Browsing: USAID

The United States' role in Africa's economic transformation

In recent years, Africa has emerged as a promising destination for global investment, with its vast natural resources, expanding consumer markets, and growing middle class. As the continent’s economies continue to strengthen and diversify, global players increasingly recognise the potential for mutually beneficial partnerships. The United States has significantly contributed to Africa’s economic transformation among these partners.…

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Water Africa
  • USAID is committing $3 million in funding for water and sanitation investment projects in Africa.
  • The financing through African Water Facility (AWF) will be in grants and technical assistance to African countries.
  • AWF assists African nations in achieving the goals and targets outlined by the African Water Vision 2025.

The African Water Facility (AWF) has received a $3 million commitment from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The financing will facilitate the planning of water and sanitation investment projects in Africa. Financing will be through grants and technical help to African nations and regional economic groups.

Housed by the African Development Bank, the African Water Facility was launched by the African Ministers Council on Water. It is the first institution in Africa fully dedicated to addressing water and sanitation challenges.

AWF assists African nations in achieving the goals and targets outlined by the African …

  • Three startups Twende Green Ecocycle, Oceania Pacesetter, and Eco-Redemptors offered the most effective solutions in tackling Mombasa’s marine plastics problem. 
  • Marine plastic waste is the most harmful form of scrap accounting for at least 85 percent of total marine waste.
  • The Mombasa Plastics Prize Awards and Celebration by Challenge Works  was  funded by USAID and Global Affairs Canada. 

Three Mombasa-based startups that are helping reduce marine plastic waste have secured $50,000 in prize money for their innovations fighting pollution in the coastal region. 

Twende Green Ecocycle emerged first place receiving $25,298. Twende Green Ecocycle is a social enterprise that promotes sustainable development. It tackles pollution by recycling marine plastic waste from informal settlements into school eco-desks. The startup says it uses advanced recycling technology to turn plastic waste into eco-desks. The start-up’s high-quality school lockable eco-desk are used by students and teachers.

Startups reducing marine plastic waste

Oceania Pacesetter emerged

Tanzania: Demand for edible oil is short 650K metric tons and as a result, the country imports over 60% of its cooking oil now the country wants investors to close this gap. Photo/Almanac
  • The government of Tanzania is looking to make the country cooking oil self-sufficient by 2025, that is in just two years.
  • ASA reports that it has 13 farms covering a total area of 16,588 hectares, but unfortunately, of these, only 12,731 hectares are suitable for farming.
  • The deficit costs the country US$ 250 million every year in palm and other edible oil imports.

Tanzania is short of 650,000 metric tons which is over 60 percent of its requirements plugged by imports. Now the country wants investors to close this gap.

Speaking recently to farmers in South Tanzania, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa challenged local and foreign investors to see this demand gap as an investment opportunity.

The deficit costs the country US$ 250 million every year in palm and other edible oil imports, making the edible oil sector, the second-highest foreign exchange earner by the value of transactions.

“However, the government …

US-Africa Summit commits US$55 billion to be invested in Africa over the next three years along with several new partnerships and initiatives. Photo/Foreign policy
  • US$55 billion to be invested in Africa over the next three years along with several new partnerships and initiatives.
  • The U.S.-Africa Business Forum was held and attended by 300 executives from American and African companies.
  • For African youth development, the US announced more than $100 million in funding for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

This year’s U.S. Africa Leaders Summit (13-15 Dec) in Washington has been defined not by the African guest’s colourful dress code, but by the billions that were pledged in aid, grants and support.

To the welcome of the flamboyant African leaders and businessmen, US officials and corporate chiefs announced US$55 billion to be invested in Africa over the next three years along with several new partnerships and initiatives.

The sum is significant, but going with President Joe Biden’s statement, this is just the beginning. “There’s so much more we can do together and that we …

Corporate conspiracy: New figures from the Peoples Vaccine Alliance reveal that the companies behind two of the most successful COVID-19 vaccines —Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna— are making combined profits of $65,000 every minute. Photo/ECDC

Before it infects humans, Ebola ‘is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope or porcupines found ill or dead or in the rain forest.

Notice the list of animals, these are very common not only in an African forest but any bushes or shrubs in any human settlement (across the world). Again, while scientists explain the epistemology of the disease, they fail to explain why after centuries of safe contact, now these animals are infecting humans.

What scientists do know is ‘Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.’…

With increased food insecurity in Africa, AGRA critics want Bill Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, USAID and others to stop funding AGRA.

Worse still, the institute points to a much deeper conspiracy to force African farmers to buy agro-inputs from large corporations. In its report, the Oakland Institute says AGRA ‘imposes a regime in which farmers lose power over their own seeds and are forced to buy them back from large corporations year after year.’

“This system may also contribute to the marginalization of women.9 million smallholder farmer households, who are witnessing increased food security through AGRA’s direct interventions,” reads the report in part.

Then there is the matter overarching matter of climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that the use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser will increase nitrous oxide emissions, which increase the atmospheric temperature significantly.…

Wildlife corridors are been blocked by human activities in Tanzania severely affecting migration patterns. USAID is funding Tuhifadhi Maliasili project to restore wildlife corridors.

On behalf of Tanzania’s Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Director of Wildlife Division, Dr Maurus Msuha said; “The project is key especially in our changing environment as many of our wildlife movement corridors are increasingly becoming fragmented to reduce encroachment and conflicts.”

The project will extend across five years to restore destroyed wildlife corridors along with supporting the surrounding communities. As such, the majority of the funding will go into strengthening the institutional capacity of key players from both the public and the private sectors.

“Although we cannot reverse previous damage to wildlife and natural resources, moving forward, USAID Tuhifadhi Maliasili will foster sustainable management at the community and national level,” Dr Masuha told stakeholders.

The project will engage and empower women and youth groups at both local and national levels. It is only through such communal engagement that the project can be sustained. A key part here is …

Girls learning how to ride a bike. Rural communities in Africa are especially badly hit by transport challenges.

The world today is at a crossroads dealing with numerous crises including the decades-long climate crisis which has led to unprecedented biodiversity loss and rising inequalities among other challenges. 

In 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic struck knocking everything off balance. 

It is against this backdrop that the UN climate change conference (COP26) is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. 

As the world is resurging from the negative economic effects of the pandemic, the COP was a good place, and in good time, to help the world reset when it comes to matters climate change. One of the biggest casualties of the pandemic was transport which badly affected value chains as logistics became impossible. 

Making non-motorised transport chic 

Globally, transport is one of the biggest contributors to pollution. To address this challenge, the world has slowly been making positive steps towards making non-motorised transport chic in a bid to cut down

Around the world, food systems and supply chains come in different shapes and sizes. And so too do food safety problems and their solutions.

In high-income countries, food supply chains are long and complex but also highly regulated and closely monitored. In low- and middle-income countries, major cities host similarly modern and regulated supply chains serving the growing middle and upper classes. But they also host traditional markets, often open-air, made up of unregulated small businesses with basic infrastructure. These markets provide many people with an income and are also where most people, especially the poor, buy their food.

These informal businesses face food safety challenges because they lack refrigeration units, have food that is exposed to the elements and stalls are, in general, rudimentary structures. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re always unsafe, and formal markets with modern infrastructure are safer.

However, informal businesses do lack regulation and their …