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MADAGASCAR  

New IRIN film: The Zebu and the Zama

NAIROBI, 14 April 2014 (IRIN) - In the Zones Rouges of southern Madagascar, economic opportunities are scarce, as is any presence of the state: the police are particularly absent from most villages. full report

When will the donor floodgates open for Madagascar?

ANTANANRIVO, 13 February 2014 (IRIN) - The ups and downs of Madagascar’s political fortunes and crises have been reflected in the often uncertain livelihood and prospects of Vonjiniaina Eliane Rafanomezantsoa, 33. full report

Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment, poverty

DAKAR, 10 February 2014 (IRIN) - Youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa, say experts. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence among idle youth. full report

Crop-eating pests plague southern African farmers

HARARE/JOHANNESBURG, 7 February 2014 (IRIN) - The rainy season, always welcome in often dry southern Africa, has brought with it favourable breeding conditions for army worms and red locusts. The crop-eating pests are contributing to the woes of subsistence farmers already struggling to recover from setbacks in the last farming cycle. full report

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

NAIROBI, 4 February 2014 (IRIN) - Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts. full report

Life-saving hepatitis C drug approved, but cost is high

New York, 23 December 2013 (IRIN) - Following approvals in the US and Europe this month of a new drug to treat hepatitis C, activists are pushing for the medication to be made available in poor countries. full report

Plague in Madagascar

ANTANDROHOMBY, 20 December 2013 (IRIN) - The bubonic plague season arrived in Madagascar earlier than usual in 2013, and with it an apparently greater prevalence of a more deadly strain of the disease. full report

Small steps in Madagascar’s fight against gender-based violence

ANTANANARIVO, 10 December 2013 (IRIN) - Efforts to reduce violence against women in Madagascar are coming up against the economic realities and social norms lived by the majority of women in the country. While police have been trained to help women press charges against violent partners, many women still have trouble speaking out about abuse. full report

Is Africa ready for GM?

KISUMU/KAMPALA, 27 November 2013 (IRIN) - Even as food insecurity continues to afflict impoverished and disaster-affected populations around the continent, African policymakers and consumers remain deeply divided over the potential harms and benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods, which advocates say could greatly improve yields and nutrition. full report

Senegal on the frontline of the battle with Big Tobacco

DAKAR, 19 November 2013 (IRIN) - Djité Sekou, 32, smokes as he passes his nights guarding one of the many high-rise apartment buildings in Dakar, Senegal. It has been eight years since his first cigarette - a Monte Carlo from Morocco - and when money is available he goes through 20 to 30 per day. It is an addiction that can cost him up to a quarter of his monthly income. full report

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