AFRICA CAN FEED ITSELF WITHIN A GENERATION
African nations can break dependence on food imports and produce enough to feed a growing population within a generation despite extra strains from climate change, a study said on Thursday. Research into new crops resistant to heat, droughts or floods, better support for small-scale farmers and greater involvement by national leaders in setting policies in sectors from transport to education were needed, it said. “Africa can feed itself. And it can make the transition from hungry importer to self-sufficiency in a single generation,” said an international study led by Harvard University professor Calestous Juma. About 70 per cent of Africans are involved in agriculture but almost 250 million people, or a quarter of the population of the poorest continent, are undernourished. The number has risen by 100 million since 1990.
KENYA’S FIRST CARBON EXCHANGE READY TO LAUNCH – Business News – African Business Review
Kenya is ready to introduce a climate exchange platform to facilitate the trading of carbon credits and help tackle climate change. Being developed by the Ministry of Finance and assisted by carbon trading consulting company Bea International, the exchange will be known as Nairobi Climate Exchange. It will be the first of its kind on the continent and will facilitate trading in carbon credits
CONGO—- Inspiration for a change: Central African Republic signs up to international law that protects the rights of indigenous peoples
Recently, the Central African Republic became the first African nation to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169 ñ the only legally binding international law that recognises indigenous peoples’ land rights. It also protects their right to control their own development and maintain their identities, cultures, languages and religions. This historic action demonstrates the country’s commitment to its indigenous communities included in its 4.5 million population, such as Aka Pygmies, who lead a semi-nomadic life in the heart of the tropical rainforests and are inextricably linked to them for their survival. Central African Republic’s ratification brings the total number of countries who have signed up to 21, which will increase the pressure on other African countries to follow suit. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples, published in 2007, does acknowledge tribal rights but does not provide legal protection. By ratifying the ILO 169, Central African Republic has proved its willingness to safeguard its own indigenous communities, as well as tribal peoples globally.
The Convention, created by the ILO, was set up to ensure that all men and women have access to decent jobs in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. It also promotes social Justice and internationally recognised human and labour rights. A cornerstone of the treaty is establishing effective channels of communication so that tribal peoples are consulted on and take their own decisions on all matters that affect them. Governments which ratify the ILO 169 are legally bound to abide by it. Although Central African Republic is one of the world’s poorest nations, it was declared by The Ecologist in 2001, to be a global leader in sustainable development with a substantial amount of its jungles remaining untouched. Meanwhile, the UK has refused to sign the ILO 169 on the basis that there are no tribal peoples in the country, but this ignores the impact that British firms and their development projects are having on the lives of indigenous peoples across the world, says Survival International. The charity is calling on all countries to agree to the ILO Convention, as the more nations that do so, the more force it has. Miriam Ross, Survival International campaigner, said: ‘The Central African Republic has taken a bold and important step. Survival hopes African countries and others, like the UK, will follow its example. The stronger this law becomes, the more difficult it will be for governments, companies and others to violate tribal peoples’ rights.’
THE NEW SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA
Caught between competing powers to the West and East, how can Africa emerge from the race for its riches? Decades after the European powers carved up the African continent for their own imperial needs, Africa is undergoing a new wave of resource and strategic exploitation – some are calling it the new scramble for Africa. The United States is increasing its footprint across Africa with AFRICOM, fighting terrorism and ensuring stability are the trumpeted motivations. Resource security is a more hushed objective. But it is not just about the US. During the last decade, China’s trade with Africa not only caught up with America’s, it has more than doubled it. The new battle for Africa does not deploy strong-arm tactics, it is now a soft power game: economic and humanitarian aid, interest-free loans, preferential trade agreements and investments in infrastructure are currency across a continent that is, for the world’s established and emerging powers, seemingly up for grabs. India, Brazil and Russia are all invested in Africa’s present and future, and old imperial powers like France are fixing to retain their loosening grip on the riches of former colonies. So what does all this mean for Africa and Africans?
Source: Al Jazeera