BEIRA, Mozambique (Reuters) — Rescuers said they would reach hundreds of people on Monday still stranded more than a week after a powerful cyclone struck Mozambique and swathes of southeast Africa, as roads started to reopen.

Aid workers offload maize meal for victims of Cyclone Idai at Siverstream Estates in Chipinge, Zimbabwe, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Cyclone Idai lashed Mozambique’s port city of Beira with winds of up to 170 kph (105 mph) around midnight on March 14, then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, flattening buildings and killing at least 657 people across the three countries.

“We are…


If you own a bank account, chances are you are better off than a third of women worldwide. If that bank account comes with a nice app on your phone, you’re probably economically better off than 60 percent of women worldwide. And, as our research suggests, you likely have more autonomy and agency.

Women’s economic empowerment is a holy grail for both policymakers and women’s advocates but is recognizably difficult to attain. Data from India, Indonesia, and Tanzania offer preliminary evidence that the smart offering of digital products to women, both mobile financial services (especially savings) and digital IDs, can…


In 2004, my colleague Zurab Sajaia and I submitted a maximum likelihood routine to the Stata SSC archive. The program was quickly propelled by the Stata user community to the top 10 most downloaded Stata files; it is still in use now. While experimenting with similar algorithms to develop test procedures (five years after the program’s release), we uncovered an error in the routine. Hundreds, if not thousands, of econometricians had used our program and looked at our code, but no one raised any concerns.

Open Source Software (OSS) is quickly gaining popularity in the corporate world as a practical…


Even if you are someone who tries to eat healthy–buys only organic produce, and consumes only ethically raised meats–our food system is probably still jeopardizing your well-being.

The way we eat now is so dependent on chemicals, carbon emissions, and waste buildup that its effects are becoming impossible to ignore. In a new report, Cities and Circular Economy for Food, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a U.K.-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing more equitable and sustainable economies, calculates the damage of our current food system–and how we might build a better one.

Let’s start with the troubling. Right now, every dollar spent…


We’re living in a time of disruptive technologies evolving at an exponential pace. Today, you can enjoy an Impossible Burger (meat industry disrupted) delivered by Caviar (food delivery disrupted) to your AirBnB (hotel industry disrupted) while you’re on FaceTime (telecommunication industry disrupted) urging your teenager to get back to lessons on Khan Academy (education industry disrupted). And all the while, you’re leaving a trail of digital data points.

So rather than trying to predict what the future will bring, I want to focus on the principles we should use to shape it. What do we want the future to look…


The potential for new technology to support African smallholders deserves greater attention, Toby Johnson, communications team leader at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) writes.

Farmers worldwide are facing huge challenges to meet rising demand with increasingly scarce resources but this situation is most acute in Africa.

With the fastest growing population in the world, the continent’s ageing smallholders shoulder the burden to produce ever more food.

Meanwhile, Africa is also suffering the most extreme impacts of climate change, putting extra pressure on water and land.

But there is huge promise for new technologies and innovations to…


By Natasha Tusikov and Blayne Haggart4 minute Read

Natasha Tusikov is assistant professor, criminology, Department of Social Science at York University in Toronto, and Blayne Haggart is associate professor of political science at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

When it came to our online lives, 2018 was revealing in its dysfunction.

The just-expired year’s parade of scandals at Facebook alone was relentless–Cambridge Analytica, its inflation of video-viewing stats that have been credited with convincing legacy media companies to “pivot to video” and away from print, data breaches, playing fast and loose with users’ data, and of course its role…


In this second instalment of the Emerging Technology (EmTech) blog series, the UK Government Office for Science (GOS) is exploring some new technologies for agriculture. This series covers some of the innovative and exciting technologies the GOS’s EmTech Scanning Programme has identified. (Find the original post here.)

The Future of Farming

The transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies over 10,000 years ago was a significant development in the human story. In more recent times, agriculture has experienced yield-enhancing revolutions through mechanisation and the introduction of new crop varieties and agricultural chemicals. Yet, yields of staple crops such as rice and…


Africa is currently experiencing a demographic boom that is largely young and urban. Unlike Germany with a median age of 47.1, the US at 38.1, or China at 37.7, the median age in Africa is 19.5. In addition, this demographic of African youth is expected to double to 225 million by 2055. By 2100, Africa will be home to three of the largest cities in the world: Lagos, Nigeria is projected to be home to 88 million inhabitants, followed by Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, at 83 million and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, at 73 million inhabitants.

Meeting the rising…


Go to the profile of UN Development Programme

Who can imagine Valentine’s Day without bon-bons, or Easter without chocolate eggs? Yet generations-old cocoa farming businesses are on the verge of collapse in the Amazon because cocoa farmers don’t receive fair pay for their work. Using blockchain technology, the United Nations Development Programme in Ecuador, AltFinLab and Amsterdam’s FairChain Foundation are developing the world’s first blockchain shared-value chocolate.

Antoine Lavanchy

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