In Will Africa Feed China? Deborah Bräutigam, one of the world’s leading experts on China and Africa, probes the myths and realities behind the media headlines.

I have already watched a few talks by Deborah Bräutigam and I like to hear what she has to stay not only because her work is very well documented and articulated, but also because she has a very global approach and a very nuanced speech while presenting her cases.

“…  there’s enormous opportunity to make poverty history. To do it right, we have to build business models that matter, that are scaleable and that work with Africans, Indians, people all over the developing world who fit in this category, to do it themselves. Because at the end of the day, it’s about engagement. It’s about understanding that people really don’t want handouts, that they want to make their own decisions; they want to solve their own problems; and that by engaging with them, not only do we create much more dignity for them, but for us as well. And so I urge all of you to think next time as to how to engage with this notion and this opportunity that we all have — to make poverty history — by really becoming part of the process and moving away from an us-and-them worldand realizing that it’s about all of us, and the kind of world that we, together, want to live in and share.”

– Jacqueline Novogratz

Source: TED

Books, Literature, Quotes

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

– Roald Dahl, Matilda.

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives…

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Documentaries, Links

Almudena Toral: Morocco’s ‘Mule Ladies’ via The New York Times.

Moroccan women face a dangerous daily toil, carrying large bales of duty-free goods back from the Spanish North African enclave of Melilla.

Thanks Xavier de Torres!

Link
Links, Photography

Hotshots: Africa’s most exciting new photographers by Jepchumba.

“It wasn’t too long ago when the image of Africa was plagued by photographs of starving children, war, wildlife photography and portraits of African tribes exoticizing the “dark continent.” But Africa for the past few years has been immersed in digital technology and culture and the digital age in Africa can now be witnessed through art and photography.”

Link

In this talk, Allan Savory invites us to a journey of reeducation and discovery on how to fight desertification and reverse climate change.

“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert, and this happens only when we create too much bare ground. There’s no other cause. And I intend to focus on most of the world’s land that is turning to desert. (…)

But I have for you a very simple message that offers more hope than you can imagine. We have environments where humidity is guaranteed throughout the year. On those, it is almost impossible to create vast areas of bare ground. No matter what you do, nature covers it up so quickly. And we have environments where we have months of humidity followed by months of dryness, and that is where desertification is occurring.

Now you’re told over and over, repeatedly, that desertification is only occurring in arid and semi-arid areas of the world, and that tall grasslands like this one in high rainfall are of no consequence. But if you do not look at grasslands but look down into them, you find that most of the soil in that grassland that you’ve just seen is bare and covered with a crust of algae, leading to increased runoff and evaporation.That is the cancer of desertification that we do not recognise till its terminal form.

What we had failed to understand was that these seasonal humidity environments of the world, the soil and the vegetation developed with very large numbers of grazing animals, and that these grazing animals developed with ferocious pack-hunting predators. Now, the main defense against pack-hunting predators is to get into herds, and the larger the herd, the safer the individuals. Now, large herds dung and urinate all over their own food, and they have to keep moving, and it was that movement that prevented the overgrazing of plants, while the periodic trampling ensured good cover of the soil, as we see where a herd has passed.

 if we do what I am showing you here, we can take enough carbon out of the atmosphere and safely store it in the grassland soils for thousands of years, and if we just do that on about half the world’s grasslands that I’ve shown you, we can take us back to pre-industrial levels, while feeding people. I can think of almost nothing that offers more hope for our planet, for your children, and their children, and all of humanity.