Africa select April 08

Africa select April 08

April programme highlights

Africa image

Wednesday 30th April

If scientists have their way, the saying 'dead as a dodo' may have to become extinct itself. The Dodo was a fat, flightless bird that lived only in Mauritius, until it was wiped out in the late 17th century, following the arrival of human settlers from the Netherlands. Now, with advances in DNA research, work is going on the try and bring the Dodo back to life as Robin White found out when he visited the new Dodo gallery in Mauritius's Natural History Museum.

Listen 3 mins 37 secs

Tuesday 29th April

It's mango season in Mali and that makes it almost impossible to walk for more than a few hundred metres in the capital Bamako without tripping over a big juicy mango. Mali is one of Africa's biggest mango producers and has more than 100 varieties growing in the countryside. The good rains and plentiful harvest are being celebrated today with Mali declaring National Mango Day as part of the agricultural show taking place in Bamako. Celeste Hicks has more.

Listen 4 mins 49 secs

Monday 28th April

Residents of Cameroon's economic capital Douala are being over run by rats. The population of rodents in this high density city is exploding. Our reporter Randy Joe Sa'ah visited Douala and reports how the rats have become a major nuisance as they compete for food and space with the city's population.

Listen 2 mins 54 secs

Friday 25th April

On World Malaria Day we take a look at efforts to fight malaria around the continent. First Ethiopia's scheme to train thousands of young women in malaria fighting tactics. Elizabeth Blunt sent this report.

Listen 3 mins 12 secs

And Umaru Fofana reports from Sierra Leone

Listen 3 mins 19 secs

Thursday 24th April

They say the devil finds work for idle hands, and inSierra Leone it seems that many young people are not finding jobs and as a result they're getting into trouble. They expected President Ernest Bai Koroma to do something about unemployment when they voted for him last year. But so far he's been struggling to deliver on that promise. The United Nations who helped end a civil war in Sierra Leone six years ago, says joblessness among the youth is a serious threat to peace. The BBC's Umaru Fofana sent this report.

Listen 3 mins 35 secs

Wednesday 23rd April

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is in Burkina Faso this morning. The UN Chief started his tour to West Africa in Ghana and he was in Liberia yesterday. The UN says the main reason for the trip is to help promote peace and stability in the region. Our correspondent Pierre Kazoni reports on Mr Ban's arrival in Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso

Listen 2 mins 34 secs

Tuesday 22nd April

As Senator Barack Obama in the United States prepares for a make or break pre-election thumbs up from the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, we go to Western Kenya where his father comes from to find out just exactly what's in a name. We all know that naming a child is a serious business in any African society. Among the Luo and Luhya of Western Kenya - senior members of the family decide who a baby should be named after. So given that a couple of people with political and biological roots in the region are in the news it should come as no surprise that the BBC's Muliro Telewa met Senator Barack and Raila Odinga in Kisumu. His report starts with a traditional song of praise.

Listen 4 mins 54 secs

Monday 21st April

Experts in the field of malaria research say African scientists leading the fight against the disease are getting a raw deal when it comes to funding. Their efforts get overlooked in favour of projects based in Europe and America - but that's all about to change - if Dr Abdallah Daar has his way. He explained to Audrey Brown how a new website being launched today hopes to link up donors with the National Institute for Medical Research in Tanzania.

Listen 3 mins 08 secs

Friday 18th April

The French Caribbean poet Aime Césaire died yesterday at the age of 94. He was one of the founding fathers of the Negritude movement which aimed at promoting African and Caribbean cultural identity. The movement also fought against French colonialism in the 1940s. And although he was not born in Africa, Césaire nurtured very strong ties within the African continent and defended the rights of colonized people. Writer Cy Grant was the first to introduce Aime Césaire's works to the British stage in the 1970s. Christophe Pons asked him how he felt about Césaire's death.

Listen 2 mins 58 secs

Thursday 17th April

Public services in Somalia, a country without a functioning government since 1991 - and wrought by violence for most of that time - long ago collapsed. In those places schools and hospitals do function it is often down to the role played by a few committed individuals. Robert Walker visited the hospital in the southern town of Baidoa where staff receive no salaries and only the basic drugs are available.

Listen 3 mins 36 secs

Wednesday 16th April

In Nairobi a new radio station has set out to give a voice to youth from the lower income areas of Kenya's capital city. The station, known as Ghetto Radio, is trying to fill a gap missed by most of the major FM stations which have not catered for audiences from Nairobi's ghettos. Ghetto Radio hopes to reach these youth with young broadcasters who have come from these same areas. From Nairobi our correspondent Tomi Oladipo reports on the this unique addition to Kenya's airwaves.

Listen 2 mins 35 sec

Tuesday 15th April

In coordinated attacks in Kenya yesterday the banned Mungiki Sect group struck again, this time in several towns staging daylight protests, barricading roads and burning vehicles. How the authorities have been unable to eradicate this group? Komla Dumor put that to Ken Ouko, a criminologist at the university of Nairobi.

Listen 3 mins 35 secs

Monday 14th April

Feliciano dos Santos is a 43 year-old musician from Mozambique. He sings catchy songs about sanitation in an effort to improve hygiene and stop the spread of diseases. And tonight, along with several other activists he's going to pick up the Goldman Environmental prize in the United States, He's also going to get a cheque for a 150,000 US dollars. Jose Tembe met Feliciano in Maputo before he flew off to America.

Listen 8 mins 10 secs

Friday 11th April

Today the BBC World Service is looking at the significance of rice to the world. In Burundi, unlike in some other countries across Africa, people have not yet taken to the streets to demonstrate against the increasingly high cost of living, but the situation there is not better. The prices of most basic commodities have rocketed over recent months and making ends meet is proving difficult for many. Prime Ndikumagenge paid a visit to the central market where most people buy basic commodities.

Listen 3 mins 12 secs

Thursday 10th April

Visa applications to the United States include the question "Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organisation as currently designated by the US Secretary of State?" Well Nelson Mandela answers yes to that question and he, along with members of the continent's oldest political party the ANC, have to seek a waiver to be able to enter the US. Now Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has said that it's time to remove travel restrictions. But why is Mandela officially a terrorist in the US? Paul Bakibinga asked Howard Berman, the Chairman of the US Senates House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Listen 2 mins 43 secs

Wednesday 9th April

In Sierra Leone, a controversial song released by local musician Buberry is causing quite a stir. Kor-Bukor, the title of the song, means in a local dialect Temne "Go and wash" or "Go and have your shower." Now, "Kor-Bukor" is being used to taunt people and has provoked incidents of violent retaliation. The song remains very popular. Lansana Fofana met Buberry, the artist behind the song in Freetown.

Listen 4 mins 20 secs

Tuesday 8th April

The latest African country to face protests over the rising cost of living is Burkina Faso, where a 48-hour nationwide general strike, organised by the country's trade unions, has been called for today. Early signs are that the call is being heeded by many, at least in the capital Ougadougou. Workers are complaining of relentless increase in prices of essential commodities such as rice, flour, soap, sugar, milk and fuel.Pierre Kazoni reports from Ouagadougou.

Listen 2 mins 27 secs

Monday 7th April

A former slave is bringing a case against the State of Niger before the Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) in Niamey today, on the grounds that Niger has allegedly failed to implement laws against slavery. Despite slavery being a crime since 2003, the government of Niger is accused of failing to protect Ms Hadjitou Mani from the practise. Idy Baraou reports.

Listen 2 mins 28 secs

Friday 4th April

Thousands of Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone are reluctant to return to their homeland even though the war is long over.Umaru Fofana went to find out more.

Listen 4 mins 45 secs

Thursday 3rd April

The president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, has said that given rising food prices and increased scarcity there must be renewed effort to help agriculture across the world - particularly in Africa. Despite the fertile land and small population, Sierra Leone cannot grow enough to feed itself. Lansana Fofana has been investigating why.

Listen 3 mins 57 secs

Wednesday 2nd April

A ceasefire deal was agreed a year ago in the north of Central African Republic between the rebel UFDR and the government. The fighting has stopped but as our reporter Arnaud Zajtman found out when he visited the northern town of Birao, no lasting solution has been found.

Listen 3 mins 51 secs

Tuesday 1st April

A meeting of Africa's finance and economic development ministers is under way in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. For the first time the meeting has been jointly organised by the African Union and the UN's Economic Commission for Africa, which is celebrating its 50th birthday. The theme of the meeting is "Africa's new challenges in the 21st century," but one of the first invited speakers, the former president ofTanzania, Benjamin Mkapa, kicked of the debates by talking of one of the oldest problems of all - poverty, and of how to empower the poor. Elizabeth Blunt, asked him whether, after all this time, he thought poverty was still the biggest issue of all.

Listen 2 mins 59 secs

End of Section

Return to Africa Today homepage