Tag Archives: Mozambique

Initiative to cut post-harvest grains losses launched

An initiative has been launched to promote the scale-up of innovative technologies for reducing post-harvest losses in Sub-Saharan Africa and help combat malnutrition, food insecurity and poverty.

Agricultural scientists and other experts at the launch last month (5 July) in Kenya say that the continent’s little investments in managing post-harvest losses is a major drawback to transforming Africa.

The experts note that Sub-Saharan Africa losses about 30 per cent of the grains produced owing to inadequate post-harvest management, lack of structured markets, inadequate storage in households and on farms, and limited processing capacity.

This, they add, happens despite existence of innovative technologies developed by agricultural scientists and researchers across the continent to reduce such losses.

“Food loss is a large and urgent problem that presents a clear opportunity for impact,” says Rafael Flor, deputy regional director of Africa for Rockefeller Foundation.

Flor noted that 1.6 billion people globally could be fed with food lost yearly.

The three-year project that aims to reduce post-harvest loss of grains in Africa is being implemented by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) with 2.7 million Canadian dollar (about US$2.1 million) from the Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Anne Mbaabu, head of markets and post-harvest management at AGRA, says: “We want to scale up innovations and technologies of post-harvest losses to help smallholder farmers reap benefits from their work.”

She explains that the initiative will increase awareness, accessibility and affordability of existing technologies such as threshers to 10,000 smallholder farmers in Botswana and Mozambique.

Continue reading on SciDev.net

by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk

Photo credits: A. Paul-Bossuet/ICRISAT

A way forward for LGBTI rights in Africa

Their efforts and alliances have resulted in palpable change in legislation, court decisions, health policies and shifting public opinion across Africa. They need support.

The horrific shootings targeting the LGBTI community in the United States sent a chilling message that was heard with crystal clarity around the world. The murders in Orlando triggered a fresh and passionate debate about gun laws in America and shone a light on the ever-present challenges the LGBTI community faces both worldwide and here at home. The events in the United States are no more terrifying than the reality of the LGBTI community in South Africa and throughout the continent.

A glaring example surfaced recently in Ivory Coast. A group of gay men were threatened, terrorized, beaten and forced to leave their homes. The reason? They were identified as being part of the “LGBTI community” in an online photo showing them signing a U.S. Embassy book of condolences for the Orlando victims.

No matter how much progress we think we have made in extending basic human rights to every corner of the LGBTI community, we have an intolerably long way to go. The simple truth is that hate crimes against queer people have increased steadily in South Africa over the past few decades. That is why our Parliament is now considering a Hate Crimes Bill. It is ironic that twenty years after our constitution banned discrimination against the LGBTI community and paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage, plus the freedom for same-sex couples to adopt children and the right of gays to serve openly in the military, being LGBTI in South Africa is increasingly dangerous.

Just a few months ago, Lucia Naido, a young lesbian woman, was stabbed to death on the night of her birthday in Katlehong. Her death came barely 4 months after the body of Bobby Motlatla was discovered in his flat. He had been stabbed multiple times, most likely because of his sexuality.

We also can never forget Duduzile Zozo, who was brutally raped and murdered in 2013 because she was a lesbian; Thapelo Makhutle whose body was found badly mutilated in the Northern Cape in 2012; Neil Daniels who was also stabbed and set alight in Cape Town that year; and Nontsikelo Tyatyeka, found dead in a dustbin because of homophobia and hate. The list goes on and on, extending further back to 2008 when the body of soccer star and lesbian activist Eudy Simelane was found near KwaThema. Eudy had been gang-raped and stabbed multiple times.

What happened in Orlando can and does happen here. When I attended the just concluded International Aids Conference 2016 in Durban, this issue of persistent stigma, violence and discrimination was firmly on my mind. Back in 2000 at the first AIDS conference, the focus was on bridging the gap between the level of access to HIV/AIDS drugs and other treatments in the developed world and the lack of resources in the developing world. This combination of having the world’s spotlight on us and the efforts of many brave social justice activists who literally put their lives on the line to fight for access to ARVs had a huge impact.

Sixteen years later, we can take some measure of satisfaction in the largest public health antiretroviral program in the world. This time around, however, we must broaden the discussions. We need to move beyond treatments for HIV/AIDS to a deeper conversation about how to eradicate hate, stigmatization and isolation of LGBTIs. Just as we know that access to treatment does little to change attitudes which fuel marginalization of sex workers, drug users who inject and men who have sex with men, we also know that legislation addressing domestic violence and rape do little to stem the violence directed at women in South Africa. Legislation, essential as it is, has its limits.

What to do? Fortunately, there is momentum for real social change in the air. We should be encouraged by the wave of homegrown leaders, movements and activists that are sweeping across the continent and bringing with them African solutions to Africa’s LGBTI people. Their efforts and alliances with other human rights movements have resulted in palpable change in legislation, court decisions, health policies and shifting public opinion across Africa.

In the past few years, Mozambique has decriminalized homosexuality. In Botswana and Kenya, courts have given LGBTI organizations the right to register and operate. The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has explicitly condemned violence and discrimination against LGBTI people and granted the Coalition of African Lesbians formal Observer Status. These and many other steps in the right direction should be celebrated. They demonstrate that change is possible and tell a story of pride, dignity and activism that counters the narrative of gloom, doom and hopelessness.

Continue reading on Pambazuka

by Naylor Nicolette

Photo Credits: Lindaikejis blog

Mozambique’s 2013 elections: The end of liberation movement politics?

In Mozambique’s latest municipal elections the governing party FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique) appears to have obliterated any opposition when it managed to win 49 out of 53 contested municipalities. RENAMO (Resistência Nacional de Moçambique) has virtually ceased to exist as a representative political party, due to its boycotting of Mozambique’s fourth municipal elections […]

How rats become heroes in Africa

African giant pouched rats can be trained to sniff out the explosives in landmines. Belgian non-governmental organisation APOPO is using the huge rodents to assist in a programme that aims to eradicate mines from Mozambique by the end of this year. The…

China’s oil safari crosses Japan’s energy diplomacy in Africa

With his five-day African tour, Japan’s leader Shinzo Abe has landed on the continent as “Japan’s top salesman.” Cladded with a business delegation, Shinzo Abe is pledging more than $14 billion in aid and trade for Africa. In Abidjan, Japan pledged $ 84.4 million dollars for security in the Sahel region. Japan renewed its pledge […]

The legacy of Eusébio

Historian Eric Hobsbawn once wrote of the centrality of national soccer teams to national identity in Europe, that “the imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people.” And that allows it to represent a more inclusive image of the national idea, as in the case of France’s 1998 World […]

Moçambique: Why has Renamo gone back to the bush?

Mozambique has just undergone its fourth municipal elections. With the Resistência Nacional de Moçambique (RENAMO) reiterating its strategy of not participating and its leader Alfonso Dhlakama retreating to the bush, the 20 November election preliminary results have so far given enormous advantage to the ruling party – Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) – and […]

Politically reduced, broke and with no clear vision: Renamo returns to the bush

Recent skirmishes between Renamo guerrillas and Mozambican government military, leading to Monday’s attack on Afonso Dhlakama’s headquarters in Santungira, need to be viewed in a broader context of post-war history. Dhlakama has failed to convert the former guerrilla movement into an effective political party, and 21 years after the peace accord Renamo is no longer […]

Report on status of agriculture in Africa has been unveiled

Maputo – A new report with detailed statistics and data on African agriculture that will enable researchers, scientists, farmers and policymakers to access timely, relevant and reliable data on the sector has been launched. The Africa Agriculture Status Report, published by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), was launched on 4 September during the third African Green Revolution […]