Category: AIF Issue 54

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Africa: climate crisis, challenges and opportunities

Climate change will hit Africa hard, but it also offers the continent an opportunity to build resilience and diversify livelihoods. The changes ahead for Africa’s environment, which form the foundation of the continent’s societies and economies, will be challenging, but bright spots abound. Africa has contrasting environments absent a singular definition. A mosaic of terrains, […]

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Greendustrialisation: now or never for Africa

African economies looking for a sustainable industrialisation model find themselves at a crossroads with little time to decide the way forward. Lack of industrialisation is often pinpointed as the key factor behind Africa’s underdevelopment. Among those supporting the idea are Mike Morris and Judith Fessehaie, who wrote in their 2014 paper, The Industrialisation Challenge for […]

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All-out war over land and water

The African Union is mobilising resources to help members implement the Paris Agreement, but funding challenges abound. Land erosion, drought and desertification, flooding, the Sahara Desert expanding southward at a rate of 48 km a year, change in the distribution of rainfall, rivers and freshwater resources’ drying-up, among others. This is what Africa’s environment looks […]

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Time for a low-carbon economy

The business case for greening the extractive industry is strong, especially with the growing trend of ethical investing. Everything we consume has its origins in either agriculture or the extractive industries. Our smartphones are laden with minerals and metals. Even agricultural fertilisers come from mined minerals. But the way we’ve extracted, historically, has been both […]

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Can carbon trading work in Africa?

Carbon emissions: room to grow There’s big potential for Africa to participate in international carbon markets given its ability to contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation Carbon emissions trading is a market-based mechanism for trading pollution credits among countries. It includes a range of policy instruments aimed at assisting industrialised countries to achieve their emissions targets […]

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Has Africa’s time for hydropower passed?

Africa has vast untapped sources of hydroelectricity but climate change, particularly droughts, raises questions about sustainability. Hydroelectricity has an attractive appeal for Africa. It can provide a baseload – a reliable source of electricity – not easily attainable from other clean energy sources, and it also allows grid stabilisation to integrate more green power. Only […]

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A clear and present threat

Climate change: perceptions and experiences Although nearly 60% of Africans are aware of climate change, some of the continent’s most influential countries lag behind in widespread awareness Across the continent, African citizens have begun to witness the consequences of climate change, driven by human industrialisation and the pursuit of economic growth. Climate change is a […]

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Demystifying the science

An African NPO combines traditional investigative reporting techniques with data analysis and geo-mapping to help track eco-offences. South Africa has laws and processes that cater for public participation in the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) needed before most new developments can go ahead, including mining. The problem is that many local residents affected by these developments […]

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Charcoal: vast, vital and often criminalised

If forests are properly managed and harvested, charcoal could be a renewable energy source that does not destroy the environment. Charcoal is one of the most important commodities in sub-Saharan Africa. In southern and East Africa, the tall, stiff sacks of charcoal propped up by the side of road are one of the most ubiquitous […]

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Food from the forest

Encouraging more sub-Saharan smallholders to farm a mix of food, animals and trees offers an effective way to boost food security and livelihoods. On a tour of farmlands in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the rural areas, you are likely to see green lands with food crops, trees and shrubs. In some instances, […]

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