South Africa’s national minimum wage could hurt small firms, rural workers

Dieter von Fintel, Stellenbosch University and Marlies Piek, Stellenbosch University South Africa will formally adopt a national minimum wage of US$1.5 (ZAR20.00) per hour on Workers’ Day next year. There are questions as to whether this is enough to be termed a victory for the country’s working poor? If historical trends continue, our research shows …

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Low-cost tech needed to beat malaria in Africa

By Sam Otieno [NAIROBI] Investing in low-cost technological innovations and tools could reduce malaria burden in Africa, say experts. Speaking at a workshop on closing gaps to protect people from deadly forms of malaria held in Kenya this month (21 April) — barely a week before World Malaria Day (25 April), the experts emphasised that …

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Brutalising food vendors hurts Africa’s growing cities

Danielle Resnick, The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) In January this year, the Harare City Council in Zimbabwe accused informal food vendors of spreading typhoid. The council then attempted to confiscate, and destroy, all perishable food items that were being hawked in the central business district. Many vendors fought back, resulting in deadly clashes …

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When Women Are Free, Economies Thrive

by Chelsea Follett A bizarre column in Australia’s Daily Telegraph last month argued that it should be illegal to be a stay-at-home mom. The piece was met with ridicule, and rightly so. Women should be free to make their own choices about family and career. Fortunately, no country actually bans a woman’s choice to be a …

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Elephantiasis linked to volcanic soils found in Uganda

By Esther Nakkazi [KAMPALA] A surge in elephantiasis in Uganda is being linked to people walking barefoot on volcanic soils which contain tiny, sharp mineral crystals that penetrated the feet, a study says. Elephantiasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused mainly by parasitic thread-like worm called Wuchereria bancrofti, resulting in painful swelling of arms …

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