Browsing by Subject "Sub-Saharan Africa"

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  • Chen, Qiuzhen; Knickel, Karlheinz; Tesfai, Mehreteab; Sumelius, John; Turinawe, Alice; Isoto, Rosemary; Medyna, Galyna (2021)
    An important goal across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and globally, is to foster a healthy nutrition. A strengthening of the diversity, sustainability, resilience and connectivity of food systems is increasingly seen as a key leverage point. Governance arrangements play a central role in connecting sustainable, resilient farming with healthy nutrition. In this article, we elaborate a framework for assessing, monitoring and improving the governance of food systems. Our focus is on food chains in six peri-urban and urban regions in SSA. A literature review on food chain governance and a mapping of current agri-food chains in the six regions provide the basis for the elaboration of an indicator-based assessment framework. The framework is adapted to the specific conditions of SSA and related goals. The assessment framework is then used to identify the challenges and opportunities in food chain governance in the six regions. The first testing of the framework indicates that the approach can help to identify disconnects, conflicting goals and tensions in food systems, and to formulate strategies for empowering agri-food chain actors in transitioning toward more efficient, equitable and sustainable agri-food systems. The article is concluded with a brief reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the framework and suggests further testing and refinement.
  • Korkalo, Liisa; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Heinonen, Arja E.; Freese, Riitta; Selvester, Kerry; Mutanen, Marja (2017)
    Purpose In low-income settings, dietary diversity scores (DDSs) often predict the micronutrient adequacy of diets, but little is known about whether they predict levels of biochemical indicators of micronutrient status. Methods In 2010, we studied two samples of non-pregnant 14-to 19-year-old girls in central Mozambique, the first in January-February ('hunger season'; n = 227) and the second in May-June (harvest season; n = 223). In this paper, we examined whether a low Women's Dietary Diversity Score (WDDS) predicts a low concentration of haemoglobin, serum ferritin, zinc, and folate, and plasma retinol in adolescent Mozambican girls. We constructed three scores: WDDS based on 24-h recalls, WDDS15g based on 24-h recall and employing a 15 g limit, and 7dWDDS based on 7-day food frequency questionnaires. Logistic regression models, stratified by season, were used to estimate the odds of having a low concentration of a status indicator ( Results In January-February, after adjusting for confounders, a low ( Conclusions Our data from Mozambique suggest that dietary diversity is associated with serum zinc, but this association seems to be limited to the hunger season.
  • Wachiye, Sheila; Pellikka, Petri; Rinne, Janne; Heiskanen, Janne; Abwanda, Sheila; Merbold, Lutz (2022)
    Although grazing is the primary land use in the savanna lowland of southern Kenya, the effects of grazing on soil carbon dioxide flux (RS) remain unclear. A 12-month study was conducted from January to December 2020 on the effects of six grazing intensities sites (overgrazed (OG), heavily grazed (HG), moderately grazed (MG), moderately to lightly grazed (M-LG), lightly grazed (LG) and no grazing (NG)) on RS on. A camera trap was used to monitor the total number of animals at each site, indicating the grazing intensity. Weekly measurements of RS were taken using static greenhouse gas chambers along with simultaneous measurements of soil temperature (TS) and volumetric soil water content (WS) (depth of 5 cm). Mean RS at HG, MG, M-LG and LG sites was approximately 15–25% higher than at NG and OG sites (p < 0.001). Mean WS increased with decrease in grazing especially in the dry season, while TS increased with increase in grazing. We observed bimodal temporal variation in RS and WS due to two wet seasons in the year. Thus, variation in RS across the study period followed the changes in WS rather than those in TS. Mean values of RS in the wet seasons were significantly higher (> 45%) than those in the dry seasons, and WS accounted for 71% of the temporal variability in RS (p < 0.05). In addition, the enhanced vegetation index (EVI, interpreted as a proxy for vegetation cover) explained 60% of the variance of RS, and WS and EVI together explained 75%. EVI showed a negative relationship (p < 0.05) with animal intensity, indicating that more grazing reduced vegetation cover and, consequently, soil organic carbon and biomass. Soil bulk density was lower at less grazed sites. While RS variability was unaffected by total nitrogen content, pH, and texture, correspondence analysis demonstrated that the main factors influencing RS dynamics across the year under different grazing intensities were WS and vegetation cover. Our results contribute to closing the existing knowledge gap regarding the effects of grazing intensity on RS in East Africa savannas. Therefore, this information is of great importance in understanding carbon cycling in savanna grassland, as well as the identification of the potential consequences of increasing land pressure caused by rising livestock numbers, and will assist in the development of climate-smart livestock management in East Africa.
  • Sukhorukov, Alexander P.; Sennikov, Alexander; Veranso-Libalah, Marie Claire; Kushunina, Maria; Nilova, Maya; Heath, Roger; Heath, Alison; Mazei, Yuri; Zaika, Maxim A. (2021)
    Glinus is a small genus of Molluginaceae with 8-10 species mostly distributed in the tropics of the World. Its composition and evolutionary relationships were poorly studied. A new molecular phylogeny constructed here using nuclear (ITS) and chloroplast (rbcL, trnK-matK) markers confirmed the monophyly of the as sister to the remainder of the genus followed by G. oppositifolius. Three other clades are: G. hirtus with G. orygioides; G. radiatus and G. lotoides; the latter is represented by asample from North America, and G. zambesiacus as sister to G. setiflorus + G. lotoides + G. dictamnoides.On the plastid gene tree, G. bainesii + G. oppositifolius form a sister clade to all other Glinus species. The next clade is formed by G. hirtus and G. orygioides followed by G. radiatus plus an American sample of G. lotoides. The next branch comprises G. setiflorus as sister to G. zambesiacus + G. lotoides + G. dictamnoides. Glinus seems to have originated from Africa around the Late Eocene or Early Miocene, with further radiations to Australia and the Americas during the Late Miocene or Late Pliocene. Compared with the previous limited character set used for the diagnostics, we have found ten new morphological and carpological traits distinguishing Glinus members. In both trees based on nuclear and plastid datasets, the major phylogenetic clades cannot be characterized by the peculiar morphological characters. Many shared character states leading to their contrasting pattern in the multivariate analysis model are interpreted as a high homoplasy in the phylogenetically distant species. We paid special attention to the composition of the genus in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region with the greatest species diversity. Our results provide new insight into the taxonomy of Glinus in this region. Glinus lotoides var. virens accepted in many previous works is a synonym of G. dictamnoides that is closely related to G. lotoides based on molecular analysis and morphological characters. The status of the American populations of G. lotoides needs further investigation due to different characters of the specimens from the Old and the New World. Many specimens previously identified as G. lotoides var. virens and as the intermediates G. lotoides x G. oppositifolius belong to G. zambesiacus sp. nov. and G. hirtus comb. nov. (= Mollugo hirta); the latter species is resurrected from synonymy after 200 years of unacceptance. In some African treatments, G. hirtus was known under the invalidly published name G. dahomensis. Glinus zambesiacus is distributed in the southern and eastern parts of tropical Africa, and G. hirtus previously assumed to be endemic to West Africa is indeed a species with a wide distribution across the tropical part of the continent. Glinus microphyllus previously accepted as endemic to West Tropical Africa together with other new synonyms (G. oppositifolius var. lanatus, G. herniarioides, Wycliffea rotundifolia) is considered here as G. oppositifolius var. keenanii comb. nov. (= Mollugo hirta var. keenanii), a variety found across the entire distribution of G. oppositifolius (Australia, Asia, and Africa). The presence of the American G. radiatus in Africa is not confirmed, and all records of this species belong to G. hirtus. M. setiflora, Pharnaceum pentagynum, Wycliffea) as well as a neotype of G. trianthemoides are designated. A new key to the identification of all Glinus species in Sub-Saharan Africa is provided. A checklist is given of all accepted species in this region (G. bainesii, G. hirtus, G. lotoides, G. oppositifolius s.l., G. setiflorus, and G. zambesiacus) with their nomenclature, morphological description and geographical distribution.
  • Sell, Mila; Vihinen, Hilkka; Gabiso, Galfato; Lindström, Kristina (2018)
    This article describes the process and analyses the results of a project in Ethiopia establishing an innovation platform (IP) as a tool for co-creation from an innovation systems perspective. The results are encouraging, suggesting positive effects both on yields, but more importantly on the capacity and role of participants as communicators and agents of change in the community. The IP seems promising in creating new networks and modes of communication. The importance of good facilitation, commitment by all members from the start, and feedback loops driving the process was found to be essential.
  • Sichali, Junious; Bunn, Christopher; McGee, Darragh; Glozah, F.; Marionneau, Virve; Udedi, M.; Reith, Gerda (2023)
    Objectives: Commercial gambling markets have undergone unprecedented expansion and diversification in territories across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This gambling boom has popularised the uptake of gambling products in existing circuits of popular culture, sport and leisure and raised concerns about the extent to which state legislation is equipped to regulate the differentiated impacts of gambling on public health.Study design: Comparative policy analysis. Methods: This article provides a systematic mapping of the regulatory environment pertaining to gambling across SSA. The review was conducted by obtaining and triangulating data from a desk review of online materials, consultation with regulatory bodies in each territory and the VIXIO Gambling Compliance database.Results: Gambling is legally regulated in 41 of 49 (83.6%) SSA countries, prohibited in 7 (14.3%) and is not legislated for in 1 (2.0%). Of those countries that regulate gambling, 25 (61.0%) countries had dedicated regulators and 16 (39.0%) countries regulated via a government department. Only 2 of 41 (4.9%) countries have published annual reports continuously since the formation of regulatory bodies, and 3 (7.3%) countries have published an incomplete series of reports since the formation. In 36 (87.8%) countries, no reports were published. Enforcement activities were documented by all five regulators that published reports.Conclusion: The review uncovered a lack of coherence in regulatory measures and the need for more transparent public reporting across SSA territories. There are also variations in regulating online products and marketing, with most countries lacking apt guidelines for the digital age. Our findings suggest an urgent need to address the regulatory void surrounding online forms of gambling and the promotion of gambling products. This underlines the importance of a public health approach to protect against an increase in gambling-related harms.(c) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Royal Society for Public Health. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
  • Wachiye, Sheila Aswani; Merbold, Lutz; Vesala, Timo; Rinne, Janne; Leitner, Sonja; Räsänen, Matti; Vuorinne, Ilja; Heiskanen, Janne; Pellikka, Petri (2021)
    Sisal (Agave sisalana) is a climate-resilient crop grown on large-scale farms in semi-arid areas. However, no studies have investigated soil greenhouse gas (GHGs: CO2, N2O and CH4) fluxes from these plantations and how they relate to other land cover types. We examined GHG fluxes (Fs) in a sisal chronosequence at Teita Sisal Estate in southern Kenya. The effects of stand age on Fs were examined using static GHG chambers and gas chromatography for a period of one year in seven stands: young stands aged 1-3 years, mature stands aged 7-8 years, and old stands aged 13-14 years. Adjacent bushland served as a control site representing the surrounding land use type. Mean CO2 fluxes were highest in the oldest stand (56 +/- 3 mg C m(-2) h(-1)) and lowest in the 8-year old stand (38 +/- 3 mg C m(-2) h(-1)), which we attribute to difference in root respiration between the stand. All stands had 13-28% higher CO2 fluxes than bushland (32 +/- 3 mg C m(-2) h(-1)). CO2 fluxes in the wet season were about 70% higher than dry season across all sites. They were influenced by soil water content (W-S) and vegetation phenology. Mean N2O fluxes were very low (
  • Hauta-alus, Helena H.; Korkalo, Liisa; Freese, Riitta; Ismael, Carina; Mutanen, Marja (2018)
    Objective: The objective of the present study was to explore whether dietary patterns (DP) are associated with nutritional status indicators among adolescent Mozambican girls. Design/Setting/Subjects: In this population-based cross-sectional study we used the FFQ data of 547 girls aged 14-19 years from Central Mozambique to derive dietary patterns by means of principal component analysis. We used two-level linear regression models to examine the associations between the DP and anthropometric and biochemical indicators of nutritional status. Results: We identified three DP: 'Urban bread and fats', 'Rural meat and vegetables' and 'Rural cassava and coconut'. The 'Urban bread and fats' DP was positively associated with BMI-for-age Z-score (BMIZ), mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), triceps skinfold (P for all <0.001) and blood Hb (P = 0.025). A negative association was observed between the 'Urban bread and fats' DP and serum folate (P <0.001). The 'Rural meat and vegetables' DP and the 'Rural cassava and coconut' DP were associated negatively with BMIZ, MUAC and triceps skinfold (P for all <0.05), but the 'Rural meat and vegetables' DP was associated positively with serum ferritin (P = 0.007). Conclusions: Urban and rural DP were associated with nutritional status indicators. In a low-resource setting, urban diets may promote body fat storage and blood Hb concentrations but compromise serum folate concentration. It is important to continue valuing the traditional, rural foods that are high in folate.
  • Kukkonen, Markus O.; Muhammad, Muhammad J.; Käyhkö, Niina; Luoto, Miska (2018)
    Rapid urbanization and urban area expansion of sub-Saharan Africa are megatrends of the 21st century. Addressing environmental and social problems related to these megatrends requires faster and more efficient urban planning that is based on measured information of the expansion patterns. Urban growth prediction models (UGPMs) provide tools for generating such information by predicting future urban expansion patterns and allowing testing of alternative planning scenarios. We created an UGPM for Zanzibar City in Tanzania by measuring urban expansion in 2004-2009 and 2009-2013, linking the expansion to explanatory variables with a generalized additive model, measuring the accuracy of the created model, and projecting urban growth until 2030 with the business-as-usual and various alternative planning scenarios. Based on the results, the urban area of Zanzibar City expanded by 40% from 2004 to 2013. Spatial patterns of expansion were largely driven by the already existing building pattern and land-use constraints. The created model predicted future urban expansion moderately well and had an area under the curve value of 0.855 and a true skill statistic result of 0.568. Based on the business-as-usual scenario, the city will expand 89% from 2013 until 2030 and will continue to sprawl to new regions at the outskirts of the current built-up area. Establishing new urban centers had the highest impact on directing urban expansion from the tested alternative planning scenarios. However, the impact of all scenarios was low and therefore also other planning solutions such as vertical development, urban growth boundaries, and gradual improvement of the informal areas should be considered in Zanzibar.