West African food startup receives $1.98 million in funding

West African food brand Yolélé has received $1.98 million in funding for its new venture, West African Ancient Grains. Yolélé has partnered with shea butter processor Mali Shi SA to build a traceable supply chain for fonio, a drought-tolerant, nutrient-dense ancient grain that is considered a neglected and underutilized crop. The aim of the project is to turn fonio into a cash crop that will provide a source of income for thousands of smallholder farmers in the vulnerable Sahel…

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FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s Wishful Gold Diggers

Mali is Africa’s third biggest exporter of gold and a third of the country’s total production is estimated to come from artisanal mining in which over one million people are employed.  Many are farmers who have migrated from neighbouring countries in the hope of supplementing the meagre incomes they earn from what is a seasonal occupation. But, as demand for artisanal gold increases, so too does the number of people dying in poorly constructed mines.   about how this precious metal continues to shine for some of West Africa’s poorest.   SOURCE: UN NEWS

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UN envoy: ‘Devastating surge’ of attacks in Sahel and West Africa

The United Nations envoy for West Africa and the Sahel says the region has experienced “a devastating surge in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets” in recent months. Mohamed Ibn Chambas told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the “unprecedented terrorist violence” had shaken public confidence in the region. He said attacks have increased five-fold in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger since 2016 with more than 4,000 deaths reported in 2019 compared with an estimated 770 deaths three years before. In Burkina…

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‘Continuing deterioration’ leaves Mali facing critical security level: UN expert

Security in Mali has become critical, with unprecedented incidents of communal violence and increasingly more deadly terror attacks, reported a UN human rights expert on Monday, following a 10-day visit to the country. “I am gravely concerned at the continuing deterioration of the overall security situation, which has now reached a critical threshold”, said Alioune Tine, the UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Mali. “It is time to recognize the inadequacy of the current security responses so Mali can move…

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