NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development
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Democratic trajectories in Africa: Conclusions and policy recommendations | Oxford University Press


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Democratic trajectories in Africa: Conclusions and policy recommendations

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IFPRIKM's curator insight, January 14, 2014 11:40 AM

In Democratic trajectories in Africa: Unravelling the impact of foreign aid, ed. Danielle Resnick, and Nicolas van de Walle.

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Secrets of African rivers: the link between rivers and global warming. Euronews - Video News + transcript in 12 languages

Secrets of African rivers:  the link between rivers and global warming. Euronews - Video News + transcript in 12 languages | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it


Going with the flow, euronews discovers the link between rivers and global warming, with the focus on Africa.“In this programme, we join a research expedition between the Zimbabwe and Zambia border. In many ways, the rivers on the African continent remain a mystery. Today, European scientists join forces with their African colleagues in search of answers on the role played by African rivers in the global climate,” says euronews science producer Denis Loctier.


Rivers naturally produce greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O), that contribute to global warming. Land use and vegetation patterns along the riverside influence river biochemistry. An international research project aims to improve our understanding of how the rivers in Africa work........A greater understanding would help countries like Zambia manage its water resources, responding more efficiently to growing demand.

Imasiku Nyambe, Professor of Geology at the University of Zambia, told us what is happening there: “.... And therefore it’s important to study, to know how much water we have, so that all these competing users could have a share of what they want.”


Scientists measure various water parameters, including its temperature, oxygen, pH, conductivity, and different carbon pools. This data will explain what portion of the carbon entering the river from the surrounding landscape with decomposed organic matter or soil minerals gets converted into gas or trapped into sediment, and how much is ultimately reaching the ocean.
“At this point, everything is more or less unknown. This is why we are here. We’re trying to look at the transport of carbon into the ocean, to the sedimentation processes, fluxes to the atmosphere. We’re looking at the source of carbon – we try to understand how much carbon in this river is terrestrial, how much is aquatic-produced,” said Christian Teodoru.

...... Similar field studies also take place in Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Gabon, Madagascar and the Congo River basin. Measurements are taken at regular intervals along the whole length of Africa’s main rivers.

“We expect that the geochemical parameters, including carbon dioxide and oxygen, might change along the river stretch, influenced by landscape, by the hydrology. This is why we continue sampling the river downstream, down to the Indian ocean, the large number of sampling sites,” added Cristian.


Studying the secrets of African rivers will shed new light on biochemical mechanisms shaping our global climate, helping to secure a safer future for the people on the continent.


Find more information on the project website: http://ees.kuleuven.be/project/afrival/


More about: Africa, Environmental protection, Global warming and climate change, Science, Water resources, Zambia


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Democratic trajectories in Africa | Oxford University Press


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Democratic trajectories in Africa 
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IFPRIKM's curator insight, January 8, 2014 4:20 PM

Despite impressive economic growth rates over the last decade, foreign aid still plays a significant role in Africa's political economies. This book asks when, why, and how foreign aid has facilitated, or hindered, democratization in sub-Saharan Africa. Instead of looking at foreign aid as a monolithic resource, the book examines the disparate impacts of aid specifically intended for development outcomes and aid explicitly aimed at democracy promotion. Careful attention is also given to examining the role of various aid modalities, including general budget support, and the influence of non-traditional donors. In doing so, the authors use a combination of cross-country quantitative analyses and in-depth case studies of Benin, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia based on recent interviews with donors, government officials, and civil society organizations. Unlike other work on aid and democracy, the book carefully considers how foreign aid affects various elements of the democratization process, including transitions to multiparty systems and democratic consolidation. In terms of the latter, the authors analyse what role different types of aid play in avoiding a breakdown of multiparty democracy or an erosion of civil liberties, reinforcing parliaments and judiciaries, promoting free and fair elections and a vibrant civil society, and encouraging competitive party systems. Overall, the authors' findings suggest that the best means for enhancing the effectiveness of aid for development outcomes is not always the most optimal way of promoting democratic consolidation, and the book provides policy recommendations to try and reconcile these trade-offs.