Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Anno's Africa

ANNO'S AFRICA is a UK based charity that offers an alternative, arts education to orphans and vulnerable children in some of Africa’s most desperately deprived city slums. The children who have been participating( Cut) in our Kenyan programme live in the most appalling conditions, sleeping either on the streets or in corrugated iron shacks with no amenities, where often families of eight or more struggle to feed themselves on less than a dollar a day. Scavenging on rubbish tips in an effort to find something to sell so that they can cobble together enough for an evening meal is the way many of these children survive. They are prey to many illnesses: malaria, intestinal worms, pneumonia and other lung infections and of course the ever present threat of HIV / AIDS.

Anno's Africa:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Global Pulse | Harnessing innovation to protect the vulnerable

The United Nations has launched a new project that may be of great value to many NGOs working to improve the conditions of communities around the Globe.

Global Pulse, is an innovation initiative of the UN Secretary-General, that allows for the analysis of patterns within big data and could possibly revolutionize the way NGOs and governments respond to economic shocks, disease outbreaks, and natural disasters around the world. You can find more information about this project at the online Forbes article: Data Philanthropy is Good for Business dated 9/20/11. Also, the United Nations has a Global Pulse web site [Link below].

In a nutshell, this initiative is working to “develop methods for harnessing real-time data to gain a real-time understanding of human well being.”

Global Pulse | Harnessing innovation to protect the vulnerable

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Wherever the Need publishes its 2011 Summer Newsletter

Wherever the Need has been doing wonderful work for years. Focusing on Water Resources, Eco Sanitation and other resource issues, they have been mindful and balanced Development with Ecological responsibility.

They have just released their Summer 2011 Newsletter, and it is work a look.


2011 Summer Newsletter

"If there is a holy grail with regard to sanitation, it is
finding a solution to the needs of the billions of people
who live in inner cities. Many live in slums and the cost
of infrastructure would be astronomical as water based
toilets are often regarded as the only option – although
where the water will come from is rarely explained
satisfactorily!" Quote for Wherever the Need Summer 2011 Newsletter.

2011 Summer Newsletter | Wherever the Need

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

From the Field: Community Engagement Inside Kibera (September 1, 2011) | Opinion Blog | Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Bazaar has been following Rye Barcotte and Carolina for Kibera for over 5 years now, and this article: " From the Field: Community Engagement Inside Kibera" recently appeared in the Sanford Social Innovation Review

Kibera is one square mile. Its population is estimated between 170,000 and 1,000,000 people. The average daily income is $1.25. (Photos by Rebecca Shearin)

"It’s easy to look at global poverty alleviation work abstractly. I spend a lot of time reading about and debating the meaning of “social entrepreneurship,” “community engagement,” and other popular jargon of our field, far away from communities in extreme poverty. But it only takes a minute of visiting a small nonprofit in, say, Kibera, a Nairobi slum of 1 million people, to remind you that distance is the wrong reference point.

This spring, I met Rye Barcott on a book tour for his memoir It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace, and learned about Carolina for Kibera (CFK). Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, CFK’s mission is to develop local leaders,
catalyze positive change, and alleviate poverty in Kibera. One of CFK’s core beliefs is that community problems require local solutions run by local leaders."

The rest of the article may be found at the following link:
From the Field: Community Engagement Inside Kibera (September 1, 2011) | Opinion Blog | Stanford Social Innovation Review

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Business Daily: - Home |Mobile technology unlocks dairy farming potential


By FRANKLINE SUNDAY  (email the author)


On a typical day, Susan Wanjiru checks and replies to her emails, updates and checks off items on her appointment book before she starts work at a busy Nairobi hotel.

The young hotelier also receives a text message informing her of the progress of her small dairy farm in Kinangop. The message has come through an iCow application that is promising to change the way small holder farmers in Kenya manage their dairy cattle.

The iCow is a voice-based WAP enabled application that keeps farmers abreast of essential animal breeding and feeding methods through technology. A farmer can register his cows free of charge through the iCow portal and gets regular SMSs about the breeding and production patterns of the livestock.


Read more of this story at the following site:

Business Daily:  - Home |Mobile technology unlocks dairy farming potential

Monday, August 22, 2011

Africa: Zambia to Host Land Policy Meeting




By George Okore

LUSAKA----A stakeholder dialogue on land policy issues in Africa will held in Lusaka, Zambia from October 4-5, 2011 in Lusaka, Zambia.

The forum to address underlying transnational commercial land deals in Africa comes at time when many Western Super powers are promoting and perpetuating improper land acquisition and use, hence agricultural challenges and food crisis facing the continent. Former African colonial masters are land problems in many African countries including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Somalia, Ethiopia among others.

The High Level Forum on Land-Based Foreign Direct Investments in Africa comes at a time when recent discussions have focused on increasing demand of farmlands across the continent by both foreign and local investors. The meeting will explore and reach agreement and consensus on appropriate and concrete actions on how to address the issue of land based investments in the continent in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.

To read more, go to the following link:

Africa: Zambia to Host Land Policy Meeting

Friday, July 15, 2011

Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead Ink Agreement Making HIV and Hepatitis B Treatment More Available in Developing Countries.

The Medicines Patent Pool Announces
First Licensing Agreement with a Pharmaceutical Company

London, 12 July 2011: Today the Medicines Patent Pool announces its first licenses with a pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences, to increase access to HIV and Hepatitis B treatment in developing countries.


Photo from Medicines Patent Pool web site

* * *

The Medicines Patent Pool and UNITAID joint press release is available here [pdf], and also posted below.

Questions and answers on the Patent Pool licenses are available here [pdf].

Per the Medicines Patent Pool transparency policy [pdf], the full texts of the licenses are posted below.

The main licensing agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead is available here [pdf].

The amended and restated form is available here [pdf].

The form sublicensee agreement is available here [pdf].

Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead Licence Agreement / Current Licences / LICENSING / Home - Medicines Patent Pool

Monday, May 23, 2011

FHI helps to spread the word of about HPTN Study 052- Initiation of Antiretroviral Treatment Protects Uninfected Sexual Partners from HIV Infection.

A very encouraging press release came out on May 11, 2011 from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and was followed up by this posting by the Family Health International (FHI).

HPTN Booklet

Cover of HPTN publication


Initiation of Antiretroviral Treatment Protects Uninfected Sexual Partners from HIV Infection (HPTN Study 052)

FHI Statement on HPTN 052

May 12, 2011

Men and women infected with HIV reduced the risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners by 96 percent through early initiation of oral antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to findings from a large-scale multinational clinical study conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN).

The clinical trial, known as HPTN 052, was designed to evaluate whether early antiretroviral use by an HIV-infected individual would reduce transmission of HIV to an HIV-uninfected partner and potentially benefit the HIV-infected individual as well. The trial is the first randomized clinical trial to show that treating an HIV-infected individual with ART can reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV to an uninfected partner.

HPTN is a global partnership dedicated to reducing the transmission of HIV through cutting-edge biomedical, behavioral, and structural interventions, largely funded by National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases with additional funding from National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute for Mental Health, at the US National Institutes of Health. FHI serves as the coordinating and operations center for HPTN. As the operations center, FHI is responsible for the scientific management of HPTN and facilitates and participates in HPTN leadership, scientific working groups, protocol teams, and the community engagement program.

"FHI is proud of our role as the Operations Center for HPTN in facilitating the HPTN 052 study," said Dr. Ward Cates, President, Research at FHI and member of the leadership of HPTN. "Treating infected individuals prevents transmission to their uninfected partner and benefits the individual. Armed with these findings, FHI can continue to contribute to the informed care and treatment and prevention of HIV through our global programs and intramural research."

HPTN 052 began in April 2005 and enrolled 1,763 HIV-serodiscordant couples at 13 sites across Africa, Asia and the Americas, the vast majority of which (97 percent) were heterosexual. An HIV-serodiscordant couple has one member who is HIV-infected and the other who is HIV-uninfected. In the study, the HIV-infected partner was required to have a CD4+ cell count (T cells) between 350-550 cells/mm3 at enrollment, and therefore did not require HIV treatment for his or her own health.

The investigators randomly assigned the couples to one of two study groups. In one group, the HIV infected partner immediately began taking a combination of three antiretroviral drugs upon study enrollment. In the other group, the HIV-infected partners began ART when their CD4 counts fell below 250 cells per cubic millimeter (cells/mm³) or an AIDS-related event occurred.

Throughout the study, both groups received HIV-related care that included counseling on safe sex practices, free condoms, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, regular HIV testing, and frequent evaluation and treatment for any complications related to HIV infection. Each group received the same amount of care and counseling. In addition, individuals who become HIV-infected during the course of the study are referred to local services for appropriate medical care and treatment.

The trial was slated to end in 2015; however, the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) recommended that the results be released as soon as possible. The DSMB concluded that it was clear that early initiation of ART by HIV-infected individuals with relatively healthy immune systems substantially protects partners from infection, with a 96 percent reduction in HIV transmission.

Study participants are being informed of the results. The study investigators will continue following the study participants for at least one year.

"This is excellent news," said Dr. Myron Cohen, HPTN 052 Principal Investigator and Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health and Director of the Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "The study was designed to evaluate the benefit to the sexual partner as well as the benefit to the HIV-infected person. This is the first large randomized clinical trial to definitively indicate that an HIV-infected individual can reduce sexual transmission of HIV to an uninfected partner by beginning antiretroviral therapy sooner. HPTN recognizes the significant contribution that this study's participants have made to furthering the progress in HIV treatment and prevention. We are very grateful for their participation."

About HIV Prevention Trials Network

The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) is a partnership between scientists and communities around the world to develop, evaluate, and implement cutting-edge biomedical, behavioral, and structural interventions to reduce the transmission of HIV. HPTN uses randomized controlled clinical trials, designed and conducted according to the highest scientific and ethical standards, to identify the best combinations of interventions for the populations at highest risk of HIV infection worldwide. HPTN is largely funded by NIAID with additional funding from NIDA and NIMH, at the NIH.

About FHI

FHI is a global health and development organization whose science-based programs bring lasting change to the world's most vulnerable people. Since 1971, FHI has worked with 1,400 partners in 125 countries, forging strong relationships with governments, diverse organizations, the private sector and communities. By applying science to healthcare programs and clinical research, FHI is helping countries make measurable progress against disease, poverty, and inequity—improving lives for millions.


For more information, view the HPTN press release (May 11, 2011) or visit
Media inquiries:

Matt Matassa


FHI - Initiation of Antiretroviral Treatment Protects Uninfected Sexual Partners from HIV Infection (HPTN Study 052)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

MinnPost - Addressing Africa's book famine: The impact is immeasurable

This editorial by Ambassador James Kimonyo’s appeared in the website on May 11, 2011 and was posted on the Books For Africa web site.


H.E. Ambassador James Kimonyo

Addressing Africa's book famine: The impact is immeasurable

By Ambassador James Kimonyo | Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I come from a family of eight in Rwanda. We worked very hard to get an education growing up. We shared books with other households and families. Sometimes we waited a week to get a book back that we had loaned out and sometimes we were lucky to get the book back the day before an examination. And so it goes for millions of schoolchildren in Rwanda and throughout Africa. We have many problems on our continent, but one of the most serious is our book famine.

As Rwanda and other countries make progress over the next 20 years, human capital and education will be the key ingredients. The only way we can transform our country is through education. Our strategy is to create a knowledge-based economy. That is our vision. There is nothing better than having books for our students to help us achieve that objective.

A container of books from St. Paul-based Books for Africa will be shipped to my country in the next couple of months through the work of Peace Corps volunteers and Ambassador W. Stuart Symington. That's 22,000 books for our children. The container will also include books for a law library donated by Thomson Reuters to help us educate young law students, build democratic institutions and develop the rule of law.

I recently visited St. Paul, where I attended a number of events sponsored by Books for Africa. I was impressed with the generosity of the people of Minnesota who donated more than $80,000 last month to help pay for books that will be sent to Rwanda and other African countries. Our people thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

For one purpose only

The West often sends money and military weapons to Africa and other developing nations. While well-intentioned, sometimes that aid ends up in the wrong hands with serious negative consequences. But books for children and for law students can only be used for one purpose and that is that is to educate. That is soft power at work in the field. A small amount of money invested in the United States is turned into thousands of books — which, in turn, are shared by millions of young people in my country and around the continent. That is a small price to pay to help us build and develop our countries.

The impact of a book in the hands of a child in my country is immeasurable. I hope that the people of Minnesota and the rest of the United States will continue to understand that concept. Your understanding and your generosity make a huge difference.

James Kimonyo is the ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States.

MinnPost - Addressing Africa's book famine: The impact is immeasurable

Books For Africa

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kabissa – Connecting people and organizations for Africa



Six years ago this month I wrote about Kabissa helping folks in Africq manage the digital age.  And from the looks of things, they are still going strong.


Kabissa (our name means completely in kiswahili) is a volunteer-led non-governmental organization founded in 1999. We help African civil society organizations to put Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to work for the benefit of their communities. We do this by providing an online platform where people and organizations working in Africa can showcase themselves and connect with each other for peer learning and information sharing.

Network connecting people and organizations for Africa | Kabissa

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AMREF | AMREF’s New Partnership with Open University

AMREF continues to find new and innovative ways to improve healthcare in Africa.  The Press Release below appeared on April 13, 2011.



AMREF is pleased to announce a new and exciting partnership with the Open University (UK).

Africa has a serious shortage of health workers and many have little or no formal training; yet, they are the ‘front line’ of health care across Africa.

Recognising a mutual belief that empowered, well-trained and well-supported health workers (including doctors, nurses, clinical officers, midwives, and community health workers) are critical to the development and success of African health systems, AMREF and the Open University will soon be embarking on a partnership to train health workers through distance learning.

The partnership was formed after recognising the common goals and ambitions of AMREF and the OU:

AMREF, Africa’s leading health development organisation, provides training for health workers in 33 African countries, equipping them with the necessary skills to address their countries’ biggest health issues; from HIV/AIDS, to antenatal care, malaria, waterborne diseases, cervical cancer to cleft palate repair. Committed to providing the best, most relevant service possible, AMREF is an expert in curricula and Human Resources for Health (HRH) development. Using an array of training methods; from classroom-based, to print-based distance learning courses to eLearning and online trainings, AMREF brings training opportunities to those who need it the most.

Open University is a world leader in modern distance learning and has recently launched the Health Education and Training (HEAT) programme in Africa. This ambitious programme aims to train 250,000 Community Health Workers (CHW) over the next five years through providing distance learning modules to increase their skills and capabilities. The HEAT programme is now piloting in Ethiopia, but is ready to be taken to other African countries, and has the flexibility and potential to be adapted for use by midwives, doctors, nurses, and other health workers. 

Recognising this shared commitment to increasing Human Resources for Health (HRH) in Africa, through this new partnership AMREF and OU will share experience and expertise, working together to develop, implement and manage distance training programmes for mid-level and community health workers. AMREF and OU will collaborate in submitting applications for joint funding, build partnerships with organisations with similar goals, and work together to roll out OU’s HEAT programme beyond Ethiopia.

“We believe that this collaboration will take AMREF’s innovative e-learning, m-learning and broader distance learning interventions further afield in Africa”, says Peter Ngatia, AMREF’s Director of Capacity Building.

“We hope to dramatically assist in the global effort to scale-up training of Human Resources for Health to ensure countries have the right numbers and competencies required for quality health delivery and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.”

More about AMREF's work training health workers across Africa

More about Open University's Health Education and Training (HEAT) programme

AMREF | AMREF’s New Partnership with Open University

Friday, May 06, 2011

The True Size of Africa

The Serpentine Gallery had an exhibit of maps.  And among those maps was this one created by software engineer Kia Krause.

Click the link below to go to the Serpentine Gallery site.  There you can click on the link that will enlarge the image so that you will be able to read the accompanying data.


This is something to think about when considering the relevance of Africa in a global context.


Edge - Serpentine Maps Marathon

Monday, January 10, 2011

Congolese Students and Survivors Use ICTs to Prevent the Spread of Violence

This is an article that first appeared a few months ago, but because so few items appear on English language sites on the internet, in thought that it would nice to post this.

By Azur Développement for APC

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo, 27 October 2010

Five different organisations in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) are receiving small grants as part of the APC Women’s programme’s – Take Back the Tech! to fight violence against women project. Female students, women and girls who have survived violence and abuse will learn how to use different technologies to signal cases of abuse, build awareness around their experiences and help support others victims. Read more about these innovative projects, which will be taking place until March 2011.


Association Dynamique Plurielle in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, will work with 250 female 1st to 3rd year high school students from Savorgnon de Brazzaville High School to fight against sexual harassment in schools by involving teachers and school management. It will organise awareness meetings on the Portella and Potignon Acts, which prohibits relationships between teachers and students and protects minors, during which they will screen video testimonies from survivors of abuse. During the project, students will also send alerts about sexual harassment cases via SMS by the students; and a “listening cell” of the organisation at the high school will actively respond. Educational information about the laws will be sent to 250 students; and trivia questions via SMS and MMS will be sent out participants. Winners will be awarded free internet browsing tickets for the best answer. Students will also be trained on how to use the internet to teach and train others. They will also be sensitized to online privacy and security issues when surfing the internet and using mobile phones.

Association Femmes Solidaires in Brazzaville will train fifteen young mothers infected with HIV/AIDS and survivors of violence in counselling so they can provide psychological support to their peers. Awareness-raising sessions will be held on human rights, targeting 50 women and young mothers infected with HIV/AIDS. Ten of them will be trained in basic computers skills, internet browsing and searching, and writing articles and blogs to document the experiences of violence by HIV-positive women and girls. Radio shows that broadcast the testimonies of these survivors of violence will be produced with the assistance of female journalists and members of the organisation. These radio programs will be reproduced on CDs and distributed to other organisations for their advocacy and educational activities, and uploaded to the internet.

Jeunes Infrastructure et Développement (CJID) will work to reduce violence against women and girls in Kinkala, an area that was affected by armed conflict until 2003, through awareness and education on ICTs. Twenty female soldiers and policewomen will be sensitised about violence against women. Around100 survivors of violence will be reached by this project; from which 35 will be trained in basic computer skills and internet use. They will create a listening space for survivors at their office, and provide mobile internet access to the people of Kinkala, especially young students. The project will also produce video testimonials with a team of survivors of violence, which will be screened at awareness meetings and shared with other organisations. There will also be an SMS contest for the best testimonies, and a moderated blog will be put in place to give voices to the project beneficiaries on the web.

Comptoir Juridique Junior will work with 200 students in the Mpaka Secondary School and the OCH Technical High School in Pointe-Noire to fight against and prevent sexual harassment in schools. Their actions will involve teachers and school management. Students will send alerts on cases of sexual harassment via SMS, and different measures will be taken after a consultation. Competitions for testimonies by survivors of violence via SMS and MMS will be held with 200 students, and the best testimonies will be awarded with training on the use of the internet for learning purposes. The project also educates students on privacy and security online when surfing the internet and using mobile phones. A network of students from both institutions will be created before the end of the project.

Handicapés Sans Frontières in Pointe-Noire will gather some sixty female journalists, women and girls with disabilities to educate, denounce, and find solutions to end violence against them, as well as help them break their silence. The organisation will hold awareness sessions on women’s rights and how to fight violence against women in the media and women’s circles for those with disabilities. They will be trained in basic computer skills and the internet in order to communicate about violence through blogs, photos and mobile phones. They will learn how to record sounds with mobile phones, how to take and upload photos and how to upload video and audio to the internet. Women and girls with disabilities and survivors of violence will also use the internet to advocate for a space where they can express themselves. Female journalists involved in the project will present radio and television programs that demonstrate the magnitude and call for action on violence against women and girls with disabilities.

As part of its work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal #3 (MDG3), the Association for Progressive Communicaitons Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) is providing a small grants fund for projects working with women, technology and raising awareness about violence against women in over 30 communities. Funds from the MDG3 grant are going directly towards supporting over 60 local, primarily community based organisations to implement projects that use ICTs to end violence against women and building their capacity to do so.

The Take Back the Tech! fund is a part of the APC women’s programme Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project, which falls under the APC’s work towards achieving the third Millennium Development Goal on equality for women. A total of $20 000 dollars have been disbursed to twelve country partners for redistribution to local and grassroots organisations that are working with women and ICTs.
Photo by l’Association des Femmes Solidaires: Survivors of violence undergo training and counseling in Brazzaville.