Madagascar’s famous baobab forests have been badly damaged and threatened by expanding agriculture. Every year, 4,000 hectares are destroyed. Tropical ecologist Seheno Andriantsaralaza tells us about the success of restoration project which draws help from local communities.

Thirteen-year-old Salamatu Jalloh, from Sierra Leone, had her whole future to look forward to, but she bled to death after participating in a secret initiation into womanhood. At its core was a violent act: the cutting and removal of her external genitalia. Female genital mutilation is on the rise in Africa and there are alarming new trends behind this. More procedures happen in secret or are “medicalised” to give a veil of legitimacy. Feminist academic Tamsin Bradley writes that these shifting trends need to be understood so that the terrible practice can be eliminated.

Since last April, we’ve published 1,311 articles by more than 1,200 authors. Their research findings and other insights, covering a wide range of subjects, have been read more than 19 million times. For example, today you can read about how communities in Madagascar are restoring ancient baobab forests, why female genital mutilation is on the rise in Africa, or how school children in Malawi are using tablets to improve their maths and reading skills. All of our articles are free to read or republish. You can help us keep the world better informed. Please consider a donation to The Conversation Africa. 

Anna Weekes

Environment + Energy Editor

Madagascar’s ancient baobab forests are being restored by communities – with a little help from AI

Seheno Andriantsaralaza, Université d’Antananarivo

In Madagascar, communities and scientists are growing tens of thousands of baobab seedlings to restore the 1,000-year-old forests.

Female genital mutilation is on the rise in Africa: disturbing new trends are driving up the numbers

Tamsin Bradley, University of Portsmouth

To eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030, progress would need to be 27 times faster. Understanding shifting trends behind this practice is a start.

Malawi’s school kids are using tablets to improve their reading and maths skills

Nicola Pitchford, University of Nottingham

Child-directed educational technology can deliver high quality education for millions of marginalised children worldwide.

What’s the job of a company chair? South Africa’s rules aren’t clear and need fixing

Rehana Cassim, University of South Africa

South Africa’s laws and regulations aren’t clear about the role of the chair of a company. This carries huge risks for individuals and companies.

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