Making COVID Vaccines in Africa: Advances and Sustainability Issues

The history of vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa dates back to 1881, when Egypt’s Vacsera company was established. Before the COVID pandemic was declared, there were eight African countries that, to our knowledge, had a record of vaccine manufacturing facilities (see the map).

Red gold: the rise and fall of West Africa’s palm oil empire

For thousands of years, the oil palm – indigenous to West Africa – has had an intimate relationship with people. An explosive expansion of oil palm groves throughout western and central Africa in the wake of a dry period around 2,500 years ago enabled human migration and agricultural development; in turn, humans facilitated oil palm propagation through seed dispersal and slash-and-burn agriculture.

Discovering the forest wonders of Africa – and the threats they face

Africa’s forests are some of the natural wonders of the world. As someone who has spent decades studying the ecology and management of tropical forests, I’m constantly amazed by the unique forest ecosystems on the continent.

South Africa’s efforts to tackle its energy crisis lack urgency and coherence

South Africa’s electricity infrastructure has been degrading in the past decade, with both scheduled and unscheduled power outages on the increase. Despite slowed economic activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country experienced 1130 hours of planned power cuts in 2021, the highest ever.

Rethinking risk can unshackle Africa’s small scale farmers from the grip of poor weather

Right now, countries in the Horn of Africa are in the midst of a multi-season drought. There have also been years in which the rains have come with such force that floods wash out the season’s labour, sometimes along with homes, as happened in Mozambique just two years ago.