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                      The Africa Weekly Digest                 

22 March 2021


Dear Colleagues,

Missed us last week? Never mind - we have you covered in this double issue of the Africa Weekly Digest covering news, stories, and publications that captured our hearts this past two weeks. 

This edition features key highlights from International Women's Week, International Day of Forests, International Wildlife Day, First Anniversary of COVID-19, and many more. 

Happy reading and looking forward to your feedback.

This newsletter is made in Africa and globally curious!
Africa 

International Day of Forests 

Celebrating Africa's Forests

In the green heart of the African continent, the CongoBasin forests are a haven for indigenous peoples, elephants, gorillas, and a bewildering array of other amazing wildlife.. . Read more about WWF's work in the Green Heart of Africa here  (WWF. ). Also read about WWF's East Africa Sustainable Forest Programme here and the Coastal Forest Program here -( WWF).


WWF Tanzania joins rest of the world in mourning the former President 

John Magufuli, 61, died on Wednesday, prompting outpourings of grief and condolence messages from African capitals. DW.Com
 


With Debt-for-Climate Swaps in Africa, Timing is Crucial.

Though debt-for-climate swaps are viewed as a positive step toward sustainable growth, economists warn that the right timing and the inclusion of all creditors will be necessary to ensure that such agreements are beneficial. Devex 


Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund to invest in West African hydro and solar

Talks on the hydropower investment in an unnamed country in Francophone West Africa, which will be worth at least $100m, are “very well advanced” and may be concluded in the next couple of weeks, says Paromita Chatterjee, investment director at Ninety One, the asset manager that runs the EAIF. The Africa Report


Food Securities Fund starts operations, makes investment to 4,000 farmers

Its first investment, disbursed on 08 March 2021, supports coffee production in East Africa, reaching almost 4’000 smallholder farmers operating in agroforestry systems, utilizing organic and regenerative practices. Clarmondial.com.


The self-reliant Epicenters improving Food Security in Africa

The Hunger Project has declared more than 50 of its epicenters — clusters of villages that were established in Africa — as self-reliant, meaning they’re driving their own development. Devex
AfDB calls for 'one last debt relief for Africa'

“The time for one last debt relief for Africa is now,” Akinwumi Adesina, president at the African Development Bank, was quoted as saying in the lender’s latest “African Economic Outlook” report. Devex.


6 Lions Found Dead In Ugandan National Park

In a statement, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said the big cats were found Friday evening with "most of their bodies parts missing" in Queen Elizabeth National Park, their carcasses surrounded by the lifeless scavengers, "which points to possible poisoning of the lions."NPR


Economics of Nature: Mapping Liberia's Ecosystems to understand their value

 Conservation scientist Trond Larsen and his team trekked through a remote forest in Liberia, recording the plants, animals, and insects that they saw. They noted whether the forest was intact or degraded. Far above their heads, NASA's Earth-observing satellites collected data about the terrain as the satellites continued their well-traveled orbits over Africa. Phys-org 


Green Bonds: Sustainable Investments in Zambia becoming a reality.

BIOFIN Zambia and high-level partners have published guidelines and listing rules for green bonds to attract investments in projects that will help protect and even restore biodiversity.  Biodiversityfinance.net


Ecological Island’: As Maasai herding lands shrink, so does space for Kenya’s Elephants

Increased and unregulated grazing in the Amboseli national park is destroying plant and animal diversity, aggravating conflicts between humans and wildlife and intensifying the negative effects of climate crisis with flooding and drought‘. Theguardian-com.


African Development Bank named the World's Best Multilateral Financial Institution 

The award is a global recognition for the path-breaking efforts of the African Development Bank as it transforms itself into a solutions bank for Africa, through a combination of its operations, knowledge services and investment positioning, which continue to help accelerate Africa’s development. AfDB

Global

Today is World Water Day

1 in 3 people lives without safe drinking water and by 2025, half of the global population will be living in areas where water is scarce. Look out for more water-related stories in our next digest. UN-Water.
 


UN adopts landmark framework to integrate Natural Capital in Economic reporting.

Experts emphasize that while a statistic such as GDP does a good job of showing the value of goods and services exchanged in markets, it does not reflect the dependency of the economy on nature, nor its impacts on nature, such as the deterioration of water quality or the loss of a forest.  SEEA.


15 UN Entities call for the formal recognition of the right to a healthy environment.

The agencies are calling for global recognition of a right to a healthy environment to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals. UNEP

IDB launches first climate facility to support the Amazon

The Inter-American Development Bank has launched its first climate fund to support sustainable development in the Amazon region, which could reach $1 billion at its start — including $20 million in seed money from the bank itself. Devex.


World economy to grow at 4.7% in 2021 after “annus horribilis” of 2020 

The world economy is forecast to grow at 4.7% in 2021, after the “annus horribilis” (the horrible year) witnessed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to impose uneven costs on countries for a speedy recovery. Twn.my


Over 100 Institutions adopt a Human right that benefits Nature

 More than 100 constitutions across the world have adopted a human right to a healthy environment, often serving as a powerful tool to protect the natural world. BCC


Over 10 Million displaced by climate disasters in six months

About 10.3 million people were displaced by climate change-induced events such as flooding and droughts in the last six months, the majority of them in Asia. Reuters 


Meet the Sea Slugs That Chop Off Their Heads and Grow New Bodies. 

Dr. Gosliner, who has discovered over one-third of all sea slug species known to exist, suspects that the impThe head of Elysia cf. marginata just after autotomy.ressive regenerative capability of these sea slugs may relate to another impressive biological talent they possess. Nytimes.com.


WWF teams up with Yostar’s Azur Lane for Cutest Companions Event. 

WWF is collaborating with global game developer and publisher, Yostar, on one of their major titles, Azur Lane, for the “Cutest Companions” 13-day event from 12 March 2021 to raise awareness amongst its players on the importance of preserving nature and creating a better and greener world for all.WWF  


Is the ‘Legacy’ Carbon Credit Market a Climate Plus or Just Hype? 

Banks are questioning whether they could be putting up money for credits that are of dubious climate benefit. e360.


 
Taylor Swift Is Singing Us Back to Nature. 

The work of Taylor Swift is overflowing with the language and landscapes of the natural world, writes Jeff  Opperman who is the global lead, freshwater, for WWF.. www.nytimes.com  


 
 
International Wildlife Day
This year's International Wildlife Day highlighted the role of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ knowledge and livelihoods in the conservation of the world’s forest species and ecosystems. Read #WorldWithoutNature: a letter from WWF. WWF
 
The International Day of Action Against Dams and For Rivers, Water and Life
Adopted by the participants of the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams, March 1997 in Curitiba Brazil. Representatives from 20 countries decided that the International Day of Action would take place on March 14 – Brazil’s Day of Action Against Large Dams. Our aim on this International Day of Action for Rivers is to raise our voices in unison against destructive water development projects, reclaim the health of our watersheds, and demand equitable and sustainable. Explore our exposure story on River Tourism in Africa
 
International Women’s Day Highlights
A feature of  Women Scientists at the forefront of WWF Africa and other female leaders on the Continent.  WWF
Achieving 50:50 in 2020: lessons from our progress on gender parity. International Affairs  
Africa’s economy could grow 10% by taking Women more seriously. Quartz Africa  
Women are the key to a green and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The GEF 
Gender and corruption: The time is now. World Bank 
Round-up post from the women and biodiversity webinar 
 
Year Of Energy Action 

Two weeks ago the United Nations launched the Year of Energy Action, sending a strong message that more focused attention is needed to improve access to clean and safe cooking fuels and technologies for 3 billion people, to expand the use of renewable energy beyond the electricity sector, and to increase electrification in sub-Saharan Africa. A renewables-based energy transition promises to deliver vast socio-economic benefits to countries across Africa according to the latest 2021 Renewable Energy Transition in Africa report. Meanwhile, WWF recently launched the Africa Energy Access Initiative. Find out more at: WWF 

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What We Are Reading 

How to future-proof Africa’s health systems. Devex  
Building forward better: towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. UNECA
Six months of Fish farming under Natural conditions yield fruits in Dzanga Sangha  Protected Areas.  WWF Central African Republic.
Financial Flows and Payment Mechanisms behind Wildlife Crimes. Traffic  
Largest Camera Trap Study in human history. Unseen empire.
Land could be worth more left to Nature than when farmed, study finds. Theguardian.com 
Illegal deforestation is ravaging the Planet and driving emissions up.www.cbsnews.com 
Turn the tide: the state of the world's water 2021. Washmatters.wateraid.org
McKinsey acquires Vivid Economics and Planetrics to help clients navigate climate change. Mckinsey.com
Humanity is a Cuckoo in the planetary nest. Financial Times 
The future of sustainable finance. IISD
Don’t sign skewed bilateral trade deals with rich nations, Okonjo-Iweala warns African leaders. Eyewitnessngr.com 
Zimbabwe: Who wins and who loses in the rush for diamonds? Theafricareport.com 
The
African Economic Outlook 2021 report is LIVE. Download your digital copy: English: English; French; Portuguese.
                                           
First Anniversary of COVID-19
 
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Rangers and the role of Rangers as a Planetary Health Service: Parksjournal.co
Remote working is a lifeline for Kenya’s beach resorts. Economist 
The Long and Short of Post-Covid Africa. 
Theafricareport.com 
AfDB urges Mining sector to adapt to changes brought by COVID-19, climate change. AfDB
Rich, Developing Nations wrangle over COVID Vaccine Patents. Reuters  
COVID-19 fallout undermining Nature Conservation efforts IUCN 
Over 20 Countries found weakening Environmental protection during pandemic. 
Trust.Org  
What We Are Watching 
Super Sema, a Kenyan animated superhero series that debuted on YouTube, follows the adventures of a 10-year-old girl who lives in a futuristic African world and uses powers fueled by STEAM—science, tech, engineering, the arts, and math—to save her village from a robot villain.

Women and Biodiversity Webinar: Moderated by Alice Ruhweza- WWF Regional Office for AfricaWWF

Zambesia Conservation Alliance (ZCA)  in partnership with the Commonwealth Conservation Network (CCN) initiative of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra is establishing a fund in order to recognise, in a practical way, these frontline heroes of conservation. Watch the campaign video here
 
 
The Ultra-rich are Illegally buying Cheetahs as Pets and It's leading to their Extinction. Watch the video here
On March 21, the world celebrated the International Day of Forests to highlight the significance of forests to both people and the planet. Olympic champion  Eliud Kipchoge has joined the movement calling for a strong commitment to help plant and grow 1 billion trees in Kenya. 
Graphic of The Week
The “Women in politics: 2021” map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, presents global rankings for women in executive, government, and parliamentary positions as of 1 January 2021.UNWOMEN      
                   
Women in politics map 2021               
Upcoming Events and Special Days

 

  • 22 March: World Water Day
  • 22- 26 March: Columbia University Africa Economic Forum.Sign up here. 
  • 23 March: World Meteorological Day
  • 27 March: Earth Hour
  • 31 March: Oxford Africa Conference Innovation Fair. Young businesses are invited to apply for this two-day event. 
  • Tomorrow on March 23, WWF and its partners shall unveil the Top 100 young African conservationists!! Sign up here to attend
              May be an image of text that says "TOP 100 YOUNG AFRICAN CONSERVATION LEADERS 565 You by 427 organizations ብ 67% Men Age brackets of nominees Women 33% 12% 15-20 34 % 31-35 33 26-30 21% 21-25 AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION WWF YMCA AFRICAALLIANCE AFRICA SCOUTS CeaingetWrld ing Bette"

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