Did humans transform the Sahara from lush Eden to desert?

David K Wright, Seoul National University Once upon a time, the Sahara was green. There were vast lakes. Hippos and giraffe lived there, and large human populations of fishers foraged for food alongside the lakeshores. The “African Humid Period” or “Green Sahara” was a time between 11,000 and 4,000 years ago when significantly more rain …

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Broader approach needed for health-related SDGs

By Ochieng’ Ogodo [WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA] African governments should invest more on research and development (R&D) to achieve health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and universal health coverage (UHC), a forum has heard. According to the WHO Regional Office for Africa, which organised the forum, African health systems have seen significant improvements in health indicators but still …

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Online tool explores climate action plans

By Baraka Rateng’ [NAIROBI] A new interactive online tool that helps countries to access and compare their priorities and ambitions related to climate action plans has been developed. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Explorer could contribute to the global climate action in the context of the UN climate negotiations, according to its developers. In 2013, …

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Unlocking the potential of papyrus wetlands in Africa

Michael Jones, Trinity College Dublin and Matthew Saunders, Trinity College Dublin Most households in tropical sub-Saharan Africa – over 80% – use some form of biomass, such as charcoal or wood as their primary source of energy, mainly for cooking. They source this biofuel from scrublands, savannahs and forests. Wood is the main source of …

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Mixed approach holds promise to African farmers

By Sam Otieno [NAIROBI] Harnessing smart and sustainable approaches including planting crop varieties suitable for the right soil types and using emerging technologies could boost food production in Sub-Saharan Africa, a meeting has heard. Experts who spoke at the Yara East Africa Annual Distributors Event held in Kenya last month (20 January) agreed that there …

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