is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union.
As head of the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU), she spoke with Africa Renewal’s Kingsley Ighobor
on, among other issues, the current state of the UN-AU partnership and how women and young people can help resolve conflict.
1 July 2020 was supposed to be the official date to start trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). It was a much-anticipated follow up to the 2019 African Union Summit, that launched the operational phase of the AfCFTA in a colorful ceremony in Niamey – Niger.
Aïssata Ba, 45-year-old widow and mother of seven children, has been practising market gardening for the past 30 years in Lompoul Sur Mer village in the Niayes area of north-west Senegal. For many women in the village, endowed with fertile soil and favourable climate, it is the primary source of income throughout the year.
To realize the concept of ‘build back better,’ we need a foundation. That foundation is education. This is an incontestable truth.
While the coronavirus does not discriminate, its impact does. And the needs of survivors of sexual violence in conflict "cannot be put on pause, and neither can the response” during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
As she says goodbye to a group of her friends, Esther Ishabakaki asks whether any of them knows a good tailor who might be interested in joining her newly-opened clothing business. It’s a venture she started three months ago after quitting her farming venture.
With just a quarter of an acre of land in Kesses near Kenya’s Eldoret town in the Rift Valley region, Samson Tanui is practising agroecology and his permaculture unit has become the centre of attraction for farmers from near and afar amid food shortages during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Few things are as natural and as necessary as eating food. However, if food producers, food processors, food handlers and consumers do not follow good food safety practices, food can become contaminated and rather than nourishing us and bringing us pleasure it can make us sick or even kill us.
In the Philippines, May has long been a month of joy when farmers harvest their rice crop and celebrate the Pahiyas harvest festival. But this year, the mood was somber. The food production and supply system also affected, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, and the economy frozen. As a result, millions of Filipinos, especially senior citizens, are now looking at an uncertain future.
A future repetition of the current COVID-19 pandemic is preventable with massive cooperation on international and local levels and by ensuring biological diversity preservation around the world, experts recently said.
Hunger and food insecurity continue to rise. The official 2019 statistics refer to 821 million people suffering from hunger all over the world. According the recently launched Global Report on Food Crises
, there are further 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. WFP
estimates that due to the impacts of COVID19, additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020. This means a total increase of 265 million people. If there will be no appropriate and urgent actions, “we could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months
”, said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director, addressing the UN Security Council on 21st April.
Restoring damaged ecosystems is vital to avoid the collapse of nature’s most valuable contributions to people, but International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 should also
be a wake-up call about the importance of addressing our social, economic and systemic values, because it is these that are driving the destruction of nature.
Once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, and the world economy is back on its tracks, the status and fate of the 2030 Agenda, also known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), needs to be reassessed. The year 2020 was supposed to kick-off the Decade of Action. With just 10 years to go, plans were made to undertake "ambitious global efforts" to deliver the 2030 promise—by mobilising more governments, civil society, businesses, and calling on all people to make the Global Goals their own.
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe' second city of some 700,000 people, has experienced a shortage of vegetables this year, with major producers citing a range of challenges from poor rains to the inability to access to bank loans to finance their operations. But this shortage has created a market gap that Zimbabwe smallholders — some 1.5 million people according to government figures — have an opportunity to fill.
The coronavirus pandemic underscores the profound fragility and unsustainability of today’s world. It exposes the chronic underinvestment in human health and well-being and the consequences of a relentless exploitation of biodiversity and the natural environment
Experts across Africa are warning that as hospitals and health facilities focus on COVID-19, less attention is being given to the management of other deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which affect millions more people.
As the sun sets over the hills, Prafulla Debbarma, a small tea grower in Dhanbilash village in north eastern India, walks along the labyrinth path of his farm and past a thick blanket of well-grown tea plants. In the fading light, the farmer appears deeply worried. This tea farm, the sole source of his livelihood, remains unharvested thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
There is a single species that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic - us. As with the climate and biodiversity crises, recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity – particularly our global financial and economic systems, based on a limited paradigm that prizes economic growth at any cost. We have a small window of opportunity, in overcoming the challenges of the current crisis, to avoid sowing the seeds of future ones.