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Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Africa Weekly Digest covering news, stories, and publications that captured our hearts this past week. 

Top stories this week include African women in science making waves; Africa borderland initiative; 10,000km optical submarine cable connecting Africa to the world, and many more. 

Happy reading and looking forward to your feedback.

This newsletter is made in Africa and globally curious


African women in science are making waves

To mark International Day for Women and Girls in Science, African Development Bank asked contributors to the recently released Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas for Africa about the science that went into the Bank co-publication and their experiences as pioneering women in their field. Hear their experience here: AfDB

10,000km cable to run Subsea telecom Africa-1 and connect three continents

The Africa-1 consortium started constructing the 10,000km cable optical submarine network that will connect Africa to Europe, the Middle East, & Asia.

The african hidden champions initiative sets off 

The African Hidden Champions Initiative aims to showcase and celebrate the unique stories of sub-Saharan African businesses. Africa Foresight Group.

Africa borderslands initiative in full swing 

In the horn of Africa region, this idea was pioneered by IGAD, with the establishment, a few years ago, of the Cross-border Development Facilitation Unit at Moroto in Uganda, to promote development in the cross-border area shared by Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda. UNDP

Africa infrastructure bank looks forward to greener future

AFC has already invested more than $60m in a wind power project in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. The bank was looking at renewable energy opportunities in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Mozambique.   Financial Times

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Nigerian powerhouse to head the WTO

Former World Bank vice-president wants the trade body to focus on raising living standards in the wake of the pandemic. Financial Times

AfDB and harvard kennedy school to train african economists on “building back better” post-COVID-19

The Country Economics Department (ECCE) and the Human Resources  Departments (CHHR) of the African Development Bank are collaborating with researchers at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) and Executive Education at Harvard Kennedy School to train the Bank’s Country Economists on effective post-COVID-19 response and recovery strategies for Africa. 

World pulses day creates awareness of global sustainable foods

The goal of the day — which falls annually on February 10 — is to increase awareness of global food and its role in sustainable food production. Take a moment to check out of food exposure essay about Africa’s local foods: WWF Africa

Beyond ‘black panther’: Afrofuturism is booming in comics

A bumper crop of graphic novels and comic books melds African culture and science fiction, with influences as wide-ranging as space travel, Caribbean folklore, and Janelle Monáe. New York Times.

Kenya launches $34m  project to tackle effects of climate change.

The project, backed by the Green Climate Fund, aims to help 620,000 people in 11 counties in dryland areas and restore over 500,000 hectares of rangelands. News Trust.

West africa solar receives $100m boost 

West Africa hybrid solar power solutions provider Daystar Power plans to raise about $100m within the next three years to satisfy existing client demand. Africa Report

Africa's new free trade area is a global game-changer and this is why

AfCFTA, the largest global free trade area by countries participating, could transform the continent's economic prospects. It aims to be a model of cross-border cooperation in an era of growing isolationism. Weforum.

Egypt expresses interest in hosting COP 27 climate talks in 2022

Egypt is interested in hosting the next round of UN climate talks scheduled for 2022, a country official has. Climate News 

Kenyan recycles plastic waste into bricks stronger than concrete

The bricks which are made of plastic waste have proven to be stronger and durable compared to concrete blocks.

South africa launches tourism equity fund

The fund’s goal is to provide access to finance for black-owned commercially viable tourism projects. Africa Report.

Huge seizure of illegal wildlife products by Nigerian customs officials

Important new details have emerged about the seizure of illegal wildlife products by Nigerian customs officials at Apapa port in Lagos. Elephant Protection Initiative. 

Sahel-France summit to examine escalating conflict in Mali

According to Reuters, the summit will include the announcement of a Chad troops deployment to the border region of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali to reinforce national armies that are battling Islamist insurgents.


Environment assembly set to galvanize global action for nature

In the last week of February 2021, world leaders, scientists, businesses and civil society will convene to address some of the most pressing environmental issues facing our planet. Top of the agenda is global action for nature.

Coca-cola company trials first paper bottle

Coca-Cola is to test a paper bottle as part of a longer-term bid to eliminate plastic from its packaging entirely. The goal is to create a 100% recyclable, plastic-free bottle capable of preventing gas escaping from carbonated drinks. BBC
A Coca-Cola sign hangs outside a Coca-Cola distributor, in Bedford, Ohio, US, Feb. 9, 2021. (AP Photo)

South Korea plans the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

When completed, the $43.2 billion wind farm will almost quintuple the current wind capacity of South Korea. But more will be needed to meet Moon’s green goals — the country ultimately hopes to have 16.5 gigawatts of wind power available within the next 10 years.

WWF statement on 34th session of UN FAO’s committee on fisheries. 

WWF continues to urge member states to recognize that an integrated ocean-food-climate approach is a powerful means of addressing biodiversity loss, delivering sustainable development opportunities to coastal communities and tackling climate change. WWF 


Bill Gates on the climate crisis

In an exclusive extract from his new book, the Microsoft founder explains why we need to cut carbon emissions to zero – even if he is an ‘imperfect messenger’.

Bill Gates wearing a purple jumper and peering out from behind a green wall

UN  launches new initiative to fight chronic malnutrition

Together with the Ecobank Foundation, UNITLIFE is tackling this public health issue by launching a pan-African digital campaign, coupled with a public service announcement on African TV and radio networks, called “Make the Connection.” True Life

Fossil fuel pollution kills 8.7 million a year, twice previous estimates

Even though air quality has improved in many countries, particularly wealthier ones, the findings suggest that even at lower concentrations pollution caused by fossil fuels is deadlier than previously understood.

New website tracking public money in green recovery packages

Countries are also grouped by regions, which helps to identify trends and patterns in their local contexts.

More than 400 scientists brainstorm on GEF investment priorities

The GEF convened more than 400 leading scientists and environmental experts to share their perspectives on the top priorities and opportunities to seize at a critical moment.
Glass globe in the forest

New criteria for chiefs’ bonuses: diversity and climate change

Board directors are now under greater pressure to consider issues from climate change to diversity when deciding on the size of bonuses for company chiefs. Financial Times 


WWF launches small scale fisheries hub

As a collaborative space, the SSF Hub is meant to be used by those working in and with small-scale fishing communities to implement the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines). WWF. 

What we are reading

The green mineral economy. The Africa Report

Sahel: What to look out for in 2021. 
Africa Report

Global maps of twenty-first-century forest carbon fluxes. 
Nature Communication 

In too deep: what we know and don’t know about deep seabed mining. 

The people behind your plate. IFAD 

Nature's future, our future - The world speaks. IUCN

Destination stewardship report.
 Destination Center

Three things to know about nature-based solutions for agriculture.

The circular economy can help save the planet –⁠ if we start innovating now. WEF 

'Hedge trimmer' fish facing global extinction.

Podcast of the week

Building a shared future in Zambia’s Kalomo landscapes

ThImage result for podcaste podcast episode features three representatives of the next generation of scientists. They share experiences of using integrated landscape management approaches. Forest news
What we are watching
A virtual tour to the Dzanga Sangha Protected Area
This week's viImage result for videodeo of the week is a compilation of fascinating videos capturing the rich biodiversity of the Dzanga Sangha protected area in the Central African Republica. Dzanga Sangha
Graphic of the week
Where wind and solar could lead the renewables charge 

A striking feature of maps of the global distribution of wind and solar energy resources is how every country has a supply of one or both within its borders - renewables resources are not concentrated in the hands of a few, as fossil fuels are.

Financial Times
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