Pambazuka News 501: Integration or federation? Towards political unity for Africa

The media sector has been buzzing with speculation about the reasons why five senior editorial staff at the New Age newspaper simultaneously quit their jobs on Tuesday, a day before the paper was due to launch. Though derided by some as the mouthpiece of the ANC and praised by others as a chance to bring diversity to the media landscape, readers from all quarters have been awaiting the launch of the New Age with great anticipation.

Zimbabwe’s debt burden of about 8,3 billion dollars, owed to internal and external institutions, is crowding out essential national budget items such as health and basic services, with detrimental effects for particularly women. Indications are that many Zimbabwean women opt to give birth at home, with some children being born HIV positive because their mothers cannot afford the maternity fees or the fees charged at hospitals and clinics for the prevention of mother to child transmission of more

All the latest news about Africa's engagement with China, India and other emerging powers. Stories this week include a plan by South Africa for a Cape-to-Cairo trade deal; Attempts by China to block a UN report on Darfur; Attempts by South Sudan to assure China on oil investments; Predictions that Chinese investment in Africa will slow this year and concern by India over Kenya's anti-counterfeit law.

Ibrahim Bello says he can earn $23 in two hours extracting gold from the ground, more than he can make in two months from cultivating millet. Such is the economic draw of the 'gold rush', with impoverished farmers digging up rocks by hand in open mines, that many are in denial about its devastating consequences. At least 400 children have died from poisoning caused by illegal gold mining since March because the ore being unearthed around their villages contains high concentrations of lead, more

State-owned trading firm MMTC Ltd, the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (Iffco) and the conglomerate Bharti Enterprises plan to join the growing number of Indian entities engaged in commercial farming in Africa. Cheap land and labour costs in Africa are attracting a number of Indian firms with interest in agriculture. A large number of people in East African countries such as Kenya work in the cultivation of tea, coffee, corn, vegetables, sugarcane, wheat and fruits, among other things.