Pambazuka News 353: African Agriculture and the World Bank: Development or impoverishment?

In many parts of Uganda, especially rural areas, women's roles have not changed since the first Women's Day a hundred years ago. Women are still the primary caregivers, and they still don't get credit for it, according to Sylvia Tamale, the Dean of Makerere University's Law School, in the capital, Kampala.

Most of the roughly 50,000 people in the Amboko and Dosseye refugee camps near Goré, in the tropical forest of southern Chad, have fled across the border from neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR), but efforts to prevent and treat HIV among the camp residents are still in their infancy.

Mothers and children in South Africa are dying in alarming numbers. Far from being on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing child mortality by two-thirds, the country is among only a dozen worldwide where child deaths are rising. In 2000, South Africa committed to eight MDGs set by the UN, which included reducing child and maternal mortality and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.

A billboard showing traditional and religious leaders holding hands in the fight against AIDS is a common feature in Blantyre, Malawi's commercial capital, but overzealous church leaders claiming to cure HIV with prayer are now causing more harm than good. A pastor in southern Malawi recently hit the headlines when he told five HIV-positive people in his church to stop taking antiretroviral (ARV) medication because they had been treated by prayer.

The risk of renewed violence in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta is increasing because militants are frustrated by a lack of concrete results from peace talks, a key negotiator said on Wednesday. Kingsley Kuku, a senior member of a government peace committee who also has close links with militants, said the government still had an opportunity to avert violence but it had to start delivering on promises of development for the delta.