New in Africa Renewal
Here are the latest stories and news from the January 2013 issue of Africa Renewal magazine.
5 December 2012

COVER STORY
China in the heart of Africa
Opportunities and pitfalls in a rapidly expanding relationship
Also in this issue

Stabilizing Somalia: a new chapter begins
As Somalia rises from the ashes of war, its new leaders brace up for huge challenges that lie ahead

What went wrong? Lessons from Malawi’s food crisis
Once a breadbasket, Malawi finds itself in food crisis. What went wrong? And why investment in agriculture is a smart thing to do

Politics of succession: coping when leaders die
When African leaders die in office, politics of succession can be heated. Why do some countries get it right and others wrong?

Reconstructive surgery brings hope to survivors of genital cutting
New advances in reconstructive surgery help survivors of female genital mutilation live normal lives

Ghana’s ‘new path’ for handling oil revenue
Determined that its newly discovered oil will not be a curse, Ghana puts in place policies for efficient and transparent management of natural resources

‘Ensure that everyone benefits from economic gains’
Exclusive Interview with Maged Abdelaziz, UN special adviser on Africa

After Africa’s wars, a ‘new day’ for building peace
Exclusive interview with Judy Cheng-Hopkins, head of Peacebuilding Support

Africa Wired: Texting your way to health
UN launches ‘mHealth’ initiative to fight diseases

Book Review: Women and Leadership in West Africa
Filomina Chioma Steady argues that female leadership can “humanize the state”

New in Africa Renewal

Here are the latest stories and news from the January 2013 issue of Africa Renewal magazine.

5 December 2012

COVER STORY

China in the heart of Africa

Opportunities and pitfalls in a rapidly expanding relationship

Also in this issue

Stabilizing Somalia: a new chapter begins

As Somalia rises from the ashes of war, its new leaders brace up for huge challenges that lie ahead

What went wrong? Lessons from Malawi’s food crisis

Once a breadbasket, Malawi finds itself in food crisis. What went wrong? And why investment in agriculture is a smart thing to do

Politics of succession: coping when leaders die

When African leaders die in office, politics of succession can be heated. Why do some countries get it right and others wrong?

Reconstructive surgery brings hope to survivors of genital cutting

New advances in reconstructive surgery help survivors of female genital mutilation live normal lives

Ghana’s ‘new path’ for handling oil revenue

Determined that its newly discovered oil will not be a curse, Ghana puts in place policies for efficient and transparent management of natural resources

‘Ensure that everyone benefits from economic gains’

Exclusive Interview with Maged Abdelaziz, UN special adviser on Africa

After Africa’s wars, a ‘new day’ for building peace

Exclusive interview with Judy Cheng-Hopkins, head of Peacebuilding Support

Africa Wired: Texting your way to health

UN launches ‘mHealth’ initiative to fight diseases

Book Review: Women and Leadership in West Africa

Filomina Chioma Steady argues that female leadership can “humanize the state”

Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future
Published on 15 May 2012
Document Summary
The 2012 Human Development Report for Africa explores why dehumanizing hunger remains pervasive in the region, despite abundant agricultural resources, a favorable growing climate, and rapid economic growth rates. It also emphasizes that food security – the ability to consistently acquire enough calories and nutrients for a healthy and productive life - is essential for human development.  
To boost food security, it argues for action in four interrelated areas: agricultural productivity, nutrition, access to food, and empowerment of the rural poor. It asserts that increasing agricultural productivity in sustainable ways can bolster food production and economic opportunities, thereby improving food availability and increasing purchasing power. Effective nutrition policies can create conditions for the proper use and absorption of calories and nutrients. Finally, empowering the rural poor - especially women - and harnessing the power of information, innovation, and markets can promote equitable allocation of food and resources within families and across communities.
Highlights
Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, 856 million in 2010, is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050.
More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished.
Two major biases – towards towns rather than rural areas and towards men, not women – have been principal factors in explaining Africa’s food insecurity.
African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.
Women are significant food producers, but their control of land in sub-Saharan Africa is less than in any other region.
@undp

Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future

Published on 15 May 2012

Document Summary

The 2012 Human Development Report for Africa explores why dehumanizing hunger remains pervasive in the region, despite abundant agricultural resources, a favorable growing climate, and rapid economic growth rates. It also emphasizes that food security – the ability to consistently acquire enough calories and nutrients for a healthy and productive life - is essential for human development.  

To boost food security, it argues for action in four interrelated areas: agricultural productivity, nutrition, access to food, and empowerment of the rural poor. It asserts that increasing agricultural productivity in sustainable ways can bolster food production and economic opportunities, thereby improving food availability and increasing purchasing power. Effective nutrition policies can create conditions for the proper use and absorption of calories and nutrients. Finally, empowering the rural poor - especially women - and harnessing the power of information, innovation, and markets can promote equitable allocation of food and resources within families and across communities.

Highlights

  • Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, 856 million in 2010, is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050.
  • More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished.
  • Two major biases – towards towns rather than rural areas and towards men, not women – have been principal factors in explaining Africa’s food insecurity.
  • African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.
  • Women are significant food producers, but their control of land in sub-Saharan Africa is less than in any other region.

@undp

Bioenergy for Sustainable Development and International Competitiveness
The Role of Sugar Cane in Africa
Edited by Francis X. Johnson, Vikram Seebaluck
Published March 12th 2012 by Routledge – 444 pages
Growing concerns about the impacts of climate change and dependence on fossil fuels have intensified interest in bioenergy from sugar cane and other crops, highlighting important links between energy, environment and development goals. Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by severe poverty; the possibility to exploit a renewable energy resource offers valuable avenues for sustainable development and could support a more dynamic and competitive economy. This book describes how the bioenergy expansion will improve rural livelihoods, reduce costly energy imports, reduce GHG emissions, and offer new development paths.
Drawing on international experience, it is shown that harnessing this potential will require significant increases in investment, technology transfer, and international cooperation. Because of its high efficiency, the authors argue that sugar cane should be viewed as a global resource for sustainable development and should command much greater focus and concerted policy action. Through an analysis of the agronomy, land suitability and industrial processing of sugar cane and its co-products, along with an assessment of the energy, economic and environmental implications, this volume demonstrates that sugar cane offers a competitive and environmentally beneficial resource for Africa’s economic development and energy security.
With fourty-four authors representing thirty organisations in sixteen countries, the book offers a truly international and interdisciplinary perspective by combining technical and economic principles with social, political and environmental assessment and policy analysis.
Bioenergy for Sustainable Development and International Competitiveness The Role of Sugar Cane in Africa Edited by Francis X. JohnsonVikram Seebaluck

Published March 12th 2012 by Routledge – 444 pages

Growing concerns about the impacts of climate change and dependence on fossil fuels have intensified interest in bioenergy from sugar cane and other crops, highlighting important links between energy, environment and development goals. Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by severe poverty; the possibility to exploit a renewable energy resource offers valuable avenues for sustainable development and could support a more dynamic and competitive economy. This book describes how the bioenergy expansion will improve rural livelihoods, reduce costly energy imports, reduce GHG emissions, and offer new development paths.

Drawing on international experience, it is shown that harnessing this potential will require significant increases in investment, technology transfer, and international cooperation. Because of its high efficiency, the authors argue that sugar cane should be viewed as a global resource for sustainable development and should command much greater focus and concerted policy action. Through an analysis of the agronomy, land suitability and industrial processing of sugar cane and its co-products, along with an assessment of the energy, economic and environmental implications, this volume demonstrates that sugar cane offers a competitive and environmentally beneficial resource for Africa’s economic development and energy security.

With fourty-four authors representing thirty organisations in sixteen countries, the book offers a truly international and interdisciplinary perspective by combining technical and economic principles with social, political and environmental assessment and policy analysis.

ECOWAS REGIONAL BIOENERGY FORUM

ECREEE in cooperation with its partners  from the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) including Brazil, Ghana, the Netherlands, Sweden, USA, UNDP, UNEP, UN FAO, and the UN Foundation, are organising a regional bioenergy forum from 19th – 22rd March 2012 in Bamako, Mali. The objective of the forum is to initiate an international dialogue and peer-to-peer learning to support the ECOWAS Member States in developing their bioenergy strategies.  The Regional Forum will provide information and promote discussion on the following topics:
Economic, Environmental and Social benefits and challenges of bioenergy;
Means to simultaneously promote food and energy security through Integrated Food-Energy Systems and Agro-forestry;
Means to alleviate the negative health and environmental effects from using traditional fuelwood for cooking by transitioning to modern bioenergy and fostering improved forest management; and
Policy Tools from UNEP, UN FAO and the Global Bioenergy Partnership that can promote the creation of a sustainable bioenergy sector that is a driver of economic growth and improves environmental and social conditions. 
@ecreee
ECOWAS REGIONAL BIOENERGY FORUM

ECREEE in cooperation with its partners  from the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) including Brazil, Ghana, the Netherlands, Sweden, USA, UNDP, UNEP, UN FAO, and the UN Foundation, are organising a regional bioenergy forum from 19th – 22rd March 2012 in Bamako, Mali. The objective of the forum is to initiate an international dialogue and peer-to-peer learning to support the ECOWAS Member States in developing their bioenergy strategies.  The Regional Forum will provide information and promote discussion on the following topics:

  • Economic, Environmental and Social benefits and challenges of bioenergy;
  • Means to simultaneously promote food and energy security through Integrated Food-Energy Systems and Agro-forestry;
  • Means to alleviate the negative health and environmental effects from using traditional fuelwood for cooking by transitioning to modern bioenergy and fostering improved forest management; and
  • Policy Tools from UNEP, UN FAO and the Global Bioenergy Partnership that can promote the creation of a sustainable bioenergy sector that is a driver of economic growth and improves environmental and social conditions. 

@ecreee