DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "environment"

#EarthDay DOCUMENTARY: “Taking Root - The Vision of Wangari Maathai” (film clip).

Taking Root tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy—a movement for which this charismatic woman became an iconic inspiration.

Born in Nyeri, Kenya, in 1940, Maathai went on to study at Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas where she obtained a degree in Biological Sciences in 1964. Maathai furthered her studies at the University of Pittsburgh where she graduated with a Master of Science degree in 1966,  obtained a Ph.D. in 1971 from the University of Nairobi, where she also taught veterinary anatomy. This qualification saw Maathai make her history as she became the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree. At the University of Nairobi, Maathai became chair of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and an associate professor in 1976 and 1977 respectively, once again becoming the first woman to occupy those positions in the region.

Wangari Maathai is best known as the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which she founded in 1977, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and the author of the book ‘Unbowed’.

The Green Belt Movement is an environmental organization that empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods.

In Photos: The Agbogbloshie Problem.

Waste management in many African countries is a major problem. From littering, to proper sewer disposal, many municipalities often ignore their residents needs in these areas. In fact, to blame everyday citizens as the source of these problems would not only be missing the true source of the issue, but you would also be ignoring just how useful many of the individuals and communities across Africa have become in countries were the authorities responsible have turned a blind eye to the side-effects of poor waste management. 

Ghana is one such country. Over the past several years, various images and documentaries have highlighted one particular area of the country where highly toxic waste, in the form of ill-disposed electronics from Europe, the US, India and China is dumped illegally in Ghana’s Tema Harbour and recycled, in what is also a lucrative business for some.

In what was once a wetland and recreation area, e-waste now mars the former picturesque landscape, causing mass-scale pollution in the process. Agbogbloshie is the world’s biggest e-waste site that the around 40, 000 settlers have nicknamed ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’. Most of the ‘workers’ here are young men aged between 7-25 who sift through the e-waste in search of resellable materials, such as copper, earning around $2.50. As a result of the intense and toxic labour they engage in, many of these young men succumb to a myriad of diseases such as untreated wounds, back and joint problems, damage to their lungs and other internal organs, eye issues, chronic nausea, anorexia, respiratory problems, insomnia, and worst of all, cancer.

The images above are from a photographic study carried out by Kevin McElvaney and featured on Al Jazeera’s website.

What I love most about these photos is that, whether intentionally or not, McElvaney features most of the single individual photos on a make-shift ‘podium’ (resourcefulness, once again) almost as if to say that these people are above the rubbish that surrounds them. Not only in a literal sense, but in a figurative sense, too. 

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All Africa, All the Time

Africa’s mineral wealth and abundant natural resources are no secret. What we also know of much of these commodities is that, in many African countries, the profits yielded from the industries established with the purpose of securing the wealth and inheritance of the citizens of these nations, more often than not, end up in the hands of greedy politicians, easily bribed leaders, and in the pockets of the mostly foreign multinational CEOs and the companies they work for.

For decades, this has been the narrative of a dire situation that only seems to be worsening, and having equally devastating effects in both the lives of those who live in these areas, and the environment surrounding them.

Nigerian photographer, George Osodi, who comes from Nigeria’s oil rich southeastern Niger Delta region, has seen firsthand just how disastrous and traumatic the exploitation of these communities and the natural resources in these regions they occupy can be. These images show two specific areas where these distressing conditions have become the norm - in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, and in an illegal gold mine in Ghana.

©George Osodi

September: Highlighting African Photographers

DOCUMENTARY: “Taking Root - The Vision of Wangari Maathai”

Taking Root tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy—a movement for which this charismatic woman became an iconic inspiration.

kilele:

Aerial view of Luanda’s shoreline, Angola

Photo by Neil Walton

Whoa, anyone know what’s going on there?

(via africaisdonesuffering)

Penguin fossils from 10 million to 12 million years ago have been unearthed in South Africa, the oldest fossil evidence of these cuddly, tuxedoed birds in Africa.

The new discovery, detailed in the March 26 issue of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, could shed light on why the number of penguin species plummeted on Africa’s coastline from four species 5 million years ago to just one today — Spheniscus demersus, or the jackass penguin, known for their donkeylike calls.

Daniel Thomas, a researcher at the National Museum of Natural History, and colleague Daniel Ksepka of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center were studying rock sediments near a steel plant in Cape Town, South Africa, when they uncovered an assortment of fossils, including 17 pieces that turned out to be backbones, breastbones, legs and wings from ancient penguins.

The bones suggested these ancient birds ranged from 1-to-3 feet tall (0.3 to 0.9 meters).  For comparison, Africa’s living jackass penguin, also called the black-footed penguin, stands at about 2-feet tall (0.6 meters) and weighs between 5.5 and 8.8 pounds (2.5 and 4 kilograms). [Happy Feet: A Gallery of Pudgy Penguins]

The discovery pushes back the penguin fossil record in Africa by at least 5 million years.

Because the next oldest fossils from Africa date to 5 million years ago, it’s tricky to determine exactly why most penguin species disappeared from Africa.

"It’s like seeing two frames of a movie," Ksepka said in a statement. "We have a frame at five million years ago, and a frame at 10-12 million years ago, but there’s missing footage in between."

One possibility is that changing sea levels eliminated most of the penguins’ nesting sites.

About 5 million years ago, sea levels were 296 feet (90 m) higher than today, and the low-lying South Africa became a patchwork of islands. Those islands provided beaches for several penguin species to create nests and rear their young while sheltering them from predators.

Once the oceans fell, most of those beaches would become mainland.

Africa’s remaining jackass penguins are also on the decline. Their numbers have plummeted by 80 percent, in part because humans are overfishing their staple foods, sardines and anchovies. African penguins are being bred in captivity; for instance, a successful breeding season at the New England Aquarium in 2010 ended with the birth of 11 new African penguin chicks.

In addition, Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation, along with South African and international partners, is working to establish breeding colonies of the African penguin closer to fish resources, to ensure successful chick-rearing, according to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

cinekenya:

Jonah: A Story of Legend, Friendship and Survival

Jonah is a short by Kibwe Tavares. It is set in Zanzibar and looks at the effects tourism can have on a country from an economic and environmental perspective. Mbwana and his best friend Juma are men with big dreams. Dreams that become a reality when they photograph “the world’s biggest jumping fish” leaping out of the sea.

Their tiny town soon blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. But for Mbwana, the reality isn’t what he dreamed – when he meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive.

More here

(via cinemakenya)

The White Desert, 28 miles to the north of Farafra, Egypt
Chris Sisarich, from the series Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere
(via gulokhaar & yochanah)

The White Desert, 28 miles to the north of Farafra, Egypt

Chris Sisarich, from the series Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere

(via gulokhaar & yochanah)

(via 37thstate)

peopleofthesouth:

The recent natural gas discoveries off the coast of Mozambique are important because of the size of the reserves as well as the country’s relative proximity to markets in Asia, says Adi Karev, global oil & gas leader at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

“This is rather close to the largest potential market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is Asia. It is easier to export from offshore Mozambique to Asia than it is from many other places,” Karev told How we made it in Africa in an interview.

US-based Anadarko Petroleum and Italian oil & gas company Eni have both recently announced significant gas discoveries in their respective blocks.

“This could be one of the most important natural gas fields discovered in the last 10 years, with significant long-term benefits for Mozambique,” said Jim Hackett, Anadarko chairman and CEO, in a recent statement. “In parallel, we’ve continued to advance an expandable LNG development that will support this world-class field. This is great news for Mozambique, as our ongoing activities will continue to spur meaningful investment in the region, generate significant revenue for the government and offer a multitude of opportunities for the people of Mozambique.”

According to Karev, there is currently substantial “world attention” on Mozambique’s gas reserves. He said many more companies are likely to join the action. “This is deep water offshore … There aren’t that many players that have the capacity to in fact invest in this by themselves because this is very expensive. Consequently I suspect there will be … a lot more joint ventures.”

Potential economic impact

What will be the impact of the findings on Mozambique’s economy? “That depends very much on how the government is going to in fact set up the framework that allows Mozambicans to be part of what is going on here … and assuming that they will set up the right levies and assuming there will be sufficient financial incentives for other players … the effect can only be positive,” Karev explained.

He said although there are many cases in Africa where significant discoveries of oil & gas led to economic ruin, one has to be optimistic. “You can always find a worst-case scenario, and indeed they exist. We hope this will be a little different. But is it guaranteed that it will be a little different? The world is full of examples of where this was a boom to a country … an incredible push for the growth of an industry, for the growth on an economy, for labour, education, you name it. One the other hand there are examples where it became nothing but a selected few’s … opportunity for enrichment.”

Karev said that the Mozambican government could review its taxation and regulatory policies, possibly delaying large investments until there is more clarity. “One of the things that usually happen is that the government tends to realise that in fact what they have is a gold mine, and that they have to rethink from a regulatory and levies perspective in order to properly participate in the game. I think, if I remember correctly, there have been some publications about the fact that … the [Mozambican] government is now rethinking some of their tax and levies and regulatory environment, in order to make sure there is sufficient participation by the citizens of Mozambique. That would tend to delay major investment decisions …”

New source of energy for South Africa?

There have been calls in South Africa for the country to reconsider its energy policy and to embrace neighbouring Mozambique’s gas reserves. “The significance for South Africa is that these discoveries should wipe the nuclear option off the table. We now have enough gas on our borders to generate all the electricity we could ever use. It will be the easy way to reduce our carbon emissions,” said Michael Bagraim, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce.

Karev noted that it would make sense for South Africa to at least review its energy policy in light of Mozambique’s gas discoveries, but that “every country should aspire to have some level of energy independence … it wouldn’t be smart to jump the pendulum and swing it all to natural gas just because Mozambique has it.”

(via fuckyeahmozambique)

hrtbps:

CAMEROON, A PARADISE OF BEES

Among the Gbayas, on the high plateaus of Cameroon, the nighttime honey harvests take on the air of sacrificial ceremonies. To harvest the honey, the men first put on heavy suits of wood fibres. The sap from the tree that produces this wood gives off a substance that repels the bees. Often, they will be guided by a larva-loving bird, the informer, which leads them right to the nests in exchange for part of the harvest. [x]

(via africaisdonesuffering)

nprradiopictures:

Traditionally, water symbolizes life and renewal, but in Sierra Leone it is also a vehicle for epidemic and death — the focus of photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz’s project “Water Is Gold,” which documents the causes and effects of the country’s recent cholera outbreak.

Last year, Sierra Leone experienced the worst cholera outbreak in its history, Abdulaziz writes for the Pulitzer Center, which funded his trip. There were 20,736 cases of cholera with 280 deaths since the beginning of 2012, he adds.

Abdulaziz spent most of his time in and around Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, which, he writes, was “built to support less than half the current population of 2 million.” The slums are overcrowded, unsanitary and sprawling — the perfect breeding ground for the disease.

Sierra Leone’s Water Of Life — And Death

Photo Credit: Mustafah Abdulaziz

(via obruniradio)

elijahmiano:

#kenya365 #Kenya365Skies #Mombasa #nyali (at Nyali Beach Hotel)

This past weekend, Cape Town’s flat-topped natural icon Table Mountain was officially inaugurated as the newest Seven Wonders of Nature landscape by the Zurich-based foundation New7Wonders founded in 2001 by filmmaker Bernard Weber. This is a first not only for South Africa, but for Africa as well.

"Table Mountain is not only a spectacular backdrop for Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but also offers visitors the unique experience of walking on top of the mountain and enjoy the most awe-inspiring panoramic views," Weber said at a ceremony at the foot of the mountain.

(read more)

Located in the neighborhood of Hamma in Algeria, the Jardin d’essai El Hamma is a 34 hectare garden, which extends in an amphitheater at the foot of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Algiers.

Created in 1832, the garden is one of the test gardens - a botanical garden established in the colonies as a source for supply of seeds and plants and provide information to the farming settlers - the world’s largest of it’s kind.

(source)

southafricaphotoblog:

Stellenbosch cottage, Cape Winelands, South Africa.
Casa em Stellenbosch, Vinhas do Cabo, África do Sul.

Photo copyright: slack12