Report: Two foreign aid workers released in Somalia

Report: Two foreign aid workers released in SomaliaNairobi/Mogadishu - Two European aid workers employed by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who were kidnapped in Somalia over a week ago have been released, reports said Tuesday. The pair - a Dutch nurse and a Belgian doctor - were taken nine days ago on the way to Hudur, the capital of the Bakol region in south-west Somalia.

The group that took them demanded a 4-million-dollar ransom, but Islamist militant group al-Shabaab said no such ransom was paid.

Donors gather in Brussels to pledge funds for Somalia security

SomaliaBrussels - Politicians and donors from around the world gathered in Brussels on Thursday for a conference aimed at raising funds to boost security in Somalia and crack down on the epidemic of piracy in the country's waters.

The Horn of Africa country is widely-regarded as a "failed state", and one of the most dangerous places on earth, with warring militias exerting more power than central government.

IMF: Global recession could erase hard-fought gains in Africa

IMF: Global recession could erase hard-fought gains in AfricaWashington - While Africa has managed to avoid the worst effects of a recession that has gripped most other parts of the globe, the International Monetary Fund warned that the downturn could erase much of the hard-won gains made by the world's poorest continent over the past few years.

Growth in Africa will slow to 2 per cent this year, down from 5.2 per cent in 2008, before recovering to 3.9 per cent in 2010, the IMF said in its updated World Economic Outlook.

Several dead as soldiers fire at demos in Madagascar: reports

Several dead as soldiers fire at demos in Madagascar: reportsAntananarivo - Madagascar government soldiers killed and wounded several persons Monday when they fired into a demonstration in the capital Antananarivo, the television broadcaster TVplus reported.

The report said that one of those killed was a policeman.

Unconfirmed media reports at the scen spoke of at least three persons killed and several others seriously wounded, as meanwhile several cars and a building were in flames.

Twice-delayed COMESA summit scheduled for Zimbabwe in June

ComesaHarare  - The 19-country Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), Africa's largest trading bloc, will finally launch its customs union at a long-awaited summit in Zimbabwe in June, COMESA said Friday.

The summit of heads of state and government, which was twice postponed last year, will be held on June 7 and 8 in Victoria Falls resort, Comesa secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya told journalists in Harare Friday.

"We shall have the launching of the Comesa customs union during the summit," he added.

African sunbirds have evolved to hover over plants for nectar

AfricaLondon, Apr 14 : Just like American hummingbirds, African sunbirds have also learnt to hover around a flower to collect nectar, and scientists have found that the tree tobacco plant prompts the birds’ ability to hang around.

Tree tobacco, the South American plant has made its way to South Africa, where sunbirds pollinate it.

The plant produces yellow, tubular flowers and like other plants with flowers of this shape, it depends on nectar-sipping birds for pollination.