Al Jazeera: Nigeria’s vital Lake Chad left out to dry – What was once one of the largest water reservoirs in Africa, Nigeria’s Lake Chad is rapidly shrinking due to excessive use and the changing environment. Lake Chad supplies water to four different countries, and is at risk of drying up before the end of the century. Current efforts to mitigate the problem and “replenish the lake’s water are stick in the pipeline.”
The Economist: Making downtown less dodgy – After several decades of ruin post-apartheid, Johannesburg is “slowly changing from one of the world’s most dangerous places into an agreeably cosmopolitan city.” As Johannesburg experiences this urban renewal, the emerging middle class of Africa is beginning to seek safe and affordable housing in the big city.
FT: A plea for Africa’s oil boom to create local jobs – Ghana has recently emerged as an oil producer, yet there is “widespread concern that local people will not reap the full benefits of any boom.” In an effort to ensure fair distribution of oil wealth, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ghana are setting up funds to “ringfence” future earning from their newly discovered hydrocarbon wealth. Ebow Haizel-Ferguson, the director of Sigma-Base Energy & Construction argues for greater collaboration between local and foreign companies.” (Xan Rice and Sylvia Pfeifer)
The Economist: The pain of suspension – The KivuWatt project in Lake Kivu, which divides Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, costs $140m in its first phase, but could increase Rwanda’s power generation by a third. This progress is currently being threatened by the rebellions in eastern Congo, which has Western governments withholding aid. Up until now, Rwanda has achieved “rapid growth, sharp poverty reduction and reduced inequality,” which has made donors hesitant to stop aid at this critical time. Now that the aid is uncertain, “the ability to make the best use of it has been lost.”
Devex: How to assist Haiti now – On the eve of the anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, questions about the effectiveness of aid in Haiti remain. Haiti has seen the most massive influx of NGOs and other development-focused groups imaginable over the past three years, but some worry that the continued reliance on humanitarian relief conflicts with economic development. (Eliza Villarino)