Economy & Trade

Portable Ginnery Could Revive Kenya’s Ailing Cotton Industry

Kirinyaga University may have just breathed new life into Kenya’s ailing cotton industry as varsity dons develop a portable cotton ginnery. For an industry that has been struggling to survive, this news came as a relief to cotton farmers, whose lives the invention is expected to change, and to a government pushing for job creation and self-reliance through manufacturing. 

Better Incentives Needed to Expand Solar Energy in Cuba

With a bolder policy and flexible payment mechanisms, perhaps Alexis Rodríguez would have opted for solar panels for his home, instead of the portable generator that has made it possible for him to weather the frequent blackouts caused by Cuba's recurrent energy crises.

Trade Deception Returns in Pan-Africanist Guise

The World Bank has exaggerated probable gains from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to promote partial and uneven trade liberalisation that is unlikely to enhance development on the continent.

Solar Power and Biogas Empower Women Farmers in Brazil

A bakery, fruit pulp processing and water pumped from springs are empowering women farmers in Goiás, a central-eastern state of Brazil. New renewable energy sources are driving the process.

Rural Entrepreneurs Thriving Against All Odds in Zimbabwe

With heavy sweat drenching his face and his shirt soaked in the sweat, 39-year-old Proud Ndukulani wrestled with a homemade knife, which he dipped in some used oil, before turning the glistening knife upon a rather tough and dusty tyre obtained from what he said was a forklift. His assistant stood by his side as he (Ndukulani) cut some tough rubber from the giant tyre lying outside an open shade roofed with aging asbestos sheets at Juru Growth Point, located 52 km east of Harare in Zimbabwe’s Goromonzi district in the country’s Mashonaland East province. 

Conflict’s Long Shadow Has a Name: It’s Hunger

Scarce food and drinking water. Limited and inconsistent healthcare. Rapidly deteriorating mental health. With conflict on the rise globally, this is the grim reality for millions around the world.

Leaders Need to Break the Chokehold of Debt and Austerity. Our Health Depends on it

As leaders gather for the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank amid the cherry blossom trees of Washington, DC, there is some good news to celebrate.

Pioneering Digital Initiative Empowers Pacific Islands to Tackle Climate Disasters

Winning a battle for survival requires understanding the opponent. And, for the peoples of 22 island nations and territories scattered across more than 155 million square kilometres of Pacific Ocean, the volatility and wrath of the climate are their greatest threats.

The Climate Alarm Is Ringing – It’s Time to Stop Silencing It

The heat records keep tumbling – 2023 was the hottest year in recorded history. Extreme weather events keep mounting up. And yet the voices most strongly calling for action to prevent climate catastrophe are increasingly being silenced.

Food Security and Food Safety in Africa Must Go Hand in Hand

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has restricted international exports and sent food costs soaring – particularly for vulnerable populations still experiencing shocks from the pandemic and who can least afford to pay more to feed their families. Two years on, global food supply chains are still just as susceptible to serious disruptions caused by war, disease, and climate change. Those inevitable disruptions are leaving those on the African continent particularly vulnerable.

The US Must Address More Than LNG To Mitigate Climate Change

Earlier this year, the Biden administration paused action on pending approvals for U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to countries without a U.S. free-trade agreement, with President Biden citing ”the urgency of the climate crisis.” The decision was hailed by climate activists and criticized by oil and gas industry representatives.

Carbon Markets Biased, Distorted, Undermined

Carbon dioxide emission taxes, prices and markets have been touted as key to stopping global heating. However, carbon markets have failed mainly because they favour the rich and powerful.

Senegal’s Democracy Passes Crucial Test

The fact that Senegal’s election took place on 24 March was in itself a triumph for civil society. That an opposition candidate, campaigning on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption agenda, emerged from jail to become the continent’s youngest leader offered fresh hope for democracy.

Can Preserving Goa’s Khazans Address Climate Threats?

Growing up in a khazan ecosystem, the traditional agricultural practice followed in the south-western Indian state of Goa, Elsa Fernandes would love sitting in a koddo, a woven bamboo structure for storing paddy. Her family members would pour paddy around her and with the growing pile, she would rise to the top and then jump down with joy.

‘The World Is Bigger than 5’

The title of this piece is not mine. It’s from the President of Turkiye calling for a reform of the United Nations Security Council. It has since become a motto in the UN reform campaign encapsulating the shared resentment at a global system that gives the five Permanent members – The P5 of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – unfair and often destructive veto powers that undermines the very ideals for which the UN was established.

Tensions with China Drive Investors Towards Vietnam

In recent months, several European representatives embarked on trade missions to Vietnam. German President Steinmeier visited Hanoi in January. The Netherlands sent Prime Minister Mark Rutte, with the Dutch royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, soon to follow suit. Notably, the Netherlands stands as the most significant European investor in Vietnam.

Food Security Issues in Asia

Asia has about 60% of the World’s population but only about a third of the world’s arable land. This region additionally has some of the most economically active countries with increasing urbanisation and a growing middle class. Asia is also home to some of the most affected countries by climate change. For these and other reasons, food security in Asia affects global food security through many inter-links. A new book, “Food Security Issues in Asia”, edited by Paul Teng and with multiple authors, explicates many of the key issues continuing to cause food insecurity in Asia as well as discourses on exciting developments. Through its twenty-seven chapters, the book, published by World Scientific Publishers Singapore was launched on 27 March 2024 in Singapore by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, former ASEAN Secretary General.

Breaking the Silence: Gender-Based Challenges in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project ll

In the journey towards gender equality and justice, recent decades have seen strides made, yet the road ahead remains treacherous. In the race to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, attention is turning to the role that over five hundred public development banks worldwide could play.

Developing Countries’ Government Debt Crises Loom Larger

Developing countries are being blamed for having borrowed and spent irresponsibly. But they have only been doing what foreign powers and financial interests have urged them to do.

Made in Africa: Africa’s Fashion Redefining Narratives About the Continent

It is a new dawn as Africa’s high fashion industry enters an era defined and driven by young African fashion designers. As they take to the global stage, the young creatives are showcasing the continent in all its majesty through unique weaving techniques and patterns that combine their rich African heritage with contemporary styles.

Why Farmers in India and Pakistan Are Shifting to Natural or Regenerative Farming

Nine years ago, farmer Sultan Ahmed Bhatti gave up tilling the soil and using most fertilizers and pesticides on his farm in Doober Bhattian, Pakistan. His brothers at first derided him. But soon, his first experiment with growing wheat on raised beds was a runaway success. “We produced more wheat than what we grew on ploughed, flat land,” he said.

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