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Public-private dialogue on African diamonds

Astronomers, perhaps inspired by the Beatles, have actually found a diamond in the sky - with plenty of bling at 10 billion trillion trillion carats. Here on Earth, you probably know that most diamonds are produced in Africa, and that the sector does not have a great track record in corporate social responsibility.

Trans-African cable project picks up speed

The East African Submarine cable System (EASSy) has spawned a flurry of debate on the future of broadband in Africa. (And yes, most writers succumb to temptation and include the acronym in one bad pun or another.) EASSy, a huge fibre-optic undersea cable still in the planning stages, promises more immediate access to information and communication technologies in Africa.

Improving administration of nature parks

Public-private partnerships are being used in nature conservation with good results. Much of the world’s biodiversity is found in developing countries, yet their national park agencies often lack the resources to protect biodiversity and promote tourism. Only 12% of global spending on protected areas occurs in the developing world. The IFC’s Nico Saporiti recently published a policy note on how public-private partnerships can aid conservation.

Cookie-cutter approach to social enterprise

Two years ago, [Alicia] Polak founded The Khayelitsha Cookie Co., which now employs 11 women from the sprawling shantytown to bake high-end cookies and brownies that are distributed to top hotels, restaurants and coffeehouses throughout South Africa. The cookies come packed in plastic with a cartoon on the front showing a big, African 'mama' in traditional dress and the company slogan: "Creating opportunity one bite at a time."

Should firms publish what they pay?

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Anglo American chairman and Shell ex-chairman, thinks multinational oil and mining firms are part of the long-term solution to African development. Anglo American has a robust AIDS prevention program and supports the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Peter Eigen will be blogging

Peter Eigen, the founder of Transparency International and now a member of Tony Blair's Africa Progress Panel, will be guest blogging next week on the Herald Tribune's blog: Managing Globalization. This week you can ask him your questions about corruption, development and the future of Africa.

Update: Here is the first round of Q&A.

Technology for development in Africa

Ict_in_africaMany are raving about the impressive upswing in African cell phone usage and the positive effects this might have on the continent's development. But what next? For Africa to fully reap the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT), investment in broadband Internet and other technology is also necessary.

Zulu warriors fight AIDS

Communicating with HIV patients in rural Africa is challenging, particularly in areas of high illiteracy. Even more difficult: most HIV-related terminology is in English. So one international healthcare provider got creative, recasting CD4 cells as Zulu warriors and antiretroviral drugs as traditional weapons: