Right at the bottom of the pyramid are phone users who can’t afford the minimum cost for a SIM to share in someone else’s phone, writes Russell Southwood from Balancing Act. Movirtu has produced a cloud-based, login account which will enable anyone who has access to a GSM phone to share it but still retain their own number. The product was being tested in 2010 and started being deployed as a pilot with several operators in Africa.

At the Centre for Treatment of Acute Malnutrition with Complications (CRENI) in the town of Amboasary Sud in the Anosy region of southeastern Madagascar, Samina Tahiaritsoa, 20, cradles her son, Lambo, 3, who still weighs less than six kilograms after 10 days at the centre. According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), two out of three Malagasy live in poverty and 50 per cent of children younger than five have stunted growth due to malnutrition.

Madagascar, its unique biodiversity and its people, are under threat. French oil company Total is deciding whether to mine highly polluting tar sands in one of the poorest areas of Madagascar. Please act now to help stop this. Email Total’s chief executive today and call on him to abandon his company’s destructive plans.

A human rights campaigner from Madagascar was in the UK recently to demand that the Royal Bank of Scotland withdraw its financing of companies mining tar sands in her country. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has a long track record of financing companies operating in the Canadian tar sands, which are devastating the land and lives of First Nations people in Alberta. The bank has also financed French oil giant Total’s test mining of tar sands in Madagascar over the last three years. Total is more

Sceptical about the effectiveness of the ‘roadmap’ being implemented by Madagascar’s ‘de facto authorities’, CCOC (Collective of Citizens and Civic Organizations) has issued a memorandum on resolving the country’s two-year crisis.