1The Gang War Ravaging the Cape Flats
Communities on the Cape Flats in the city of Cape Town say police have lost control of gang violence. Dozens of people have been killed in turf battles since the start of the year and the government is now preparing to deploy the army to clamp down on the unrest. South Africa’s government has sought to reassure people living in Cape Town over planned deployment of the army, saying it will be temporary. The deployment involves bringing in troops from elsewhere in the country – a deliberate move to ensure that no soldiers have existing links to gang members – and preparing them for what are effectively peacekeeping duties. Crime experts have warned that a sudden crackdown on Cape Flats gangs could inadvertently spread the problem across the country, as gangsters might flee to other provinces. SOURCE: AL JAZEERA | DAILY MAVERICK
2What African Businesses Should Know About Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce
The chamber has developed the Africa Gateway Smart Application, a free app and website that facilitates access to African investment opportunities. The platform provides potential investors with everything needed to set up a business in Africa. The African Gateway Dubai Chamber helps businesses who want to “understand market dynamics, bid for tenders or connect with businesses in Africa.” The portal houses case studies, news articles as well as facts and figures needed to make an informed decision about the business opportunities available in Africa. Earlier this year, the chamber hosted an event dubbed a chamberthon, which saw five African Startups and their Dubai counterparts vie for a spot in a mentorship programme. At the end of the mentorship, the startups will have an audience with business and government leaders attending Global Business Forum Africa to pitch for backers. Under the banner “Scale Up Africa”, the chamber will host its fifth Global Business Forum in November 2019 where the conversation will centre around restoring business confidence in Africa. SOURCE: AFRICA.COM
3Bringing Zimbabwe to a Halt
Zimbabwe’s public workers on Tuesday said they would go on strike if the government failed to increase their wages to at least $475 per month for the lowest paid employee, as resurgent inflation returned. Official figures published on Monday showed annual inflation almost doubled to 175.66% in June, piling pressure on a population struggling with shortages and stirring memories of the economic chaos of a decade ago. Leaders of government workers’ unions marched on the ministries of finance and labor in Harare on Tuesday to present their wage demands. “Civil servants are not asking for a salary increment, but rather restoration of the value of their earnings, which fell from at least US$475 to a mere US$47 currently for the lowest paid civil servant,” read part of the workers’ petition. Last week, public sector workers rejected the government’s offer of 180 million Zimbabwe dollars ($20.41 million) in additional pay for the next six months, saying it was too little. $1 = 8.82 Zimbabwe dollar. SOURCE: REUTERS
4Fears that Ebola Could Spread
The first Ebola patient in the largest city in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has died, authorities have said. The spread of the virus to Goma, a city of roughly 1 million people and a regional transport hub, has raised fears the outbreak, already the second deadliest ever Ebola epidemic, could spread more widely. Goma is home to more than a million people and lies directly on Congo’s border with Rwanda, where tens of thousands cross on foot daily. The ongoing Ebola outbreak has spread through Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces for almost a year. A small number of cases were confirmed but quickly contained in neighboring Uganda in June after a Congolese family sought treatment there. At a high-level meeting of global health officials in Geneva, the head of the World Health Organization said he would reconvene a panel of scientists to determine whether the outbreak ranks as a public health emergency of international concern, a designation that could unlock more resources to stop it but that has been declined three times before.
SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST
5Experience Art Made in Ghana
Ibrahim Mahama is a junkyard utopian, whose art involves recycling stuff that’s lost its purpose.He bought up rows and rows of dirty old plastic second-class Ghana Railways carriage seats. He packed them into shipping containers and sent them on a 5,000-mile trip, from his west African homeland to the Whitworth Art Gallery, along with some school cupboards no longer fit for purpose, exercise books of children now grown up, and the minutes of Ghanaian parliamentary debates now deemed obsolete. Then he arranged rows of seats into terraces, ringed the seats with the cupboards, and filled their shelves with the books so that intrigued visitors can thumb through them during the Manchester international festival. He’s also used the leather from the first-class seats to bind albums of historic photographs from Ghana’s early independence years. He calls the resulting installation Parliament of Ghosts. Parliament of Ghosts seems to critique many things – colonialism, Ghana’s past and Brexit, too.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
6South Africa’s Lion Breeders Look East for New Markets
Lion parts legally exported from South Africa usually wind up in Asia, where they are often marketed as tiger parts. This lucrative business is on the rise, and according to recent research a ban enacted by the United States may have helped to ignite it. Before the ban, South Africa’s breeding and hunting facilities housed over 8,400 captive-bred lions. Many were destined for use in “put and take” hunts in which a captive-bred, sometimes tame animal is released into a fenced hunting camp for a hunter to stalk and shoot. For people short of money and time, these canned hunts, as they are commonly called, can be appealing. Compared to traditional hunts in the wild, canned lion hunts are cheaper, last days rather than weeks, and are guaranteed to produce a high-quality trophy. Americans once comprised at least half of the clientele for canned hunts. But animal-welfare advocates have long criticized the industry as rife with abuse and lacking in any conservation value. Over 80 percent of respondents said that the ban had impacted their businesses, and many reported laying off staff and euthanizing lions. While most breeders said they had scaled back operations, about 30 percent said they had decided to turn to the international bone trade. Prices for skeletons have risen by more than 20 percent since 2012.SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES
7Death Threats Kick Off Day 2 of Zuma’s Appearance
Former president Jacob Zuma – who claims that death threats have been made against him and his children since his first appearance before the Zondo commission on Monday – still receives the protection services afforded all former heads of state. On Tuesday morning, Zuma started his continuing testimony by informing inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that his PA had received a phone call on Monday between 19:00 and 20:00. “This person said, ‘you must tell Zuma we are going to kill him, and we are going to kill his children and the people around him’,” Zuma said. He said this followed threats made against his senior counsel, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, a week or so ago. Zondo said the threats were “totally” unacceptable.When quizzed about whether Zuma would receive protection while a witness at the commission, at a press briefing following the budget vote debate for the Department of Justice on Tuesday, Director-General Vusi Madonsela said Zuma still received protection from the state, albeit not on the same scale as when he was head of state. SOURCE: NEWS 24
8Tough Economic Decisions for Central Banks Across Africa
Central banks in sub-Saharan Africa’s key economies will take direction from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell when they make calls on interest rates in the next 10 days. Since the Monetary Policy Committees last met, South Africa’s statistics agency said that economy contracted the most in a decade in the first quarter, Nigeria passed measures to compel banks to boost lending and a drought in Kenya pushed up inflation. A stronger currency and moderating inflation in an economy that may have fallen into a second recession in consecutive years gives the South African Reserve Bank scope to lower its key interest rate for the first time in more than a year. Inflation in Ghana slowed to a five-month low in June and has now been inside the central bank’s target band for over a year. Nigeria’s central bank has made it clear that it’s keen to boost lending to help an economy that’s still struggling to recover from a 2016 contraction, but with sticky inflation and the need to attract foreign inflows to support the naira, the central bank has started to resort to other measures than interest cuts to boost credit growth. Kenya’s MPC will meet as a drought that’s threatening the food security of almost 2 million people and higher fuel costs drives up prices. Angola’s central bank has reduced the increments by which it cut interest rates since it entered an International Monetary Fund financial program. SOURCE: BLOOMBERG
9Uganda Plans to Introduce New Regulations For Bean Farming
The new legislation will replace a 1991 law that only covers post-farm activities such as marketing and processing, according to the National Coffee Bill that’s currently under consideration by law makers. The law would widen governance to issues related to planting materials, harvest and post-harvest handling, research and climate change. Authorities also intend to register all coffee farmers for monitoring, according to the bill. Uganda, Africa’s second-biggest coffee grower after Ethiopia, forecasts production at 5.6-million 60kg bags in the 12 months to end-September, and projects output climbing to 20-million bags in 2025. The country largely produces the robusta variety and the bulk of the beans are exported.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE
10Meet the ‘Snake Man of Lagos’
Mark Ofua, a Lagos-based veterinarian, has dedicated his life to saving animals and sharing knowledge on animal conservation. He rescues distressed animals, treats them and returns them to the wild. He says all animals deserve to live on this earth. His rescues include a female ball python whose eggs he helped incubate and hatch into snakelets that were later released into the wild. On World Snake Day this video talks about his work and the importance of raising awareness.SOURCE: BBC