“ If you're reading this, you probably have clean water that runs out of your tap with the twist of a handle. But for almost 800 million people, it's not nearly so simple, and water scarcity is a very real, and very deadly, reality for them.”
Nairobi, Kenya (UPI) Oct 23, 2013 - The recent discovery of two vast aquifers in northern Kenya and Namibia has given weight to scientists' claims the African continent is sitting on immense underground reservoirs of water.
Aquaculture researchers from the University of Stirling are part of a major project which has received £337,000 to develop small-scale commercial aquaculture in Malawi.
Aquaculture Enterprise Malawi (AEM) is one of 15 projects just announced by the First Minister Alex Salmond to receive support from the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund through the Malawi 2013 funding round.
The three-year project brings together the Scotland Malawi Business Group with researchers from the University’s Institute of Aquaculture and the Microloan Foundation.
Together, they will work with private sector partners and existing fish farmers to develop the technical aspects of fish production, market chain communication and networking, focusing on fish farmers located in close proximity to Blantyre, Malawi’s business capital.
George Finlayson of the Scotland Malawi Business Group, a former British High Commissioner to Malawi, said: “This funding has the potential to make a significant contribution to improving nutrition and food security in and around major urban areas of Malawi.
“The demand for fish in both rural and urban areas is booming, but largely unmet. We look forward to bringing a business, microfinance and markets-based approach to producing more fish, whilst also developing the communication and networking skills of key entrepreneurial fish farmers.”
AEM aims to create and foster a supportive business environment through which a network of smaller scale fish farmers can operate as commercial stand-alone businesses, increasing the supply of farmed fish to markets and other outlets in and around urban areas in Malawi.
This project builds on the highly successful Sustainable Aquaculture Research Networks in Sub Saharan Africa (SARNISSA) project, initiated by Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture. It established an online network of more than 2,300 people involved in African aquaculture, from fish farmers, commercial suppliers and researchers to policy makers.
William Leschen, a researcher at the Institute of Aquaculture, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bringing a more joined-up commercial, business and markets chain approach for small-scale entrepreneurial fish farmers in Malawi.
The Institute of Aquaculture is looking forward to playing its part in this project, offering our expertise and knowledge in aquaculture, which is now the fastest growing food production sector globally.”
The project funding announcement marks the bicentenary of Scottish missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone, during the visit to Scotland by Her Excellency, Dr Joyce Banda, the President of the Republic of Malawi.
Historically people associate the sound of Africa as the roar of the lion; but in reality, it’s been the roar of the diesel generator. Herds of these archaic beasts are on the prowl. Their habitat includes cities, towns, factories, mines, businesses and big farms – anywhere where power is required and isn’t available or reliable.
When I started in the development arena and specifically in the renewable energy space nearly 15 years ago, energy issues simply didn’t feature. Conservationists and environmentalists alerted us to the dangers of deforestation and climate change and to the importance of preservation of African habitats. Electricity grids only served largely urban areas and commercial enterprises while modern energy options (outside of South African townships) were unavailable to the poor. There were few alternatives to firewood, charcoal, kerosene or candles – what I call the four fuels of poverty.
Energy poverty, or energy injustice, at that time was simply known as life. Everyday challenges largely went unnoticed from women walking long distances to collect firewood, inhaling wood smoke from cooking or kerosene fumes from roughhewn tin lamps. Respiratory illnesses, children ingesting kerosene believing it to be clean water, and burns and deaths from fires weren’t on health radar screens in any scale. Productivity went down when the sun did. Few development organizations factored energy poverty into ensuring the efficacy of their programs.
It didn’t take me much time to realize that as long as the poor were dependent on non-renewable energy sources, they couldn’t raise themselves out of poverty. When you’re spending between 10-40% of meager incomes on inefficient and harmful fuels you just can’t get ahead.
This post is joint with Casey Friedman. Today, the World Bank launched a new report, “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness.” The report argues that agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and...
"South Sudan's crisis began just two weeks ago, on Dec. 15, and it already has observers warning that it could lead to civil war. Fighting has killed an estimated 1,000 people and sent 121,600 fleeing from their homes. International peacekeepers are preparing for the worst; some have been killed and a number of them, including four U.S. troops, have been injured. What's happening in South Sudan is complicated and can be difficult to follow; understanding how it got to be this way can be even tougher. Here, then, are the most basic answers to your most basic questions. First, a disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive or definitive account of South Sudan and its history -- just some background, written so that anyone can understand it."
Via Seth Dixon
The data heralding Africa's latest "rise" have been widely documented: GDP growth has been well above that of advanced economies knocked flat by the global financial crisis; foreign direct investment has increased by a factor of six over the past decade; and some 40 percent of Africans now live in cities, up from 28 percent in 1980. Yet the current hype feels oddly familiar, given a similar sense of optimism that swelled more than a decade ago.
Today, those sanguine predictions may look naive when 10 of the 15 countries atop the Failed States Index are African, not to mention that the poverty rate in sub-Saharan Africa is still higher than anywhere else in the world. Is Africa really "rising" this time, as so many pundits have pronounced? Here's what more than 60 experts think.
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Across Africa demands are changing, access models are changing and consumers are blurring the lines between corporate and personal spaces – becoming more
With more than 650 million mobile users in Africa and with 50% of Internet connections being exclusively channelled through mobile devices, Africa is the second biggest mobile market in the world and the fastest growing.
With this growth, the expectation of increased capacity and coverage by users is exploding, but as more traffic, devices and concurrent connections hit mobile networks, the cost for transporting these bits rises. As a result, these trends are driving a new networks strategy that reduces OPEX and CAPEX, using Wi-Fi to offload non-essential traffic from cellular networks as well as scaling coverage and capacity quickly, using smaller cell sizes.
“As a result we are seeing a lot more free Wi-Fi, larger hotspots and Wi-Fi solutions being used in different verticals such as education – and most importantly, interest from service providers as to the viability of Wi-Fi as an alternative means for their users to access data,” says Michael Fletcher, sales director for Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa. “In fact, Wi-Fi represents one of the most expedient and cost-effective ways to increase both capacity and coverage of cellular networks, with a tight focus on where traffic is heaviest.”
Ultimately for the mobile network operators (MNOs), Wi-Fi is a far more cost-effective way to provide access to customers and on the reverse, for customers, it is a better experience and a more cost-effective solution, too – especially if their 3G networks are congested. What’s more, many rural towns have no broadband at all, and as such Wi-Fi provides an alternative to bring broadband to rural areas for much less than what they would pay for 3G.
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