Africa

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.

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.

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.

Revolutionist Returnees: Fulfilling Dreams, Finding Freedom

In 1977, a record-breaking mini-series carved its place in the milestone of US history. Based on Alex Haley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the small-screen adaptation exposed the atrocities of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on generations thereafter.

Road to COP29: Highest Climate Ambitions Needed to Decarbonize World

The road to COP29 has begun in earnest in the backdrop of a global climate report indicating that not only was 2023 the warmest year in a 174-year climate record, it was the warmest by far. Record-breaking temperatures, combined with El Niño, pushed vulnerable and poor nations in the Global South to the frontlines of extreme and severe weather events.

How Soil Microbes Could save the World

The 500 per cent increase in global agricultural productivity over the past 60 years has largely been made possible by the scientific advances of the “Green Revolution” – from the ability to breed higher yielding varieties to improvements in farm inputs, especially fertiliser.

In Africa, Witch Branding Destroys Elderly Women’s Lives

One day in October 2020, Serah Akpan, 70, was seated in her house at Boki Local Government in Cross River, southern Nigeria, when she heard the murmurings of irate youth outside. Before she could grasp what was really happening, they had broken into her house, bundled her outside, and threatened to kill her for allegedly being a witch.

Blinken’s Visit to Africa: Is US Counterterrorism Counterproductive?

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s week-long tour across four African countries was aimed at strengthening the US-Africa relationship—a relationship, according to some commentators, already waning as China and Russia are increasing their influence.

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