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From Pollution to Solution in Six African Cities

November 23, 2023

Air pollution is Africa's silent killer. Each year, air pollution kills more Africans than HIV / AIDS and malaria combined. In addition to the 1 million Africans who die from diseases caused by indoor and outdoor sources of air pollution annually, millions more have to live with its devastating consequences. This problem is worse in cities, where highly polluting activities stunt the health of both their residents and economies. Analysis undertaken for the Clean Air Fund by Dalberg Advisors finds that left unchecked, air pollution will collectively cost Accra, Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Yaoundé an estimated US$138bn in premature deaths and worker absenteeism by 2040, equivalent to 8% of their current combined GDPs.The continent's rapid urban growth should not come at the expense of the health of its citizens. African cities can choose to put themselves on the path of green growth, in which investments to tackle the major sources of air pollution bring about benefits to worker productivity, national health budgets and help create healthy, equitable and prosperous places to live. African governments are increasingly aware of this challenge. The Africa Integrated Assessment outlines the steps needed to reach green growth, but realising this blueprint for Africa requires more comprehensive, coordinated and scaled action. This analysis shows that across the six case study cities, actions taken today could prevent 109,000 premature deaths and prevent the loss of US$19bn by 2040.Drawing on best-practice case studies from across the African continent, this policy brief lays out recommendations that can help governments unleash green urban economic growth. Investments in good governance and legislation, better air quality monitoring, evidence-based emission reduction policies, effective partnership models and training, and improved access to climate financing are essential to meeting this challenge. These recommendations represent the first step for governments to consider as they design and deliver locally-tailored action.

From Pollution to Solution in Six African Cities (French Version)

November 23, 2023

La pollution de l'air est un véritable fléau silencieux pour l'Afrique. Chaque année, l'air pollué tue plus d'Africains que l'eau insalubre, l'assainissement et le lavage des mains combinés. En plus du million d'Africains qui meurent chaque année de la pollution de l'air provenant de sources intérieures et extérieures, des millions d'autres vies doivent vivre avec ses conséquences dévastatrices. La situation est bien pire dans les villes, où les activités hautement polluantes nuisent à la santé des habitants et à l'économie. Une étude réalisée par Dalberg Advisors pour le Clean Air Fund révèle que si rien n'est fait, la pollution de l'air coûtera collectivement à Accra, au Caire, à Johannesburg, à Lagos, à Nairobi et à Yaoundé environ 138 milliards de dollars US en décès prématurés et en absentéisme des travailleurs d'ici à 2040, ce qui représente 8 % de leurs PIB actuels combinés.L'urbanisation rapide du continent ne devrait pas se faire au détriment de la santé de ses citoyens. Les villes africaines peuvent opter pour une croissance verte, dans laquelle les investissements visant à lutter contre les principales sources de pollution atmosphérique contribuent à améliorer la productivité des travailleurs et les budgets nationaux de santé, et à créer des lieux de vie sains, équitables et prospères. Les gouvernements africains prennent de plus en plus conscience de l'importance cruciale de ce défi. L'Évaluation environnementale intégrée en Afrique présente les mesures nécessaires pour parvenir à une croissance verte, mais la mise en œuvre de ce projet pour l'Afrique nécessite une action plus globale, coordonnée et à plus grande échelle. Cette analyse indique que dans les six villes étudiées, des mesures prises aujourd'hui pourraient permettre d'éviter 109 000 décès prématurés et la perte de 19 milliards de dollars US d'ici à 2040.Se fondant sur des études de cas de meilleures pratiques à travers le continent africain, cette note stratégique formule des recommandations susceptibles d'aider les gouvernements à favoriser une croissance économique verte en milieu urbain. Pour relever ce défi, il est essentiel d'investir dans la bonne gouvernance et la législation, d'améliorer le suivi de la qualité de l'air, de mener des politiques de réduction des émissions scientifiquement fondées, de mettre en place des modèles de partenariat et des formations efficaces, et d'améliorer l'accès au financement de la lutte contre le changement climatique. Ces recommandations représentent la première étape de conception et de mise en œuvre d'actions adaptées au niveau local que les gouvernements doivent prendre en compte.Air pollution is Africa's silent killer. Each year, air pollution kills more Africans than HIV / AIDS and malaria combined. In addition to the 1 million Africans who die from diseases caused by indoor and outdoor sources of air pollution annually, millions more have to live with its devastating consequences. This problem is worse in cities, where highly polluting activities stunt the health of both their residents and economies. Analysis undertaken for the Clean Air Fund by Dalberg Advisors finds that left unchecked, air pollution will collectively cost Accra, Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Yaoundé an estimated US$138bn in premature deaths and worker absenteeism by 2040, equivalent to 8% of their current combined GDPs.The continent's rapid urban growth should not come at the expense of the health of its citizens. African cities can choose to put themselves on the path of green growth, in which investments to tackle the major sources of air pollution bring about benefits to worker productivity, national health budgets and help create healthy, equitable and prosperous places to live. African governments are increasingly aware of this challenge. The Africa Integrated Assessment outlines the steps needed to reach green growth, but realising this blueprint for Africa requires more comprehensive, coordinated and scaled action. This analysis shows that across the six case study cities, actions taken today could prevent 109,000 premature deaths and prevent the loss of US$19bn by 2040.Drawing on best-practice case studies from across the African continent, this policy brief lays out recommendations that can help governments unleash green urban economic growth. Investments in good governance and legislation, better air quality monitoring, evidence-based emission reduction policies, effective partnership models and training, and improved access to climate financing are essential to meeting this challenge. These recommendations represent the first step for governments to consider as they design and deliver locally-tailored action.

Gender and Migration in Egypt: Searching for the Independent Migrant Woman’s Voice

March 22, 2023

This policy brief draws attention to the limited representation of independent Egyptian migrant women and discusses the likely factors behind the absence of women's voices in the field. It also highlights the positive impacts that can stem from Egyptian women's migration, including higher remittance flows and the empowerment of women in Egyptian society. Finally, the brief concludes with a number of recommendations for both researchers and Egyptian policymakers.

Sudanese Women on the Move in Cairo Defy Stereotypes

March 21, 2023

Against the perception of people on the move as helpless and passive, this brief draws on the stories of 12 Sudanese females residing in Ard El-Lewa, a densely populated informal urban area in Cairo with a substantial presence of Sudanese. This ethnographic fieldwork was conducted between January and June 2021. Admittedly, these stories do not represent whole communities of people on the move. But they are a glimpse into the lives of the Sudanese women I collaborated with, interviewed, and observed through fieldwork. More importantly, these stories showcase how people on the move are not mute victims. This brief demonstrates that the stories and voices of people on the move should be noticed and reflected, and that people on the move should have a leading say regarding the contexts and conditions that affect them, as well as how they are represented.

Marriage as a Durable Solution? How Syrian Refugee Women Use Marriage for Self-resettlement

March 16, 2023

It is estimated that Egypt has hosted about 500,000 Syrian refugees since 2011. However, most of these refugees are not included in official UNHCR statistics, which only count 119,665 registered Syrian refugees. Limited awareness of registration opportunities, concerns over potential social stigmatization, and fear of being recorded in government databases are among the reasons why there is a discrepancy in the numbers of Syrians in Egypt. Syrians who came to Egypt arrived in an economically troubled country and a politically polarized atmosphere, where they faced a lack of opportunities and a high cost of living.This brief is based on fieldwork conducted in Egypt during the summer of 2017 investigating Syrian refugee women's strategies of self-resettlement, mainly through such marriages, a practice I call "marriage for refuge." In contrast to existing narratives that view this type of marriage as exploitative, I demonstrate how the concept of "marriage for refuge" offers a better lens through which to analyze the relationship between forced migration and marriage.

“This Is Why We Became Activists”: Violence Against Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women and Non-Binary People

February 14, 2023

According to interviews Human Rights Watch conducted with 66 lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ+) activists, researchers, lawyers, and movement leaders in 26 countries between March and September 2022, forced marriage is one of ten key areas of human rights abuses most affecting LBQ+ women's lives. Human Rights Watch identified the following areas of LBQ+ rights as those in need of immediate investigation, advocacy, and policy reform. This report explores how the denial of LBQ+ people's rights in these ten areas impacts their lives and harms their ability to exercise and enjoy the advancement of more traditionally recognized LGBT rights and women's rights:the right to free and full consent to marriage;land, housing, and property rights;freedom from violence based on gender expression;freedom from violence and discrimination at work;freedom of movement and the right to appear in public without fear of violence;parental rights and the right to create a family;the right to asylum;the right to health, including services for sexual, reproductive, and mental health;protection and recognition as human rights defenders; andaccess to justice.This investigation sought to analyze how and in what circumstances the rights of LBQ+ people are violated, centering LBQ+ identity as the primary modality for inclusion in the report. Gender-nonconforming, non-binary, and transgender people who identify as LBQ+ were naturally included. At the same time, a key finding of the report is that the fixed categories "cisgender" and "transgender" are ill-suited for documenting LBQ+ rights violations, movements, and struggles for justice. As will be seen in this report, people assigned female at birth bear the weight of highly gendered expectations which include marrying and having children with cisgender men, and are punished in a wide range of ways for failing or refusing to meet these expectations. Many LBQ+ people intentionally decenter cisgender men from their personal, romantic, sexual, and economic lives. In this way, the identity LBQ+ itself is a transgression of gendered norms. Whether or not an LBQ+ person identifies as transgender as it is popularly conceptualized, the rigidly binary (and often violently enforced) gender boundaries outside of which LBQ+ people already live, regardless of their gender identity, may help to explain why the allegedly clear division between "cisgender" and "transgender" categories simply does not work for many LBQ+ communities. This report aims to explore and uplift, rather than deny, that reality.

انفلونزا الطيور والدعم الغذائي معالجة قضايا الدواجن الصناعية في مصر Avian flu and food subsidies Egypt poultry industry

January 30, 2023

ارتفع إنتاج واستهلاك الدواجن الصناعية بشكل كبير في مصر حيث نما نظام الأغذية الزراعية للشركات في البلاد منذ ثمانينيات القرن المنصرم. يتناول هذا التقرير قضيتين رئيسيتين تتعلقان بصناعة الدواجن.القضية الاولى: فيروس إنفلونزا الطيور المتوطن والذي يتكرر في البلاد مع كل موسم إنفلونزا ويقتل الملايين والملايين من الطيور وبعض البشر أيضا. وقد كانت أحد تدابير الاحتواء الرئيسية التي اتخذتها السلطات هو عمليات الإعدام الجماعي للدجاج "المنزلي" الذي يشيع الافتراض أنه ينشر الفيروس. لكن هذه الافتراض خاطئ لان الفيروس قد انتقل بالفعل من المنشآت الصناعية إلى المنازل. القضية الثانية: الدعم الحكومي للغذاء. استفادت صناعة الدواجن ومنتجو ومستوردو اللحوم الحمراء من نظام دعم الأغذية (غير الخبز).للتعامل مع هذه القضايا: 1. يجب اتخاذ إجراءات لإضعاف صناعة الدواجن الصناعية وقدرتها على نقل الطيور المصابة (والفيروس) إلى مشغلي الدواجن الآخرين من خلال سلسلة القيمة الخاصة بها. كما يجب فرض قيود حكومية على بيع الطيور من مرافق التربية الكبرى. 2. عدم إنهاء دعم المواد الغذائية (على الرغم من الدعوات للقيام بذلك). ولكن بدلا من ذلك، يجب استبدل الدعم المقدم لقطاع صناعة الدواجن بدعم المنتج والمستهلك للفول - وهو غذاء نباتي أصيل غني بالبروتين. وهذا من شأنه تنويع مصادر البروتين في الوجبات الغذائية المصرية.

Eek! What the chick: Addressing the issues of industrial poultry in Egypt

January 6, 2023

With the rise of a corporate agri-food system in Egypt since the 1980s, the country's industrial poultry production has increased dramatically. This report focuses on two main concerns with Egypt's corporate poultry industry.First issue: Endemic avian flu virus. It recurs in the country every flu season, killing millions upon millions of birds and some humans too. One of the authorities' key containment measures had been mass cullings of "household"/"cottage" chickens which were assumed to have spread the virus. But the assumption is false. The virus had actually moved from industrial facilities to households. Industrial firms not only were saved, they further consolidated as smaller farms were decimated by the mass cullings.Second issue: Government food subsidies. The poultry industry and red meat producers/importers have benefited from the food (non-bread) subsidy system. And a growing percentage of imported grains and other foods are used to feed animals and for food processing (i.e. industrial uses) rather than for direct human consumption only.To deal with these issues: 1. Take action to weaken the corporate poultry industry and its ability to pass on infected birds (and the virus) to other poultry operators through its value chain. Advocate for government restrictions on sale of birds from large-scale breeding facilities. 2. Do not end food subsidies (in spite of calls to do so). But instead replace the subsidy on poultry with a producer and consumer subsidy on fava beans - an indigenous, protein-rich plant food. This would diversify protein sources in Egyptian diets.

Morocco, Algeria, Egypt: Assessing EU plans to import hydrogen from North Africa

May 15, 2022

A new study commission by CEO and the Transnational Institute shows the EU's plan to drastically increase imports of renewable hydrogen from North Africa is not realistic from a cost or energy perspective, and instead diverts renewable electricity away from local needs and local climate targets.The study was written by energy expert Michael Barnard and sees production costs making renewable hydrogen potentially up to 11 times more expensive than using natural gas, and that's before storage and transport costs are factored in.The EU's unrealistic import targets are allowing Big Oil and Gas to sneak hydrogen from natural gas through the back door, using green hydrogen as a trojan horse to keep drilling and selling their main product.

Write for Rights 2021 Campaign Report

April 12, 2022

In 2021 Write for Rights (W4R) was 20 years old. Beginning as grassroots activism in Poland, the campaign now sees over 70 Amnesty entities taking part and people in 120 countries around the world taking action either in person or online.Covid-19 continued to impact campaigning for Write for Rights, with many countries still imposing strict rules around group gatherings. There was however light at the end of the tunnel for some national entities, who did manage to hold in person events. For those who couldn't, the innovations and 'outside the box' thinking continued, with creativity and technology helping make restrictions less restrictive!As we rapidly head into planning for Write for Rights 2022, now is the time to reflect on what we all did together and the amazing ways we worked for positive human rights change in the lives of 10 individuals and communities at risk. 

The Unfreedom Monitor: A Methodology for Tracking Digital Authoritarianism Around the World

April 1, 2022

Digital communications technologies have been a powerful tool in the advancement of democratic governance, but in recent years there is concern that they are being used to undermine democracy as well. The Unfreedom Monitor, part of Global Voices' Advox project, aims to study and report on this growing phenomenon. This briefing document provides an overview of key developments in digital authoritarianism in a sample of 10 countries, while explaining the theoretical framework and methodology behind the project. The document also provides a basis for expanding this research to other countries so we can deepen our understanding of digital authoritarianism globally as well as its crucial implications for the future.

Untapped Opportunities for Climate Action: An Assessment of Food Systems in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

March 22, 2022

A summary report providing a synthesis of the 14 country assessments with recommendations and priority actions.