Tag Archives: Africa

South African case study sheds light on how vaccine manufacturing can be developed

Workers pack syringes at India’s biggest syringe manufacturer. Government support has been key to developing this capacity. Photo by Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images David Richard Walwyn, University of Pretoria and Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Harvard University The uneven availability of COVID-19 vaccines has become an increasingly urgent and vexatious issue. But managing the problem of what’s been labelled “vaccine nationalism” …

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Ten years after the Arab Spring, Libya has another chance for peace

Under tight security, Libyans mark the 10th anniversary of their 2011 uprising that led to the overthrow and killing of longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi in Martyrs Square, Tripoli, Libya. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed) Brian McQuinn, University of Regina Ten years ago, the United Nation’s no-fly zone over Libya marked the beginning of the Libyan revolution and the West’s bombing campaign. I …

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Why it pays to link products to places – and how African countries can do it

Ijebu Garri refers to processed cassava from the Ijebu region of western Nigeria. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Samuel Samiai Andrews, University of Gondar Around the world, people commonly associate certain foods and products with particular geographical areas. These products are known for characteristics like aroma, flavour, and the traditional knowledge systems used to make them. Legal and agricultural scholars speak of …

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Africa indigenous fruit trees offer major benefits. But they’re being ignored

The doum palm is an indigenous tree in Kenya which produces edible fruit. Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images Abiodun Olusola Omotayo, North-West University and Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu, North-West University Indigenous fruits have been collected from the wild for centuries for human consumption and other purposes. Across the African continent, indigenous fruit trees are valuable assets for local communities. But the …

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How popular is China in Africa? New survey sheds light on what ordinary people think

A Chinese engineer (centre) and Kenyan construction workers building a road in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Daniel Irungu/EPA Folashade Soule, University of Oxford and Edem E. Selormey, Centre for Democratic Development Ghana It’s been 20 years since the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was first held. Another summit is planned for September 2021 in Dakar, Senegal. Meanwhile, Chinese and African officials …

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The diet of invasive toads in Mauritius has some rare species on the menu

The invasive guttural toad. Author supplied. James Baxter-Gilbert, Stellenbosch University The guttural toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis) is a common amphibian found in much of sub-Saharan Africa, from Angola to Kenya and down to eastern South Africa. With such a wide geographic range, and a liking for living in human-disturbed areas, it’s often seen in people’s backyards. Around gardens it can be …

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Climate change, migration and urbanisation: patterns in sub-Saharan Africa

Herders at the N’gonga cattle market, Niger: Changing rainfall patterns alter locations of pastures the migrating herders depend on. Getty Images Roman Hoffmann, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research The link between climate change and migration has gained both academic and public interest in recent years. Many studies have found that environmental hazards affect migration. But the links are nuanced …

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Climate research is critical in Africa: how to make it more visible

Biometeorology is the study of the role of climate on plants, animals and humans. Getty Images

Biometeorology is the study of the role of climate on plants, animals and humans. Getty Images Jennifer Fitchett, University of the Witwatersrand Weather and climate have far-reaching effects on every part of life. The timing of seasons, range of daily and seasonal temperatures, the amount of rainfall – these all influence things as diverse as food production, disease prevalence and …

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Explainer: what’s behind the locust swarms damaging crops in southern Africa

The most effective means of controlling locusts is to prevent the swarms from forming. shutterstock

The most effective means of controlling locusts is to prevent the swarms from forming. shutterstock Frances Duncan, University of the Witwatersrand Seven million people in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been affected by a migratory locust outbreak currently ravaging crops and pastures across southern Africa. Professor Frances Duncan, whose research work involves investigating the survival strategies of brown locusts, …

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COVID-19: examining theories for Africa’s low death rates


Shutterstock Kevin Marsh, University of Oxford and Moses Alobo, African Academy of Sciences As the threat of a COVID-19 pandemic emerged earlier this year, many felt a sense of apprehension about what would happen when it reached Africa. Concerns over the combination of overstretched and underfunded health systems and the existing load of infectious and non-infectious diseases often led to …

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