Africa and Beyond
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Africa and Beyond
Africa, the Middle East, Food, Agriculture, History and Culture
Curated by diana buja
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Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile?

Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile? | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.  Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall."


Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:

Egypt and Sudan have their own considerations in this dam issue.  Here in Burundi all countries that share the Nile watershed  - Burundi being the most southern point - meet regularly here to discuss these and related issues, though how  their respective politicians / governments act may be a different question.

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 1, 2014 3:06 PM

In an area fraught with political instability, non state actors, and rebel groups all too willing to fight for power and the wealth that comes from it - it will be interesting to see how the conflicts shift over time as this dam gets closer to completion. Will Egypt attempt to sabotage it or will they take a more diplomatic approach and try to work with the Ethiopian government diplomatically again?  Perhaps Egypt will whisper in to the ear of Sudan or the various "rebel" groups in the region, considering diplomatic means have apparently failed so far. With Sudan's use of the Blue River also going to be affected by Ethiopia's damming, it will be interesting to see if a cooperation between Egypt and Sudan occurs. Perhaps Ethiopia would like to see a deeper conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, keeping their affected neighbor off balance.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 16, 2014 6:47 PM

It is extremely difficult to divide a river. The Ethiopians will benefit immensely from this project but the Egyptians could lose everything if the Nile dries up. This is going to be a difficult problem to solve.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:45 PM

There is no way the whole Nile river is going to be dried up because of this damn. Ethiopia won't let that happen. To say that the river is going to have the same amount of water in it, thats not going to happen. Obviously the Gerd is going to have a huge impact on the water supply of the Nile but it definitely isn't going to dry up the whole thing!

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At Year's End, News of a Global Health Success

At Year's End, News of a Global Health Success | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
The stunning drop in global child mortality is proof that poor countries are not doomed to eternal misery. Here's how it happened.

Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:
Seth Dixon, Ph.D.'s insight:

Global health has substantially improved in the last two decades.  This article explores the improvements in global health that have been made this year, and the attached interactive feature allows users to explore the changes in global health risks.  Click here for the Guardian's version of this same data and interactive.  

 

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Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 26, 2012 6:42 AM

Hello, everyone

Thought this could be a good start...! Anything in mind?

 

 

SPY INDIA's comment, December 27, 2012 4:05 AM
Hi, Great to see a new list of top travel blogs. With over 8000 uniques per month, I feel mine should be in there somewhere. Could you take a look at http://www.honeymoonpackagesindia.org.in/ ? Thanks
Matt Evan Dobbie's curator insight, December 27, 2012 8:24 PM

Child mortality info

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No, a nation’s geography is not its destiny

No, a nation’s geography is not its destiny | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
One of the most widely accepted alternative theories of world inequality is the geography hypothesis, which claims that the great divide between rich and poor countries is created by geographical differences.

 

This article is an excerpt of the forthcoming book "Why Nations Fail" that should serve as an ideological counterweight to the book "Guns, Germs and Steel."  The authors argue that the wealth of a country is most closely correlated with the degree to which the average person shares in the overall growth of its economy, meaning that political institutions are more relevant to economic success and development than physical geographic resources. 

 

For more on this upcoming book and it's hypothesis see this NY Times review: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/magazine/why-countries-go-bust.html


Via Seth Dixon
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mb's comment, March 20, 2012 1:23 PM
the authors write a blog as well: http://whynationsfail.com/
Tony Burton's comment, March 20, 2012 1:38 PM
Thanks for the link!
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Guns, Germs & Steel

Guns, Germs & Steel | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

This video (like the book with the same title) explores the course of human history to find the geographic factors that can help to explain the global inequalities between societies. Jared Diamond’s answer lies in the military strength (guns), superior pathogens (germs) and industrial production (steel) that agricultural societies were able to develop as the critical advantages over hunter/gatherer societies. The raw materials at the disposal of the societies inhabiting particular environments partially explain the economic possibilities before them. Diamond hypothesizes that the orientations of the continents play a critical role in the relative advantages among agricultural societies (East-West orientations allow for greater diffusion of agricultural technologies than North-South orientations since the growing seasons and ecology are more compatible), giving Eurasia an advantage over Africa and the Americas. The Fertile Crescent had native plant and animal species ideal for domestication, which then diffused to Europe. Societies that have more developed animal husbandry develop a resistance to more powerful germs. Consequently, when two societies come in contact those with the best resistance to the worse diseases are more successful. Similarly, industrial production depends on an agricultural surplus since specialization requires that some workers not needing to produce their own food to work on technological innovations. Societies that had agricultural advantages were able to invest in technologies (primarily steel) that would enhance their advantages over other societies, as seen during colonization. Societies that had the best environments had access to large plant eating mammals suitable for domestication and the most productive grains would be poised to produce more dangerous guns, germs and steel—the key resources for economic dominion resulting in global inequalities.


Diamond’s critics argue that the ‘geography hypothesis’ is environmental determinism that does not properly value human choices into the equation. Still, the core of this book is the search for connections between the themes of Geography with a spatial framework and the video is available via Netflix, public libraries and many other outlets.


Via Seth Dixon
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Emily Bian's curator insight, October 3, 2014 5:16 PM

I found this just browsing the suggestions, and I was like "Whoa! We learned this in class!" So I thought that it was really neat. 

Diamond's theory is an example of environmental determinism, because he claimed that the environment and where people lived affected the people, and that's why not everybody is equal. 

I personally agree with his theory, because it makes a lot of sense when I watched the movie/episodes.

             I believe in enviromental determinism but not to the extreme level, for example if someone is from a hot place they are lazy. I believe that people have choices and can pave their own way but the enviroment can limit them. This would for sure help future aphug students because it introduces human geography in the world history context. 

 

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What the World Eats

What the World Eats | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
What's on family dinner tables around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet"

Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:

How about differences by socio-economic strata?

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John Peterson's comment, April 30, 2013 10:38 AM
This collection of slides does a very good job of showing their very different diets that are present in different areas of the world. While the price of food is obviously going to be different throughout the world, it is very interesting to see he very different types of food that are consumed by different groups of people. In different areas of the world, there is more emphasis on different types of food. In some places for example they may eat a lot of fruit while in others they may eat a lot of beans or bread. The different amounts that these foods are eaten are tied into both the economic and social aspects of these different cultures. This is because in each area, different things are going to be more affordable and available, as well as being more traditionally eaten. There can also be a difference in the percentage of homemade food in a weekly diet in different areas of the world. While some areas will not have any fast food places or restaurants readily available, others will and will often use these locations which will drastically change their diet habits.
Jess Pitrone's comment, May 5, 2013 5:47 PM
These photos are very interesting, in the way it’s interesting to explore someone else’s house the first time you visit. Looking to see the differences in what people around the world eat, but also how much people around the world eat is fascinating. The fact that the family in Chad eat about one quarter of what most families around the world eat is really telling. What a family eats in week reveals a lot about both their culture, their economy, and their geographic location. It’s no surprise that the people in Japan eat a lot of fish, because they’re an island country; and it wasn’t surprising to see so much bread on the table of the Italian family, because bread is such a large part of the Italian culture. What I did find absolutely fascinating is that most of the families had a bottle of Coca-Cola on their table, which just goes to show you how interconnected our global community is.
Jess Pitrone's comment, May 5, 2013 5:47 PM
These photos are very interesting, in the way it’s interesting to explore someone else’s house the first time you visit. Looking to see the differences in what people around the world eat, but also how much people around the world eat is fascinating. The fact that the family in Chad eat about one quarter of what most families around the world eat is really telling. What a family eats in week reveals a lot about both their culture, their economy, and their geographic location. It’s no surprise that the people in Japan eat a lot of fish, because they’re an island country; and it wasn’t surprising to see so much bread on the table of the Italian family, because bread is such a large part of the Italian culture. What I did find absolutely fascinating is that most of the families had a bottle of Coca-Cola on their table, which just goes to show you how interconnected our global community is.
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Helen Clark: Putting Resilience at the Heart of the Development Agenda | UNDP

Helen Clark: Putting Resilience at the Heart of the Development Agenda | UNDP | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"At UNDP, we see development challenges in the 21st Century as different in nature, scale, and scope from those of the past. If our world is to be one in which poverty is eradicated, and inequality reduced; and where growth is inclusive and production and consumption do not break planetary boundaries; and if we are to be effective in combating the effects of climate change; we need to look beyond our traditional interventionist logic to harness the agency of people, their communities, and institutions. It is this logic which has led UNDP to encapsulate its mission statement in the simple phrase: Empowered Lives, Resilient Nations. This speaks to both means and ends. Empowered people can build resilient nations."

...Empowered Lives, Resilient Nations. This speaks to both means and ends. Empowered people can build resilient nations."

 

Excellent speech by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark although she has yet to break free from the growth obsession.


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No, a nation’s geography is not its destiny

No, a nation’s geography is not its destiny | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
One of the most widely accepted alternative theories of world inequality is the geography hypothesis, which claims that the great divide between rich and poor countries is created by geographical differences.

 

This article is an excerpt of the forthcoming book "Why Nations Fail" that should serve as an ideological counterweight to the book "Guns, Germs and Steel."  The authors argue that the wealth of a country is most closely correlated with the degree to which the average person shares in the overall growth of its economy, meaning that political institutions are more relevant to economic success and development than physical geographic resources. 

 

For more on this upcoming book and it's hypothesis see this NY Times review: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/magazine/why-countries-go-bust.html


Via Seth Dixon
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mb's comment, March 20, 2012 1:23 PM
the authors write a blog as well: http://whynationsfail.com/
Tony Burton's comment, March 20, 2012 1:38 PM
Thanks for the link!
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The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services

•Inequality

•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention


Via Seth Dixon
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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.