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Africa

Grain prices are likely to settle down for the first time since the 2008 price shock, largely thanks to boosting production in developing countries, reveals a new report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) – the UK’s leading think tank on development issues.

Poorer countries have added 240 million tones of cereals since the 2008 crisis, representing 74% of the global increase, saving the world from feared prolonged periods of instability and huge price rises of the three main grains – maize, wheat and rice.

At least 74 people were killed in fighting near Somalia’s border with Ethiopia on Sunday, according to officials and witnesses. Somali and Ethiopian forces attacked the bases of Al-Shebab islamists near the south-western town of Ato.

Local people say that this is the worst fighting they have seen in the region and it is unclear how many were killed but the government claimed victory in this gruesome battle.

Carlos Lopes

Since the early 1990s, most African countries have witnessed varied democratic transitions. Almost all democratic transitions have had to navigate the complexities and challenges of managing diversity in its various forms: the distribution of power and characteristics of political structures; issues of ethnicity and religion; definition of citizenship; or rights and concerns of marginalized groups.