Africa, where close to half of its 1.2 billion people have access to electricity
, is set to become a world leader in renewable energy. As global business and development leaders met in Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend the Africa Investment Forum (AIF)
, held Nov. 11 to 13, one of the key focuses of the deals being discussed was around sustainable, renewable energy.
Stung by the country’s spiralling inflation, Zimbabwe’s government workers took to the streets this week for the first ever police-sectioned march demanding improved wages.
My name is Alaa Salah. I am 22 years old and I grew up in Khartoum. Before the revolution, I was a student of architectural engineering. I did not grow up around politics, but in an ordinary middle-class family—my mother is a designer and my father owns a construction company.
At the southern end of Pakistan’s Sindh-Balochistan border near the Kirthar mountain range, Sindh’s Kachho desert has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the use of solar-powered tubewells for groundwater extraction in agriculture.
Rural poverty and inequality continue inflicting large swaths of population in Colombia, especially in rural areas. This situation, endemic since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, was at the root of the 50-year long conflict that shattered the country, leaving 220,000 deaths and 5.7 million displaced persons, and devastating a significant part of the rural areas, where government services and infrastructure vanished.
Politics is a dodgy game, maybe even more so if you represent political views based on a moral approach. When the charismatic Justin Trudeau, son of a cosmopolitan liberal who served as Canada´s Prime Minister for 16 years, in 2015 was elected Prime Minister it was within a global political climate different from what it is today. Barack Obama was in the White House, Angela Merkel served her third period as German Chancellor, and the UK Government had not yet announced its country's withdrawal from the EU. Nevertheless, Russia had three months before Trudeau´s election annexed Crimea, while Viktor Orbán´s Hungarian government the month before initiated the construction of a 4 metres high barrier along its nation´s eastern and southern borders to keep immigrants out.
“The window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic climate change is fast shrinking,” executive director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Yannick Glemarec, tells IPS.
Last month 195 world leaders once again met in New York for big speeches and grand events. But on inequality, when all is said and done, more has been said than done.
As we are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, we recognize that population ageing is a human success story, a story of longer and often healthier lives of the world’s people. The many faces of older persons that we see in Asia and in the Pacific, and, indeed, all over the world, attest to this fact. Still, however, ageing is considered a threat. There is talk about the “burden of ageing”, exploding healthcare costs, and concerns about plummeting economic growth due to the shrinking labour force. In many cities of Asia-Pacific, we see advertisement for “anti-ageing cosmetics” and surgeries. The current ideal is that we must be young, dynamic and without wrinkles or grey hair, especially older women.
Warnings of strong winds, high waves and reduced visibility along the East African coastline are increasingly common.
But local fisher folk like Ali Sombo from Kwale County, situated along Kenya's Indian Ocean Coastline, don't always heed the warnings by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) to stay clear of the open sea during rough waters.
We saw this coming. As humanitarians, our risk assessments in different parts of the world have always factored in the potential for extreme weather events and the spread of vector-borne diseases, of drought, desertification, and mass displacement. Emergency first responders like us work up scenarios for interventions and gain experience each time we put our planning to the test in real crises.
"We don't have a good appreciation of our local weather systems," says Dr James Kinyangi head of the African Development Bank's climate and development Africa special fund, which supports investments in climate and weather observations networks in Africa.
International Leprosy Congress just wrapped up in Manila, Philippines last week. Alongside policy makers, diplomats, medical researchers, doctors, donors and academics, several Hansen's disease-affected people’s organisations also participated in the 3-day congress that was co-sponsored by The Nippon Foundation (TNF) and Sasakawa Health Foundation (SHF).
Arama Sire Camara, a fruit and vegetable seller in the province of Kindia, some 135 km from the Guinean capital of Conakry, feels safer trading well into the night thanks to the Rural Electrification Project, financed by 21-million-dollar investment by the African Development Bank.
“With lighting on the road at night and illuminating our goods, it means we are safer, especially with all the cars on the road. You can work for longer after nightfall, and so we can make more of our products,” she says.
Forty years ago, Yohei Sasakawa saw his father moved to tears after meeting and witnessing the suffering of people affected by leprosy – also known as Hansen’s disease. Not only did the patients have a physical illness, but they also suffered from social exclusion and discrimination. It made the young Sasakawa vow to work for the elimination of leprosy from the world – just as his father had been doing.
Former Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe, who died this week, aged 95, leaves a mixed and divisive legacy.
While the 28th World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa is being held in Cape Town, South Africa this week, the international aid and development charity Oxfam released its latest report: A tale of two continents: fighting inequality in Africa.