Economist: Paper kingdom – East Africa’s largest private media company, Nation Group, has seen a rise of 45% in revenues between 2007 and 2011. While east African countries “leapfrogged to mobile phones before landlines spread . . . in the news, tradition reigns.” Radio is still popular, and 95% of people in Kenya and Uganda listen to it in any given week. The “digital disruption” experienced by many Western media groups is irrelevant for their African counterparts, because online browsing of newspapers is still prohibitively expensive for many.
VOA: More Land Being Used for Organic Farming – The Worldwatch Institute reports that since 1999 there had been a more than three-fold increase in the amount of land dedicated to organic farming. Instead of using chemical inputs like pesticides and fertilizers, farmers use a variety of natural techniques, like rotating crops and applying compost to fields. The Oceania region has the most certified organic agricultural land, followed by Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The United States has “lagged behind other countries in adopting sustainable farming methods.” (Joe DeCapua)
WSJ: South Africa’s Sommelier – Eight years ago, Luvo Ntezo worked as a dishwasher in Cape Town. Now, he is Cape Town’s most trusted authority on wine, and a “symbol of the country’s distinctive post-apartheid viniculture.” Many of Ntezo’s customers make up the “newly affluent black professional class” that is a growing demographic in post-apartheid South Africa. (Tom Downey)
AllAfrica: USAID Partners With African Countries to Boost Child Survival – Representatives from African health ministries, USAID, and child health experts are gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss strategies for increasing child survival rates in Africa. This year’s conference follows the Call to Action last year, which challenged countries to lower their national rates of child mortality to 20 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births by 2035.