The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.
In this week’s news, farmers in Burkina Faso take a risk, South Africa appoints a new Minister of Finance, and Burundi’s crisis continues.
Farmers in Burkina Faso are taking what they call a “risk worth taking” on agro-ecology. Although large-scale industrial farming is the most productive form of farming, it can be destructive and the food produced does not always end up in the hands of those who need it the most.
The farmers in Burkina Faso believe that agro-ecology is a solution that will benefit them. It focuses on small-scale, local farms that will provide for a family or community and combat malnutrition. The techniques used not only provide food, they also improve the quality of the farming land without the use of expensive fertilizers by collecting rain water and irrigating the fields. They are are simple, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly.
2. South Africa (Re)-appoints Minister of Finance
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has re-appointed former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan. He is replacing David van Rooyen, who was minister for only four days, and whose appointment caused the value of the rand to drop dramatically. Gordhan was previously Minister of Finance in South Africa from 2009 – 2014. He was serving as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs from 2014 until this week.
The President announced that Gordhan and van Rooyen would simply switch their positions in government. The value of the rand immediately went back up when the switch was announced.
3. Violence in Burundi Continues
The U.S. State Department has urged US citizens in Burundi to leave the country following a series of attacks that left 87 people dead this week. Burundi has been in crisis since April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term, leading to widespread protests.
According to the UN, more than 240 people have been killed and 20,000 people have left the country as refugees since the start of the conflict.