Pambazuka News 269: Ivory Coast: Dynamics of mediation

The extremely virulent form of tuberculosis that killed 52 out of 53 people at a hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, is just the "tip of the iceberg" in southern Africa, scientists have warned. What makes this strain of TB so lethal is that unlike normal TB, XDR TB can infect even the healthiest of people. But healthy people are more likely to be able to fight off the disease, while those who have compromised immune systems, will die within a month.

Is it, as one cabinet minister has claimed, a "welcome" troop deployment? Or is an analyst's description of the force as "suicidal" more accurate? These questions are doubtless occupying the minds of a good many politicians and observers in East Africa, after the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) agreed on plans to send peace keeping troops to Somalia.

Building an effective and accountable way to fund science and technology across Africa is a major challenge facing the region's leaders and scientific communities. You are invited to join the debate.

There are currently more than 30 HIV vaccine candidates in trial around the globe, but estimates of global demand for a vaccine have so far been based on vaccine characteristics that do not reflect the ones in development.

Major changes are taking place in agriculture because of what is being called the "bioeconomy." The rapidly growing bioeconomy is producing fuel, energy and products from agricultural crops, grasses, and forest materials. While there is the potential for positive outcomes such as higher farm crop prices, less export dumping, and less dependence on polluting fossil fuels, there are also concerns about negative impacts on food security and natural ecosystems.