Thursday, 5 October 2017

NEWSLETTER #25 - SOCIETY OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENTISTS

Volume 6, Issue 3. July-September 2017


     CONTENT
  1. Chair's Foreword
  2. African Development Summit 2017, Abuja, Nigeria - SAES proposal
  3. Earth Science Book Review
  4. Earth Science Events
  5. References and Selected Reading

CHAIR'S FOREWORD

In the current issue, we share the proposal submitted by SAES to the 2017 African Development Summit in Abuja, Nigeria. 


AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT 2017, ABUJA, NIGERIA  - SAES PROPOSAL

1. Forward and Areas of Consideration
By way of preliminary comment, the Society of African Earth Scientists (SAES) wishes to commend the choice of focus of the Summit on “achieving socio-economic growth through community based and inclusive innovation”. However, the Society also wishes that the summit sets out to achieve what it claims: by being more inward looking to Africa’s own resources and talent, especially among its youth population, when it comes to socio-economic growth through community based and inclusive innovation.
   We have addressed issues that we believe are relevant to the six priority areas of the African Union Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA 2024) [2], especially priorities number 1 and 6. The issues addressed in that vein therefore are in line with the requirements of the ADS 2017 concept paper. However, the one small but important critique SAES may deem necessary to express here  is that the tone of the ADS concept paper, appears to repeat that age old mistake whereby   having provided a wonderful platform for ourselves as Africans to progress on a collective basis in the discussion on development, we then subvert our potentially liberating development strategies by an excessive willingness to structure our development efforts (and even governmental legislation)  in accordance  only with the needs of foreign financiers to guarantee an acceptable environment of low risk  investment  in which they can profit  handsomely from our science and technological industries.
    Of course there is a need  to attract  investment into Africa for development to progress. However, this should not be at the expense of  Africa-centred strategies  with  the goal of  facilitating an environment designed with the primary purpose of nurturing indigenous talent and innovation rather than the main focus and often the only focus being on providing a safe environment for low-risk  foreign investment.
    It should be obligatory that Africans  are the deciders of the shape of  programmes that will progress our development rather than these being conceived and imposed from outside because that is where the finances come from.  We must be alert to conflicts of interest s where outsiders who advise us that to develop we must employ the newest technologies also offer to provide/maintain these technologies at a price which they will dictate. Meanwhile, such new technologies increase our dependence on outside assistance, and prevent us from developing our own  truly indigenously  controlled technology industry and infrastructure suited to our own indigenous “societal needs” as STISA 2024 stipulates.
   Having expressed these issues of preliminary critique, we cover the four areas of contribution by SAES for consideration at the 2017 African Development Summit on 9-10th October in Abuja, Nigeria.  Specifically, the SAES  propose that programmes  delivered to citizens, particularly the youth of school and college age, could take the form of workshops that raise awareness of the technical and general issues concerning the following  four areas:-

- Renewable energy
- Geo-awareness
- Youth innovation and employment /self employment
- Indigenous geophysics research and publication

The prominence of youth in these proposals is based on the belief that just  a small amount  of  technical knowledge and insight given to  African young people will be taken and exploited  to the maximum as they  seek  by all means to innovate their  way out of  serious need and lack of gainful  employment.


2. Renewable energy
There is real scope for raising awareness of renewable energy through workshops on both solar and wind energy. SAES proposes that solar and wind energy workshops can be delivered to schools. A programme of solar energy workshops has already been rolled out to schools in Abuja, Nigeria  by the Nigerian Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure  (NASENI) with notable success.
   These workshops teach youth participants to think about how small off grid electrical energy systems can be set up. With this basic knowledge youth attendees have  basic tools to establish small scale solar electric energy systems and thereby the means to create business and work around this basic knowledge. With such initiative there is scope for self employment/ employment opportunities, helping to move Africa towards its sustainable development goals.

3. Geo-awareness
There is scope for geo-awareness  to enhance our understanding of the earth and the manner in which the quality of life of African citizens both socially and economically  can be improved through access to geo-parks and the employment of geo-tourism . Dr Enas Ahmed, an Egyptian Palaeontologist and Geologist, proposes how geo-awareness can be enhanced through the employment of geo-tourism and geo-parks workshops  in Africa’s developmental approach.
“Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. All of that great area gives us variety of environments, climates and biodiversity.
 With the Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs - we found lack in the geo-Awareness in most African countries especially in the rural areas of the continent facing mostly the same issues and sensitive to changes.
The key role in protecting these areas and supporting  people to keep their environment safe and apply the roadmap  for the SDGs is 
-          To convince the native people of  the role of their environment in their life and how they could benefit from their environment in a sustainable way .
-          Also encouraging them (the native people) to accept the concept of the geo-tourism and geo-parks in their life and how this will bring income to their life whilst at the same time achieving the SDGs. “
NB: In supporting the African environment and African geo-awareness, Dr Ahmed  has established an organisation called, The Africa Environment Protectors Organisation.

4. Youth Innovation
A central plank of the SAES African Development strategy is that it must be spearheaded by the encouragement of youth innovation.  Youth Innovation is seen as the crucial accelerator of African Development. It requires relatively little input and investment but it reaps huge rewards with positive consequences in the shape of improved prospects for youth employment, self-employment, and lasting legacy of African Development.
   The SAES strongly believes that technological and scientific competitions for monetary prizes among young people of school  and college age will engender a healthy motivation to scientific and technical innovation.  SAES would like to pilot this idea with the formation of a competition to create sustainable battery design. Battery technology has the prospect of transforming the renewable energy development race.


6. Indigenous Geophysics Research and Publication
Africa  is in need of home-grown researchers and science writers with a perspective from within the Continent.  In this vein SAES is proud to support the work of one of its members, Henok Tewelde, who has made a sterling effort in developing a text of geophysics exploration techniques entitled “Introduction to Exploration Geophysics”. It will be of significant practical and research value to practitioners from Africa. A poster of the publication is attached below. The publication is available on Amazon.





EARTH SCIENCE REVIEWS

Global Ecology by Vaclav Smil
Routledge, London and New York, 1991

This is a work that shines light on reasons for the rapid rate of  biospheric changes that threaten the perpetuation of life on Earth and the way in which we are able to respond to these changes with effective remedial strategies.  These different ways of globally managing these changes throw up different opportunities and challenges which the author explores. Furthermore, Global Ecology increases our understanding of change  as well as of our weaknesses and strengths in being able to manage the transition to a sustainable social and natural environment.



EARTH SCIENCE EVENTS




7-11 October 2017
International Conference on Water Management in Arid and semi Arid lands
Venue: Movenpick Resort, Dead Sea, Jordan
VISION: International conference


9-10 October 2017

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT


Venue: Yar'Adua Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria

VISION: An international conference focussed on the goal of achieving socio-economic growth through community based and inclusive innovation, as informed by African Union Agenda 2063 and African Union Science and Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024,

20-24 March 2018


Earth Sciences for Society

A joint congress organised by
Arab Geosciences Union, African Association of Women in the Geosciences, African Geoparks Network

Venue: Faculty of Sciences, Chouaib Doukkali University, El Jadida, Morocco

VISION: The "Geodynamics, Geo-education and Geoheritage Research Group" of the Geology Department, Faculty of Sciences, El Jadida (Morocco) in collaboration with the Arabian Geosciences Union (ArabGU), the African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG) and the African Geoparks Network (AGN) organize a jointly the 2nd ArabGU International Conference (AIC2), the 9th AAWG Conference (CAAWG9) and the 3rd International Conference on Geoparks in Africa and MiddleEast (ICGAME3). This joint congress is hosted by the Faculty of Sciences, Chouaïb Doukkali University, El Jadida (Morocco).

REFERENCES AND SELECTED READING


  1. African Union Agenda 2063, https://au.int/agenda2063/about
  2. African Union Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024  (STISA 2024), https://au.int/en/documents/29957/science-technology-and-innovation-strategy-africa-2024





Thursday, 28 September 2017

NEWSLETTER #24 - SOCIETY OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENTISTS










Volume 6, Issue 2, April-June 2017





CONTENT

  • Chair's Foreword*
  • Chemistry Applications in the Earth Sciences 
  • Earth Science Events
  • References and Selected Reading


CHAIR'S FOREWORD*

Welcome to the twenty-fourth issue of the newsletter of the Society of African Earth Scientists (SAES). 
   In the current issue we reflect on the role of  chemistry applications in the earth sciences

CHEMISTRY APPLICATIONS IN THE EARTH SCIENCES

More often, we are likely to encounter what we recognise to be the application of the mathematical and physical sciences to the earth sciences. The physical sciences are most apparent when we encounter problems such as the conservation of energy, mass or momentum.  But what bout the applications of chemistry?
   In the earth sciences there are the obvious applications of chemistry which we know popularly as “Geochemistry”. In geochemistry, scientists study the chemical composition, structure and processes of the earth. These include the chemical compositions of rocks and minerals and the movements of these elements into soil and water systems. A wealth of information buried in the liquid, gas and mineral deposits of rocks is studied by scientists to  make decisions about science and industrial applications. The information gathered is useful in enabling companies to safely dispose of toxic wastes as well as how to tackle potential geo-hazards and make use of our natural resources whilst minimising harmful impacts to our natural environment.
   In the area of renewable energy, we find that chemistry is playing an increasing role. We see this in particular with solar energy, whereby organic chemistry promises cheaper potential materials for the manufacture of solar cells.  We take the case of the MIT scientist, Andreas Mershin [1] who has discovered a method of effectively creating solar panels from agricultural waste. Mershin discovered a process that extracts the photosynthesizing molecules, called photosystem 1 from plant matter. Photosystem 1 contains chlorophyll, the protein that actually converts photons into a flow of electrons.  These molecules are then stabilized and spread on a glass substrate that is covered in a “forest” of zinc oxide Nano-wires and titanium dioxide “sponges”.  When sunlight hits the panels, both the titanium dioxide and the new material absorb  light and turn it into electricity. In essence, Mershin has replaced the layer of silicon in conventional photovoltaic cells with a slurry of photosynthesizing molecules.
   Other examples include the discovery in Nigeria by Justus Nwaoga of the department of pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka  of the photo-electric properties of organic cells  found in common pond weed (mimosa pudica) [2]. This area of research is supported in Ethiopia where there is research into organic solar cells  and the use of polymers [3].
   Probably most promisingly we are seeing the development of the storage capacity of batteries. Chemists at the University of Utah in the United States are predicting a bright future for a type of battery for storing electricity generated by wind and solar energy. “Using a predictive model of molecules and their properties, the team of scientists has developed a charge storing molecules that is around 1000 more stable than currently employed compounds [4].
  Examples like these show that chemistry is very much at the forefront of the advance of renewable energy in the earth sciences.


EARTH SCIENCE BOOK REVIEW

Fluid Mechanics by James A Ligget
McGraw-Hill International Editions, Singapore, 1994



The book  "Fluid Mechanics" gives a  comprehensive account of the subject with both control volume as well as field approaches being used. The basic equations are covered including continuity and Navier Stokes equations and the derivation of the Bernoulli equation from first principles. There treatment makes a light introduction to tensor notation featured in the appendix. There is a strong emphasis in the direction of applications on the analysis of  shallow flow water hydraulics, oceanography, wave mechanics and oscillation of large bodies of water and transport. The book is of great assistance to novices as well as offering veterans the essentials of practicing in the field. It includes an introduction to computational fluid mechanics and an interactive CD ROM that helps practitioners handle complex calculations with speed and precision, as well as interactive simulations and dynamic animations  of actual flow.



EARTH SCIENCE EVENTS

3-5 August 2017


WATREX 2017


Venue: International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt.


VISION: The foremost conference event on  water processes, waste water treatment and recycling


7-11 October 2017
International Conference on Water Management in Arid and semi Arid lands
Venue: Movenpick Resort, Dead Sea, Jordan
VISION: International conference


9-10 October 2017


AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT


Venue: Yar'Adua Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria

VISION: An international conference focussed on the goal of achieving socio-economic growth through community based and inclusive innovation, as informed by African Union Agenda 2063 and African Union Science and Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024,

20-24 March 2018

Earth Sciences for Society

A joint congress organised by
Arab Geosciences Union, African Association of Women in the Geosciences, African Geoparks Network

Venue: Faculty of Sciences, Chouaib Doukkali University, El Jadida, Morocco

VISION: The "Geodynamics, Geo-education and Geoheritage Research Group" of the Geology Department, Faculty of Sciences, El Jadida (Morocco) in collaboration with the Arabian Geosciences Union (ArabGU), the African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG) and the African Geoparks Network (AGN) organize a jointly the 2nd ArabGU International Conference (AIC2), the 9th AAWG Conference (CAAWG9) and the 3rd International Conference on Geoparks in Africa and MiddleEast (ICGAME3). This joint congress is hosted by the Faculty of Sciences, Chouaïb Doukkali University, El Jadida (Morocco).



REFERENCES

1.  MIT News, Harnessing nature's solar cells, http://news.mit.edu/2012/biosolar-0203

2. Vanguard, Nigerian Develops Solar Cells from Weed, http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/05/nigerian-develops-solar-cells-from-weed-mimosa-pudica/

3. African School on Nano Science for Solar Energy Conversion, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) may 3-7, 2010: https://portal.ictp.it/energynet/african-school-on-nanoscience-for-solar-energy-conversion
4.     Sevov, CS, D. Hickey, et al., Physical Organic Approach to Persistent Cyclable Low-potential Electrolytes forBattery Flow Applications, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2017, 139 (8), pp 2924–2927.


*Board of the Society of African Earth Scientists:
Dr Chukwunyere Kamalu (Chair - Nigeria), Ndivhuwo Cecilia Mukosi (South Africa), Mathada Humphrey (South Africa), Dr Enas Ahmed (Egypt).

Monday, 29 May 2017

NEWSLETTER #23 - SOCIETY OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENTISTS










Volume 6, Issue 1, January - March*  2017



CONTENT
  • Chair's Foreword**
  • Are there Enough Earth Scientists in Africa?
  • Book Review
  • Earth Science Events
  • References and Selected Reading
Chair's Foreword
In this issue we consider African human resources in the Earth Sciences, and acknowledge there is a huge gap in needs to be met.


Are there Enough  Earth Scientists in Africa?

Are there enough earth scientists in Africa? This question causes us to consider African nations' ability to be self sufficient to  provide their citizens'  basic necessities: food, clean water and sanitation,  energy, and the capacity to forewarn of geo-hazards such as droughts, floods, landslides as well as earthquakes and tsunamis (in the most extreme instances). It is perhaps easier to answer this when we consider the broader question: Does Africa have enough scientists  regardless of  discipline?

   The resounding answer, it seems, is negative, judging from the report on the current state of affairs.  A paper by Kariuki and Kay [1] points out that the African Union's AGENDA 2063 sets out a timetable of key African developments, although we do not know what actions on the ground have been taken and therefore on what basis these dates for developments  are predicted.

   A few statistics noted by the authors, highlight the extent to which Africa is behind in its education and creation of scientists:
  • Whilst the Continent is home to 15% of the world's population, it only produces 2% of the world's research. [Of course, the figure would be  improved if we add the work of  African scientists  produced in the diaspora ].
  • Africa has 198 researchers per 1 million people, compared to 428 in Chile alone, and over 4000 per million in UK and US.
  • To achieve the world average  for number of researchers per capita, Africa would need to train a million new PhD's.
The figures above indicate that Africa's scientific  research skills shortage is a crisis, and major factor of underdevelopment.  It follows logically, that Africa is chronically  under resourced in earth scientists, since science education as a whole is way  behind the global average.

   In consideration of the African diaspora, statistics collected by Czujko [3]  show that, for instance, African Americans are the smallest group of earth science graduates, with just 0.4% of earth science PhDs being African American (compared with 1.4% of them, who were Hispanics), and with just 1.4% of earth science first degrees  being held by African Americans (compared with 4% held by Hispanics).

   Huntoon, et al point to social pressures that prevent African Americans from choosing earth science careers and science in general, including stereotypes that label certain groups as lacking proclivity in mathematics, for instance, and also, so called "imposter syndromes"  that psychologically inhibit people from feeling they are worthy or capable of certain levels of attainment in sciences [2].

   It is a curious observation made by quite a few [ 2, 3, 4 ] that earth sciences have the lowest student diversity rate of all the STEM disciplines (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), despite the fact that nearly all of the preponderant earth science issues concern people of the so called developing nations, who experience and are more lastingly affected by extremes of weather, climate and  by geo-hazards.

   A lot of work is therefore ahead of us in promoting the earth sciences for the younger  generations to take up.  A clear strategy needs to be considered to ensure we are able to urgently address this gap.


EARTH SCIENCE REVIEWS

Introduction to Exploration Geophysics,
Henok T Tewelde [5]


"Geologic factors are affecting planning and designs of most infrastructures in the world. Assessment of groundwater, mining, geothermal, hydrocarbon and delineation of subsurface pollutions, require sufficient knowledge of geological features and the processes involved in their genesis and evolution. In acquiring this knowledge, exploration geophysics, a branch of earth science is an essential tool. It is applicable particularly in the study of applied geology, which focuses on the effect of geological phenomena that affects human life. Extensive geophysical exploration has been carried out over the years in Eritrea for several specific purposes. This book covers the specific purposes and includes geophysics with emphasis given to hydro-geophysics based on the experience of the author. The primary purpose of this book is to provide the reader with a working knowledge of the science, convenient for reference and to inherit competence on this field versus various mathematical strategies. It helps to raise the competence of young geophysicists even during shoestring budget and availability of traditional instruments. This book comprises theories, derivations, deductions and their relationship with the physical insights. The concept of each instrument used in electrical, electromagnetic, magnetic, seismic, gravity and radiometric methods. Case studies from Eritrea such as the application of geophysics in engineering, groundwater and environment are included. Despite the fact that 83.6% of the problems are in the context of African geology its benefit is unlimited. It also gives further benefit with a basis to judge the applicability of the science and the results to the reader’s particular exploration problem. The book is expected to contribute in developing analytical thinking, teamwork skills, professional standard, best practices and ethics."


EARTH SCIENCE EVENTS


3-5 August 2017


WATREX 2017


Venue: International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt.


VISION: The foremost conference event on  water processes, waste water treatment and recycling


7-11 October 2017
International Conference on Water Management in Arid and semi Arid lands
Venue: Movenpick Resort, Dead Sea, Jordan
VISION: International conference



20-24 March 2018

Earth Sciences for Society

A joint congress organised by
Arab Geosciences Union, African Association of Women in the Geosciences, African Geoparks Network

Venue: Faculty of Sciences, Chouaib Doukkali University, El Jadida, Morocco

VISION: The "Geodynamics, Geo-education and Geoheritage Research Group" of the Geology Department, Faculty of Sciences, El Jadida (Morocco) in collaboration with the Arabian Geosciences Union (ArabGU), the African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG) and the African Geoparks Network (AGN) organize a jointly the 2nd ArabGU International Conference (AIC2), the 9th AAWG Conference (CAAWG9) and the 3rd International Conference on Geoparks in Africa and MiddleEast (ICGAME3). This joint congress is hosted by the Faculty of Sciences, Chouaïb Doukkali University, El Jadida (Morocco).





REFERENCES AND SELECTED READING

  1. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/05/scientists-are-the-key-to-africas-future/
  2. http://eos.org/project-updates/increasing-diversity-in-the-geosciences
  3. Czujko, R., 2004, Painting by the Numbers: The Representation of the Minorities in the Geosciences: Eos, American Geophysical Union.
  4. http://www.niu.edu/2015/12/15/why-the-geosciences-must-become-more-diverse/
  5. Tewelde, H. T., Introduction to Exploration Geophysics, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.

*A report from the World Economic Forum  held in May 2017 is cited. World Economic Forum on Africa 2017, held 3-5 May  in Durban, South Africa.
**Board of the Society of African Earth Scientists: Dr Chukwunyere Kamalu (Chair - Nigeria), Ndivhuwo Cecilia Mukosi (South Africa), Mathada Humphrey (South Africa), Dr Enas Ahmed (Egypt).





Thursday, 23 March 2017

NEWSLETTER #22 - SOCIETY OF AFRICAN EARTH SCIENTISTS












Volume 5, Issue 4, October - December  2016




CONTENT

  • Chair's Foreword
  • African Earth Science and Sustainable Development in Africa
  • Earth Science Book Review
  • Earth Science Events
  • References and Selected Reading


    Chair's Foreword

    In this issue we consider the subject of Earth Science in Africa in relation to sustainability. But what precisely do we understand by this terminology?

    African sustainability needs to be defined in terms of the capability of Africans of the present to provide for the needs of their future generations in perpetuity. With this in mind we focus on the challenges of African development  against this understanding of the need to engender sustainability.

    Manure in planting pits provide plant nutrients and also help retain water harvested by the pits

    Earth Science and Sustainable Development in Africa

    There are many angles from which to approach the subject of "sustainability" in Africa. However, given the remit of the Society of African Earth Scientists to meet the needs of African peoples in terms of clean water, food and energy provision, and the need to monitor the effects of climatic change, we can in particular, assert that African sustainability must of necessity rely on the most "appropriate" technology. This will be technology that is accessible to those using the technology as well as being affordable and amenable to routine maintenance.

    The most appropriate technologies can also be the most effective. An increasingly powerful example of this is the approach of agro-ecology [1] in African agricultural practice. Most of the technology appropriate for Africa already exists in its wealth of traditional agricultural  practices, which have been shown  in studies dating back more than 20 years[2], to promote higher food yields than modern methods, especially those promoting western style monoculture, which has been shown to be destructive to the soil, stripping it of vital nutrients, and contaminating it with excess fertilizer.  Modern farming methods, particularly those involving genetically modified crops, are also found to be inaccessible and expensive to the ordinary farmer; not to talk of the dangers posed of loss of African food sovereignty.

    Solutions to African sustainability which are african in origin, have more chance of being accepted by indigenous people, who are familiar with these indigenous methods. Many of these methods are being revamped in the light of their newly discovered benefits and are seen to be truly ingenious. Furthermore, we have personalities  in agroecology whose genius has adapted traditional methods to suit modern realities [ I refer to the works of  extraordinary personalities like Aba Hawe in Ethiopia, and  Yacouba Sawadogo in Burkina Faso, whose works are so startling as to attract visitors from the world over to see how they are able to salvage degraded land and turn it into a fertile oasis.][3, 4].

    There needs to be a bold acknowledgement that for Africans to make sustainable progress, there will be a need to focus on our own internal resources, including our indigenous technologies, many of which are ingenious and have much to offer to our future and to the world. I refer in particular to methods in Africa like FMNR (farmer managed regeneration) [5], step terracing, planting pits, stone lines,  the use of termite hills to regenerate the nutrients in the soil, seed storage and exchange,  and groundwater retention and recharging using tree planting as well as modern approaches  such as planting vetiver grass and sometimes bamboo to retain moisture,  and arrest soil erosion and land degradation. There are many, many techniques like this of an indigenous origin which have been proven by persons like Aba Hawe and Sawadogo to be highly effective when used in combination. Assiduous application of agro-ecology would feed africa in a sustainable way [6] not requiring massive capital that would further tie the continent to a growing  burden of debt.

    In respect of energy production there is no doubt that renewables offer the most sustainable solution for Africa's future needs [7]. Africa has a great potential diversity of renewables energy sources: geothermal energy in the East African Rift Valley, wind energy all over, but especially in Southern  Africa, hydro power and solar.  It is envisioned that a combinatory approach, taking advantage of a cluster of renewable energy sources, will move Africa towards energy sufficiency. 

    As an aid to moving this sustainable development of Africa into reality, it is pertinent to consider the concept of the sustainable village [8].  We have an opportunity in the sustainable village idea, to showcase all the elements of african sustainable  living  in a way which is self-sufficient.  A sustainable village, would consist of sufficient farmland for food production, solar and wind energy in addition to hydro-power (if that is appropriate for the location) for electricity,  boreholing and water harvesting systems for clean water provision. Cracking the problem of making a truly sustainable african village model would be like a golden key to sustainable development that could be extended on national and continental levels.

    It does not make economic sense for Africa to opt for expensive foreign technological (including agricultural)  interventions which are not appropriate [that may deny us food sovereignty,  destroy the soil, diminish  the quality and level of our groundwater supplies]; whilst   ignoring the large number  of indigenous technologies and natural resources that Africa has to solve its  food, water and energy problems.


    EARTH SCIENCE REVIEWS

    African Water Atlas,
    United Nations Environment Programme [9]




    A richly informative publication giving indications, on a country by country basis, of African water resources. The reader is treated to an acount of water quantity and water quality, and their distribution geographically across the continent. The book is full of many fascinating key facts. For example, Africa's important aquifers  the Nubian Sandstone and the Lake Chad Sedimentary Basin, are losing water at a greater rate than their rate of recharge. 75% of Africa's population relies on groundwater for clean water supplies, yet groundwater forms only 15% of  Africa's renewable water resources.







    EARTH SCIENCE EVENTS

    13-16 April 2017
    Third Mediterranean Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
    Venue: Girne (Kyrinia), Cyprus, Turkey
    VISION: After two well recieved previous symposiums, the organising committe is pleased to invite you to the third symposiun on medicinal and aromatic plants.

    3-5 August 2017
    WATREX 2017
    Venue: International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt.
    VISION: The foremost conference event on  water processes, waste water treatment and recycling.

    7-11 October 2017
    International Conference on Water Management in Arid and semi Arid lands
    Venue: Movenpick Resort, Dead Sea, Jordan
    VISION: International conference





    References and Selected Reading
    1. Agroecology Taps a Wellspring of Farming Knowledge, SciDev, http://m.scidev.net/sub-saharan-africa/food-security/opinion/agroecology-taps-a-wellspring-of-farming-knowledge-1.html
    2.  International Fund for Agricultural Development, Soil and Water Conservation in Subsaharan Africa, Rome, 1992.
    3. Ethiopia Rising: Red Terror to Green Revolution, http://www.wffr.nl/index.php/movies/ethiopia-rising-red-terror-to-green-revolution/
    4. The Man Who Stopped the desert,  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/arts-culture/the-man-who-stopped-the-desert-dc-enviro/
    5. Weston, Hong, et al, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration Enhances Rural Livelihoods in Dryland west Africa, Environmental Management (2015) 55,   http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00267-015-0469-1
    6. Ibid.
    7. See SAES Newsletter #18
    8. Millenium Villages,  http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/1799
    9. United Nations Environment Programme, Africa Water Atlas, Nairobi, Kenya, 2010.
    10. Gupta, S.K., Modern Hydrology and Sustainable Water Development, Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex, 2011.

    *Board of the Society of African Earth Scientists: Dr Chukwunyere Kamalu (Chair - Nigeria), Ndivhuwo Cecilia Mukosi (South Africa), Mathada Humphrey (South Africa), Dr Enas Ahmed (Egypt).