The Africa Center Newsroom

Populations of some of the world's largest wild animals are dwindling, raising the threat of an "empty landscape", say scientists. About 60% of giant herbivores - plant-eaters - including rhinos, elephants and gorillas, are at risk of extinction, according to research. Analysis of 74 herbivore species, published in Science Advances, blamed poaching and habitat loss. A previous study of large carnivores showed similar declines. Prof William Ripple, of Oregon State University, led the research looking at herbivores weighing over 100 kg, from the reindeer up to the African elephant. "This is the first time anyone has analyzed all of these species as a whole," he said. "The process of declining animals is causing an empty landscape in the forest, savannah, grasslands and desert."

On the green banks of the Niger River in downtown Bamako alongside heavily guarded foreign hotels, a group of urban farmers busily weed and water vegetables on some of Mali's prime real-estate. The "guerrilla growers" do not own the land they're cultivating but property rules aren't stopping them from trying to feed themselves in one of the world's poorest countries. In North America and Europe "guerrilla gardening" usually means an act of political protest against industrialised food production or a lack of green space but in Bamako and across Africa the growing trend for urban gardens is about survival. 

In a significant effort to scale up Kenya's fight against wildlife crime, public- and private-sector partners have joined forces to address dangerously high levels of poaching and trafficking. In a two-day workshop, representatives of government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector identified targeted, practical interventions to fortify wildlife laws and policies and enhance a range of community and law-enforcement initiatives. 

Climate change is one of the most relevant topics for analysis in the field of geopolitics today. In the second half of this century (between 2050 and 2070) the atmosphere's concentration of carbon dioxide from greenhouse gas emissions (560 parts per million) might be twice the level reached during the industrial revolution (280 parts per million).

The global warming from this concentration is a phenomenon that will affect all aspects of daily life, including institutional and political systems.

Millions of pastoralists - from the Bedouin of North Africa to the Sherpa in Nepal and Navajo in North America - will benefit from a new online knowledge hub launched today by the United Nations that will help them raise their voices in international policy debates and share valuable information to strengthen their agricultural livelihoods. 

A new partnership between INBAR, IFAD and the European Union shares experience between India, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Tanzania

The global financial crisis felled many nations and companies, leading to the collapse of banks and recessions in the biggest economies in the world. But most African countries passed through the storm without experiencing much of a blip.

Many factors deserve credit for Africa’s ability to steer through the credit crunch largely unhurt. One notable factor was the growing number of small businesses in all sectors of the economy across the continent – and more micro-finance institutions to serve them – that helped propel growth and avoid disaster when bigger companies lagged.

Call her the Erin Brockovich of east Africa. They haven’t made the movie yet, but Phyllis Omido has a heroic tale to tell of forcing the closure of a lead smelting plant that was poisoning the inhabitants of a Kenyan slum – including her own baby.

An SMS pops up on Joseph Mburu’s screen in a Nairobi call centre. “I have mulberry trees kwa shamba, my problem is moles. Wat can i do?” Mburu, an agriculture expert, texts back. He recommends the use of a trap or poison. If that doesn’t work, try burning dry cow dung in the mole hole or pouring in one-week old cow urine, he suggests.

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