Tag Archives: Africa

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

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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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Suspension of US aid to Ethiopia is yet another example of Trump’s disregard for Africa

Workey Tadele, a radio operator, at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near Guba in Ethiopia in December 2019. Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images

Workey Tadele, a radio operator, at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near Guba in Ethiopia in December 2019. Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images Yohannes Gedamu, Georgia Gwinnett College America’s Department of State recently suspended $130 million worth of aid to Ethiopia because of “a lack of progress” on negotiations pertaining to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on …

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Fossil tracks reveal which birds once roamed South Africa’s Cape south coast

These fossil trackways resemble the tracks left by flamingos today, but are bigger. Just above the scale bar one can see (more faintly) the ‘tramline traces’ made by the ancient birds’ stomping action. Charles Helm

These fossil trackways resemble the tracks left by flamingos today, but are bigger. Just above the scale bar one can see (more faintly) the ‘tramline traces’ made by the ancient birds’ stomping action. Charles Helm Charles Helm, Nelson Mandela University If you visit a particular stretch of South Africa’s Cape South coast, about 400km east of Cape Town, you are …

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Now’s the time to share ideas about the future for people and nature

What does a more desirable future for people and the planet look like. Shutterstock

What does a more desirable future for people and the planet look like. Shutterstock Laura Pereira, Stellenbosch University Nature is under pressure. Ecosystems are being degraded rapidly and a billion species are at risk of extinction. This is the shocking picture set out by an independent intergovernmental body, the Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The platform …

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