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Showing posts from February, 2009

Mugabe holds lavish birthday party

Zimbabwe remains stuck in poverty and an economic crisis, but no expense was spared for the President Robert Mugabes 85th birthday. While thousands languished in hospitals with no staff or medicine, Mugabe and his loyal supporters celebrated the day with a huge cake, balloons, lobster, and champagne. Al Jazeeras Haru Mutasa reports from the town of Chinhoyi.

Frost over the World - Jacob Zuma

Sir David talks to the leader of the ANC and the favourite to become South Africa's next president. Jacob Zuma discusses his ongoing corruption case and why he believes the ANC will win the April election.

Kenyan peace deal marks one year anniversary

One year has passed since Kenya's leaders signed a peace deal to end post-election violence that killed at least 1,000 people.

While those behind the killings are waiting to be brought to justice, Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege in Nairobi reports on how other contending issues have made the coalition government increasingly unpopular.

"Ruined," A Drama of Sexual Violence in Congo War

Sexual violence against women and girls has become a signature of the ongoing civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The suffering of female victims, and their attempts to rebuild their lives, is the subject of "Ruined," a play that opened recently at New York's Manhattan Theatre Club. Written by African-American playwright Lynn Nottage,"Ruined" has been praised by critics as "heart-wrenching," "riveting," "beautiful and hideous."

Migingo Island Row.....

Close to 1000 Kenyans have fled the controversial Migingo Island in the wake of rising tensions between Kenya and Uganda over an ownership dispute. Fishermen, fish traders and other small scale businessmen are arriving at Sori beach from the island that is located about 20 kilometers from the mainland fearing escalation of the dispute....

Pygmies: endangered people

At the heart of the Congo forest lives one of the oldest populations in the world, pygmies. They represent around 1% of the population, and are routinely abused and exploited by Bantus, the main ethnic group.

UN assesses Zimbabwe humanitarian needs

Leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are meeting in Cape Town, South Africa with aid for Zimbabwe at the top of the agenda.

The meeting comes as the UN visits Zimbabwe to assess ways to help revive its economy.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports.

Former South African President Mbeki talks democracy

President Mbeki meets with the United Nations Secretary General to discuss the changes in his country from his residence in Sandton. Many in the country are speaking about an emerging democracy with new values toward tackling AIDS, poor health, poverty and economic inequalities.

Raila To Ensure Ownership Of Migingo Island Reverts To Kenya.

Prime Minster Raila Odinga has told parliament that the Government will use all means to ensure the disputed Migingo Island in Lake Victoria reverts back to Kenya. Raila spoke as a high powered delegation led by foreign affairs Minister Moses
Wetangula prepared to leave for Uganda early next month to discuss the row which threatens to rock relations between Kenya and Uganda.

Zimbabwe Border Trade Continues to Thrive

The Zimbabwean economy is reeling under an economic disaster characterized by hyper-inflation, 80 percent unemployment and shortages of food, fuel and other basic goods. Despite the virtual collapse of the formal economy, business is booming in certain areas.

Rwandan Tutsi Forgives

Prayer helped Immaculee Ilibaguza, a Tutsi and Rwandan genocide survivor, realize hate was not in her heart. Harry Smith talked to her about sharing her miraculous story of survival.

Lagos' youngest governor transforms the megacity- 22 Feb 09

Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, has been nicknamed the 'action governor'.

The youngest person ever to run Nigeria's commercial capital, Fashola's practical approach to tackling chronic problems like poor infrastructure and healthcare means he's radically transformed Lagos in just two years.

Al Jazeera's Mark Eddo reports from Lagos.

Education in Sierra Leone Failing at Risk Youth

Throughout West Africa many students do not finish high school and even fewer go on to college, creating a generation of frustrated youth. Some cannot afford their school fees while others stop after failing their college entrance exams. In Sierra Leone, where a recent civil war was fought largely by teens and children, the government says special attention needs to be placed on education. However, Kari Barber reports from Makeni, Sierra Leone, that despite this results from high school exams foretell what educators are calling a mass failure.

French woman killed in Cairo tourist area blast - 23 Feb 09

Khan Al Khalili, a popular tourist spot in Cairo, became the scene of a deadly attack on sunday night.
A French woman was killed and 21 others, most of them foreigners, were injured, when a bomb went off in the heart of the crowded area.
Three people have been detained in connection with the attack.
Al Jazeera's Amr el-Kahky reports from Cairo.

South Africa using elephant contraceptives - 21 Feb 09

In South Africa, there are 18,000 elephants spread out over 80 game parks.

But as the population continues to grow, they're leaving chaos in their wake - land is being destroyed and there's growing tension with local communities.

Haru Mutasa has been to Limpopo Province, where they're using contraception to stop a different kind of population explosion.

Liberians divided over Chinese investment plan

China is set to make one if its biggest overseas investments, in the west African nation of Liberia.

It's promising to spend $2.6bn developing an iron ore mine.

It's hoped the project will create 3,000 jobs in a country struggling to recover from years of war.

Dan Nolan reports from the mine site, about 150 kilometres north of the capital, Monrovia.

Egypt releases opposition leader Ayman Nour - 19 Feb 09

Ayman Nour, the Egyptian opposition leader, jailed after challenging Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, in 2005 elections, was unexpectedly freed on Wednesday.

Critics say the move may have come as a result of direct pressure from the new administration of Barack Obama, the US president.

Jamal Elshayyal reports.

South Africa Struggles to Cope with Zimbabwe Refugees

The crisis in Zimbabwe has driven millions of its citizens to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Many are fleeing political repression while others are escaping the effects of the collapse of the economy and public services. This has created a host of problems for South African officials -- ranging from the spread of disease to caring for unaccompanied children. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Musina, South Africa, near the Zimbabwe border.

Kenya Media Law Stirs Controversy

A new government-sponsored media law is in effect in Kenya which critics say gives the government too much power and influence over what should be a free and independent press. The government counters by saying the media law is needed to increase professionalism within the Kenyan media. More from Cathy Majtenyi in Nairobi.

Nigeria Still Fighting False Rumors About Polio Vaccine

The World Health Organization has spent $5 billion over the last 20 years to immunize more than two billion children around the world against polio. Yet the deadly and crippling disease still poses a risk in four countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nigeria, with Nigeria accounting for more than 50 percent of new cases.
VOA's Brian Padden recently visited the northern Nigerian state of Kano where polio is common and officials struggle to convince the local population to immunize their children.

Saving Soweto - Vital Organs - Part 1

South Africas home to the worlds first heart transplant and is a leader in this field. But organ donors are in short supply and the numbers awaiting transplant are steadily increasing. In Soweto, a township with over 3 million people, kidney disease is a big killer, making organ donation a top priority for those working in Chris Hani Baragwanaths renal unit.

Saving Soweto - Vital Organs - Part 2

South Africas home to the worlds first heart transplant and is a leader in this field. But organ donors are in short supply and the numbers awaiting transplant are steadily increasing. In Soweto, a township with over 3 million people, kidney disease is a big killer, making organ donation a top priority for those working in Chris Hani Baragwanaths renal unit

Kenya's hope that biofuel will reduce poverty

The jatropha tree is being harvested to create biofuel in Kenya. The product can be used to fuel anything from aircrafts to cookers and the new industry is being billed as a way out of poverty for many of the country's poor. However, a lot of land is needed to create the fuel. Al Jazeera's Yvonne Ndege reports from Kitui in eastern Kenya.

Doha talks 'close to Darfur deal'?

The Sudanese government and the Darfur rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) are in Qatar to find a way to end the violence in Western Sudan: six days of talks to end six years of fighting. So how close are they to reaching a truce? And what are they fighting about?

Returned refugees increase Liberia's unemployment -15 Feb 09

Since emerging from 14 years of war in 2003, Liberia has made rapid progress on democracy, media freedom and education.
But now the biggest threat to the country's recovery is unemployment.
As Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan reports from Monrovia, the problem is being compounded by the return of thousands of refugees.

Unaccompanied Children Among Zimbabwe Refugees

Zimbabwe is now governed by a unity government, following the swearing-in of veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister earlier this week. However, the nation's economic crisis is likely to continue for some time as is the flood of refugees fleeing into neighboring countries each day. A growing number of these refugees are children who travel without parents or any adult relative, which makes them particularly vulnerable.

Zimbabwe cabinet nominee charged with treason

Roy Bennett, a nominee for deputy minister of agriculture, was arrested at a Harare airport and charged with treason for allegedly plotting to kill Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party's statement described the charges against him as "scandalous" and "politically motivated".

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports.

Sudan rejects ICC warrant on Darfur

UN diplomats say the International Criminal Court has decided to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president.
But the country's government has ruled out handing over the president and two other Sudanese citizens previously indicted by the court.
Al Jazeera's James Bays reports.

Experiments Bring Internet to Remote African Villages

NYTimes.com: "The outpost, with about 4,000 inhabitants, is at the end of that road and beyond the reach of power lines. It has no bank, no post office, few cars and little infrastructure. Newspapers arrive in a bundle every three or four weeks. At night, most people light kerosene lamps and candles in their houses or fires in their huts and go to bed early, except for the farmers guarding crops against elephants and buffalo.

Entasopia is the last place on earth that a traveler would expect to find an Internet connection."

Rugby thrives in Ghana

Sportsworld's Carrie Brown reports on the flourishing rugby scene among schoolchildren in Ghana - and on how an Al Jazeera report helped the country's rugby dream.

In this special report, the players put in a sterling performance as they travel to England for their first taste of contact rugby.

But with few safe pitches back home, the journey is far from over.