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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Lake Tanganyika’s fate lies in the balance

Andrew Cohen, University of Arizona Standing on the steep rocky shores of Lake Tanganyika at sunset, looking out at fishermen heading out for their nightly lamp-boat fishing trips, it’s easy to imagine this immense 32,900km2 body of water as serene and unchanging. Located in the western branch of the great African Rift Valley it’s divided …

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Reliable weather data affect farmers’ yields

By Alex Abutu [ABUJA, NIGERIA] A project that started in 2012 is helping smallholders in 17 African nations obtain reliable and accurate weather data to increase crop yields. Lack of reliable weather information in most parts of Africa is making many households lose from agriculture, experts say. The Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) project was started …

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How Africa Got Left Behind

by Marian L. Tupy Robert Colvile’s excellent article on Prince Charles’s misunderstanding of the causes of African poverty provides a good opportunity to take a closer look at Africa’s economic history. African poverty was not caused by colonialism, capitalism or free trade. As I have noted before, many of Europe’s former dependencies became rich precisely because …

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Shakespeare in South African schools: to die, to sleep – or perchance to dream?

Chris Thurman, University of the Witwatersrand South Africa’s education authorities are reviewing the school curriculum. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has confirmed that the review will feature a focus on “decolonisation” reflecting the need to move towards the use of more African and South African novels, drama and poetry. This might spell the end of …

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