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  • Sub-Saharan Africa News in brief: 4–18 November 2009

Below is a round up of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 418 November 2009.

AGRA and NEPAD join forces to boost agriculture in Africa
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has announced a new scheme to increase food production in Africa. Under the scheme, the two organisations will link pledges to increase investment in agriculture with programmes in seeds, soil health, policy and markets. More

Sterilising mosquitoes could prove effective in malaria control
Releasing sexually sterile male mosquitoes into the wild to control malaria in Africa has been overlooked. This method could prove particularly effective at low mosquito densities, according to a series of articles published in Malaria Journal. The technique could be just the thing to deliver the final blow to mosquito populations and to completely remove malaria from a given area, the authors say. More

Kenyan traditional healers tacke epilepsy more effectively
Traditional healers must be involved in national health systems as they play an important role in the treatment of epilepsy, say researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the UK-based Wellcome Trust. Their research finds that many rural Kenyans prefer traditional healers as they find them more understanding, offer deferred payments and give better explanations for their illness. More

Intercropping coffee and banana gives farmers advantage
A new study by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture on coffee and banana production in Burundi , the Democratic republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda has shown that introducing integrated crop management programs increased yields by up to 50 per cent. Intercropped coffee also appeared to be less potassium-deficient than when grown on its own. More [27kB]

Malawi health programme could aid MDGs
A review of Malawi's Child Lung Health Programme (CLHP) based on The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease's delivery model finds that it could aid the achievement of the fourth Millenium Development Goal to reduce child mortality. But external funding alone cannot ensure this. One major challenge has been a shortage of health workers, which the CLHP has sought to address through on-the-job training. More

Africa's Seacom cable wins award
The Seacom fibre optic cable which connects eastern and southern Africa to the rest of the world has won 'Best Pan African Initiative' at the 2009 AfricaCom Awards for its advancing of telecommunications on the continent. Seacom is the first undersea cable to provide East Africa with high-speed internet access. More

African young scientist recognized
The African Union and Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) have recognized the work of a Malawian life scientist, naming him the 'AU-TWAS young scientist of the year'[I couldn't actually find this as a specific title anywhere]. Limangeni Alex Mankhambo, based at the University of Malawi College of Medicine, received the honour in the awards that seek to celebrate the achievements of scientists who transform science research into entrepreneurship. More [192kB]

Developing countries must have risk management policies
Researchers from the Africa Climate Change Fellowship Program have called on African countries to invest in quality risk management policies. They blame African urban cities for failing to keep-up with the intensification of problems such as flooding. More

Report highlights Africa's tobacco burden
A new report on global tobacco use says that local 'smokefree' initiatives in Africa are not as fully-developed as the rest of the world. Kenya, Niger and South Africa offer high standards of protection for most people most of the time, but designated smoking rooms are still permitted. Mauritius leads the pack, having recently passed a law that almost meets the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control's standards. More [4.22Mb]

Compiled by Kimani Chege. Additional reporting by Munyaradzi Makoni, Charles Mkoka and Bande Moussa Sissoko.

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