African Challenges In 2002, the United Nations Environment Programme ( UNEP ) identified the many challenges facing Africa.
Stress, scarcity and degradation The increasing numbers of African countries facing water stress and scarcity, and land degradation, are major environmental issues in the region.
T he Poorest Nation s Nation Per Capita 1. Afghanistan $125 2. Sierra Leone $510 3. Ethiopia $600 4. Somalia $600 5. Congo $600 6. Eritrea $710 7. Tanzania $710 8. Burundi $720 9. Rwanda $900 10. Malawi $900 11. Mozambique $1,000 12. Djibouti $1,300 $6,538 1929 $15,931 1967 $25,989 1996 $44,000 2006 ½ of the world’s population have yet to make their first phone call. The World's Have-nots Of the 6.5 billion people on our planet; 5 billion are in the Third World . Over ½ the people of Sub-Sahara Africa live on less than $2 a day . US GDP Per Ca pita [in 1992 dolla rs]
The rising costs of water treatment, food imports, medical treatment and soil conservation methods are not only having a negative impact on Africa’s peoples but are also draining African countries of their economic resources.
The darkest jungles of Africa that are so steeped in myth, legend and tales, have untold stories and Scientific revelations only beginning to unfold.
Congo Basin In terms of their importance and value to the world, to man himself, the jungles of the Congo Basin should never be underestimated. Since 1970 the world rhino population has declined by 90 percent, with five species remaining in the world today, all of which are endangered.
Increase in Tropical Deforestation Around the World
The African continent is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of factors such as widespread poverty, recurrent droughts, inequitable land distribution, and overdependence on rain-fed agriculture.
Landsat image of sand dunes advancing on Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. The primary reasons for desertification are overgrazing, over-cultivation, increased fire frequency, water impoundment, deforestation, overdrafting of groundwater, increased soil salinity, and global climate change.
<ul><li>This process is currently affecting the Sahel, a dry grassland that runs along the southern edge of the Sahara. </li></ul>
Reconciliation A huge sculpture made out of weapons has been unveiled at the British Museum in London. The Tree of Life was created with dismantled pistols, AK-47s and grenade launchers from Mozambique. The arms were decommissioned by former child soldiers in the country and exchanged for building materials, bicycles and sewing machines. "The sculptures are a wonderful symbol of reconciliation after conflict."
Impoverished In its four decades of independence, the Republic has found peace but not prosperity. Zambia is today one of the poorest and least developed nations on earth, and has a crippling national debt. Around two-thirds of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.
African health issues Nearly 90 million Africans could be infected by HIV in the next 20 years if more is not done to combat the epidemic, the UN has warned. "Millions of new infections can be prevented if Africa and the rest of the world decide to tackle Aids as an exceptional crisis that has the potential to devastate entire societies and economies," said UNAids chief Peter Piot.
Health Care <ul><li>Making advances in health care </li></ul><ul><li>Famine, poor nutrition contribute to infant mortality </li></ul><ul><li>Impure water – 1/3 of rural Africans have clean water </li></ul><ul><li>¼ of rural Africans live where there is adequate sanitation </li></ul><ul><li>Malaria is widespread – carried by mosquitos </li></ul>
<ul><li>HIV/AIDS at epidemic proportions in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>A child is more likely to die in Zimbabwe of AIDS than anything else </li></ul><ul><li>Treatments and medication is too expensive for most Africans and governments </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially disastrous for populations of some countries </li></ul>
AIDS cuts African life expectancies Zimbabwe: from 65 to 39 years Bostwana: 62 to 40 Burkina Faso: 55 to 46 Burundi: 55 to 46 Cameroon: 59 to 51 Central African Republic: 56 to 49 Republic of Congo: 57 to 47 Congo: 54 to 49 Ethiopia: 51 to 41 Ivory Coast: 57 to 46 Kenya: 66 to 48 Lesotho: 62 to 54 Malawi: 51 to 37 Namibia: 65 to 42 Nigeria: 58 to 54 Rwanda: 54 to 42 South Africa: 65 to 56 Swaziland: 58 to 39 Tanzania: 55 to 46 Uganda: 54 to 43 Zambia: 56 to 37 Source: U.S. Census Bureau
HIV/AIDS orphans The HIV/AIDS epidemic is ravaging Zambia. Nearly 1 million Zambians are HIV positive or have AIDS. An estimated 100,000 died of the epidemic in 2004. Over a half-million Zambian children have been orphaned. Life expectancy at birth is just under 40.
HIV infects Swaziland For the first time Swaziland admits that it has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world, with almost 40% of adults infected with HIV. Prime Minister Themba Dlamini has declared a humanitarian crisis due to the combined effect of drought and land degradation, increasing poverty and HIV/AIDS.