Cultural Sustainability

When we observe most answers to cultural questions in the African context, we often find ourselves defaulting to artifacts, traditions, languages, and ethnic mores.  However, that is only a fraction of what makes culture. Culture is the summation of a full range of human potentials and specific qualities with which an individual identifies and connects as a member of its society.  That complex-whole includes a hierarchy of knowledge, common sense, beliefs, arts, laws, morals, approaches, customs, traditions, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a person as a member of such society. 

Being attuned to one's culture allows the individual to tap into its natural and instinctive resources. They are predisposed to convey the cultural values that constitute what can describe as a cultural strength.

Culture is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors that symbolically depict the capacity and values of group to adapt to the conditions of its environment and or thrive over the challenges of time. Therefore, each group has its own unique culture. Since there are many groups, there are many cultures.

Cultural elements include our language, cuisine, couture, and ways and means of observation, conservation, and interpretation. Culture is our human identity because it defines who we indeed are. The term "cultural diversity" expresses the variety of cultural differences, showcasing each in its unique way, and highlights cultural synergy's strengths in society. The term is also a driving force for development, not only in respect of economic growth but also as a means of enjoying a more fulfilling personal experience, whether intellectually, emotionally, morally, or spiritually. Foundation for Cultural Diversity has been collaborating with various organizations to celebrate "Cultural Diversity Day" in various ways since UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific, and Culture Organization) proclaimed every May 21 the "World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development" at the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity back in November 2001.

We surmise that cultural homogeneity is on its way to extinction and that the recognition of cultural diversity has become the new global tradition. However, cultural diversity is just the first step and incomplete without harmony or congruence between people of different cultures. Cultural harmony shows the possibility of how one culture relates to another and how a person relates to society. It also provides a vision of how people of diverse cultural backgrounds can relate to one another in the community without compromising their cultures' integrity and still live and work peacefully and desirably together within a society, a community, or a household.

"Diversity Day" provides us with an opportunity to deepen our sophisticated understanding of the principles that make us who we are. When we share our heritage and customs in a respectful, cohesive, and constructive way, we take one step closer towards a more equal and fair society.

Many Indigenous cultures were threatened with extinction. The effort to promote cultural sustainability, especially with children, provides the opportunity to learn from and preserve much of the existing and revivable world cultural values. Today, the paradigms are shifting towards a more open and inclusive society. Children are at the forefront of these changes. Art and creativity are now used to teach and entertain. The Ndebele dolls are from the Ndebele tribe in Southern Africa. One of the smallest tribes of the region, the Ndebele people, pronounced In-de-bey-lay, are noted for their extraordinarily beautifully painted homes of brilliant colors that stand out like jewels in the drab countryside. Their clothing is similarly colorful. The beadwork on these Ndebele dolls is as detailed as the clothing of the women themselves.  This program teaches kids to use the Ndebele cultural techniques to create things relevant to them. Folklore is shared or a cultural poem recited. This TV Show requires the preparation and procurement of art materials and recycled water bottles. Children are introduced to the concept of oral history, and some parts of the story could require animation.


We remember the highly intelligent, revolutionary, fearless pioneers, leaders, and Human Freedom activists who paved the way for improved humanity by making a significant difference with their craft. People like Thomas Joseph Adhiambo Mboya, Amilcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Stephen Biko, Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin, Tafawa Balewa, Walter Rodney, John Lennon, JFK, Abe Lincoln  Bruce Lee, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Mahatma Gandhi, and so many more around the world.

Assassinations carried out in Africa can be found here:





We, Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity meeting

in its Thirteenth Ordinary Session, in Port Louis, Mauritius, from 2nd to 5th July, 1976,


by the Organization of African Unity Charter,

by Resolution CM/Res.371 (XXIII) adopted by the Twenty-third Ordinary Session of the

Council of Ministers and by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the

OAU (June 1974, Mogadiscio),

by the Declaration of principles of international cultural co-operation adopted by the

General Conference of UNESCO at its fourteenth session in 1966,

by the Pan-African Cultural Manifesto of Algiers (1969), and by the Inter-governmental

Conference on cultural policies in Africa organized by UNESCO in Accra in 1975 in cooperation

with the Organization of African Unity;


that any human society is necessarily governed by rules and principles based on

traditions, languages, ways of life and thought in other words on a set of cultural values

which reflect its distinctive character and personality;


that all cultures emanate from the people, and that any African cultural policy should of

necessity enable the people to expand for increased responsibility in the development of

its cultural heritage;


that any people has the inalienable right to organize its cultural life in full harmony with

its political, economic, social, philosophical and spiritual ideas;



that all the cultures of the world are equally entitled to respect just as all individuals are

equal as regards free access to culture;


that, under colonial domination, the African countries found themselves in the same

political, economic, social and cultural situation;

that cultural domination led to the depersonalization of part of the African peoples,

falsified their history, systematically disparaged and combated African val ues, and tried

to replace progressively and officially, their languages by that of the colonizer,

that colonization has encouraged the formation of an elite which is too often alienated

from its culture and susceptible to assimilation and that a serious gap has been opened

between the said elite and the African popular masses;


that the unity of Africa is founded first and foremost on its History,

that the affirmation of cultural identity denotes a concern common to all peoples of


that African cultural diversity, the expression of a single identity, is a factor making for

equilibrium and development in the service of national integration;

that it is imperative to edify educational systems which embody the African values of

civilization, so as to ensure the rooting of youth in African culture and mobilize the social

forces in the context of permanent education;

that it is imperative to resolutely ensure the promotion of African languages, mainstay,

and media of cultural heritage in its most authentic and essentially popular form,

that it is imperative to carry out a systematic inventory of the cultural heritage, in

particular in the spheres of Traditions, History and Arts;



by a common determination to strengthen understanding among our peoples and cooperation

among our States in order to meet the aspirations of our peoples to see

brotherhood and solidarity reinforced and integrated within a greater cultural unity which

transcends ethnic and national divergencies;


that culture constitutes for our peoples the surest means of overcoming our technological

backwardness and the most efficient force of our victorious resistance to imperialist



that African culture is meaningless unless it plays a full part in the political and social

liberation struggle, and in the rehabilitation and unification efforts and that there is no

limit to the cultural development of a people;


that a common resolve provides the basis for promoting the harmonious cultural

development of our States;

AGREE to establish the Cultural Charter for Africa as set out below.



Article 1

The aims and objectives of this Charter are as follows:-

(a) to liberate the African peoples from socio-cultural conditions which impede

their development in order to recreate and maintain the sense and will for

progress, the sense and will for development;


(b) the rehabilitation, restoration, preservation and promotion of the African

cultural heritage;

(c) the assertion of the dignity of the African and of the popular foundations of

his culture;

(d) the combating and elimination of all forms of alienation and cultural

suppression and oppression everywhere in Africa, especially in countries still

under colonial and racist domination including apartheid;

(e) the encouragement of cultural co-operation among the States with a view to

the strengthening of African unity;

(f) the encouragement of international cultural co-operation for a better

understanding among peoples within which Africa will make its original and

appropriate contribution to human culture;

(g) promotion in each country of popular knowledge of science and technology;

a necessary condition for the control of nature;

(h) development of all dynamic values in the African cultural heritage and

rejection of any element which is an impediment to progress.

Article 2

In order to fulfill the objectives set out in Article 2, the African States solemnly

subscribe to the following principles:-

(a) access of all citizens to education and to culture;

(b) respect for the freedom to create and the liberation of the creative genius of

the people;

(c) respect for national authenticities and specificities in the field of culture;

(d) selective integration of science and modern technology into the cultural life

of the African peoples;

(e) exchange and dissemination of cultural experience between African

countries, in the field of cultural decolonization in all its forms.




Article 3

The African States recognize the need to take account of national identities, cultural

diversity being a factor making for balance within the nation and a source of mutual

enrichment for various communities.

Article 4

The African States recognize that African cultural diversity is the expression of the

same identity; a factor of unity and an effective weapon for genuine liberty, effective

responsibility and full sovereignty of the people.

Article 5

The assertion of national identity must not be at the cost of impoverishing or

subjecting various cultures within the State.



Chapter I – Basic principles governing a National Cultural Policy

Article 6

Each African State recognizes that it is the working people who make history and

establish the foundations and conditions for the advancement of culture. As culture has an

innovating and beneficial influence on the means of production and on man, each African

State agrees:-

(a) to work out a national cultural policy for each State. This policy should be

designed as a codification of social practices and concerted activities whose

aim is to satisfy cultural needs through the optimal utilization of all the

available material and human resources;

(b) to integrate the cultural development plan in the overall program for

economic and social development;

(c) that individual States shall be free to establish their priorities and select the

methods they consider best suited for attaining their cultural development


objectives and to that end individual States regard the following priorities and

methods as guidelines;


(a) the transcription, teaching and development of national languages with a

view to using them for the dissemination and the development of science and


(b) the recording, conservation, use and dissemination of information on oral


(c) the adaptation of educational curricula to development needs and to the

National and African Cultural and Social realities;

(d) the promotion of cultural activities, encouragement to artists and assistance to

creativity in the people;

(e) the protection of creative artists and cultural assets;

(f) the development of research and the establishment of permanent research

centres in the field of culture;

(g) research, on the basis of modern science, in the field of local African

medicine and pharmacopeia.


(a) the introduction of African Culture into all national educational systems;

(b) the introduction and intensification of the teaching in national languages in

order to accelerate the economic, social, political and cultural development in

our States;

(c) the establishment of appropriate institutions for the development,

preservation and dissemination of culture;

(d) the training of competent staff, at all levels;

(e) the concrete and effective establishment of links between the school and the

national realities as well as the life of the people, a link which should be

apparent in the school curricula and structure;


(f) the sensitization and exhortation of all citizens to ensure their willing

participation in the field of culture;

(g) the provision of a budget corresponding to the needs of culture and of

research in the humanities, natural sciences and technology;

(h) the financing of cultural programmes essentially out of national resources in

order to implement certain cultural projects;

(i) the organization of competitions offering prizes;

(j) the organizational of national and pan-African cultural festivals, in the spirit

of this Charter.

Chapter II – The Democratization of Culture


The African States recognize that the driving force of Africa is based more on

development of the collective personality than on individual advancement and profit, and

that culture cannot be considered as the privilege of an elite.

Article 8

The African States agree to undertake the following:-

(a) create conditions which will enable their peoples to participate to the full in

the development and implementation of cultural policies;

(b) defend and develop the peoples’ culture;

(c) implement a cultural policy providing for the advancement of creative artists;

(d) to, whenever necessary, abolish the caste system and rehabilitate the

functions of artist and craftsman (griots and craftsmen).


Chapter III – The Need for Active Participation by Youth in National Cultural Life

Article 9

Continuous cultural development in Africa rests with its young people. Therefore

the African States should create conditions for the active and enlightened participation of

young people in African cultural life.

Article 10

The African States shall endeavour to raise continually the cultural awareness of

young people through the introduction of African cultural values into education and

through the organization of national and Pan-African festivals, conferences, seminars and

training and refresher courses.

Article 11

The cultural policies of the various States shall ensure that young African people

also have the means of familiarizing themselves with the whole of African and other

civilizations in order to prepare them for fruitful inter-cultural relations.



Chapter V – Training

Article 12

Professional training is as important both for cultural development as for economic

and social development. Consequently, the African States should devote themselves to

creating conditions favouring large scale participation of culture by the African working

class and peasant at the actual work-sites.

Article 13

To achieve the aim laid down in the preceding Article, States should adopt a training

policy for specialists at all levels and in all fields.

Article 14

Professional training for creative artists should be improved, renewed and adapted

to modern methods, without breaking the umbilical cord linking it with the traditional


sources of African art. Hence, specialist training should be provided in national, regional

and sub-regional training centres.

Chapter V – Life-long Education

Article 15

African governments will have to pay special attention to the growing importance of

life-long education in modern societies.

Article 16

African governments should take steps to organize continuous training in a rational

way and to establish an appropriate system of education which satisfied the specific needs

of their people.



Article 17

The African States recognize the imperative need to develop African languages

which will ensure their cultural advancement and accelerate their economic and social

development and to this end will endeavour to formulate a national policy in regard to


Article 18

The African States should prepare and implement the reforms necessary for the

introduction of African languages into education. To this end each state may choose one

or more languages.

Article 19

The introduction of African languages at all levels of education should have to go

hand-in-hand with literacy work among the people at large.




Article 20

The African States should recognize that there can be no cultural policy without

corresponding policies on information and communication.

Article 21

The African States should encourage the use of the information and communication media

for their cultural development.

Article 22

(a) The African Governments should ensure the total decolonization of the mass

media and increase the production of radio and television broadcasts,

cinematographic films which reflect the political, economic and social

realities of the people in order to enable the masses to have greater access to

and participation in the cultural riches.

(b) African Governments should create publishing and distribution institutions

for books, school manuals, records and instruments of the press in Africa to

combat market speculators and make them into instruments of popular


(c) African Governments should establish joint co-operation in order to break the

monopoly of non-African countries in this field.



Chapter VI – Assistance to Artistic Creation

Article 23

African states should be active in promoting national cultural development through

a policy of effective assistance both as regards collective methods of creation and in favour

of individual artists.

Such assistance may take various forms:


(a) Organization of competitions offering prizes and mobile exhibitions of works

of art and artistic visits;

(b) Fiscal assistance through a policy in which African cultural assets are

exempted wholly or partly from tax;

(c) Supporting artists, writers and research workers by providing financial

assistance and scholarships for training or refresher courses;

(d) The creation of National Fund for the promotion of culture and the Arts.

Chapter VII – The Protection of African Works

Article 24

African States should prepare inter-African convention on copyright so as to

guarantee the protection of African Works. They should also intensify their efforts to

modify existing international conventions to meet African interests.

Article 25

African governments should enact national and inter-African laws and regulations

guaranteeing the protection of copyright, set up national copyright offices and encourage

the establishment of authors’ associations responsible for protecting the moral and material

interests of those who produce work that gives s piritual and mental pleasure.

Chapter VII – Protection of the African Cultural Heritage

Article 26

The African cultural heritage must be protected on the legal and practical planes in

the manner laid down in the international instruments in force and in conformity with the

best standards applicable in this field.

Article 27

The African governments should have to adopt national laws and inter-African

regulations governing the protection of cultural property in times of peace and in the event

of war.


Article 28

The African States should take steps to put an end to the despoliation of African

cultural property and ensure that cultural assets, in particular archives works of art and

archeological objects, which have been removed from Africa, are returned there. To this

end they should, in particular, support the efforts exerted by UNESCO and take all other

necessary steps to ensure the implementation of the United Nations General Assembly

resolution on the restitution of works of art removed from their country of origin.

Article 29

The African States should take steps to ensure that the archives which have been

removed from Africa are returned to African governments in order that they may have

complete archives concerning the history of their country.



Article 30

The African States acknowledge that it is vital to establish inter-African cultural cooperation

as a contribution to the mutual understanding of national cultures and enrichment

of African cultures, thus to take the form of a two -way exchange, firstly, among all the

countries on the continent and, secondly, between Africa and the rest of the world through

specialized institutions like UNESCO.

Article 31

To achieve the aims set out in the previous Article, the African States agree:

(a) to consolidate their co-operation by way of joint cultural activities and

periodical discussions of major issues;

(b) to develop the exchange of information, documentation and cultural material


- strengthening the Association of African Universities;

- university and specialist exchange, in order that scientific cultural

studies can develop in the research institutes;

- exchange and meetings between young people;


- the organization of joint cultural events such as festivals, symposia,

sports and art exhibitions;

- establishment of cultural research centres on national, regional and

pan-African level;

- creation of an Inter-African Fund for the support and promotion of

cultural studies and programmes.

(c) to endeavour to ensure that African cultural values are deployed to maximum

effect in order to illustrate that all African States are members of one and the

same community;

(d) creation of Regional Specialized Institutions for the training of specialized

cultural cadres.

Article 32

The African Cultural Council should function in close co-operation and consultation

with the OAU Commission on Education, Science, Health and Culture in the field of

cultural policies.



Article 33

Signature and Ratification

(a) This Charter shall be open for signature to all Member States of the

Organization of African Unity and shall be ratified by the signatory States in

accordance with their respective constitutional processes.

(b) The original instrument, done if possible in African languages and in English

and French, all texts being equally authentic, shall be deposited with the

Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity which shall transmit

copies thereof to all OAU Member States.

(c) Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the OAU General

Secretariat which shall notify all signatories of such deposit.


Article 34

Entry into force

This Charter shall come into force immediately upon receipt by the OAU General

Secretariat of the instruments of ratification and adhesion from two -thirds of the total

membership of the OAU.

Article 35

Registration of the Charter

This Charter shall, after due ratification, be registered with the Secretariat of the

United Nations through the OAU General Secretariat in conformity with Article 102 of the

Charter of the United Nations.

Article 36

Interpretation of the Charter

Any question which may arise concerning the interpretation of this Charter shall be

resolved by decision of Assembly of Heads of State and Governme nt of the OAU.

Article 37

Adhesion and Accession

(a) Any OAU Member State may at any time notify the General Secretariat of

the OAU of its intention to adhere or accede to this Charter.

(b) The General Secretariat shall, on receipt of such notification, communicate a

copy of it to all the Member States. Adhesion and accession shall take effect

fourteen days after communication of the applicant’s notice, to all Member

States by the General Secretariat of the OAU.

Royal Institute of Global African Culture Welcome to Osu Mantse palace 

African Views technical, scientific, and cultural research, analysis, reports, and public engagement on Cultural Sustainability

GREEN AFRICA: Challenges and Benefits of Youths in Mining Ar Many countries in Africa are experiencing tremendous human migration both internally and across international boundaries. Rural-urban migration has assumed uncontrollable dimensions in the sub-region and the social consequences have become major development challenge. Mining communities in general have been at the receiving end for some time now. Our next discussion focuses on challenges and benefit of youth in Mining areas in Africa. We will be exploring the tremendous socioeconomic changes, especially demographic patterns as a result of the inflows of migrants into Townships and its catchment area in search of non existing jobs especially in mining. A major outcome is the serious unemployment problem in the township with all the attendant social vices, such as limited job openings, fewer income generating opportunities, high crime rate, prostitution and widespread illegal mining activities, with their attendant problems. This episode of Green Africa explores options that are feasible for a typical mining setting especially for the youth who are very vulnerable and susceptible to crime and other social vices. Job creation, through the development and implementation of sustainable programmes aimed at training the youth to acquire the necessary employable skills is one of the options considered by the municipal managers and their partners. The study also looks at broader policy implications for the African Union. Host: Ernest K. Opong Quality control: William A. Verdone Contributor: Wasiu Alade Contributor: Emekop Ebuk Contributor: Emanuel Marfo Producer and Director: Wale Idris Ajibade
Drought in Africa Right now, in East Africa, an estimated 12 million people are suffering from malnutrition and a lack of food, affecting 35 to 40 percent of children under age 5. As East Africa faces its worst drought in 60 years, high food prices and failed crops have left millions of people at risk. The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said. "Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950-51 in many pastoral zones," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a media briefing. "There is no likelihood of improvement [in the situation] until 2012," she said. A severe drought is causing increasing hunger across the Eastern Sahel in West Africa, affecting 10 million people in four countries, aid agencies warned today. In Niger, the worst-affected country, 7.1 million are hungry, with nearly half considered highly food insecure because of the loss of livestock and crops coupled with a surge in prices. In Chad, 2 million require food aid. The eastern parts of Mali and northern Cameroon have also been badly affected by the failed rains, says the UN World Food Program, which described the situation as critical. The Sahel, a largely arid belt of land that stretches across Senegal to Sudan and separates the Sahara desert in the north from the savannah regions further south, is one of the poorest regions in the world.
GREEN AFRICA: Soil erosion, contamination and salinization What is left of the 75 percent of the earth's surface made up of water is land. And land comprises rock and soil. Soil or what is left of the rocky part of land is what sustains life in the world. The ecosystem of the earth depends on soil and the bulk of the world's food sourced from plants is produced from soil. Animal-based food sources, cattle, poultry, etc. also depend on soil for their sustenance. Cattle and other livestock depend on grazing for food, and poultry depend mostly on plant-based food too. Soil erosion, contamination and salinization happen to hamper the continued fertility of arable land or food producing land for the world's ten billion people. Soil erosion like contamination and salinization is mostly the resultant effects of human abuse of land. Contamination and salinization occur with the introduction of material that may be toxic or destructive of the fertility of land. Activity such as oil drilling and mining is some of the principal culprits in contamination and salinization. But several other factors including poor disposal management of certain material, such as used gas and diesel oil, plastics and industrial water material constitute the bulk of urban soil contamination and salinization. Contaminants such as plastics may not dissolve easily in the soil and therefore make soil conservation difficult to achieve. However, conservation is the only means that assures the rejuvenation of the ecosystem, re-fertilizes the land and makes land most productive for human existence. What efforts are being made on the grown to prevent soil erosion, contamination and salinization in Africa? Host: Ernest K. Opong Producer and Director: Wale Idris Ajibade Quality control: William A. Verdone Contributor: Wasiu Alade Contributor: Emekop Ebuk
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA In certain parts of Africa, famine has become endemic. Currently, the East African countries of Somalia and Ethiopia are experiencing a spell of famine owing to poor agricultural production arising out of drought. One of the causes of famine and poor food production is the paucity of sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is the farming practice that considers the relationships between the organisms in the land and their environment. It has also been described as: "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term: Satisfy human food and fiber needs Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls Sustain the economic viability of farm operations Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.? Practices that ensure the continuous replenishment of the fertility of the land are observed. Without replenishment land loses its nourishment and the shifting cultivation practice in most of Africa does not do much to ensure the sustainable agriculture. Obviously, much has to be done by farmers in Africa to ensure sustainable food production on the continent. Farmers must be ready to learn new methods of planting and raising animals for food. They must be educated to recycle for the continued nourishment of the patch of land they work and they must be made to understand that past practices would only serve to weaken the land and reduce produce.
GREEN AFRICA: Water and Sanitation in Africa part II Water and sanitation are fundamental to health and development, especially in densely packed urban areas, where outbreaks of diseases such as cholera can quickly turn into epidemics. Clean water and sanitation have proved time and time again to be a critical factor in health and economic development. At present diarrheal diseases caused by a lack of safe water and sanitation is the biggest killer of children under five in Africa, claiming more children's lives than HIV/Aids, malaria and measles combined. In South Asia it is the second biggest killer. Current investment into water and sanitation in the slums is inadequate and is failing to reach the poorest and most vulnerable people. What are the current efforts and investments agenda in various countries in Africa set to tackle the need for safe water and sanitation? What efforts are in place from activists and organizations to encourage participation in the design and implementation of these plans at the community level? ABOUT GREEN AFRICA Green Africa is a weekly environmental discussion on AV radio, created to help mobilize a fresh understanding of Africa's responsibilities in the universal ecosystem and generate consensus for right action. Topics are centered around sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through advocacies on changes in public policies and individual behavior in recognition of humanity, ecosystems, ecology, health, and human rights. Host: Ernest K. Opong Producer and Director: Wale Idris Ajibade Quality control: William A. Verdone
GREEN AFRICA: Degradation and Fragmentation ABOUT THIS WEEK'S EPISODE :Degradation is ?the temporary or permanent deterioration in the density or structure of vegetation cover or species composition, resulting from the removal of plants and trees important in the life cycle of other species, from erosion, and from other adverse changes in the local environment.? Fragmentation ?arises from road construction and similar human intrusions in forest areas; it leaves forest edges vulnerable to increased degradation through changes in micro-climates, loss of native species and the invasion of alien species, and further disturbances by human beings.? Degradation and fragmentation makes up much larger area than does deforestation. They also have a greater impact on the diversity of animals and plant life. ABOUT GREEN AFRICA One of Africa's biggest challenges is the need to develop environmentally sustainable ways of living for its people. Green Africa is a weekly environmental discussion on AV radio, created to help mobilize a fresh understanding of Africa's responsibilities in the universal ecosystem and generate consensus for right action. The program is organized and represented by a wide range of grassroots organizations and experts on a diverse scientific, social, and economics of green politics and environmental issues. Topics are centered around sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through advocacies on changes in public policies and individual behavior in recognition of humanity, ecosystems, ecology, health, and human rights. The show is brought to you by Center for Media and Peace Innitiatives (CMPI), Amandla News, Beyond Oil, and African Views (AV). Host: Ernest K. Opong Host: Dan Miner Producer: Wale Idris Ajibade Quality control: William A. Verdone
Water shortages in dry seasons Water is one of several current and future critical issues facing Africa. Water supplies from rivers, lakes and rainfall are characterized by their unequal natural geographical distribution and accessibility, and unsustainable water use. Climate change has the potential to impose additional pressures on water availability and accessibility. Very dry conditions were experienced from the 1970s to the 1990s, after a wetter period in the 1950s and 1960s. The rainfall deficit was mainly related to a reduction in the number of significant rainfall events occurring during the peak monsoon period (July to September) and during the first rainy season south of about 9°N. The decreasing rainfall and devastating droughts in the Sahel region during the last three decades of the 20th century are among the largest climate changes anywhere. Sahel rainfall reached a minimum after the 1982/83 El Niño event. Modeling studies suggest that Sahel rainfall has been influenced more by large-scale climate variations (Possibly linked to changes in anthropogenic aerosols), than by local land-use change. Currently dry conditions experienced in Eastern Africa, Somalia and Kenya in particular have engendered acute water shortage resulting in famine. This episode will examine the problem of water shortages in a continent which possesses more water bodies than anywhere else, but which also often endures extreme environmental hardships owing to long spells of dry season and poor rainfall.