TAG: Africa

The Sickening Side Of The Chocolate Industry

The Sickening Side Of The Chocolate Industry

Chocolate is a global delight that many consider to be a favorite indulgence. Opening the packaging and releasing the rich aroma, not to mention the whole melting in your mouth sensation, is enough to halt a chocolate lover momentarily in a sensory-heightened escape from the mundane. But do we always think about where our sweet treats travel from in order to get into our hands? Some of the highest cocoa producing commodities are found in the Western African countries of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. These regions produce over 70% of the world’s cocoa. These areas are reportedly also responsible… read more

Preventing Desertification

Image of desertification

Desertification is the process in which fertile land slowly turns into sand-filled deserts. It’s happening all around the world, and increasingly so in the United States. It’s a direct result of poor environmental decisions, livestock grazing, and landowner neglect. The good news is that it’s also reversible and preventable. Allan Savory, a research biologist and President/Co-Founder of the Savory Institute, recently gave an inspirational TED talk about healing our land. His background on the subject is impressive, and should give us pause to heed his words. In the 1960’s while working in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), he came to understand what… read more

Energy Opportunity

Energy opportunity

Many African states have committed themselves to realising milestone development goals in the near future. Development is measured by using an array of indicators, these include having clean tap water, tar roads, and electricity amongst other things. When a vast majority of a country’s population has unhindered access to these amenities, it can be said that development is on an upward trajectory. The move towards development presents numerous opportunities for new technologies and renewable energy to be introduced in these countries. For instance, there are still many communities without electricity and electric power. An article in the Economist reports that… read more

Keeping Them Honest

Compliance for Environmental Law

It is essential that a country put in place sound environmental policies and a suitable legal framework in a bid to tackle environmental challenges. However laws and policies serve no purpose at all if compliance is lacking. Monitoring whether or not environmental laws are complied with is a crucial element of environmental protection, though it be a mammoth task. Compliance is quite important because environmental laws are primarily preventative, they basically constitute rules formulated such that environmental damage is either minimised or prevented if possible. It is unimaginable that a state can trust that subjects will comply willingly, like all… read more

Corruption Leads To Landfill

Abandoned_vehicles

It is trite to say that corruption is one of the most prevalent social ills that plague numerous governments internationally. This is especially true within African states where blatant corruption goes unpunished, thereby fostering a culture of impunity. Corruption by government officials has many dire consequences, and we will focus on the effect of such corruption on environmental obligations which a country must discharge or at least be seen to be discharging. All countries in the global community are encouraged to take part in saving the natural environment from avoidable harm, laws are passed and policies formulated to realise that end. However,… read more

Keeping Up Standards

Keeping Up Standards

Standards are an important quality protection and monitoring tool for consumer goods, amongst other things. They are there to help government ensure that consumers are assured that products sold have been tested and approved for safe and durable usage, and the products in question will bear a seal of approval if they meet set standards. Standards can be quite useful in the fight against pollution and general environmental damage, in particular standards relating to electronic goods. Many of the electronic products imported by African countries are manufactured overseas, more often than not, the importing states are not privy to durability… read more

Environment Not For Sale

Environmental law in Africa

Foreign investment can play a critical role in improving the economic conditions in developing countries. As a result, many African countries are keen to have foreign based companies invest and set up shop within their borders. Foreign investment is hardly free, in most cases foreign companies benefit in some or other way from operating in a foreign jurisdiction. They may benefit from a number of advantages including the natural resources such country has to offer, corporate tax rates, and from lax environmental laws. Where environmental laws are concerned, it may be that in the company’s country of origin there are… read more

Town Planning and Transport Efficiency

Public Transport benefits

In many developed countries public transport is so efficient that many people use it to get to and from work. Besides the economic benefits of using public transport, this choice of daily travel could potentially reduce carbon emissions. In Swaziland the use of public transport to travel to work has not taken root due to the inefficiency of our public transport system. Town planning and transport efficiency in our cities is increasingly becoming important. The way in which our towns are developed will now have to take into account the environmental implications of travel within the city, and also to… read more

Halting The Sands

Desertification, Africa

If you were to visit rural southern Africa you would likely experience the beauty of a primordial country life. The cows would be grazing, farmers would be in the fields, their irrigation sprinklers would be at work, and maidens would be collecting firewood from the nearby forest. At face value there is nothing wrong with the picture, however if you would multiply the activity described, and look forward by 10 years or so, the picture would change to a cover on a document entitled “The Leading Cause of Desertification”. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification focuses particularly on those African countries… read more

Swaziland Unplugs

Swaziland unplugs

Communication is a necessary element of human existence. It is arguably the most treasured ability that humans possess, so much so that there are many modes of communication and as much media. One such media is the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Many homes and business entities in and around Swaziland have been using, and still use the telephone to communicate with other persons on a daily basis. The demand for telephones continues to rise, despite the popularity of other media such as email, cellular phone and social websites. In the past, a rise in demand meant… read more