Popular

Ethiopia Planted a Record-Breaking Number of Trees in a Single Day

In just one day, 350 million trees were planted in the country as part of efforts to tackle deforestation and climate change.

In 2017, India set a new record for the number of trees planted in a single day at 66 million. Almost two years later, Ethiopia has surpassed that record with a colossal figure of 350 million trees. It's certainly no small feat and the East African country is leading the rest of the world when it comes to addressing deforestation and its contribution to the increasingly urgent crisis that is climate change.


Monday's record is by no means a once-off endeavor but a part of a broader national "green legacy" initiative which was launched in May under the leadership of Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The initiative hopes to see at least 4 billion trees being planted in a few months time. The Prime Minister, leading by example, joined in on the planting of a few trees in Addis Ababa.

After taking office in March of last year, the Prime Minister has made significant changes. Ahmed officially put an end to the two-decade long tensions and hostilities between Ethiopia and it's neighboring country Eritrea. Additionally, he committed to ensuring that multiparty elections would be held and that political dissidents and critics of the government would no longer be jailed as was the case in the past, the New York Times reports.

Aljazeera reports that a number of schools and government offices were closed to encourage citizens to "go and make their mark" by contributing to the planting. While it is not yet clear whether the Guinness World Records was monitoring the tree planting, the Prime Minister's office expressed that they had the assistance of a unique software with regards to the counting.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.