Category: Africa-North

Cathy Watson

Cathy Watson

Cathy Watson is chief of programme development at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi. Before joining ICRAF in November 2012, she founded and ran two NGOs in Uganda -- Straight Talk Foundation and Mvule Trust. She was made a senior Ashoka fellow for social entrepreneurship in 2006. She has also been a foreign correspondent, working for The Guardian and the BBC, among others. A graduate in biology and Latin American Studies from Princeton, she has almost 30 years of work experience in Africa with a focus on trees, youth, HIV, families, and communication for social change. She holds a certificate in agroforestry from the University of Missouri.

Promoting early-maturing, oil-rich shea trees and holding off the charcoal threat

In Europe and the US, shea butter or oil is a famous skin cream. But shea is even more important as the main cooking oil for the band of 21 African countries that stretches West to East from...

Success factors for land and water management in Africa

At present, large expanses of land in rural Africa are degraded as a result of over extraction of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal. The problem is exacerbated by poor crop and animal husbandry practices, such as growing...

Rainfall: a new way to look at trees for climate mitigation

A side event at the UN climate change conference now underway in Paris (COP21) urged a new, easier-to-understand way to discuss trees and climate change mitigation: Rainfall. Rainfall made through evapotranspiration from plant matter cools the air around,...

New study shows that tree dieback affects the climate change mitigation potential of a dry afromontane forest in northern Ethiopia

Tropical forests play a critical role in climate change mitigation by balancing atmospheric carbon fluxes. However, dry forests are susceptible to dieback under conditions of increased temperature and extreme climatic events such as drought, which affects their potential...

The twin promise of food and bioenergy security in Africa

People everywhere have needs that exceed the basics of food and shelter. They seek fulfillment and happiness and a better future for their children. Farmers seek better yields for less labour, and better nutrition for less cash. All...