Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security has turned out better than feared. But risks remain

Wandile Sihlobo

Down To Earth | May 04, 2021

When the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic hit, concern immediately arose that sub-Saharan Africa faced a potential worsening in food insecurity. The concerns were due to the anticipated slowdown in economic activity, job losses accompanied by loss of income, and a ban on grain exports by major exporting countries, including India, Russia, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Sub-Saharan Africa is a net importer of food.

The bans, along with other pandemic-related disruptions to food supply chains, were expected to add to food security challenges in the region. The World Bank was among the first multilateral institutions to sound the alarm. The bank estimated that an additional 26 million people would fall into extreme poverty, defined as those living under $1.90 per day, in 2020.Read More »


A third of Nigerians are unemployed: Here’s why

Ndubisi Nwokoma

Down To Earth | April 29, 2021

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics recently published the country’s unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting a continued deterioration during the COVID-19 year. The unemployment rate for this period stood at 33.3 per cent. Ogechi Ekeanyanwu, from The Conversation Africa, asked Ndubisi Nwokoma, an economics professor, to provide the context. 

How is unemployment measured?

Unemployment is when people are ready, able and willing to work, but do not find work. By the International Labour Organisation definition, a person is employed when they work at least 40 hours a week. The working age is regarded as between 15 and 60. Currently, 33.3 per cent or 23.2 million of the about 70 million people who should be working in Nigeria are out of work. An acceptable level of unemployment would be 4 per cent-6 per cent.Read More »


Where Does The Sudanese Revolution Stand Today?

Peoples Dispatch | February 03, 2021

Dr. Fathi Elfad of the Sudanese Communist Party talks about the current stage of the Sudanese Revolution and its betrayal by certain sections of the erstwhile opposition. In the first part of an interview with Peoples Dispatch, he explains the chronology of the coming together of the opposition, certain compromises and deals made by some sections and what the upcoming cabinet reshuffle and formation of the legislative council imply.

Read More »


Five African Countries Among Top 10 Affected by Extreme Weather in 2019: Germanwatch

Kiran Pandey

Down To Earth | January 25, 2021

The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons The devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in the Chimanimani mountains on the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Five African countries were among the global top 10 to suffer extreme weather in 2019, the Climate Risk Index 2021, released by environmental think tank Germanwatch said January 25, 2021.

The index also ranked India as the country that suffered the second-highest monetary loss due to climate change in 2019 after Japan. The index was released ahead of the climate adaption summit that began virtually January 25 and is hosted by the Netherlands.

It also showed that eight out of the ten countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2019 belong to the category of low to lower-middle income. Five of them fall into the category of Least Developed Countries.Read More »


More than Half of Yemeni Population Likely to Face Acute Food Insecurity by Mid-2021: UN Agencies

 Peoples Dispatch | December 04, 2020

Food insecurity in Yemen Un report

More than half of Yemen’s population is on the verge of starvation and likely to face acute food insecurity by mid-2021 if urgent steps are not taken by the world community to end the war in the country and provide humanitarian relief. This was revealed by a new report jointly released by the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Thursday, December 3.Read More »


COVID-19 Trade Restrictions Devastating for Africa’s Urban Poor

Astrid RN Haas and Victoria Delbridge

Down To Earth | October 23, 2020

Kenyan flower exports to Europe fell 50%, affecting about 1 million people. Photo: The Conversation / Getty Images

Trade routes have been significantly disrupted this year in efforts to contain COVID-19. The effects of this are already showing: Global growth is set to contract by 4.9 per cent and growth in sub-Saharan Africa will contract by 3.2 per cent.

This will get worse if continued restrictions further impede trade. The World Trade Organisation has warned that at worst, global trade could collapse by a third this year, and at best, it will contract by 13 per cent, similar to the recorded drop after the 2009 financial crisis.Read More »


Suspension of US Aid to Ethiopia is Yet Another Example of Trump’s Disregard for Africa

Yohannes Gedamu

The Conversation  | September 27, 2020

Man wearing a hard hat standing at a point overlooking dam construction site with crane
Workey Tadele, a radio operator, at the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near Guba in Ethiopia in December 2019. Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images

America’s Department of State recently suspended $130 million worth of aid to Ethiopia because of “a lack of progress” on negotiations pertaining to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the River Nile.

According to state department officials, the decision to cut aid came as a result of a direct “guidance” from President Donald Trump.

Estimates show that almost half of Ethiopia’s budget is linked to foreign aid. The country depends on economic assistance to support its infrastructure projects, health care and education expansion efforts, and security sector reforms.Read More »


Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Sudan and the activities of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (S/2020/912) [EN/AR]

reliefweb | September 24, 2020

I. Introduction

1.The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2524 (2020), is the first 90-day report on the implementation of the mandate related to the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (UNITAMS). The report covers political, security, socioeconomic, human rights and humanitarian developments in the Sudan from 3 June to 8 September 2020 and contains an update on the planning process for the establishment of the Mission. The suggested structure and geographical deployment of the Mission and the 90-day report on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) are included as annexes to the present report.Read More »