"The virus does not need visa"

Countries across Africa coordinate their efforts in the fight against corona by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of the African Union in Addis Abeba. Until now, the curve of new infections has been successfully flattened – why? Dr. Ahmed Ouma, Deputy Director, explains the work of CDC in an interview with Tilman Wörtz.

 

Tests for the Corona virus: They are currently possible in 52 out of 55 African countries. Photo: GIZ / Ollivier Girard
Tests for the Corona virus: They are currently possible in 52 out of 55 African countries. Photo: GIZ / Ollivier Girard

Ahmed Ogwell Ouma

Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma is Deputy Director at the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Before that, he worked many years for the WHO. Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union established to support public health initiatives of Member States and strengthen the capacity of their public health institutions to detect, prevent, control and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats. Africa CDC supports African Union Member States in providing coordinated and integrated solutions to the inadequacies in their public health infrastructure, human resource capacity, disease surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, and preparedness and response to health emergencies and disasters. Established in January 2016 by the 26th Ordinary Assembly of Heads of State and Government and officially launched in January 2017, Africa CDC is guided by the principles of leadership, credibility, ownership, delegated authority, timely dissemination of information, and transparency in carrying out its day-to-day activities. The institution serves as a platform for Member States to share and exchange knowledge and lessons from public health interventions. Its headquarter is located in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

What is the situation like right now in Africa concerning the Corona-Pandemic?

I would say we are in the mid-morning, while in Europe and North America it is probably late-afternoon and China has reached dusk already. We are seeing numbers increasing at a rate that is probably doubling every five to six days. This gives us the motivation to work even harder to try and flatten the curve. As soon as we saw what was happening in China, we started to prepare by building up capacity, securing borders and encouraging social distancing. Those early measures have resulted in a delayed spread of the CORONA virus in Africa. In general, there is a lot more that needs to be done, but the numbers tell us that the measures we took are actually working.

 

To which degree was it possible for the CDC to coordinate the efforts of national governments?

 The first African case was diagnosed in Egypt on February 14th. One week later, we as Africa CDC convened a meeting of health ministers of all the 55 member states. The health ministers passed a continental strategy and we started to implement it. We are sharing the figures twice a day at nine o'clock in the morning and then at six o'clock in the afternoon with all member countries of the African Union. We have been coordinating for example procurement of personal protective equipment and laboratory supplies across the continent. Africa CDC is actually coordinating many aspects of their preparedness and response. At the same time individual countries are doing their work at country level.

 

The African Disease Control Center (CDC) is headquartered in Addis Ababa. Photo: GIZ / Thomas Imo / photothek.net
The African Disease Control Center (CDC) is headquartered in Addis Ababa. Photo: GIZ / Thomas Imo / photothek.net

Are you confident that the figures reflect accurately the real situation?

We are reasonably confident that governments are providing us with the correct picture, based on the testing that is going on at country level. Each country gives us figures of how many people they've tested in a day and how many have turned positive. There is testing going on across the vast majority of countries on the continent. The figures may not be 100 percent accurate because they are many asymptomatic people. But in terms of those that are being tested positively, it gives a relatively good picture of what is actually happening on the continent, both in terms of numbers and in terms of trends.

 

How much testing capacities is there across Africa?

Let me go back to January when this virus was reported to have entered the human population in China in January. We had no laboratory on the African continent that would be able to test for COVID-19. Two weeks later, in the beginning of February, we had two laboratories, one in Senegal and one in South Africa that were able to test for COVID-19. At that stage, we came in as Africa CDC and started to build the capacity of laboratories across the continent. As we speak today, 52 countries, out of the 55 countries can do laboratory testing and most of them can do it in more than one site. So we have build up capacity very rapidly. As of today we have conducted across Africa more than 1,2 million tests. And our plan is that over the next four weeks, we are going to test one more million. And over the next 24 weeks, we are going to test 10 more million. So our strategy is to expand testing and depending on the numbers that are turning out positive, to then isolate them and manage their cases depending on where they severe or whether it is mild. We do targeted testing. It is not testing of everyone.

 

Where do you get the test kits from?

This has been our biggest challenge because the test kits are manufactured outside of Africa and air travel has been banned except for cargo flights. But cargo flights are irregular. You don't fly to a place where you don't have cargo to take. The CDC has been using a bulk-buying protocol. We want to benefit from the large quantities that we order outside of Africa. Then we put all those materials into one plane, bring them to Addis Abeba from where it is distributed. There has been some delays, but we have been able to get lab reagents to all 55 member states. So the countries are able to continue doing tests. The capacity for testing has increased tremendously.

 

In Africa, people face many different infectious diseases every day. Photo: GIZ
In Africa, people face many different infectious diseases every day. Photo: GIZ

Did the Ebola crisis and the fight against tuberculosis and other diseases already provide the experience to be better prepared for Corona?

 The most famous of the outbreaks was the West Africa Ebola outbreak. There have been a few things that we have learned and we have used in addressing COVID-19. One is to start early if there is an outbreak. Don't delay measures! We have done that with the Corona outbreak, too. The second key lesson we have learnt is solidarity between countries, which means neighbours helping neighbours. The virus spreads across borders. It doesn't need a visa. If you try to act alone, your neighbours´ problem will quickly become your own. The third lesson is one of partnerships across the globe with individual countries, with intergovernmental organisations, private philanthropies and foundations. We have gone into a lot of these partnerships and all of them are designed to support our work in implementing the COVID-19 strategy of the African Union.

 

Was it helpful that normal population already had an understanding of what are infectious diseases by outbreaks like Ebola?

 Absolutely. The communities in Africa are faced with many different types of infectious disease on a daily basis, like Lassa fever, monkeypox, Ebola, measles. The population has already been developing better and healthier habits. As a result, we are even seeing cases of more simple infectious diseases dropping right now, because we are having better hygiene practices during this time of Coronavirus.

 

There have been doubts if the measures to limit Corona might increase the number of people infected by other diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. Do you see any danger there? 

It is a very big concern that we have and indeed it is a risk that is present in a number of countries. As Africa CDC, our message to governments and international organizations is very simple: don't treat Coronavirus only. Designate a few hospitals that are going to look into the Coronavirus cases and let all the other hospitals continue to do their usual work. We are encouraging governments to ensure that the investment in addressing a virus does not reduce the investment in the other areas of public health.

 

Do you think that the lockdown measures in other countries like Europe or the United States or China might affect economic growth rates so much that there are serious health effects on the population?

The lockdown measures everywhere do affect economic growth in Africa, not just the lockdown in Europe, China and the US. Any increase in the numbers of cases will have a very large negative effect on the economy and a very large negative effect on businesses. It is for this reason that we are about to launch a guidance document which is addressing the issue of how to progressively open up the lockdown for people to be able to go back to their normal economic activities. The guidance documents are going to be launched in the next few days as our contribution towards COVID-19 outbreak preparedness and response.

 

Bill Gates says that there might be the danger of 10 million people dying in Africa because of Corona. The WHO has predicted, according to estimates, 150000 deaths in Africa. Do you think that such predictions are helpful?

We must take predictions with a lot of care. Numbers can scare the population and result in panic. Panic is very bad when you have an infectious disease outbreak. People behave in manners that are not consistent with good public health science. On the other hand predictions are good for planning and allow us to react at an early stage. At Africa CDC we do modelling internally. We don't share with the public because the parameters we use for modelling change rapidly. What was the figure yesterday might change, depending on whether the measures that have been put in place by governments are working or not. So we avoid going into the numbers, but we definitely are building capacity across Africa.

 

Go back

Similar articles

FERTILE SOIL THROUGH THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF METHODS

In the Ethiopian highlands, much of the soil is exhausted. New fertilizers and improved seed are making it fertile again.  

A Project of GIZ

Read more

©Sofia Shabafrouz

SUNFLOWERS OVER TOBACCO

The farmers in Malawi have long been holding on to the cultivation of tobacco - which led to a dangerous dependency.

A Project of GIZ

Read more

(c) Florian Kopp / Misereor

THE BEST IDEAS GROW LOCALLY

Small farmers in Burkina Faso are trying to tackle big challenges locally. Local organizations are helping them.

A project of Misereor

Read more

(c) Florian Kopp / Misereor

HOW MILK PRODUCTION CHANGED A VILLAGE

Powdered milk exports pose a threat to cattle farmers in Burkina Faso. Pasmep helps shepherds increase their own milk production.

A project of Misereor

 

Read more

STUDY VISITS STRENGTHEN LOCAL FARMERS' ASSOCIATIONS

At Andreas Hermes Akademie, farmers from Africa and India are learning new techniques and organizational forms.

A project of Andreas Hermes Akademie

 

Read more

(c) Eli Wortmann, Kolundžija / ZEF

RESEARCH FOR AGRICULTURAL INNOVATIONS

The Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI) brings together partners working to ensure a secure food supply in Africa and India.

A project of the Center for Development Research

Read more

(c) WFP / Carlos Muñoz

CASH AND VOUCHERS AGAINST HUNGER

Often food is not lacking, but the money for it is. With electronic vouchers hunger is to be controlled in the Horn of Africa.

A procet of the WFP

Read more

(c) WFP/ Mohammad Batah

IRIS SCAN TECHNOLOGY FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES IN JORDAN

Syrian refugees in Jordan don't pay for their food with cash or credit cards, but rather with a quick glance at the camera.

A project of the WFP

 

Read more

INCOME STRENGTHENS PEACE

Congo is daring to rebuild. Improving nutrition and incomes will provide hope for the future, particularly for women and adolescents.  

A project of Welthungerhilfe

 

Read more

FROM EXODUS TO MORE SELF-CONFIDENCE

In Afghanistan, thousands of domestic refugees live in poverty. A project brings education and acrobatics into their lives.

A project of Welthungerhilfe

Read more

HAY FOR THE DRY SEASON

Climate change makes the nomadic life of the Masai in Kenya more difficult. A new project introduces them to agriculture.

A project of Welthungerhilfe

Read more

GREEN BUSINESS IDEAS IN RURAL AREAS

It is above all a lack of opportunities which is driving many young Indians into the cities. An educational; program creates new opportunities in the countryside.

A project of Welthungerhilfe

Read more

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE COCOA SECTOR

About 60 percent of the cocoa processed in Germany comes from the Ivory Coast. It is grown by 800,000 cocoa farmers, who typically only own up to five hectares of land.

A project in cooperation with the GIZ

Read more

(c) GIZ

THE FOOD ON THE TABLE DETERMINES OUR HEALTH

Cambodians eat too much rice. GIZ is joining with farmers to form multi-purpose farms, as well as advising health care centers on nutritional questions.

A project of GIZ

Read more

FROM RANCHERS TO MANUFACTURERS

How to: In Benin, farmers are opening factories now that they have learned what an entrepreneur needs to know.

A project of GIZ

Read more

DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SWEET POTATOES

For Kenyan small farmers, the harvest yields little more than they need for themselves. How the orange sweet potato can change the life of an entire region.

A Project of GIZ

Read more

SECURING THE FOOD SUPPLY IN MALAWI

Securing the food supply requires a holistic approach. That's why mango and papaya will be on the menu in Malawi.

A Project of GIZ

Read more

HEALTHY FOOD FOR ALL

Brazil is world champion in the use of pesticides. In the southern part of the country, a network of organic farms is supplying municipal schools and kindergartens with healthy food.

A project of Brot für die Welt

Read more

BETTER VOCATIONAL TRAINING FOR FARMERS

At vocational schools in Ethiopia, farmers learn to use their land sustainably. The curricula are tailored to climate change and droughts.

A project of IAK Agrar Consulting

Read more

(c) Cotton made in Africa

MARKET FORCES, NOT DONATIONS

For more than ten years, Cotton made in Africa has been setting standards for the protection of the environment and better living conditions in the cotton industry of sub-Saharan Africa. 

A project of Cotton made in Africa

Read more

(c) GIZ/Jackson Muchoki

STRONG TUBERS: SUPPORTING POTATOE FARMERS

Potatoes are staple foods in Kenza. Raising their profit is an important contribution to prevent malnutrition. 

A Projct of GIZ

Read more

Local rather than global

An increasing number of people in Togo's capital city are consuming cheap imported food. The OADEL organization promotes local products.

A project of Brot für die Welt

Read more

©Sofia Shabafrouz

HERE IS MY HOME

Where in the Ethiopian Tigray just a few years ago only parched soil and sand could be seen, grass is growing again. Previously, the inhabitants fled from famines. Today farmers use the valley for the cultivation of grain or vegetables - and have new prospects.

A project of World Vision

Read more

(c) GIZ

IMPROVED LAND GOVERNANCE

Weak land governance and insecure land rights are still major development challenges for Africa. The global program to strengthen land governance in Africa aims to strengthen marginalized groups.

A project of GIZ

Read more

(c) Joachim E. Roettgers

SUSTAINABLE STRUCTURAL CHANGE

Researchers from the Humboldt University of Berlin are developing solutions for more socially inclusive and sustainable structure of structural change in sub-Saharan Africa.

A project of the Center for Rural Development

 

Read more

(c) Joachim E. Roettgers

MAINTAINING SOIL FERTILITY

Many farmers suffer from droughts. A climate program to combat desertification helps Indian small farmers preserve soil fertility.

A project of KfW

Read more

(c) Save the Children

A STRONG NETWORK

Malawi has just survived the most severe food crisis in 35 years. An initiative helped with money for food aid - the goal: to strengthen self-sufficiency. 

A project of Save the Children

Read more

(c) Privat

How much private investment is the agricultural sector able to bear?

By Pedro Morazán

Small farmers in developing countries must modernise their farming methods, but poorly understood reforms could exacerbate poverty instead of alleviating it.

Read more

(c) Christoph Püschner

The price isn’t everything

By Bettina Rühl

In Togo’s capital, Lomé, home-grown rice costs almost twice as much as the imported product from Thailand. Yet there are good reasons for preferring the local product

Read more

(c) Christoph Püschner/Zeitenspiegel

Slaves do not produce quality

By Tilman Wörtz

Every child in Germany knows Ritter Sport – but most of the children harvesting cocoa on western African plantations have never even eaten chocolate. Can a chocolate manufacturer change the world? Conversation with Alfred Ritter about the power and powerlessness of a businessman.

Read more

Uli Reinhardt/Zeitenspiegel

No dirty dealing

Von Marlis Lindecke

Shit Business is Serious Business: A successful cooperation between research and the private sector.

Read more

“They said: You can do it”

By Bread for the World

As President of the IABM cooperative in Muhanga, Alphonsine Mukankusi is not simply focused on the figures. She has learned how to deal with people and how to take on responsibility. At the same time, her work helps her to come to terms with the past

 

Read more

(c) Privat

Borderless food security

By Christine Wieck

Enabling smallholders to trade across regions and borders promotes food security and economic growth. Although everyone is calling for exactly that, implementation is still difficult

Read more

picture-alliance/Zentralbild

Land is Crucial for Development

By Roselyn Korleh and M. Sahr Nouwah

The Liberian town of Kinjor is a picture-book example for what happens, if land rights aren’t protected, and it illustrates how to move forward from there. The keyword: Multi-Actor Partnership

Read more

(c) Privat

The 'Grey Gold'

By Maria Schmidt

The Cashew Council is the first international organisation for a raw material stemming from Africa. The industry promises to make progress in processing and refining cashew nuts - and answers to climate change

Read more

(c) Privat

Human Rights, Land and Rural Development

By Michael Windfuhr

Land rights are no longer governed by the law of the strongest. That is what the international community has agreed to. Governments and private companies have a duty to respect human rights and avoid corruption.

Read more

(c) Privat

A classroom in the Garden of Eden

By Iris Manner

Deforestation harms people and the environment. With nurseries, farmers can earn money and do good. You just have to know how to do it

Read more

Uli Reinhardt/Zeitenspiegel

Bitter fruit

By Frank Brunner

Why aren’t bars of chocolate made where cocoa is grown? Author Frank Brunner analyses the industry’s fragile value chain from the plantation to the supermarket

Read more

Uli Reinhardt/Zeitenspiegel

Enough of being poor

By Marcellin Boguy

In western Africa a new middle class is emerging. Their consumer behaviour is determining the demand for products – home-produced and imported goods, on the internet or at the village market. The people of Ivory Coast in particular are looking to the future with optimism.

Read more

(c) Christoph Pueschner/Zeitenspiegel

From start to finish: a vision of interconnectivity

By Tanja Reith

At the moment, the agricultural industries of African countries exist in relative isolation. Imagine peasant farmers digitally connected to the value chains of the global food industry. How could this happen? A guidebook.

Read more

(c) Thomas Trutschel/BMEL/photothek

Rethinking funding

By Anna Sophia Rainer

Peasant farmers tend to fail due to bank credit limits. But investment could help them generate a sustainable income. This has given rise to an intense discussion about potential digital solutions.

Read more

"Agriculture can become a job engine"

Interview with Reiner Klingholz

How can agriculture modernise Africa? And does the road to the cities really lead out of poverty? Dr. Reiner Klingholz from the Berlin Institute for Population and Development in conversation with Jan Rübel .

Read more

The Life of Their Dreams - What Children Want

By Dreyer Foundation

Later on you want to become a farmer yourself, or would you prefer to take up another profession? Two young people from Burkina-Faso talked to representatives of the Dreyer Foundation about their parents' farms, the profession of farmer and their own plans for the future.

Read more

"Without peace, there will be no development"

Interview with Karina Mroß 

What contribution does development cooperation make to conflict prevention? What can it do for sustainable peace? Political scientist Karina Mroß talks to Raphael Thelen about post-conflict societies and their chances for peaceful development.

Read more

JOERG BOETHLING / GIZ

Continent in an uptrend

By Dr. Agnes Kalibata

Partnering for Africa’s Century: Innovation and Leadership as Drivers of Growth and Productivity in Rural Areas

Read more

An investment in Africa's future

By Essa Chanie Mussa

Rural youth need viable livelihood opportunities to escape out of poverty and realize their aspirations. How could they be helped to fully unleash their potential? This is an aloud call that needs novel strategies among governments, policy makers, and international development partners and donors.

Read more

Joerg Boethling/GIZ

‘The Green Revolution reaches its limits’

Stig Tanzmann is a farmer and adviser on agricultural issues at ‘Bread for the World’. Jan Rübel interviewed him about his reservations about AGRA's strategy.

Read more

KLAUS WOHLMANN / GIZ

’Farmers are smart’

By Jan Rübel

From the lab to the masses: Maria Andrade bred varieties of biofortified sweet potatoes which are now widely used all over the continent. She sets her hope on the transformation of African agriculture.

Read more

Frank Schultze / Agentur_ZS

Video: Visions in agriculture

By Frank Schultze and Jan Rübel

At the beginning of December 2018, AGRA's board of directors met in Berlin. The "Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa" ​​panel discussed the next steps in their policy of modernizing agriculture. How to go on in the next ten years? One question - many answers from experts.

Read more

Frank Schultze / Agentur_ZS

The communicator

By Jan Rübel

What do electrical engineering, telecommunications and agriculture have in common? They arouse the passion of Strive Masiyiwa: Thirty years ago, he started an electrical installation company with $75, later riding the telecommunications wave as a pioneer. Today he is committed to transforming African agriculture.

 

Read more

MarkIrungu /AGRA

Spiritual mortar for the young generation

By Jan Rübel

Fred Swaniker is working building a new era of leaders. And what about agriculture? ‘It needs to be more sexy!’

Read more

Karel Prinsloo/Arete/Rockefeller Foundation/AGRA

'Nutrition is a human right'

Joe DeVries is a breeder – and Vice President of AGRA. What are the chances and risks of a ’green revolution‘ in Africa? A discourse between Jan Rübel and him about productivity, needs, and paternalism.

Read more

KLAUS WOHLMANN / GIZ

Wanted: German investment in African agriculture

Stefan Liebing is chairman of the Africa Association of German Business. The manager calls for a better structure of African farms. Jan Rübel asked him about small farmers, the opportunities for German start-ups and a new fund.

Read more

"Extreme is the new normal"

By Alexander Müller, and Jes Weigelt

As the climate changes, the population of Africa is growing and fertile land and jobs are becoming scarcer. New ways are currently leading to urbanisation of agriculture and a new mid-sized sector in the countryside

Read more

(c) Nina Schroeder/World Food Programme

Policy against disasters

Interview with Thomas Loster

Insurance companies could provide protection during droughts in Africa. How exactly this could be done is what the industry is currently trying to figure out. First experiences are available. An interview with the Managing Director of the Munich Re Foundation, Thomas Loster

Read more

(c) Christoph Mohr/GIZ

Microinsurance against climate change

By Claudia Voß

Climate change is destroying development progress in many places. The clever interaction of digitalisation and the insurance industry protects affected small farmers.

Read more

(c) Nina Schroeder/World Food Programme

Hunger is caused by people, not the climate

Interview with Jacob Schewe

A study by the World Bank predicts that millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa will have to leave their homelands because of climate change. We have spoken with one of the authors

Read more

(c) Nina Schroeder/World Food Programme

Green from the growth container

By Maria Smentek

If there is a lack of fertile soil and rain, hunger breaks out quickly. Hydroponic-systems can help

Read more

(c) Gudrun Barenbrock/GIZ

Edible bugs - the new beef?

By Marwa Shumo

Insect farming is economical and environmentally sustainable, they are high in protein and they live on agricultural waste. Marwa Abdel Hamid Shumo thinks: They are the best weapon to combat hunger

Read more

(c) Christoph Püschner/Brot für die Welt

The North bears the responsibility, the South bears the burden

By Susanne Neubert

Adaptation to climate change can be achieved by making agriculture more environmentally sustainable – if the rich countries also reduce their emissions

Read more

Graphics: Africa's digital disruption

What Africa is experiencing in the course of digitisation is a disruption. Here three steps are taken in one, there you remain. In any case, the changes are enormous and bring some surprises. A graphic walk.

Read more

(c) Joerg Boethling/GIZ

What it takes now

By Heike Baumüller

Artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain are the hottest topics of our time. The digital transformation of the African agricultural sector is ready for take-off. What will it take for the future of technology to hit the ground running?

Read more

Answers from the youth: "Leave or stay? That depends on it!"

GIZ study; conducted by Geopoll

Does Africa's youth want to live in the city or in the country? Which career path seems particularly attractive? And how optimistic are the young people about the future? Young adults from rural areas answered these questions by SMS.

Read more

(c) Foto Privat

Story: In Blocked Chains We Trust

By Solomon King Benge

It is 2080. We are on a farm somewhere in Africa. Everything is digital. The blockchain is an omnipotent point of reference, and the farm is flourishing. But then, everything goes wrong. A dystopian short story, written exclusively for SEWOH.

Read more

(c) Katapult/GIZ

The digitised farmyard

By Jan Rübel

Lots of apps are entering the market, but what really makes sense? For African agriculture, some of it seems like a gimmick, some like a real step forward. So this is what a smallholder farm in Africa could look like today - with the help of smartphones, internet and electricity. 

Read more

(c) Joerg Boethling/GIZ

"We are not Uber for tractors"

Interview with Jehiel Oliver

Jehiel Oliver was a successful consultant. One day, he quit his job in investment banking to become a social entrepreneur. His mission: tractors for Africa. Rental tractors. What gave him that idea? Find out in his interview with Jan Rübel.

Read more

(c) Klara Palatova/WFP

A global signpost: What way is the market, please?

By World Food Programme

There is a clear global task: We need to feed nine billion people by 2050. We, the people of Earth, must produce more food and waste less. That is the top priority of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), too - the description of a challenge.

Read more

(c) Christof Krackhardt/Brot für die Welt

Together and resourceful against worldwide hunger

By Brot für die Welt

Climate change disturbs the climate in Ethiopia. The answer from small farmers in the northern region is convincing: diversify!

 

Read more

© GIZ / Angelika Jacob

This is how developing countries can adapt better to droughts

By Michael Brüntrup und Daniel Tsegai

Droughts are the natural disasters with far-reaching negative consequences. While rich countries are still vulnerable to drought, famines are no longer found.

Read more

(c) Michael Bruentrup/DIE

News from the starting block: Changeover

By Michael Brüntrup

The region of Sub-Saharan Africa is on the decisive verge of a great development boost in farming: it could skip entire generations of technological development. But how?  About possible roles and potentials of digital services.

Read more

Ebay Against Hunger

Small holders around the world are often forced to sell their harvests below market value due to a lack of market and pricing information. A new app by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is going to change this.

A project of WFP

Read more

Resilience in times of crisis

Yemen is currently experiencing one of the worst disasters, due to war, hunger and disease outbreaks. The GIZ is locally engaged to improve the nutrition and resilience of Yemenites.

A project of GIZ

Read more

(c) GIZ

COST-BENEFIT ANALYSES FOR MORE SOIL CONSERVATION

With the help of sustainable farming methods, soils can be preserved and made fertile again. The investment required is also worthwhile from a financial perspective.

A project of GIZ

Read more

(c) GIZ

Youth employment in rural area

Offering young people in rural areas better employment prospects is one of the objectives of the sector project. The young population is the key to a modern and efficient agricultural economy.

A project of GIZ

Read more

(c) Foto XtraPay

XtraPay - thanks to farmers

XtraPay wants to make international supply chains more transparent and establish a direct connection between producer and consumer. The bonus payment system was successfully piloted on 16 August in ten Edeka supermarkets in Braunschweig.

A project of BMZ

Read more

(c) Luis Vera/Misereor

High on soya

The spread of monocultures is globally harmful to the environment and violates human rights; it makes for more losers than winners. But there are ways out, here one example: Smallholders in Parguay are fighting back.

A Misereor project

Read more

“Corona exposes the weaknesses of our nutritional systems"

Interview with Arif Husain (WFP)

The United Nations plan a Food Systems Summit - and now the Corona-Virus is dictating the agenda. The Chief Economist of the UN World Food Programme takes stock of the current situation: a conversation with Jan Rübel about pandemics, about the chromosomes of development - and about the conflicts that inhibit them.

Read more

Developing countries hit doubly hard by coronavirus

By Gunter Beger (BMZ)

In most African countries, the infection COVID-19 is likely to trigger a combined health and food crisis. This means: In order to cope with this unprecedented crisis, consistently aligning our policies to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is more important than ever, our author maintains.

Read more

© GIZ

Resilient small-scale agriculture: A key in global crises

By Kerstin Weber and Brit Reichelt-Zolho (WWF)

Biodiversity and sustainable agriculture ensure the nutrition of whole societies. But there is more: These two factors also provide better protection against the outbreak of dangerous pandemics. Hence, the question of preserving ecosystems is becoming a global survival issue.

Read more

© GIZ

Actual Analysis: The locusts came with the crises

By Bettina Rudloff and Annette Weber (SWP)

The Corona-Virus exacerbates existing crises through conflict, climate, hunger and locusts in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. What needs to be done in these regions? To face these challenges for many countries, all of these crises need to be captured in their regional context.

Read more

Indonesia / Borneo, March 2000: North of Palangkaraya are the base camps of illegal loggers in the middle of the devastated landscape. (C) Christoph Püschner / Zeitenspiegel

Video diaries in the days of Corona: Voices from the ground

By Sarah D´haen & Alexander Müller, Louisa Nelle, Bruno St. Jaques, Sarah Kirangu-Wissler and Matteo Lattanzi (TMG)

Young farmers’ insights on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa @CovidFoodFuture and video diaries from Nairobi’s informal settlements.

Read more

Indonesia / Borneo, March 2000: North of Palangkaraya are the base camps of illegal loggers in the middle of the devastated landscape. (C) Christoph Püschner / Zeitenspiegel

Do we have to dare a new food system?

By Dr. Felix zu Löwenstein (BÖLW)

Lack of seasonal workers and virus explosion in slaughterhouses, rising vegetable prices, climate crisis – all this demonstrates: Our food system is highly productive and (at least for the rich inhabitants of planet earth) guarantees an unprecedented rich and steady food supply - but it is not resilient.

Read more

Good health is impossible without healthy food

By Heino von Meyer

Corona makes it even more difficult to achieve a world without hunger by 2030. So that this perspective does not get out of sight, Germany must play a stronger role internationally - a summary of the Strategic Advisory Group of SEWOH.

Read more

(c) Privat

Small Farms, big money

By Agnes Kalibata

Africas economy can only grow sustainably, if also small-scale agriculture is seen as opportunity.

Read more

© GIZ

One Health – What we are learning from the Corona crisis

Dr. May Hokan and Dr. Arnulf Köhncke (WWF)

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the connection between human and animal health has gained new attention. Politicians and scientists are joining forces to propagate the solution: One Health. But what is behind the concept? And can it also guarantee food security for all people worldwide?

Read more

It all comes down to the young population

By Jan Rübel

What happens when young people leave the rural areas? How can the region achieve what is referred to as the demographic bonus – and how can it reap the benefits of the demographic dividend? A look at demography shows the following: What is most important is promoting women’s rights and education.

Read more

An opportunity for the continent

By the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Africa’s population is young and ready to take its destiny into its own hands. Agriculture offers amazing opportunities in this regard. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants to support the next generation in this way.

Read more

Africa's rapid economic transformation

By T. S. Jayne, A. Adelaja and R. Mkandawire

Thirty years ago, Africa was synonymous with war, famine and poverty. That narrative is clearly outdated. African living standards are rising remarkably fast. Our authors are convinced that improving education and entrepreneurship will ensure irreversible progress in the region even as it confronts COVID-19.

Read more

Freed from trade? Towards a fairer EU Trade Agenda

By Dr. Jan Orbie

‘Fair’ and ‘sustainable’ are key words in Germany’s EU Council Presidency. At the same time, Germany pursues ‘modernization’ of the WTO and ‘rapid progress’ on free trade agreements. Are these goals really compatible? Can we be concerned about fairness and sustainability while continuing with ‘business as usual’?

Read more

Hunger must not be a consequence of the epidemic!

By Michael Brüntrup (DIE)

Even though COVID-19 poses a threat to the health of humanity, the reaction to the pandemic must not cause more suffering than the disease itself. This is particularly relevant for poor developing countries, where the impact of the corona crisis on food security is even more severe!

 

Read more

From Berlin to Yen Bai: 10,000 trees for Vietnam

By GIZ and BMZ

It began with clicks at a trade fair and ends with concrete reforestation: a campaign at the Green Week in Berlin is now enriching the forests of the Yen Bai Province in Vietnam. A chronicle of an education about climatic relevance to concrete action - and about the short distances on our planet.

Read more