Globally, political leaders are lauding the acceptance of the global and legally binding Paris Agreement on Climate Change at COP 21 as a historical moment. It achieves a goal long believed unattainable. However, judged against the enormity of the challenge and the needs and pressure from people on the ground demanding a global deal anchored in climate justice (“system change, not climate change!”), the Paris Agreement can only be called a collective failure and disappointment. Read a critical assessment by HBS colleagues from around the world.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed upon in September 2015. The goals, 17 in total, aim to complete what the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) didn’t achieve as well as address the root causes of poverty and inequality.
As the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations suffer huge losses from climate change, the entities most responsible for the problem - the so-called "Big Polluters" - continue to reap billions in profits. This has to change.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a vice that has affected Kenya for decades. Despite several interventions by the government and NGOs, FGM continues to persist in certain communities in the country. National statistics indicate that the FGM prevalence rate stands at 27%.
Global discussions on Africa have lately changed from references to a dark continent to “the next frontier for growth and expansion.” What has led to this “Africa Rising” narrative? Is it true? Are we prepared for it? Who will benefit? One need only see the ongoing scramble for Africa between the West and China and other emerging economies to realise what is at play. In the midst of this, a lot of strategic imperatives can be overlooked to the detriment of African countries which may end up being mere pawns.
Authored by Nanjala Nyabola - Heinrich Boell Foundation
On 24th August 2015, under the hum of security helicopters, Kenyan cartoonists and their fans came together to examine the legacy of the Obama presidency in relation to Kenya. The US President was in Nairobi for a three day official visit as part of the official programme of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Although Obama has always been adored in Kenya, the relationship has definitely soured since his 2008 election after which it became apparent that Kenya would get no preferential treatment from the US because of the Obama connection.
The potential of Africa’s growing youth population fuels the narrative of a continent on the rise. In Kenya, however, young people have been largely marginalised in governance as well as in development. Unless this is addressed, they are likely to be a threat to peace, a hindrance to development and an obstacle to building a strong democracy.
For many rural Kenyans, it’s too expensive for households to pay to be connected to the national electricity grid. Some communities, who live near the right kinds of rivers are opting for a cheaper, more sustainable option: small scale hydro plants, to power lights, charge mobile phones, and pick up on the airwaves. South Africa-based science writer Leonie Joubert takes a closer look at a thriving model for community development.