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19 April 2021


Colleagues,

Welcome to the Africa Weekly Digest covering news, stories, and publications that excited us in the past week. 

Top stories in this edition include 
IMF Africa Regional Outlook; African Countries with the highest concentration of air pollution25 billion for Africa adaptation, US climate summit, and many more.

Happy reading and looking forward to your feedback.

This newsletter is made in Africa and globally curious!
Africa 

Cape Town fire burns University Library, Students evacuated

A wildfire raging on the slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain spread to the University of Cape Town, burning the historic campus library and forcing the evacuation of students Sunday.Seattletimes.com 


8 African Countries listed among Top 20 nations with highest  Air Pollution

Sub-Saharan African countries feature prominently on this list. Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Uganda, Sudan, and Equatorial Guinea are in the top 20. Quarz.com.


Africa's Financial sector must tackle Climate Change 

Africa’s financial decision-makers have an essential role to play in finding solutions to the continent's climate problems, say Malango Mughogho and Jacqueline Musiitwa. African business.
Africa Seeks $25 Billion for Climate Adaptation, Green Recovery

African nations aim to double funding for climate change adaptation projects to $25 billion over five years as they look to foster a green recovery from the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. Bloomberg 

BASIC Ministers outline expectations for COP 26

Ministers from the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) at their 30th meeting held virtually, on 7-8 April, highlighted that the key outcomes of the UNFCCC’s 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) would be to conclude negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (PA), launch the operationalization of the global goal on adaptation (GGA), and achieve progress on climate finance. TWN 
Nonprofits Urge Banks not to finance Oil Pipeline in East Africa

Over 260 nonprofit organizations are campaigning against the East African Crude Oil Pipeline which they say will fuel climate change and pose a threat to local communities.


As Locusts Swarmed East Africa, This Tech Helped Squash Them

A hastily formed crowdsourcing operation to contain the insects in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia could help manage climate-related disasters everywhere. New York Times.


Growing Demand for Vulture Heads Threatens the Birds’ Survival in Africa

Across the continent, traditional healers are increasingly using the body parts of vultures, creating an illegal market that has experts alarmed.New reports of deaths kept popping up, and over the course of three weeks around 2,000 vultures—all but one of them Hooded Vultures—were found dead in six locations throughout eastern Guinea-Bissau. 


Nigeria’s Pricepally plans expansion as food inflation jumps again

The disruption to supply chains caused by Covid-19 has prompted an acceleration in Nigerian food inflation. Structural factors including a poor road network, lack of storage and conflicts between farmers and herders underpin the food-price problem. Figures released on 15 April show that Nigeria’s annual inflation rose to its highest in more than four years in March, at 18.17%. Theafricareport.com.


 Vaccine Woes Threaten Slow Sub-Saharan African Rebound, IMF Says

In its regional economic outlook released on Thursday, the IMF said growth projections are subject to “greater-than-usual uncertainty” given the risks of further Covid-19 shocks in the continent, which relies on a World Health Organization-led initiative to provide vaccines known as Covax. Bloomberg


Twitter plans to hire first Product, Engineering team in Africa

Twitter Inc is planning to hire its first product and engineering team in Africa, an effort to expand its workforce in emerging markets where the social-media company hopes to attract new users.Thestar.com.my.


‘Contemporary Benin’ exhibit highlights the brilliance of the West African art scene

Idelphonse Affogbolo, the Beninese businessman behind the Contemporary Benin travelling exhibition, has set himself the mission of “participating in the circulation and visibility of contemporary art in Africa.” The Africa Report


Can Africa salvage its digital sovereignty?

By opening up the telecommunications and internet sectors to private investors, African governments have given them the upper hand in the lucrative data market. If the continent is to regain control of its digital economy, countries need to rethink tax and regulatory policies, analysts argue. Theguardian.com.


DRC aid agencies appeal to UK Foreign Office to suspend ‘disastrous’ cuts

A consortium of 19 aid agencies operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo has issued a last-minute appeal to the UK Foreign Office to suspend planned aid cuts to the country, where a third of the population faces acute food insecurity. The Africa Report.


Global

Development Banks considering $250M joint Climate Facility

Next week, the heads of the world’s top multilateral development banks are set to discuss creating a joint $250 million facility aimed at improving their public and private sector clients’ climate strategies.Devex


U.S- China Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis 

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and China Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua met in Shanghai on April 15 and 16, 2021, to discuss aspects of the climate crisis. At the conclusion of the discussion, the two Special Envoys released the following joint statement. State.gov.


Peru establishes 2.7 Million-acre Rainforest reserve for isolated Indigenous peoples

The reserve will be given to indigenous tribes known as the ‘uncontacted peoples’, as they have had little to no contact with the outside world. Unilad.co.uk.


Nepal Rhino numbers rise in 'exciting' milestone

According to the results of the latest census, Nepal's rhino population has risen to 752, from 645 in 2015. Nepal is among only a few countries where greater one-horned rhinos are found. BBC.


Apple and partners launch first-ever $200 million Restore Fund to accelerate natural solutions to climate change

The investment builds on the company’s forestry and responsible packaging innovations to deliver new financial and climate returns. Apple.

 


WHO calls on Global Governments to ban the live sale of Wild Mammals in food markets

“The guidelines released by the WHO are a welcome first step in acknowledging that informal markets are an unquantified risk to emerging zoonotic pandemics and human health and require the urgent engagement of regulatory authorities”, says Audrey Delsink (Steering Committee member of the Lion Coalition and Wildlife Director of Humane Society International-Africa).Lioncoalition.org.


 The G7 must push for global vaccination. Here’s how it could do it
 
As things stand, affluent countries accounting for 18% of the world’s population have bought 4.6bn doses – 60% of confirmed orders. About 780m vaccines have been administered to date, but less than 1% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa have been injectedTheguardian.com.

Belgium Bans Biofuel made from Palm Oil, Soil 

Belgium will ban biofuels made from soy and palm oil from 2022 onward as part of its effort to combat deforestation, said Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Zakia Khattabi on Tuesday. Mongabay.


Renewable energy use is soaring globally.

More than 80% of all new electricity capacity added last year was renewable, with solar and wind accounting for 91% of new renewables. Read more: Read more here.

How Mexico’s Vast Tree-Planting Program Ended Up Encouraging Deforestation

That success may have come at a price, according to the World Resources Institute, an environmental non-profit that has worked with the Mexican government to monitor the results of Sowing Life. The Washington-based WRI estimates that the program may have caused the loss of nearly 73,000 hectares of forest coverage in 2019, its first full year, according to a study based on satellite images and shared with Bloomberg News. Bloomberg.


Global health leaders plead for renewed investment in polio eradication

According to the World Health Organization, failure to eradicate wild polio could lead to the disease coming back in full force, and result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year worldwide. Devex


Largest recorded smalltooth sawfish washes up dead in Florida

The oldest sawfish studied by Poulakis' team so far was 14 feet (4.7 m) long and 14 years old. The smaller of the two sawfish found dead last week was 12 feet, 4 inches (3.8 m) long and was still a juvenile. Livescience.com
 Biden proposes $6.8B boost for US international budget

President Joe Biden on Friday proposed a $6.8 billion boost in U.S. international affairs spending for fiscal year 2022, recommending a total budget of $63.5 billion. The budget request is a 12% increase from 2021 spending. Dexex 


Japan to release contaminated Fukushima plant water into Pacific

Tokyo Electric, the plant’s operator, will construct equipment to dilute and release the water, which has accumulated since three reactors melted down during the 2011 tsunami that overwhelmed the facility. Discharges will start in about two years, subject to final approval by nuclear regulators.New York Times.



Through this partnership, WWF and AB InBev provided support for the OECD to its recently released report “Strategic Investment Pathways: The Zambezi Basin case study” examining the critical nature of water resources and the enabling environment for investment to drive sustainable development in the Zambezi Basin.

In the Zambezi River Basin, the Kafue Flats, situated between the Kafue Gorge and Itezhi-tezhi Dam, provides a source of food, energy and water for 52% of the Zambian population, including the residents of the capital, Lusaka. OECD and WWF

Latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa

The latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa projects economic activity in the region to grow by 3.4% in 2021, after a decline of -1.9% in 2020, the slowest on record. Read more here: IMF
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Covid-19 Africa: What is happening with vaccines?


The WHO says that so far, less than 2% of the total number of Covid vaccine doses administered globally have been in Africa. The WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that "most African countries do not have anywhere near enough vaccines to cover all health workers or all at risk groups." Find out what’s happening with respect to COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Africa : BBC 

                                 What We Are Reading 


EU consumption responsible for 16% of tropical deforestation linked to international trade - new report. WWF
Purpose-driven Brands and Civil Society Join Forces with GlobeScan to Help Consumers Live More Healthy and Sustainable LivesGlobal Scan 
More wind and solar capacity could save some of the world’s most important riversRenewableenergyworld.com 
Indigenous peoples are being shortchanged as forest guardians: Report. 
Mongabay.com 
How rescheduling debt for climate and nature goals could unlock a sustainable recovery. WEF 
The Future of Nature-Based Tourism: A new report on the impacts of COVID-19 and paths to sustainability. Luchoffmanninstitute.org 
What to make of the 2020 DAC statsDevex 
Youth Leading The Food Systems Transformation. Foodsustainability.eiu.com 
Global health funding is far from being decolonized,' says Ngozi Erondu. Devex.com 
Panda Labs 2020/2021 Impact Report. Available here.

More Children fed when School meals are national budget item, report finds.Devex  
Plural valuation of nature matters for environmental sustainability and justice. Royalsociety.org 
A Blueprint for Debt Justice. Progressive.international
COVID-19 provides lessons for food systems reform, report finds. Devex


We are equally thrilled to share the latest news from TRIDOM landscape, with conservation highlights from Cameroon, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo – the three countries that share the Dja-Odzala-Minkebe (TRIDOM) landscape, in the vast forest block of the Congo Basin. Read more here
Graphic of The Week

                                                     Blue Peace Index 

The Blue Peace Index assesses management of shared water resources across five pillars: Policy & legal frameworks, Institutional arrangements & participation, Water management instruments, Infrastructure & financing, and Cooperation. As of 2020 the index measures 30 countries around seven basins: Amazon, Amu Darya, Mekong, Sava, Senegal, Syr Darya and Tigris-Euphrates
. Bluepeaceindex.eiu.com
               
   

UPCOMING EVENTS
 

Community-led Conservation in Africa: Scaling Local Impact for Global Solutions. April 21, 2021.  Register here

Nobel Prize Summit I April 26-28
Our Planet, Our Future is a free online summit that will convene April 26-28, bringing together the world’s brightest and most creative thinkers to focus on three key areas critical to the future of humanity: climate change and biodiversity loss, reducing inequality, and technologies to transform the way we live and work. Discover the agenda and register now for the event.

High-Level EU-Africa Green Investment Forum. EIB 

                                


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Copyright © *| Africa Weekly Digest- 12 April 2021
 
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