Smallholder farmers make up more than 60 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s total population, according to a 2019 McKinsey & Company report. These small-scale producers own less than five hectares each, but collectively hold most of the arable land in the region. Investment in this sector will undoubtedly increase productivity, which experts signal as the “biggest growth driver” and the answer to food insecurity.
On a Saturday morning in early May, a group of women gathered in an open field in Kabilone II village adjacent to the Dja Faunal Reserve in south-eastern Cameroon. They patiently waited their turn as a government representative from the reserve’s Conservation Service handed over face masks and bars of soap for the women to distribute and use within their communities.
For Dodo Tshidinda, a typical day at work looks nothing like what you might expect. Traversing hundreds of kilometers on a motorcycle deep in the Congo Basin rainforest is par for the course for Dodo, African Wildlife Foundation’s Program Officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo. So are days with no internet connectivity or phone signal.
As most of the world currently works from home and shelters in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 36-year-old Dodo has not slowed down but redoubled his efforts in service to his community.
For the first time ever, women will join the forty-plus team of community scouts patrolling Mbire district in Zimbabwe’s wildlife-rich Lower Zambezi Valley. For Country Director Olivia Mufute, who leads African Wildlife Foundation’s community conservation and wildlife protection programs in Zimbabwe, adding female scouts to the force is not a minor achievement. In fact, it marks the beginning for the country's rural women striving to create a new future by taking up active roles in biodiversity protection.