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  • Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 3–16 June 2010

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Below is a roundup of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 3–16 June 2010

Nigeria set to generate nuclear electricity by 2019
Nigeria is set to join countries generating nuclear energy by 2019, according to the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC). Erepamo Osaisai, director-general and chief executive of NAEC confirmed the move during a visit to the Nuclear Technology Centre near Abuja: "All things being equal, Nigeria will generate 1,000 megawatts of nuclear electricity by 2019 and an additional capacity of 400 megawatts ten years thereafter." More>>

Malawi to build new science university with China's help
Malawi has embarked on an ambitious programme to construct a new science university — the first of five planned for the next decade. The university will be funded by China, as part of an initiative to improve relations with Africa. President Bingu wa Mutharika said the funding for the Malawi University of Science and Technology had already been approved. He added that Malawi's higher education crisis was "a deep structural problem". More>>

Guinea's agricultural R&D in the red
Guinea's agricultural research and development (R&D) faces an uncertain future because of the country's unstable political situation, which is keeping foreign donors at bay. Guinea's agricultural R&D spending is among the lowest on the continent and this latest setback means that the government will have to boost its financial support to ensure food security and poverty reduction. More>>

Scientists propose natural cure for maize contamination
Following the recent contamination of at least 2.3 million bags of maize in Kenya with aflatoxin — a cancerous toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus — African and US scientists claim to have found "a natural, safe and cost-effective solution to prevent future contamination of maize". They propose introducing non-toxic fungi of the same strain to outcompete the poisonous strains. More>>

African universities turn to partnerships to bridge ICT gap
A project partnering African universities with their counterparts in Catalonia, Spain, to bridge the ICT gap borne of small budgets and limited infrastructure is starting to bear fruit. Initiated last January, universities in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mozambique and Senegal teamed up with eight Catalonian universities to develop inexpensive software to address African countries' research ICT shortages. Representatives from each university are currently in Barcelona to outline the tasks and begin work on development. More>>

Burkina Faso combats malaria using indoor spraying
Following a malaria outbreak in 2009 that affected 20,000 people and left 110 dead, Burkina Faso is trying for the first time indoor insecticide-spraying to prevent malaria in the country's high-risk south-western region. The exercise — expected to cover 25,000 households — is funded by the US Agency for International Development to the tune of US$1.4 million. More>>

Alien weed threatening Ugandan species
A deadly, aggressive weed has invaded a national park in western Uganda, threatening thousands of animals and plants (see also Alien species 'huge' threat to Africa, experts warn). Parthenium hysperophorius, first reported in the country a year ago, is believed to have come from Mexico. "Among the world's ten most dangerous weeds", P. hysperophorius is fatal to cattle and can also be harmful to humans, causing asthma- and flu-like symptoms when its pollen is inhaled. More>>

Political chaos worsening endangered forest species loss in Madagascar
A number of endangered forest species in Madagascar, some of which are unique to this Indian Ocean island, could face extinction because of illegal logging assisted by the military-backed leadership and trade embargo, according to scientists. More>>

Compiled by Ochieng' Ogodo.

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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