Worried that it may be seen as insensitive to the food needs of Africa, the South African government, which is facing a general election in 2009, has chosen food security in framing a biofuel policy. After months of dilly-dallying, a strategy for the biofuel sector was accepted by the Cabinet at the start of December.
While the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has moved towards liberalising trade to make the flow of goods between countries easier and economically more rewarding, non-tariff barriers such as border delays continue to be a concern, a recent study found.
Kenya is set to receive oil from Libya at preferential rates according to a bilateral agreement signed earlier this month between the leaders of the two countries. Insiders in the oil industry say this makes it likely that Kenya will award the contract for the establishment of a petroleum facility of $45-million to a Libya-connected investor.
Biofuel and renewable energy sources may hold the key to Africa's energy crisis. Without intervention, this crisis is set to grow -- among others, in Southern African cities such as Lusaka in Zambia, Harare in Zimbabwe, Gaborone in Botswana and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
The issue of lesbian and gay Africans' human rights again came to the fore recently as Anglican Church leaders met in Tanzania amid the continuing row over the consecration of a gay United States bishop in 2003. An ultimatum was sent from the conference in Dar es Salaam to US bishops to make a commitment that same-sex unions would not be blessed.
The world came to Nairobi, capital of Kenya, this week to talk -- and shout -- about how to achieve a better world. Delegates attended the World Social Forum (WSF) in their thousands to discuss topics as diverse as poverty, land redistribution, women's issues, water affairs, government impunity and human rights abuses.