Africa Weekly Digest

Dear Colleagues,

Happy International Women's Day!

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

Top stories include the International Women's Day, World Ocean's Summit,  and many more.

Happy reading and looking forward to your feedback.

                   This newsletter is made in Africa and globally curious!

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Meet 13 Female Health Ministers in Africa Leading Fight Against Covid-19 Pandemic

Happy international women's day. Africa has only 13 female ministers in charge of health across the continent. Out of the 13, 9 are medical doctors and the others were appointed based on their political leadership track records. 

E-Boda-Bodas: A Promising Day for Electric Transportation in East Africa

The transition to zero-emission vehicles is vital for all countries to reduce emissions and take ClimateAction. A new pilot project by UN Environment has been launched to help policy makers in this shift to sustainable mobility. UN Environment

Rural-Urban Migration 'Cut Bush Burning, Air Pollution' in 13 African Countries 

Harmful emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were reduced in 13 African countries in recent years, bucking the trend of increasing air pollution, as rural to urban migration led to a decline in agricultural burning, a study suggests. Allafrica 

Saving Africa’s Biodiversity is a Challenging but Urgent Necessity, says Rodger Schlickeisen

Having worked in conservation in both the U.S. and Africa, Schlickeisen sees similarities and sharp contrasts between the two geographies. Some of the key differences between the U.S. and Africa, he says, are the legal and institutional infrastructure that enables effective conservation. Mongabay.

Securing a Sustainable Future for Mountain Gorillas

Commenting on the loss of wildlife over the years, Dr. Andrew Seguya, Executive Secretary of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration explains that “the level of destruction is more than the level of restoration. This creates an imbalance that some wildlife is very sensitive to, including mountain gorillas. International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP)


In West Africa, Climate Change Equals Conflict

The World Bank believes a situation of deteriorating environmental conditions and weak governance could tip some fragile countries into outright conflict. Many of the states categorized by the World Bank as fragile are also ranked among those most vulnerable to climate change. Foreign Policy.

Elephants or Avocados: A Kenyan Dilemma

The free movement of some 2,000 Amboseli elephants, along with two dozen other wildlife species plus cows owned by local Maasai people, may be under threat - from avocados. Kenyan agricultural company KiliAvo Fresh Ltd, which farms near Amboseli on nearly 175 acres of land. Read more: Reuters

DR Congo's Virunga National Park: The Deadly Job of Protecting Gorillas

Protecting the forests of Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo - home to endangered mountain gorillas - could be described as one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Aljazeera.

European Commission proposes EU-Africa global health R&D partnership

The EU-Africa Global Health Partnership, like the other proposed partnerships, will be a public-private partnership that will include participating states from the EU and sub-Saharan Africa, and it will be open to participation from industry or philanthropies. It aims to develop and deploy at least two new technologies tackling infectious diseases and support at least 100 research institutes in 30 countries.

UN Security Council Fails to Agree on Tigray Peace Call

The United Nations Security Council has scrapped plans to issue a statement calling for an end to violence in the country's northern Tigray region, according to reports from three UN diplomats.

Airlines: Ethiopian and Airlink may be Africa's Post-pandemic Winners 

Ethiopian Airlines and South Africa’s Airlink are well-positioned to emerge as African industry winners from the Covid-19 pandemic, analysts say. Ethiopian airlines have capitalized on high-volume cargo flights to stay afloat.

Waiving Covid-19 Vaccine Patent would Speed-up Production, says Afreximbank’s Fofack

African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) chief economist Hippolyte Fofack supports a proposal from India and South Africa to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines to make it easier to produce them in developing countries. The Africa Report.

An African Agenda at the World Trade Organization

There’s a sense that this is Africa’s time at the WTO, and there are great expectations that Okonjo-Iweala, who took office on 1st March,  will champion the continent’s interests such as leapfrogging industrialization. 
DRC's Tshisekedi Unveils Ambitious Agenda for 2021 as AU Chair  

DRC's President Félix Tshisekedi, who will be serving as chairman of the African Union for one year, has outlined an ambitious agenda for this year. His top priorities include Covid-19, security and the economy. The Africa Report


Post-crisis Recovery Is a Chance to Address Gender Inequality

''The road to economic recovery should not be across women’s backs,” say three counties in the state of Hawaii that have approved a feminist economic recovery plan for Covid-19 — a first for America and the world. Financial Times.

World Ocean Summit Calls on Private Sector to Invest in Ocean Heath 

Banks, insurers, and investors have a major role to play in financing this transition to a sustainable blue economy, helping to rebuild ocean prosperity and restore biodiversity to the ocean. Learn more about the outcome of the summit: UN Environment.

'Giant Luminous Shark': Three Deep-sea Sharks glow in the dark discovered

Scientists studying sharks off New Zealand have discovered that three deep-sea species glow in the dark – including one that is now the largest-known luminous vertebrate. 

Detecting Deforestation in near Real-time

World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Watch can now track deforestation shortly after it occurs despite being obscured by cloud cover. The functionality will greatly improve efforts to monitor tropical deforestation and degradation. Mongabay.

WWF Joins Push for Bolder Corporate Action on Climate Policy

On 1st March 2021, the CEOs of 12 environmental groups, including WWF, issued a public letter to companies urging them to more actively advocate for climate policy. The letter specifically urges companies to publicly support an ambitious national goal under the framework of the Paris Agreement and to embrace the principles outlined in the AAA Responsible Policy Framework to guide their climate advocacy. WWF

Global Seafood Giant commits to 100% transparency in its International Tuna supply chain by 2025.

As ocean ecosystems continue to face unprecedented pressure Thai Union, one of the world’s largest seafood companies, has partnered with leading global conservation organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC), on a pioneering commitment to full supply-chain transparency in its global tuna supply chains.

Why the World’s Most Well-known Brands are joining together for Nature

WWF will join some of the world’s best-known corporations, NGOs and sports teams in removing nature from their branding.  WWF’s panda will disappear (from its logo) for the first time in 60 years and for a good cause.  WWF.

How the Loss of Soil is Sacrificing America’s Natural Heritage

A new study points to a stunning loss of topsoil in the Corn Belt — the result of farming practices that have depleted this once-fertile ground. Beyond diminished agricultural productivity and more carbon in the atmosphere, it is a catastrophic loss of an irreplaceable resource Environment 360

In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers

The warming atmosphere is causing an arm of the powerful Gulf Stream to weaken, some scientists fear. New York Times

Just 7 Commodities Replaced an Area of Forest Twice the size of Germany Between 2001 and 2015.

Cattle, oil palm, soy, cocoa, rubber, coffee and plantation wood fiber — accounted for 26% of global tree cover loss from 2001 to 2015. WRI

                     WHAT WE ARE READING 

Women, Wildlife Crime and Rangers – Putting Gender Front and Centre in the Global Effort to Tackle Wildlife Crime. WWF Exposure.

2020 WWF Annual Review. WWF 

2021 UNEP Food Index ReportUNEP  

Amplifying the Voices of Women and Girls: 2020 Experiences, Lessons for 2021 and BeyondGraca Machel Trust
Engendering the Recovery: Budgeting with Women in Mind. IMF  

2021 Review of Responsible Investment Practices. 
Agro-suicide: Amazon deforestation hits Brazil’s soy producers. 

Turning the Tide: How to finance a Sustainable Ocean RecoveryUNEP  

A Wave of change: The role of Companies in building a Water-secure worldCDP

Communities Conserving Wildlife. UNDP

A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None. 

Scaling Private Investment in Conservation: Five Barriers and Five

Only one G7 country currently has an elected female leader. While some countries have introduced controversial gender quotas at various stages in the electoral process as a bid to increase female participation, there's lots of progress still to be made. Here's a look at the facts and figures.

Asha Mnkeni - Women In Conservation

A wildlife ranger in the ancient forests of Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Tanzania, Asha Mnkeni is one of the many unknown Faces Behind Conservation who make sure parks stay protected and pristine for both humans and wildlife.

Watch Mondzongo Ruth Belvanie, the first female government ranger in Ntokou Pikounda National Park, Republic of Congo, explain why she loves working in conservation, for her daughter and for future generations. WWF


In celebration of International Women’s Day, WWF International, Plan International, ActionAid, World Vision and Save the Children are inviting you to join a high-level webinar on “Women and Biodiversity: Sustainable Use of Natural Resources for Women’s Socio-Economic Empowerment” on 8 March at 3.00-4.30pm CET.

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