Africa

UN Environmental Assembly Call for Action to Address Planetary Triple Threat

The  Sixth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6)  ended with delegates calling for firm actions to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss, and pollution.

From Gas to Ash: The Struggle of Nigerian Women Amidst Surging Cooking Gas Prices

One sunny mid-morning in Omu-Aran village, a community in Kwara State, North Central Nigeria, Iyabo Sunday sat beside a firewood stand observing her pot of beans with rice (a combination enjoyed by many in Nigeria). The 52-year-old widow used her plastic dirt parker to fan the flames, occasionally blowing air through her mouth for speed and frantically shielding her face from the wisps of smoke that curled from the firewood.

Air Quality Sensors Boosting Nairobi’s Fight Against Air Pollution

Deborah Adhiambo (43) has been battling mild asthma since 2022, a condition she describes as “both a health and economic burden.’’ The mother of three lives within Dandora Estate, nine miles east of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Dandora is home to Kenya’s largest open landfill, which receives more than 2,000 metric tonnes of waste daily.

Africa’s Debt Crisis Needs a Bold New Approach– & a Way Forward

It hasn’t been easy for African states to finance their developmental and environmental policy objectives over the past few years. Recent events suggest that the situation may be improving. For the first time in two years, three African states have been able to access international financial markets, albeit at high interest rates. Kenya, for example, is now paying over 10% compared to about 7% in 2014.

‘I Haven’t Forgotten Where I Came From,’ says Yvonne Pinto, Incoming IRRI Chief

Growing up on a small farming station in Holetta (Ethiopia), Yvonne Pinto would accompany her agriculturist father to the farm, where she would spend her time cross-fertilizing plants. Her tiny fingers making the task easier, as she would marvel at the end product of a prospective new and higher yielding variety. These formative years laid the foundation for her career in agricultural science.

Female Genital Mutilation Continues Amid Sudan’s Conflict and Forced Displacement

Female genital mutilation (FGM) stands as one of the most egregious violations of human rights, particularly affecting women and girls worldwide. However, when conflict and forced displacement enter the equation, the horrors of FGM are exacerbated, creating a dire situation that demands urgent attention and action. Where instability and insecurity prevail, the prevalence of FGM often intensifies, exacerbated by factors such as displacement, poverty, and the breakdown of social systems.

Call for Scaled Up Funding for Much-Needed, Successful Joint Program in Nigeria

Nigeria is home to 15 percent of the world’s out-of-school children. More than 7.6 million girls are not in school, and only nine percent of the poorest girls in the country are in secondary school. The Boko Haram insurgency and other armed groups fuel the out-of-school crisis in northeast Nigeria, disrupting the education of nearly two million school-age children.

Funding, Policy Changes Could Result in Countries Reaping Benefit of Migration

Amid an escalation of global conflict and climate change-induced displacements, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is escalating its donor campaign. For the first time since the organization’s formation in 1951, the IOM says it is "proactively approaching all partners to fund this vital appeal," at a time when the number of migrants making perilous intercontinental journeys has increased.

Coastal Indigenous and Minority Women Driving Kenya’s Blue Forest Conservation Efforts

Tsunza Peninsula is a natural wonder that sits just inside the many inlets of Mombasa Island on the border between Mombasa and Kwale Counties—a little-known spectacle of lagoons, islands, and thick mangroves in Kinango Sub-County, Kwale County, on Kenya’s coastal region. 

Inside Kenya’s Seed Control Battle: Why Smallholder Farmers Want to Share Indigenous Seeds

A group of 15 smallholder farmers in Kenya petitioned the country’s High Court, seeking to compel the government to review sections of a law that bans the sharing and exchange of uncertified and unregistered seeds.

Who Wants to Live by the Sea?

For most of history, only those who made their living from the sea chose to live on the coast. Fear of being battered by storms, not to mention vulnerability to attacks from foreign navies, kept most people inland. Gradually that changed and, along with fisherfolk and their families, the idea of a coastal location became something of a cult. High property prices still reflect its popularity. But is it any longer so desirable?

Phasing out from Fossil Fuels: An Imperative for Climate Justice

Climate change made 2023 the warmest year on record. As urgency mounts to address this worldwide crisis, phasing out the use of fossil fuels is a necessary step that all nations must take. This is because fossil fuels—coal, oil and gas -- are the primary drivers of the climate crisis accounting for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

INTERVIEW: AI Expert Warns of ‘Digital Colonization’ in Africa

Artificial intelligence (AI) is ripe to help resolve certain major problems in Africa, from farming to the health sector, but Senegalese expert Seydina Moussa Ndiaye is warning of a new “colonization” of the continent by this new technology if foreign companies continue to feed on African data without involving local actors.

Smallholder Farmers Are Key to CGIAR Response to Hunger Crisis

Dr Ismahane Elouafi has her work cut out. As the new executive managing director of CGIAR, a global network of agricultural research centers, her mandate, simply put, is to tackle the world’s most severe hunger crisis in modern history. And it is in Africa that the former Chief Scientist of FAO with a PhD in durum wheat genetics faces her greatest challenges, both in terms of developing science-based innovations and technologies and lobbying governments to adopt responsible policies.

South Africa vs Israel: ICJ Declines SA’s New Application But Says Israel Duty Bound to Protect Civilians

The International Court of Justice has declined the South African government's urgent application for further measures to prevent an "unprecedented military offensive against Rafah,” but reiterated that Israel is bound to protect civilians in the country. South Africa argued in an urgent application that this military offensive “announced by the State of Israel, has already led to and will result in further large-scale killing, harm, and destruction in serious and irreparable breach both of the Genocide Convention" and of the Court's Order of January 26, 2024.

Educate an Africa Fit for the 21st Century

As we lead into the Africa Year of Education, and under the leadership of Africa, world leaders have an opportunity to solidify commitments to ‘Educate an Africa Fit for the 21st Century’. That means to empower Africa to deliver on the goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement and Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to invest in an end to inequity through the power of quality education and lifelong learning.

Unveiling the Power Play: Non-Profit Funding as a Strategic Tool for Agenda Setting

In the realm of public discourse, non-profit organizations often serve as the torchbearers of societal change, championing causes ranging from environmental conservation to social justice. Yet, beneath the altruistic facade lies a complex interplay of interests, where non-profit funding emerges as a potent tool for shaping the narrative and driving the agenda.

Women, Girls Equal Partners in HIV Responses, Says Activist

UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima, recently made an impassioned call for governments to support women and girls from marginalized communities at the frontlines of the defence of human rights, to help ensure, among others, that global health is protected.

Start-ups Powering up Africa’s Solar Energy Ecosystem

Often referred to as the “Sun continent,” Africa receives more hours of bright sunlight than any other continent. But even with 60 per cent of the world’s solar resources, Africa has only one per cent of solar generation capacity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Africa’s Absence as Permanent Member a “Flagrant Injustice,” says UN Chief

As the UN continues its never-ending saga on the reform of the Security Council (UNSC), one of the political anomalies that keeps cropping up is the absence of Africa, among the five permanent members (P5)—a privilege bestowed only on the US, UK, France, China and the Russian Federation.

Proven Vector Control Interventions Needed to Stem Malaria Infections in Africa

Experts recommend that the current prevention of malaria in highly endemic countries in Africa should integrate "locally appropriate" control measures to cope with the highest burden of mosquito-borne disease on the continent.

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