Pambazuka News 526: Reflections on uprisings and unrest

A Nigerian human rights group says more than 500 people died after presidential elections earlier this month. Rioting broke out when it emerged that Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian - had defeated a Muslim candidate from the mostly Islamic north. Correspondents say Nigeria is braced for possible further unrest over governorship elections on Tuesday (26 April) in most of Nigeria's 36 states.

With regional wheels rolling to put in place the envisaged grand tripartite free trade area (FTA), questions have arisen about whether it would be viable and increase competitiveness. 'Free trade areas by themselves are not an engine for growth,' remarked SADC trade policy advisor Paul Kalenga at a public trade dialogue in Windhoek, Namibia, organised by the Agricultural Trade Forum and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. 'Trade between the region and China, for instance, shot up with 500 percent more

'We no longer need to go to Hanène, three kilometres away, for vaccinations or for a check-up for our children,' said Maguette Niang, a 40-year-old mother from Keur Madaro, a village in the west of Senegal. Keur Madaro is one of many Senegalese communities that now has staff watching over the health of the village from a community health post – a simple two-roomed building right in the heart of the village. This is thanks to a five-year project launched in 2006 under the title Wër (meaning ' more

The small 10m by 15m garden behind Agnes Oroma's house in northern Uganda's Gulu district is much more than a hobby garden; according to HIV-positive Oroma, it is one of the main reasons she is in good health. She grows indigenous vegetables and tomatoes to supplement her daily diet of beans, maize meal and silver fish; Oroma also proudly shows off a sisal sack in which she grows onions. 'Do not ignore that little space behind your house, it can do a lot to feed you cheaply and lessen your more

Low- and middle-income earners across eastern and central Africa are reeling from the mounting cost of living brought on by a sharp increase in commodity prices in the past few months. Protests and demonstrations against the rising cost of food and fuel have swept across several towns in Kenya and Uganda; violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces have been reported on several occasions in Uganda. At least four Ugandans have been killed in countrywide demonstrations, while more