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The macaque monkeys of Mauritius: an invasive alien species, and a major export for research

Macaques are regarded as alien species in Mauritius. Fabian Faber/Shutterstock Vincent Florens, University of Mauritius Macaque monkeys live as both captive and wild animals on the island of Mauritius. The wild population number is estimated at between 25,000 and 35,000 animals, it’s uncertain how many exist in captivity, but the figure is in...
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Small-scale gold miners in DRC challenge the view that they can’t cut it

Bisimwa Hardy, 22, emerges from a shaft at Luhihi in South Kivu with a bag full of stones destined to the crusher to separate the stone from the gold. Photo by Guerchom Ndebo/AFP via Getty Images Ben Radley, University of Bath Artisanal and small-scale mining in Africa has grown significantly in recent decades. Between 1999 and 2019, the estimated ...
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God and illness: for some South Africans, there’s more to healing than medicine

Alexander Joe/AFP via Getty Images Edna N Bosire, University of the Witwatersrand; Emily Mendenhall, Georgetown University, and Lindile Cele, University of the Witwatersrand For many people, familiarity breeds trust. Hospitals and clinics can be places of mistrust or uncertainty, in part because they are outside people’s daily lives. Instead,...
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There’s a case for Nigeria and South Africa to cooperate on outer space activities

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari (L) and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa perhaps need to extend their hand shakes into the outer space. Photo by Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images) Etim Offiong, Obafemi Awolowo University The Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission is a laudable idea. It was established in 1999 to stren...
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How the US and UK worked together to recolonise the Chagos Islands and evict Chagossians

How the US and UK worked together to recolonise the Chagos Islands and evict Chagossians Citizens of the Indian Ocean island of Chagos at the High Court in London. Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images Anamika Twyman-Ghoshal, University of Gloucestershire On 15 February 2022 the Mauritian flag was raised on two Indian Ocean atolls, Peros Banos...
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Rising sea levels may threaten 70% of Africa’s heritage sites by 2050

Among the most exposed cultural sites are the iconic ruins of Tipasa in Algeria. Shutterstock Joanne Clarke, University of East Anglia; Lena Reimann, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Michalis Vousdoukas, European Commission's Joint Research Centre, and Nicholas P. Simpson, University of Cape Town The value of heritage has been underestimated in climat...
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African states need a vision for relations with the Indo-Pacific

Shutterstock Yu-Shan Wu, University of Pretoria and Maxi Schoeman, University of Pretoria This year sees the 25th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Rim Association. Nine of the organisation’s member states are African, ranging from Somalia in the north west to South Africa in the south. It also includes islands, such as Mauritius, off the weste...
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The legacy of iconic singer Miriam Makeba and her art of activism

Photo by James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images Nomfundo Xaluva, University of Cape Town South Africa’s world famous singer and activist Miriam Makeba (1932-2008) would have turned 90 on 4 March 2022. Born Zenzile Miriam Makeba in Johannesburg’s Prospect township, she had a life of remarkable global impact. She contributed to black peopl...
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The long shadow of colonial forestry is a threat to savannas and grasslands

Grasslands can store carbon reliably under increasingly hot and dry climates. Shutterstock Susanne Vetter, Rhodes University Tree planting to restore forests, capture carbon and improve the land has gained strong momentum in recent years. The Bonn Challenge and its offshoots such as AFR100, initiatives focused on forest restoration, have persuaded ...
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Tractors can change farming in good ways and bad: lessons from four African countries

Agricultural mechanisation can reduce work burden, increase prosperity and enhance diets. Shutterstock Thomas Daum, University of Hohenheim Agricultural mechanisation is on the rise in Africa, replacing hand hoes and animal traction across the continent. While around 80-90% of all farmers still rely on manual labour or draught animals, this is chan...
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Here's the first Africa-wide survey of the economic impact of COVID-19 on cultural industries

Cinemas in Kampala, Uganda, remained poorly attended after reopening in November. Xinhua/Hajarah Nalwadda via Getty Images Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse, University of Kinshasa Arts and culture play an important role in all societies. They contribute not only to the social well-being of people but also to the social and economic development of countries...
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South Africa's inability to honestly confront AIDS shows the dangers of America's COVID-19 denialism

A South African woman mourning her husband who died of AIDS covers herself, according to custom, during the burial. Per-Anders Pettersson via Getty Images Renee Schatteman, Georgia State University At a time when the U.S. is experiencing one of the worst COVID-19 infection rates among wealthy nations, Americans could take some cautionary lessons fr...
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Tribute to Manu Dibango: Cameroonian jazz pioneer loved across Africa and the world

David Corio/Redferns/Getty Images Rogers Orock, University of the Witwatersrand African jazz has lost another of its best-known icons. Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango, popularly known as Manu Dibango, was, like Hugh Masekela who died last year, a global star of Afro-jazz and funk. The saxophonist Dibango leaves a huge legacy spanning more tha...
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China's investments in Africa: a fresh lens offers more balanced insights

Coverage of Chinese presence in Africa has been somewhat misleading. Shutterstock Simon Manda, PhD, University of Zambia The rise of China in Africa has triggered an ongoing debate about whether Chinese capital is a barrier that entraps African governments in practices that hinder poverty reduction. The most recent contribution to these debates is ...
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Why a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 could have lethal consequences

A deserted street in Cairo after the government ordered the closure of shops, restaurants and cafes. Photo by Ziad Ahmed/NurPhoto via Getty Images Alex Broadbent, University of Johannesburg and Benjamin T H Smart, University of Johannesburg Suppose you had the choice between two health policies, A and B. Policy A would result in the death of a lot ...
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Why so many epidemics originate in Asia and Africa – and why we can expect more

On Feb. 18, 2020, in Seoul, South Korea, people wearing face masks pass an electric screen warning about COVID-19. AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon Suresh V Kuchipudi, Pennsylvania State University The coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, is a frightening reminder of the imminent global threat posed by emerging infectious diseases. Although epidemics hav...
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Africa's destiny depends on building a vibrant middle class

African nations can look to Nigeria and Tanzania for recent examples of smart policies that boost the middle class. Flag map via www.shutterstock.com Yvan Yenda Ilunga, Rutgers University The global financial crisis felled many nations and companies, leading to the collapse of banks and recessions in the biggest economies in the world. But most Afr...
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Ancient DNA is revealing the origins of livestock herding in Africa

Livestock, like these goats in the Rift Valley of Tanzania, are critical to household economies in East Africa. Katherine Grillo, CC BY-ND Mary Prendergast, Saint Louis University – Madrid and Elizabeth Sawchuk, Stony Brook University (The State University of New York) Visitors to East Africa are often amazed by massive herds of cattle with a...
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Anthony Bourdain's window into Africa

In Season 3 of ‘Parts Unknown,’ Anthony Bourdain took viewers to Tanzania. CNN Jacob Henry, University of Hawaii Anthony Bourdain might have been a celebrity chef, but viewers of his Emmy Award-winning travel show, “Parts Unknown,” didn’t tune in for curry and noodle recipes. Cooking was simply the conceit Bourdain use...
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Can African smallholders farm themselves out of poverty?

Hard work and poor prospects for smallholder farming households in Africa. Swathi Sridharan (formerly ICRISAT, Bulawayo), CC BY-SA David Harris, Bangor University; Jordan Chamberlin, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and Kai Mausch, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) A great deal of research on agriculture in Africa is organ...
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