WBEZ | Africa http://www.wbez.org/tags/africa Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Subsistence farmers across Africa could face severe drought http://www.wbez.org/news/subsistence-farmers-across-africa-could-face-severe-drought-113227 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Workers%20excavate%20earth%20at%20a%20residential%20area%20in%20southern%20Nairobi.jpg" style="height: 350px; width: 600px;" title="Workers excavate earth at a residential area in southern Nairobi on October 6, 2015, to create larger drainage channels. Heavy floods and drought expected around East Africa, sparked by the El Nino weather phenomenon in coming weeks, could put thousands of lives at risk, the United Nations warned. (Tony Karumba/AFP/GETTY IMAGES" /></div><p><a href="http://www.oxfamamerica.org/press/super-el-ni%C3%B1o-and-climate-change-putting-millions-at-risk-of-hunger/" target="_blank">Oxfam</a>&nbsp;is warning that this year&#39;s strong El Nino could bring drought to parts of Africa that are already struggling with food shortages. The international humanitarian group says some 10 million people worldwide could face food shortages if El Nino brings fierce rains to some areas and drought to others.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_926907778814.jpg" style="height: 223px; width: 500px;" title="These false-color images provided by NASA satellites compare warm Pacific Ocean water temperatures from the strong El Nino that brought North America large amounts of rainfall in 1997, left, and the current El Nino as of Aug. 5, 2015, right. Warmer ocean water that normally stays in the western Pacific, shown as lighter orange, red and white areas, moves east along the equator toward the Americas. Forecasters say this El Nino is already the second strongest on record for this time of year and could be one of the most potent weather changers in 65 years. (NASA via AP)" /></div><p>This could cause problems for subsistence farmers in Africa.</p><p>&quot;They essentially rely on steady rainfall and predictable rainfall patterns to determine when they plant their crops&nbsp;when they harvest,&quot; said Heather Coleman, the climate change manager for Oxfam America.</p><p>And those food margins are very slim. Small farmers in Africa and elsewhere are dependent on regular precipitation patterns, and they frequently eat only what they grow.</p><p>&quot;If they don&#39;t grow enough to feed their families, then they plunge into this hunger season which is this profound period of deprivation,&quot; said Roger Thurow, a senior fellow on Global Agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. &quot;Their number of meals shrink from three a day to two to one to none on some days.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/world/africa-could-face-severe-drought-due-el-nino" target="_blank"><em>via Marketplace</em></a></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/subsistence-farmers-across-africa-could-face-severe-drought-113227 Global Activism: Therapeutic art for African children http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-therapeutic-art-african-children-111662 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/548912_161587657298988_454226701_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Angela Lyonsmith is an artist and art therapist. She works for the Therapeutic Arts Program (TAP), an initiative of Global Alliance for Africa, because she wants to give aid and comfort to children in Kenya and Tanzania who were left orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Angela&rsquo;s passion also led her to open &lsquo;Gather&rsquo;, a community art studio and playspace in Evanston. For Global Activism, we&rsquo;ll ask Angela about how her work has inspired family and friends to work for the benefit of people suffering around the globe.</p></p> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-therapeutic-art-african-children-111662 Where could Ebola strike next? Scientists hunt virus in Asia http://www.wbez.org/news/science/where-could-ebola-strike-next-scientists-hunt-virus-asia-111324 <p><p>A few years ago, disease ecologist David Hayman made the discovery of a lifetime.</p><p>He was a graduate student at the University of Cambridge. But he spent a lot of that time hiking through the rain forest of Ghana, catching hundreds of fruit bats.</p><p>&quot;We would set large nets, up in the tree canopies,&quot; he says. &quot;And then early morning, when the bats are looking for fruit to feed on, we&#39;d captured them.&quot;</p><p>Hayman didn&#39;t want to hurt the bats. He just wanted a few drops of their blood.</p><p>Bats carry a&nbsp;huge number of viruses in their blood. When Hayman took the blood samples back to the lab, he found a foreboding sign: a high level of antibodies against Ebola Zaire.</p><blockquote><p><em>Inside the virus hunter&#39;s lab: Kevin Olival and Mindy Rostal, with EcoHealth Alliance, careful take blood, saliva and fecal samples from Rousettus fruit bats in Costa Rico.</em></p></blockquote><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="338" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/templates/event/embeddedVideo.php?storyId=371994171&amp;mediaId=372736011" width="600"></iframe></p><p>Right away, Hayman was concerned.</p><p>Ebola Zaire is the deadliest of the five Ebola species, and it has caused the most outbreaks. The antibodies in the bat&#39;s blood meant the animals had once been infected with Ebola Zaire or something related to it.</p><p>Hayman knew West Africa was at risk for an Ebola outbreak. He and his colleagues even&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3376795/">published</a>&nbsp;the findings in the free journal&nbsp;<em>Emerging Infectious Diseases,</em>&quot;<em>s</em>o that anyone in the world could go and read them,&quot; Hayman says.</p><p>He thought health officials would also be worried. &quot;We were all prepared for some sort of response, for questions,&quot; Hayman says. &quot;But I have to say, not many came. ... Nothing happened.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/29global-popup_wide-09dc8e233bbbbec0eec2b3dcf620ab5a0e0a08dd-s1200.jpg" style="height: 180px; width: 320px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" title="Ecologists found signs of Ebola in a Rousettus leschenaultii fruit bat. These bats are widespread across south Asia, from India to China. Kevin Olival/EcoHealth Alliance" />That was two years ago. Now, with more than 20,000 Ebola cases&nbsp;<a href="http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/situation-reports/en/">reported</a>&nbsp;in West Africa, health officials are definitely listening to Hayman.</p><p>Scientists think&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/08/19/341468027/ebola-in-the-skies-how-the-virus-made-it-to-west-africa">bats likely triggered</a>&nbsp;the entire Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Just as Hayman predicted. &quot;It&#39;s not a good way to proven right,&quot; he says.</p><p>So now the big question is: Where else in the world is Ebola hiding out in bats? Where could the next big outbreak occur?</p><p>To find out, I called ecologist&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ecohealthalliance.org/about/experts/20-olival">Kevin Olival</a>&nbsp;at EcoHealth Alliance in New York City. Olival hunts down another virus in bats, called Nipah. In humans, it causes inflammation in the brain and comas. &quot;It&#39;s the virus the movie&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCAQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imdb.com%2Ftitle%2Ftt1598778%2F&amp;ei=tOqZVLOSNfjbsATNj4L4DA&amp;usg=AFQjCNFE_RJFVRroyLgwml_lZbnAGwKegw&amp;sig2=Iq1zBWCArqBq_v3-_J1M0g&amp;bvm=bv.82001339,d.cWc">Contagion</a>&nbsp;is based on,&quot; Olival says.</p><p>Nipah has outbreaks every few years in Bangladesh. So Olival went there back in&nbsp;2010 and captured a bunch of bats. Many had signs of Nipah in their blood. Others had something surprising: &quot;There&#39;s antibodies to something related to Ebola Zaire.&quot;</p><p>Before this discovery, scientists thought Ebola Zaire was found only in Africa. &quot;If you think about geographic space,&quot; Olival says, &quot;it was a big shock to find evidence for this virus in a very faraway place in south Asia.&quot;</p><p>Olival and his colleagues&nbsp;<a href="http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/19/2/pdfs/12-0524.pdf">published</a>&nbsp;these findings in February 2013. Then, a few months later, a team&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492202/#__ffn_sectitle">reported</a>evidence for the virus in China.</p><p>The bats with these antibodies have a broad range across south Asia, Olival says. &quot;These species are found all the way down into parts of Indonesia.&quot;</p><p>The data suggest that Ebola Zaire is far more widespread around the world than previously thought.</p><p>So does that mean Ebola could have outbreaks in Bangladesh, China or Indonesia?</p><p>&quot;Well, that&#39;s a tricky one,&quot; Olival says. &quot;I think if you have the right combination of potential events, and sort of the perfect storm brews, then, yeah, it&#39;s possible.&quot;</p><p>Now, there&#39;s no sign bats have infected people in Asia with Ebola Zaire. And antibody tests can&#39;t say whether the virus in the bats was specifically Ebola Zaire or something related.</p><p>But Olival isn&#39;t waiting to find out. Both he and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/learning/colleges/college-of-sciences/about/veterinary-and-animal-sciences/staff-list.cfm?stref=021350">David Hayman</a>, who&#39;s now at Massey University in New Zealand, are working on ways to predict when and where Ebola and other deadly viruses will cause outbreaks.</p><p>In particular, Olival is working with USAID to build an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ecohealthalliance.org/programs/28-predict_program">early warning system</a>&nbsp;for dangerous viruses. The system could alert communities when the risk of an outbreak is high. People could be more careful while hunting bats or avoid their guano.</p><p>&quot;The ultimate goal is to move toward prediction,&quot; Olival says. &quot;Again and again, we&#39;re hearing with the current massive Ebola outbreak that if it was detected earlier it would have been better contained.&quot;</p><p>Because both ecologists agree: It&#39;s not a question of whether a virus in the Ebola family will cause an outbreak outside of Africa, but a matter of when and where.</p><p>- <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/01/02/371994171/where-could-ebola-strike-next-scientists-virus-hunt-in-asia"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 02 Jan 2015 08:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/where-could-ebola-strike-next-scientists-hunt-virus-asia-111324 Political unrest in Burkina Faso http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-03/political-unrest-burkina-faso-111046 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP27374661912.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After a 27-year rule, Burkina Faso&#39;s president sought to extend his term through a constitutional change. The resulting protests in the country forced Blaise Compaore to step down. We&#39;ll discuss the state of democracy in Africa with Richard Joseph, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-political-unrest-in-burkina-faso/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-political-unrest-in-burkina-faso.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-political-unrest-in-burkina-faso" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Political unrest in Burkina Faso" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 10:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-03/political-unrest-burkina-faso-111046 Financial burden of Ebola falls to African diaspora http://www.wbez.org/news/financial-burden-ebola-falls-african-diaspora-111031 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Ebola shipping.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Members of Chicago&rsquo;s West African diaspora say they are struggling under the pressure of supporting large extended families in Ebola-stricken countries, where the public health crisis has taken a <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/10/08/ebola-new-world-bank-group-study-forecasts-billions-in-economic-loss-if-epidemic-lasts-longer-spreads-in-west-africa">serious economic toll</a>. Some have turned to neighbors, government assistance programs and faith organizations for help -- not just to send back to their motherland, but to sustain their families in the U.S. during this period.</p><p>&ldquo;You know, to take care of five persons in America, at the same time to take care of more than 25 persons (in Africa), it&rsquo;s not easy,&rdquo; said David Young, &ldquo;and on a low income, it&rsquo;s terrible.&rdquo;</p><p>Young, a Liberian who came to the U.S. two years ago and was recently joined by his wife and three children, worries that his family might perish -- of starvation -- in Chicago&rsquo;s Chatham neighborhood on the South Side. The family receives free housing from the Chatham Fields Evangelical Lutheran Church, where Young is Music Director. Young says his take-home pay, about $1000 a month, is already low for a family that size. But lately, they&rsquo;ve had to make do with less, as he&rsquo;s been wiring about $600 montly back to his family in Liberia.</p><p>&ldquo;Because there&rsquo;s no work now in Liberia -- everything is shut down economically,&rdquo; Young explained, &ldquo;So, they tell me that they are not working.&rdquo;</p><p>The <a href="http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2014/09/17/000470435_20140917071539/Rendered/PDF/907480REVISED.pdf">World Bank </a>and <a href="http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/ena/wfp268458.pdf">other international aid groups</a> confirm those reports. People in Ebola-stricken countries, afraid of catching the often-fatal virus, are staying home to avoid human-to-human interaction. This has left many households without income.</p><p>&ldquo;I am telling you that almost everyday they make a call,&rdquo; Young said about his family in Liberia. &ldquo;They have to call and tell us no food, no this one, no this, no that. They are not working. There&rsquo;s no jobs.&rdquo;</p><p>The amount that Young feels obligated to wire abroad has left him desperate for help feeding his family here. Trying to get help, Young said he has attempted twice to qualify for food stamps in Illinois. He was denied because he&rsquo;s lived in the U.S. fewer than five years. Because of the nature of his work visa in the U.S., an R-1 temporary visa for religious workers, Young also faces restrictions on what type of additional work he may seek to augment his income.</p><p>Still, Young feels compelled to continue to reach into his household&rsquo;s meager resources to scrounge whatever they can for his network in Liberia. In a front room of his house, a large blue barrel sits, half-full with items like hand sanitizer, soap, toothpaste, disinfectants, shampoo, and rice. All are items one can find in Liberia, but Young says his sons there tell him that pantry staples and basic household cleaning products have shot up in price since the outbreak began.</p><p>&ldquo;If you ask for a bottle of Clorox right now, it&rsquo;s very expensive,&rdquo; said Young.</p><p>Just across the street from Young&rsquo;s house, at the Chatham Fields Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pastor Kenety Gee helps lead a congregation with many Liberians. He said the financial toll of supporting family back home has hit them all.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really hard to look at the pictures, look at the stories, and ignore your family members,&rdquo; Gee said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really, really hard, so you got to stretch yourself.&rdquo;</p><p>Gee said he&rsquo;s no exception: one of his sisters in Liberia has a successful wholesale business, and never required Gee&rsquo;s support. But with Liberia&rsquo;s economy on hold, things have changed.</p><p>&ldquo;I send them $300 every week. That&rsquo;s $1200 a month,&rdquo; said Gee. &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s the kind of strain that is put on us here in the U.S.&rdquo;</p><p>The World Bank hasn&rsquo;t yet analyzed recent remittances to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Wiring services Western Union and Moneygram weren&rsquo;t able to share data. But people from all three communities share similar stories: that they&rsquo;re constantly transferring money, and that many have shifted away from shipping goods.</p><p>Artemus Gaye used to collect goods monthly to ship to Liberia. But his last 40-foot long container was sent in March. Since then, the business has dried up.</p><p>&ldquo;Who will you send it to now everyone has been quarantined, people are not moving around,&rdquo; said Gaye. &ldquo;The markets are very empty.&rdquo;</p><p>Today, Gaye&rsquo;s collecting protective medical gear and hospital supplies, which he hopes to ship in November. This isn&rsquo;t the usual stuff for this time of year. Normally, Gaye would be shipping Christmas presents. Still, he&rsquo;s optimistic that the market will be back to normal by the holiday</p><p>Gaye&rsquo;s encouraged by recent reports that Ebola is leveling off in Liberia.</p><p>&ldquo;We might be having a good Christmas season,&rdquo; said Gaye. &ldquo;You know, it&rsquo;ll be reflective, but at least people will be out there to do what they do best - interact with each other.&rdquo;</p><p>Many hope their family members in Africa will also be able to return, safely, to work. That could help ease finances for the diaspora in Chicago to celebrate the holidays, too.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/financial-burden-ebola-falls-african-diaspora-111031 Scotland votes on independence http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-18/scotland-votes-independence-110815 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP922716014104.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today Scots will decide whether or not to be independent from Britain. With more than 95% of eligible voters registered to vote, it is expected to be a close call. We&#39;ll discuss what this could mean for Scotland, with Scottish-Chicagoan Euan Hague.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-scotland-decides-on-independence/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-scotland-decides-on-independence.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-scotland-decides-on-independence" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Scotland votes on independence" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-18/scotland-votes-independence-110815 Russian troops in Ukraine http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-29/russian-troops-ukraine-110728 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP560589181576.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>NATO has accused Russia of illegally sending its troops into Ukraine. NATO says it has proof that Russian troops are fighting alongside Ukrainian separatists. We&#39;ll discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with Andrew Weiss. Weiss served as a Russia and Ukraine expert in the Clinton White House.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-invades-ukraine/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-invades-ukraine.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-invades-ukraine" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Russian troops in Ukraine" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-29/russian-troops-ukraine-110728 China's African empire http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-02/chinas-african-empire-110265 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/China photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There are about one million Chinese citizens living in Africa at the moment. They are a major force of development on the continent. Author Howard French tells us how China is changing Africa.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-china-s-african-empire/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-china-s-african-empire.js?header=none&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-china-s-african-empire" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: China's African empire" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 11:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-02/chinas-african-empire-110265 Obama in Africa, White House Down and Sudan's Lost Boys take the stage http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-06-28/obama-africa-white-house-down-and-sudans-lost-boys-take-stage-107895 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP612028614400.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We discuss what President Obama&#39;s trip to Africa could mean for US relations with the continent. Then, Milos Stehlik offers a glimpse of new action thriller &quot;White House Down.&quot; Plus, we explore weekend events with an international theme.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F98870967&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-obama-in-africa-white-house-down-and-sud.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-obama-in-africa-white-house-down-and-sud" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Obama in Africa, White House Down and Sudan's Lost Boys take the stage" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 10:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-06-28/obama-africa-white-house-down-and-sudans-lost-boys-take-stage-107895 The Flavor of Africa http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/flavor-africa-107030 <p><p><strong>Wilbert Jones</strong> takes you on a culinary journey throughout the earth&#39;s second largest mass of land, Africa. This enormous continent contains 55 countries, where more than 1,500 languages are spoken. Jones will share his knowledge about the ancient Egyptian&#39;s daily diet, national dishes from several countries, traditional use of some unique ingredients as well as cooking techniques, and current food and beverage trends emerging out of Africa. He will also address the lack of African culinary presence in America and offers some solutions to increase visibility.</p><div>Wilbert Jones is the president of Chicago-based The Wilbert Jones Company, a 20 year old food/beverage product development and marketing company. He has written several African cuisine articles for both, food trade and consumer magazines. Jones is currently working on hosting a cable-television series, titled: &quot;<em>A Taste of Africa.</em>&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CHC-webstory_42.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp;</div></div><p><br /><br />Recorded live Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Kendall College.</p></p> Sat, 23 Mar 2013 12:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/flavor-africa-107030