12 January 2023

Women’s workload: The two authors’ research – they think it is applicable globally – compared farming and herding groups in Tibet that follow different rules as to a married couple’s residence (patri-, neo-, matri-, duolocality). While women generally seem to have less bargaining power and thus shoulder more of the workload (12,000 steps per day compared to 9,000 for men), moving away from home to their husbands’ homes weakens their position further. Only (rare) matrilocality makes men work as much as women.

Mountain ecosystems: They are of great importance beyond their own limits, yet they receive little attention. Several times, the article takes Mount Kilimanjaro as an example for the sensitivity of mountain ecosystems to climate change.

Blue carbon/South Africa: Marine ecosystems, and tidal ecosystems like mangroves and salt marshes in particular as well as seagrasses, are important CO₂ sinks. The author was part of a team who recently established “the first national blue carbon sink assessment for South Africa”, offering “a comprehensive estimate of blue carbon storage across the country”, indicating also which “of the degraded blue carbon ecosystems could be restored”.
For purchasing the study:
For a graphical resumé of the study: https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0048969722072424-ga1_lrg.jpg

Chagos Archipelago/Rats and coral reef life: Some of the islands are infested by the invasive black rat that came on ships in the 18th century. The rats prey on small seabirds and their eggs and have decimated seabird populations on these islands, thereby reducing the flow of nutrients from bird droppings into the sea where the small jewel damselfish “defends patches of edible algae it cultivates through a process known as ‘farming’.” The nutritional quality of the algae suffers substantially from this, forcing the jewel damselfish to ‘farm’ bigger ‘fields’ and at the same time reducing their aggressivity in defending their territories (they have become less valuable and defending them is energy-intensive). This can have follow-on effects on other varieties of fish and even on the corals themselves.

Ousmane Sembène: The author and filmmaker who died in 2007 was born 100 years ago in Casamance, southern Senegal. The article tells a bit about his life, a bit about his books, and mostly about his films.

Elephant poaching: Poaching has reduced the number of African elephants by 30% since 2006. But poaching rates vary widely between countries. According to the article’s authors’ statistical research, they “are lower where there is strong national governance and where local levels of human development – especially wealth and health – are relatively high. Strong site-level law enforcement and reduced global ivory prices also keep poaching levels down.”

Bias in photography: Systematically looking at how people are represented in global health publications, the article’s authors find evidence for anti-people of colour bias. “Overall, (…) representations of people of colour and women and children from the global south (were) more likely to be represented in ways that were inequitable and unethical. The persistent use of intrusive images was of particular concern.” Aware of how powerful photographs are, the authors have developed a framework for “a more ethical and equitable representation of health and illness that does not discriminate against people according to race, gender, geographic, cultural identity and age.”

Tanzania: Poor storage – first and foremost lack of cold storage facilities – for vegetables and fruits means that almost 30% of the country’s fresh produce and 50% of fresh tomatoes perish before they can get to consumers. Solar-powered cold storage would be a solution. High investment costs are maybe the most important, but not the only constraint for using it more widely. Among those analysed, an unexpected one was that customers do not want to buy chilled or refrigerated tomatoes.

11 January 2023

Benin: Provisional results allot 28 seats to the opposition and 81 to allies of Patrice Talon.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 17:24

Côte d’Ivoire: “(F)or his charisma and fiery rhetoric” Charles Blé Goudé was was once known as the “street general”. After his long time at the International Criminal Court that finally acquitted him, he held a first press conference now that he is back home, stating that “he will be president of the country one day” and that he will be a candidate at the 2025 elections.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 16:18

Zimbabwe: Health worker strikes are henceforth limited to 72 hours. With about 4,000 having quit quit and probably emigrated in 2022, lots more could now feel pushed to do likewise.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 11:17

Uganda: After 42 days without a new case, Kampala has declared the end of the most recent Ebola outbreak which started in September and killed more than 50.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 10:07

Ethiopia: Last Thursday, four human rights defenders of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) were arrested – they were accused of not having necessary permission for investigating cases of forced evictions in Addis. Amnesty International has appealed to authorities to “immediately and unconditionally release” them “and drop charges against” them.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 8:39

Rwanda/Congo-Kinshasa: A Rwandan government spokesperson said Kigali “had no intention to expel or ban refugees” from Congo – Kagame had been misunderstood.
BBC Africa Live 11 January 2023. 7:56