Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 22 Nov–2 Dec 2007
Below is a round up of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 22 November–2 December 2007
Fifty-two African countries at 'high risk' from climate change
African countries make up more than half the 100 nations most vulnerable to climate change, according to Saleemul Huq, head of climate change at the International Institute for Environment and Development, and Jessica Ayres of the London School of Economics. In addition to island states such as Madagascar and coastal countries like Mozambique, landlocked nations such as Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Swaziland, and Zambia are also at risk. More>> [155kB]
Mobile phones for Tanzanian fishermen
Researchers from the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, working with Swedish colleagues, have found that cellphones help Tanzanian fishermen access clients and markets and call for help in bad weather. The research was presented last month at the 5th International Conference on Open Access in the Tanzanian town of Bagamoyo.
HIV risk high among gay men in Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia
HIV transmission among homosexual citizens of Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia is being driven by severe stigma, according to research published in PLoS Medicine. Rates of HIV in gay Senegalese men are far higher than in the general population but despite the ''desperate need of targeted prevention campaigns, social intolerance currently limits prevention efforts,'' researchers report.
Rwanda, Zambia get help developing fisheries
The Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences and the World Fish Centre have agreed to collaborate with the New Partnership for Africa's Development on aquaculture. Jeremiah Kang'ombe from Malawi's Bunda College of Agriculture said Africa fails to produce enough fish for local consumption and imports from the Far East. More>>
Improving African drug manufacturing and inspection
Uganda's first antiretroviral drug factory has not yet been certified for international manufacturing standards due to a shortage of inspectors. Issues of WHO and European Union compliance will be dealt with at the first African Regulatory Conference in South Africa in February 2008, co-hosted by the 14 states of the Southern African Development Community. More>> [295kB]
African universities join mentoring programme
Computer company IBM has launched a mentoring scheme involving over 250 IBM researchers and students of computer science, engineering and mathematics at Africa universities. Makocha Minds will see company scientists interact via email, instant message and cellphone SMS with students in Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. More>>
'Virtual entomologist' combats tsetse fly in Eastern and Southern Africa
Advice gleaned from a virtual entomologist website has helped veterinarians in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe to control the tsetse fly, which causes sleeping sickness. The site is run by Clement Mangwiro of Zimbabwe's Midlands State University and the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis among others.
Siemen's bribes prompt corruption investigations
Nigerian investigations continue after the German telecommunications firm Siemens admitted in a Munich court to bribing 77 government officials in Libya, Nigeria, and Russia. More>>
Southern Africa measures the universe
Instruments to track NASA's permanent moon orbiter when it launches next
year will be based in Matjiesfontein, South Africa. The new International
Institute for Space Geodesy and Earth Observation (IISGEO) will also monitor
changes in sea level, glaciers, the atmosphere and gravity.
Malagasy bats provide clues to malaria history
Researchers from the Pasteur Institute in Madagascar and the World Wildlife Fund in Madagascar's capital Antananarivo have provided the first molecular data for blood parasites in wild bats. They suggest that increases in human populations, not recent host-switching, has caused the extreme virulence of Plasmodium falciparum, the most virulent of the malaria parasites.