Ida Njeri was a civil servant with access to a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) through her employer, and her husband a private consultant in the information and communication sector, when she began taking low-interest loans from the cooperative so they could buy up land in Ruiru, Central Kenya. She’d willing done it. Part of their long-term plan together for having a family was that they would acquire land and eventually build their dream home. But little did Njeri realise that 12 years and three children later the law would stand against her right to owning the matrimonial property.
While simultaneously suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, flooding and a locust crisis, Somalia, could well see a rise in the number of people who are susceptible to human trafficking.
The African Continental Free Trade Area was launched two years ago at an African Union (AU) summit in Kigali. It was scheduled to be implemented from 1 July 2020
. But this has been pushed out until 2021 because of the impact of COVID-19 and the need for leaders to focus on saving lives.
Shurugwi communal farmer, Elizabeth Siyapi (57) can no longer be scammed by unscrupulous middlemen to sell her crops cheaply. Nowadays, before she takes her produce to market she scours her mobile phone, which has become an essential digital agriculture data bank, for the best prices on the market.
It was only when 17-year-old Eva Muigai was in her final trimester that her family discovered she was pregnant. Muigai, a form three student who lives with her family in Gachie, Central Kenya, had spent her pregnancy wearing tight bodysuits and loose-fitting clothes that hid her growing baby bump.
Many well meaning education benefactors and commentators
in South Africa have expressed that in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic
online self-guided learning could solve some of the current teaching problems and address the educational backlog. What learners need, the reasoning goes, is to get free internet access
to educational support materials on offer online.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Earlier this year, just before the coronavirus virtually shut down international travel, I sat under a mesquite tree and listened to a rambling speech by a South Sudanese general at a military base outside of the capital, Juba.
In 2011, when Rwanda committed to restoring 2 million hectares of land in a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested areas by 2020 — it seemed like a big ask.
Sub-Saharan Africa has a debt problem. According to the most recent World Bank debt statistics
, in 2018 the region had about $493 billion in long term external debt.
Sitting on the southern tip of Africa during a time of social distancing, while the entire planet fights Covid-19, we cannot help but reflect on how vulnerable our country is to this scourge.
We live in a different world to the one we inhabited six short months ago.
With more than 4 million people infected and over 280,000 dead globally by mid May 2020, Covid-19 has ruthlessly exposed the vulnerability of a globalised world to pandemic disease. People are slowly coming to terms with the frightening and heartbreaking death toll, and we are still not out of the danger.
Malawi is not doing enough to enforce its laws on human trafficking, resulting in a number of cases against perpetrators being dismissed by the courts, according to a local rights group. But local officials say that this Southern African nation — one of the poorest countries in the world — just doesn’t have the financial resources to do so.
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.
In Rwanda, Benimana Uwera Gilberthe, a scholar and pepper producer, experienced first-hand the challenges of breaking into agribusiness.
While in Nigeria, Ayoola Adewale is trying to understand if poultry egg farming will prove a profitable and viable business opportunity to the youth of the continent’s most populous nation. Also in Nigeria, Esther Alleluyanatha is understanding the link between young people leaving their villages for larger cities, the remittances they send home, and the implications on rural livelihoods and agriculture productivity.
South Africa’s education system is complex, with historical inequalities
dating back to apartheid. Most of the country’s pupils come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Language is an issue; most pupils do not speak
English as a mother tongue, yet English dominates in many classrooms. And, as the COVID-19 crisis has showed, there’s a huge digital divide
Africa’s frailties have been brutally exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has reached nearly every country on this continent of 1.3 billion people and the World Health Organization warns there could be 10 million cases within six months. Ten countries have no ventilators at all.
Nobukhosi Cebekhulu (68) and Khetsiwe Tofile (64) are small-scale vegetable farmers who are producing from their permaculture home gardens in Malkerns, Eswatini.
Sexual and reproductive health and pandemics might seem to be unrelated topics, but large and dense populations are drivers of the high velocity transmission of COVID-19, and there are lessons to be learned for the future.
Thandika Mkandawire (1940-2020) had a wicked sense of humour. But he was so considerate that he often made himself the butt of his jokes which typically had a moral. When others struggled to pronounce his surname, he would help them out, “Me kinda weary”.