Migration-induced HIV and AIDS in rural Mozambique and Swaziland

SAMP’s latest policy paper examines the perceptions and attitudes of the rural partners of Mozambican and Swazi miners regarding HIV and, thereby, sheds light on the vulnerability profile of women in migrant-sending areas. See the full SAMP report here for more information.

The return of ‘Afro-optimism’

For the first time since the seventies experts agree on Africa’s promising growth prospects and potential to become a major investment frontier – though risks still abound. Here are some of key factors to watch in 2011. The continent has grown at an average of five percent per year since 2000. Demonstrating an unexpected macroeconomic solidity, most countries were relatively unharmed by the 2007-2008 global financial meltdown. Indeed the continent is estimated to grow at an average of 5.5 percent in 2011. Growth estimates for the next five years show that seven out of ten fastest growing world economies will be from Africa, particularly Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania. Read more here.

From Maputo to Mogadishu, rising food prices hit poorest again

The rising cost of food is causing anxiety to consumers in rich and poor countries alike, and stoking fears of social unrest in impoverished, unstable parts of the world. At least six people were killed during violent demonstrations in Maputo, Mozambique, following the government’s announcement of a 30% increase in bread prices. People in crisis are also suffering in Somalia. Surging wheat prices, mainly due to Russian restrictions on sales, has created a major problem in Egypt as well. Prices may not yet be spiralling as severely as in 2008 but the question is: how bad should things get before those in power start taking action? Read more here.

Rising global interest in farmland: Can it yield sustainable and equitable benefits?

The 2007-2008 relatively high and volatile food prices reminded many import-dependent countries of their vulnerability to food insecurity and promoted them to seek opportunities to secure food supplies overseas. About 70% of demand for land acquisition has been in Africa, and countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique and Sudan have transferred millions of hectares to investors in recent years. The lack of reliable information has made it difficult to measure the impacts of this. Read more here.

Food security in Sub-Saharan Africa: options and challenges

Food Security Assessment in ERS annual report indicates that the number of food-insecure people decreased an estimated 7.5 percent from 2009 levels to 882 million in 2010. Although the short-term situation has improved, ERS projections point to deteriorating food security over the next 10 years, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Production shortfalls and subsequent rises in food insecurity due to weather-related events and political disruptions will have high effect in countries such as Cape Verde, Eritrea, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe. Read more here.

Mozambique to get 19 million dollar biofuels project

Mozambique’s state fuel company has partnered with the private sector to invest 19 million dollars (14 million euros) in biofuel production. According to state media, a minimum of 10,000 hectares will be cultivated at first, with possible expansion to 50,000 hectares later. Recent fuel price hikes and the declining value of the Mozambican currency have forced the government to look for fuel alternatives. There are growing concerns that with biofuels the level and volatility of agricultural world prices, which are now linked to the development of the crude oil price, will increase further. Read more here.

Change MudanÇa

In the past few years, economic growth, political stability, and a strong partnership of the private sector, civil society and government has positioned Mozambique in better situation than in the past. However, the country still faces challenges such as poverty, food insecurity and HIV/AIDS. Change MudanÇa Magazine is the product of a partnership between the South African trust and the African Monitor, and it discusses the current socioeconomic and political condition, including the agricultural sector, of Southern Africa, specifically Mozambique. Read more here.

Agric SA allies with military

A total of 650 soldiers were recently deployed to protect the Mozambican and Zimbabwean borders. Farmers had raised their concerns about crime on their farms as a result of unprotected borders.

Pretoria News, Tuesday, May 25, 2010 (Page:05)

Strengthening agricultural policy in Africa

AGRA launched an initiative to empower African governments to shape home-grown agricultural policies that provide comprehensive support to smallholder farmers. An initial focus is in five countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique and Tanzania). The aim is to strengthen African agricultural policy-making capacity through training agricultural policy analysts; bolstering policy think tanks; establishing data banks to support evidence-based policy development; and coordinating national policy hubs. Read more here.