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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 World Pangolin Day; The G7's renewed commitment to Africa and addressing Nature loss; Hydroponics Fighting Drought in Namibia and many more. 

Happy reading and looking forward to your feedback.

This newsletter is made in Africa and globally curious!


Eight Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Identified at Risk of Food Insecurity from Wild Meat Prohibitions.

The wild meat prohibitions report has revealed that Madagascar, Republic of Congo, Guinea, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Botswana, AND Côte d’Ivoire could be at high risk of protein deficiency because of loss of wild meat without an immediate replacement."

Seychelles Ranks 3rd in World for Percentage of Population Vaccinated against COVID-19

13,163 vaccinations have been given in the eleven days since the island nation launched its vaccination campaign.
Calls for Fast Action after Ebola Outbreaks in Guinea, Congo 

Two new outbreaks of Ebola in two weeks – first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now in Guinea – have sent health teams scrambling to try to contain the spread of the deadly disease, ramping up contact tracing and medical support to local authorities. The New Humanitarian .

Africa Loses Over $1 Trillion in Illicit Financial Flows, UN Steps in

A report of the High-Level Panel on IFFs estimated Africa’s loss in IFFs at more than $1 trillion over the last 50 years. UNCTAD and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are implementing a project on defining, estimating and disseminating statistics on illicit financial flows (IFFs) in Africa. UNCTAD.

Africa Indigenous Fruit Trees offer Major Benefits than We Think

Some researchers have revealed that indigenous fruit trees, which occur across different ecological zones in AfricaImage result for africa fruit trees, are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, protein and valuable phytochemicals. The Conversation 

$2 Billion Unlocked for African Women  SMEs 

African women face a $42 billion financing gap, which AFAWA aims to bridge. 2 billion in loans to women-owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises(SMEs) in Africa, by working with financial institutions to enhance their ability to lend to women. AfDB

DFC & Shell Foundation Partner to take Renewable Energy to 5 Million People in Africa

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Shell Foundation (the UK-registered charity) yesterday announced a new collaboration to bring affordable renewable energy to more than 5 million people in low-income areas of Africa and Asia by 2025. Shell Foundation 

Questions from Women-led Healthcare Innovations in Africa. 

In Africa, women represent about 70 percent of the health workforce but only 30 percent of science professionals. The continent has the highest rates of female entrepreneurs. But the funding disparity persists between men and women entrepreneurs.

How Local People are Mapping Billions of Trees on Their Land

Though satellites have difficulty detecting trees outside forests, the human eye can. Collect Earth — a data collection tool developed by the Open Foris initiative of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that pulls imagery from Google Earth — and uses the power of human eyes to visually analyze the imagery and collect data on land cover (type of land, like “forest”), land use (how people use that land) and tree cover at different points in time. WRI

WWF Advocates for a Just Road System in Kenya

WWF has joined other activists to advocatee for the adoption and implementation of a progressive national legislation on Non-Motorised Transportation in Kenya which will ensure there are dedicated cycling and walking lanes on urban and peri-urban roads and road shoulders on highways. WWF .

WWF- Mozambique Calls for Rapid Response to Disasters after Cyclones Eloise 

Eloise left 27 000 homes flooded; destroyed 56 000 houses and 219 000 hectares of crops, and has left 109 000 people in desperate need of humanitarian aid, according to Mozambique’s National Disaster Management Institute (INGC). WWF

Over 3,000 Farmers in Namibia turn to Hydroponics to Fight Drought

Namibia has suffered heavily from drought in recent years, but hydropoImage result for hydroponics in africanics can help farmers reduce their reliance on water and continue to feed their livestock. FAO

Liberia: Independent Complaints Panel Finds Golden Veroleum Liable of Destroying Liberia's Forests

The High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), an agribusiness industry sustainability body, has confirmed longstanding allegations that Golden Veroleum Liberia, the Liberian investee of palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources, committed widespread deforestation over a thousand hectares of forest, including endangered species habitat and important wetlands. All Africa.

Madagascar closes $50 Million Deal with World Bank to Reduce Poverty, Deforestation and Carbon Emissions

The $50 million agreement will help to alleviate poverty among forest-dependent communities, while reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
World Bank

Meet the 120 High School Teachers from Uganda Spreading Renewable Energy Solutions

Based near Kibala national park in Uganda, the 120 are using participatory processes to scale the use of affordable renewable energy solutions. A similar model in the DRC showed a 50% reduction in wood use in homes with the new fuel-efficient stoves.

Mauritius Oil Spill: Questions Mount over Ship Fuel Safety

More than six months after the Wakashio spilled fuel oil into a pristine lagoon, Mauritians are still waiting for answers and compensation. Climate New



Bold Pledges from the G7 Leaders 

Checking the latest Leaders’ Statement issued at the first G7 UK leaders’ meeting where they agreed to intensify cooperation on fighting COVID-19 and “shape a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and planet”. G7 Summit  


The UN Environment Assembly meets Virtually this Week.

Leadership Dialogues will consider environmental aspects of sustainable development & look at how they can be used to shape a more resilient & inclusive post-pandemic world. UNEP.

UK to Fund £10 Million Green Finance Research Centre.

The global rush for credible detailed information on climate financial risk has prompted the UK government to fund a new £10m green finance research centre ahead of the UN climate summit to be held in Glasgow this year. Financial Times 

Cambridge Moonflower: Wait Over for 'UK's First' Bloom

A rare Amazonian cactus that has attracted interest from around the world has started to bloom. The team at Cambridge University Botanic Garden believes their moonflower Selenicereus wittii is the first to flower in the UK. BBC.

Risk of Global Food Shortages Due to Covid has Increased, says UN Envoy. 

Agnes Kalibata, the special envoy to the UN secretary-general for the food systems summit 2021 has urged that people living in poverty around the world are in danger of food shortages as the coronavirus crisis continues
This Artificial Island will Power 3 Million European Households

Denmark built the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991. Now the country is embarking on another global first. It's building an artificial island in the North Sea that will eventually be capable of meeting all the nation’s electricity needs - a history-making 10 million homes.
Diamonds from Thin Air: The search for a Carbon-neutral Jewel

Production of lab-grown diamonds has risen from about 2m carats in 2018 to 6m to 7m carats last year.  But while producers such as Diamond Foundry, a San Francisco start-up backed by film star Leonardo DiCaprio, use renewable energy such as hydropower, a growing number of rivals in countries such as India and China do not.
Financial Times

Meet Elizabeth Ann the ferret: The first Endangered American Animal to be Cloned

ElizabetImage: Cloned ferreth Ann was made from the cells of Willa, another black-footed ferret who lived more than 30 years ago, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said as they revealed her to the world on Thursday last week. CNN

NASA Rover reaches Mars on Mission in Search for Signs of Past Life

NASA rover Perseverance landed safely Thursday on Mars to begin an ambitious mission to search for signs of past Martian life and obtain samples of soil and rock that could someday be hauled back to Earth for study in laboratories. Washington Post.  

White House announces $4 Billion in Funding for Covax, the Global Vaccine Effort Trump spurned

The White House is throwing its support behind a global push to distribute coronavirus vaccines equitably, pledging $4 billion to a multilateral effort the Trump administration spurned. Washington Post 

The Messy Business of Sand Mining Explained

A 21st-century construction boom is driving unregulated sand mining around the world - eroding rivers and coastlines, disrupting ecosystems, and hurting livelihoods. But what really goes on in the sand business? Find out more: Reuters  

Over 150 Companies Highlight Traceability in Joint Call for Action Against Illegal Fishing

In one of the largest seafood industry calls to action on record, the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) and four other leading industry and multi-stakeholder platforms have issued a joint statement urging measures to prevent the products of illegal fishing from reaching markets. Traceability

 500+ Experts Call on World’s Nations to not Burn Forests to Make Energy

Last week, more than 500 top scientists and economists issued a letter to leaders in the US, EU, Japan, South Korea, and the UK, urging them to stop harvesting and burning forests as a means of making energy in converted coal-burning power plants. New York Times.  

Raising Country Climate Ambitions can Save Lives 

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change shows that millions of lives could be saved annually by 2040 if countries raise their climate ambitions to meet the Paris Agreement targets. The Lancet

Eight Priorities for Calculating the Social-Cost of Carbon

Experts have shared advice to the Biden administration as it seeks to account for mounting losses from storms, wildfires, and other climate impacts.

How Fires have Spread to Previously Untouched Parts of the World 

Image result for world fires 2020
Wildfires are spreading to fuel-abundant regions of the world that used to be less prone to burning, according to a new analysis of 20 years of data by the Guardian. The Guardian.

Celebrating the Women Scientists at the Forefront of WWF’s Work in Africa

Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development -- from reducing nature loss to combating climate change -- requires harnessing all talents. That means getting more women working in these fields. We profiled some of the women scientists at the frontline of WWF’s work in Africa. WWF. 
What We Are Reading 

Roadmap to a Carbon FutureUNEP 

Opinion: Will Understanding the Ocean Lead to “The Ocean We Want”?

 ForestPesa Plans to Innovate for Environmental Sustainability and Economic Resilience in 
From Crisis to Possibility: Five Aspirations for Our Food System. Food Tank 
The Public Health Implications of the Paris Agreement: A Modelling StudyThe 

African Europeans: An Untold History.

The ‘Enterprise,’ the Burundi Stockpile, and Other Ivory Behind the Extradition.
What We Are Watching
World Pangolin Day- 20 Feb 2021

The tenth annual World Pangolin Day was celebrated on 20 February 2021 to raise awareness about the plight of this unique species.  Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal on the planet and they are now critically endangered! Between 400,000 and 2,7 million pangolins from Central African forests are victims of the illegal wildlife trade each year. Check out this cameratrap video recently recorded by WWF’s biomonitoring programme in the DzangaSangha protected reserve in Central African Republic.

As the four Asian species of pangolins have dwindled, poachers are increasingly turning to the African species to supply the trade.
Take the pledge to help protect pangolins against the threat of wildlife trafficking. In the following short film, meet the bold Nigerians who are fighting to protect this gentle and vulnerable creature. Watch the documentary here: Nat Geo.

Graphics of The Week


On-going and Upcoming Events 

Tuesday 23 February 2021at 9 AM ET: Exploring ways to prevent future pandemics. WWF 

Tuesday, 23rd Feb 2021 at 10 am EST: Exploring innovative financial mechanisms to support community-based marine tourism. You can register for the webinar here.

24 February from 2.00 to 3.30 pm CET. IUCN's New Guidance on Mitigating biodiversity impacts associated with solar and wind energy development - new guidelines from IUCN. Register here (

26 February 2021, from 12.00 pm to 14.00 pm GMT. African Continental Free Trade Area: Opportunities for fashion entrepreneurs.

19 to 22 April 2021: The Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity. More info: 

Copyright © *| Africa Weekly Digest- 21 February 2021

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