Monday, May 28, 2012

Drought resistant rice

from Oryza:

A Japanese company will develop new nitrogen and water-efficient, and salt resistant, rice varieties for small scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) under a new deal with the Nairobi-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).
The joint effort aims to boost rice production in the SSA region, including countries such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda, where a majority of rice farmers are smallholders of rice fields. According to ATTF executive director nitrogen deficiency and drought are major hurdles in improving rice yields in upland SSA, while salinity is affecting several rice producing regions in Africa.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

why Africa is booming

From the Atlantic.

Africa, with a population expected to roughly double by mid-century, has become recognized as the world's fastest growing continent. But the less-told story is of Africa's economic rise. In the last decade Africa's overall growth rates have quietly approached those of Asia, and according to projections by the IMF, on average Africa will have the world's fastest growing economy of any continent over the next five years.

Seven of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies are African. The continent is famously resource rich, which has surely helped, but some recent studies suggest that the biggest drivers are far less customary for Africa, and far more encouraging for its future: wholesale and retail commerce, transportation, telecommunications, and manufacturing.
A recent report by the African Development Bank projected that, by 2030, much of Africa will attain lower-middle- and middle-class majorities, and that consumer spending will explode from $680 billion in 2008 to $2.2 trillion. According to McKinsey and Co., Africa already has more middle class consumers than India, which has a larger population. Goldman Sachs recently put out a report, "Africa's Turn," making similar points.

American media have largely failed to pick up on these trends, hewing instead to their long-running traditional narratives of African violence and suffering to the exclusion of most other news....

(headsup Instapundit)

Friday, May 18, 2012

South Africa's Army has problems

StrategyPage has an article discussing the reasons that South Africa's once formidable army has gone weak.

After the 1994 elections, the first to feature participation by all South Africans (not just the whites), the military quickly turned into another form of patronage. The word came down that the military was there to provide jobs for political loyalists of the party in power. These men could be dismissed only if they committed a serious crime (rape, murder, kidnapping) and were otherwise untouchable and increasingly undisciplined. Eventually most of the troops are too old, too sick or too undisciplined to be effective soldiers. The government gets away with this because South African has no neighbors that pose a military threat.

They also have an article on Nigeria's problem with corruption 

On the other  hand, they discuss the good work of Uganda, Kenya, and Burundi troops who work with the African Union peacekeepers HERE.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More trouble in central Africa

from Fides

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The social fabric of the people who lived so far in peace and mutual solidarity is compromised: its members have become enemies to each other, just because a Canadian company in search of gold has come to settle on their land." This is the complaint made by a Congolese citizen Néhémie Bahizire in the document entitled "The curse of gold in Kivu," on the exploitation of gold mines in Twangiza / Luhwinja, about 90 km south of Bukavu, capital of the province of South Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
full article at link

Monday, May 14, 2012

ZANU PF pastors don't want Joshua to visit

from the Zim mail

HARARE - Churches loyal to President Mugabe's Zanu-PF have expressed concern over the planned visit this May by a Nigeria-based prophet, Temitope Balogun Joshua, saying men of God are non-partisan.
HARARE - Churches loyal to President Mugabe's Zanu-PF have expressed concern over the planned visit this May by a Nigeria-based prophet, Temitope Balogun Joshua, saying men of God are non-partisan. The world-acclaimed prophet is supposedly due in Harare this month for prayer meetings at the invitation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Heads of different church denominations affiliated to the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) are in agreement that the church does not have immigration powers and as such it will not determine whether TB Joshua should visit Zimbabwe or not. They however highlighted that as a church they can only raise concern. The church leaders were speaking at a meeting in Harare to review the constitutional process as well as decide on the church’s role in the process.

more from various bloggers at Global voices on line.

B Joshua's popularity seemed to rise in Zimbabwe after after his prediction that an “aging African leader” would die, with critics of long time ruler President Robert Mugabe concluding that the prophecy was referring to Mugabe. Malawian President Bingu wa Mutarika died shortly afterwards, apparently confirming that indeed TB Joshua is a “prophet.”
Now, social media sites and blogs are on fire ahead of his May 25 Day of Prayer visit.

 the gov't newspaper explains why....

Rev Chimbambo said they would not allow any political party or foreigner to interfere with their operations.
"We were surprised to hear that Prime Minister (Morgan) Tsvangirai wanted him to be the guest speaker on the day of prayer yet the day is for praying and no one should address the crowd," he said.
He said their programme had no link with the prayer rallies PM Tsvangirai and some local pastors had been holding countrywide.

this is ata time when Mnangagwa is trying to take over ZANU PF
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