4. New Climate Predictions released this week show Africa will continue to experience Climate change including wetter conditions across the Sahel and Central Africa, and drier conditions in Southern Africa (WMO). However, there has also been recent notable progress in Climate Action including a New African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling based in Kigali (UNEP); and Uganda became the first African country to submit REDD+ results to the UNFCCC (FAO). As more African countries work towards a green and just recovery post #COVID19, WWF’s newly released NDC checklist will provide useful guidance in evaluating countries’ climate pledges. (WWF )
5. Google and Telkom Kenya launched 35 balloon-powered internet services to provide 4G LTE service spanning 50,000 square kilometers across central and western Kenya (CNN). The initiative is important and comes at a time when a new report by the International Telecommunications Union ( ITU) revealed that African mobile users pay nearly three times the global average for voice calls and internet. While mobile penetration has seen Africa become the global hub of mobile money innovation over the past decade, many countries are still paying three times more than users in other regions relative to average income. African governments need to implement fair rules for market entry and incentives to encourage new competitors in the telecommunication sector. (Quartz Africa).
6. IUCN has launched the Regional action plan for the conservation of western chimpanzees (IUCN) in time for the commemoration of World Chimpanzee Day on 14th July, and as the latest edition of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species released this week concluded that over half of all primate species in Africa are under threat. (IUCN)
7. A New Report on “Preventing the Next Pandemic” by the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Livestock Research Institute this past released this past week on World Zoonoses Day concludes that unless countries take dramatic steps to curb zoonotic contagions, global outbreaks like COVID-19 will become more common. (UNEP) . However, there is hope that the soon to be released “WILDMEAT” database could help provide early warnings about pandemics. The database, a collaboration between CIFOR, USAID & USFWS will be used to identify areas where there are intensive use and trade of “high risk” species (i.e. bats, primates, pangolins), and, in conjunction with other global data layers (such as forest loss, agricultural intensification, and human population density) to analyze and predict where ‘hotspots’ for spill-over risk might occur (CIFOR).
8. IMF Policy Response Tracker is a useful source of information on how African Governments (and others) are responding to COVID-19. The tracker summarizes the key economic responses governments are taking to limit the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last updated July 10, 2020.( IMF Response Tracker).
9. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 that will be unveiled on Monday 13th July indicates that hunger is on the rise in almost all African subregions, and the prevalence of undernourishment is very high, at almost 20 percent. Policies and investments aimed at reducing inequality, addressing the gender gap, ensuring everyone enjoys the same opportunities to fulfill their potential are key in defeating hunger and malnutrition. (FAO)