Sibonisiwe Hlanze, from Lawuba in Eswatini’s Shiselweni Region, lights up as she shows off her sleeping mat which she made from what she described as “the highest quality indigenous fibre”.
Africa’s demographic boom has been hailed as its biggest promise for transforming the continent’s economic and social outcomes, but only if the right investments are made to prepare its youthful population for tomorrow’s world.
Most economists see structural transformation as one of the main routes to Africa’s sustainable development. What it means is changing the share of agriculture, manufacturing and services in an economy. It is a central aim of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Last week, Sierra Leone’s parliament voted to repeal the country’s 55-year-old libel law, which criminalised the publication of information that was deemed defamatory or seditious, and which had been used by successive governments to target and imprison media practitioners and silence dissenting views. But not everyone is convinced it was in the best interest of media freedom.
“It has gotten really tough for us,” says James, a father in rural Liberia, of COVID-19 lockdown and school closures. “My son is trying but he is missing his friends and teachers. Children want to be in school.”
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Africa, countries are simultaneously dealing with the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, and how and when to ease lockdowns and curfews imposed to stop the disease spreading and get onto the path of recovery.
There is no shortage of technological innovations designed to boost animal agriculture in Africa. These range from GPS tracking systems
which identify and trace pastoralists’ herds to livestock vaccine SMS services
that alert farmers to disease outbreaks.
Re-opening economies is a tough balancing act between keeping people safe from the virus while ensuring they can still make a living.
Some four months after the first COVID-19 case in Africa was reported in Egypt, countries on the continent are beginning to ease public health and social measures, such as lockdowns and curfews, imposed to curb the spread of the pandemic.
(Eid al-Adha) around the corner, 11-year-old Fatoumata Binta from Terrou Mballing district in M'Bour, western Senegal, wakes up early and joins her brothers Iphrahima Tall and Ismaila to fetch water from a river several miles from home.
The Ogiek community, indigenous peoples from Kenya’s Chepkitale National Reserve, are in the process of implementing a modern tool to inform and guide the conservation and management of the natural forest. The community has inhabited this area for many generations, long before Kenya was a republic. Through this process, they hope to get the government to formally recognise their customary tenure in line with the Community Land Act.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and given rise to a new, deeply concerning wave of rape culture in Lesotho. Although the true extent is not known yet, we have noticed concerning reports that the onset of the pandemic has worsened sexual violence with more women and girls being confined to small living places whilst social tensions are exacerbated.
Growing up in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, Siny Samba (28) watched with fascination as her grandmother made snacks for her family, using the fresh fruit from their garden. She would often help her grandma make these snacks to feed the neighbourhood children.
African countries are beginning to reopen borders
, and this is finally enabling many citizens to resume their normal life. However, there is still an urgent need for African countries to prioritize agriculture to tackle food insecurity issues that have been exacerbated by COVID and will continue to be an issue into the near future. According to the latest estimates by the United Nations World Food Programme
, COVID-19’s compounding effects could drive 270 million people into food insecurity.
In the 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR, the idea that water would drive the wars of the future took hold among analysts and the media. Three decades later and that grim prospect has, fortunately, not yet materialised, and international cooperation, despite its ups and downs
, is the norm in the management of transboundary waters.
Pregnant with her second child, 30-year-old Ndiabou Niang was enduring pelvic pain, but couldn’t afford to access prenatal care in Diabe Salla, a village on the outskirts of the small town of Thilogne in north-east Senegal. Her husband was unemployed and her earnings of under CFAF 10,000 (17 USD) from selling seasonal fruits in the local market were insufficient to make ends meet.
When Fatima* became pregnant in the middle of the school year and dropped out, she was disowned by her parents. Hers is a story that could have ended as another statistic of dropout rates among female learners in Senegal.
COVID-19 continues to race across the African continent. People are dying, and even more are being pushed into hunger and poverty, in many cases risking to overturn years of development gains.
Growing up in Senegal’s southern Casamence region — a conflict zone — Fatou Ndiaye, now 43, often heard gunfire and watched fearfully as she saw people flee their villages. But what she dreaded more than a flying bullet was Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
In 2013, Alice Wahome ran in her third attempt to win the hotly-contested Kandara constituency parliamentary seat in Murang’a County, Central Kenya. As is typical of rural politics, the field was male-dominated, with the stakes being high for all candidates but more especially so for Wahome — no woman had ever occupied the Kandara constituency parliamentary seat.
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.