Why formal employment is not a guaranteed path to social equality

House painter Emanuel Chisiya and other jobseekers wait for casual jobs work offers on the side of a road in Cape Town. EPA-EFE/Nic Bothma The theme of this year’s World Day of Social Justice is “Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment”. Gaining access to formal employment can greatly reduce poverty. As it is, more than 60% of the working population in the world – 2 billion people globally – eke out a living in the informal economy. In theory, formal…

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Investment in Radio-Key to Africa’s Connectivity

In a continent that grapples with limited ICT infrastructure and access to internet and digital technologies, radio remains the leading communication medium in Africa with the highest audience and the widest geographical coverage catering to roughly 800 million Africans that remain offline as outlined in a 2021 report by the International Telecommunication Union. While modern technologies that compliment radio broadcast such as internet have been received with skepticism, radio, has over the years, predominantly emerged as a trusted and…

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Women and Girls in science and technology: Bridging the gender gap

On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let us recognize significant progress. According to UNESCO Science Report 2021, one in three researchers in science globally is a woman. In Africa, 30% of science professionals are women and female enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses is rising. Yet women and girls are still underrepresented. Globally, only 12% of the members of science academies are women and they comprise only a quarter (28%) of tertiary…

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UN’s Zero Hunger Sustainable Development Goal at risk

After showing hopeful results during the Millennium Development Goals, the UN’s Zero Hunger Sustainable Development Goal is threatened by undernourishmentAfter the huge success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the United Nations laid out a new set of targets for 2030 – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN’s SDG for Zero Hunger is measured by the prevalence of undernourishment, meaning a condition where “a person is unable to acquire enough food to meet daily minimum dietary energy requirements…

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Invest in research to save Africa’s agriculture

Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa was already getting a beating from shocks such as droughts, desert locusts and a growing population, and COVID-19 has only added to the pressure. As I listened to proceedings at the 11th Annual Summit of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held in Kenya last week (6-10 September), I became more convinced that the global pandemic is hurting agricultural systems across the continent, and that urgent action is needed to mitigate the situation. A…

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It is time for Africa to focus on getting vaccines in arms

Rates of vaccination against COVID-19 are still disappointingly low in Africa, with just around 8 percent of the continent’s population fully vaccinated against the disease. And this average masks large differences between countries. Mauritius and Morocco, for example, already fully vaccinated 72 and 62 percent of their populations respectively, but in countries like Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi, vaccination rates remain well under one percent. Since the emergence of the more transmissible Omicron variant, the number of…

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Africa, the unwarranted underdog in the fight against climate change

In the ongoing war against climate change, Africa finds itself in a precarious position, reaping the disadvantages of a climate dilemma they did little to cause. The UN climate summit COP26, held in November 2021, focused the world’s attention on the urgent need to tackle climate change and concluded with 197 countries agreeing to the Glasgow climate pact. But opinions on the summit’s success are polarised. A profound gratitude is owed to the developing nations – including those from…

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Backing Africa against climate change

Africa as a continent contributes the least to greenhouse gas emissions, yet is already seeing the consequences of climate change. The impact on resources will challenge African nations at a time of immense growth, and policymakers must use all tools at their disposal to advocate for its people. African countries face unparalleled challenges when it comes to climate change. While African nations are responsible for only 4% of global carbon emissions, the continent is set to be among the first to experience the most…

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The African Security Dilemma and Sustainable Development

Africa is a continent with exceedingly high potential to grow and an immense youth population that is set to grow exponentially in the next coming years. However, the continent is continuously being riddled with multi-dimensional insecurity. African insecurities come in different forms and need to be tackled in diverse manners. For Mother Africa, it’s the lack of pro-activeness that fuels our insecurities worries as a continent and we have attested to this since time and memorial. The African Security…

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Interview: What Nigeria must do to achieve SDGs 1 and 8 by 2030 – Social Advocate

Nigeria, with an average score of 47.1 per cent, is 43rd out of the 52 ranked countries on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On the sub-continental level, Nigeria sits in 14th place of the 15 nations in West Africa. Only Guinea Bissau, the region’s only Portuguese-speaking country, is ranked lower. Launched in September 2015, the SDGs are 17 global goals and 169 targets, aimed at ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and tackling climate change…

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