a candidate vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) have begun in South African HIV-infected adults. The trials are testing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine — known as AERAS-402/Crucell Ad35 — in adults affected with HIV. They are being conducted by the Aurum Institute in Klerksdorp. More>>

New technical manual to inform genetic mapping
A new technical manual could help researchers in developing countries understand the process behind mapping the genetic diversity of tropical trees. By understanding this process, the Nairobi based World Agroforestry Centre said, it will be easy for researchers to monitor the genetic diversity of trees found in tropical forests, which often leads to inbreeding. More>> [4.86MB]

Compiled by Ochieng' Ogodo. Additional reporting by David Njagi

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

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