1Driving Africa’s Growth by Doing Business the Right Way
Standard Bank, Africa’s largest financial services organisation, has become a founding signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking – a framework aimed at driving sustainable economic development and ensuring the prosperity of current and future generations. More than 100 banking CEOs from five continents, along with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, launched the Principles for Responsible Banking at the annual UN General Assembly in New York on Sunday. Sola David-Borha, Standard Bank Group’s Chief Executive for Africa Regions, signed the Principles document on behalf of the group, which played a role in developing the framework over the past two years. Standard Bank, which houses the Stanbic brand, operates in 20 African markets.
2The Companies Fueling Juba’s Crisis
A South Sudanese oil consortium directly financed
militias accused of committing atrocities in the country’s civil war, according
to an investigative report by watchdog group the Sentry. Founded by the actor
George Clooney and John Prendergast, a rights activist, the report linked the
consortium, Dar Petroleum Operating Company, in which Chinese- and Malaysian
state-owned oil companies have large stakes, to episodes of violence,
corruption and environmental degradation. It also outlined ties between forces loyal
to the government of President Salva Kiir and the company, a relationship
apparently forged in an effort to protect the oil fields and keep revenues
flowing. While experts say there are few accountability mechanisms in place in
South Sudan, the naming and shaming of major international organizations and
individuals could prove financially damaging. The authors also hope the report
would spur action from banks and governments, such as seizing assets and
imposing sanctions on those named.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES
3Harry and Meghan Begin Tour of Africa
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have begun the first engagement
on their 10-day tour of southern Africa. Beaming from ear to ear, Harry thanked
the crowds of well-wishers who had gathered in Nyanga township to welcome him
and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. The royals visited a project that provides
self-defense classes and female empowerment training to girls and young women
on the first day of a royal visit to South Africa, Prince Harry says it is time
to rethink what masculinity means. Justice Desk, a human rights organization
that operates in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, educates children about their
rights, self-awareness and safety, and provides self-defense classes and female
empowerment training to young girls in the community.
4Malawi Finds Ways to Contain Overfishing in its Largest Body of Water
Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa, has long been the
economic hub for thousands of fishing communities along the lakefront areas.
However, locals say unsustainable fishing practices and climate change have led
to dwindling catches, forcing some fishermen to look for alternatives. Many
believe that the fish have been depleted because of climate change.
Others point to the increase in fishing vessels on the lake, resulting in
stiff competition for the catch. Meanwhile, the government is trying to
sensitize communities on regulations designed to reduce overfishing. These
include a ban on some fishing nets and a two-month annual ban on fishing in the
lake, from November 1 to December 31. Lakeside communities have formed
committees to help reinforce the regulation. In some areas, the villagers have
set up by-laws which have instant penalties to those violating the regulations.
5The Power of Radio During Africa’s Worst Tragedies
After the Rwanda genocide ended in July 1994, humanitarian
agencies were faced with a raft of problems – how to heal the wounded, how to
feed the hungry, how to house the homeless. And how to reunite lost children
with their families. But – in a time long before the internet or mobile phones,
when people have run away with nothing, when a country is in turmoil – how do
you start to find what family they had left? A plan was hatched to create a
short, 15 minute programme which would be broadcast by the BBC into Rwanda, and
the surrounding countries. It would start with a news bulletin and be followed
by people appealing for their missing relatives.
6Throwing Zimbabwe a Lifeline
Gemcorp Capital LLP, an independent investment management firm,
has announced its plans to support the revamping of Zimbabwe’s economy with a
$250 million loan for 5 years. The would help the country boost the importation
of essential goods like electricity, fuel, and medicine. Although the country
has gradually moved out of the historic 2008 crisis, cash shortage continues to
affect local businesses and the importation of foreign goods. This is where
Gemcorp comes in. The intervention of Gemcorp, which was established in 2014 to
provide support for emerging markets through credit and macro opportunities has
been identified as a kind gesture to the cash-strapped nation. Founded by
Atanas Bostandjiev, Gemcorp marked its entrance into the emerging markets in
Africa when the company offered a credit line of about $500 million to Angola
at a time the country’s economy was battered because of dwindling oil prices.
SOURCE: VENTURES AFRICA
7African Presidents Set for General Assembly
African heads of state including Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Egypt’s Adel Fattah el-Sisi, Senegal’s Macky Sall and Democratic Republic of
Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi are already in New York for the General Assembly.
South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa will be one of the notable absentees,
having opted to deal with pressing domestic issues back home. Ghana will occupy
the first seat in the Hall for this year’s session, including in the main
committees, followed by all the other countries, in English alphabetical order.
Every year in September, all 193 members of the United Nations meet at the
General Assembly at the organisation’s headquarters in New York. The General
Assembly is one of the six main organs of the UN, where several international
issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations, such as development, peace
and security, international law are discussed.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS
8Mugabe’s Cause of Death Revealed
Former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe died from cancer after
chemotherapy treatment was stopped because it was no longer effective, a
state-owned newspaper quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying, the first
time the government has given the cause of his death. Mugabe is still to be
buried because the government is building a mausoleum at Zimbabwe’s national
shrine reserved for liberation war fighters in the capital. His body is being
kept at his Blue Roof residence in Harare.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA
9Nigeria Told to Prepare for the Worst
Meteorologists are warning Nigerians to expect more flooding
nationwide, raising fears of food shortages. Food supplies are threatened in
northwest Nigeria where floods have destroyed crops. Dozens of people have been
killed recently and thousands of homes washed away.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
10Post-Mugabe Boom Catches the Attention of International Art Collectors
A new wave of young artists in Harare are attracting attention
from collectors and curators worldwide. Zimbabwe is enjoying an unlikely boom
in contemporary art, despite an economic crisis and unstable, sometimes
violent, politics. The success is linked to its problems, the artists say. Art
from across the African continent has enjoyed a surge of international interest
in recent years, with works newly visible in art shows, featured in the
specialist media and sought after by major institutions. The devastating
economic legacy of Mugabe’s 40 year rule means artists in the former British
colony face many obstacles: a lack of exhibition spaces, limited opportunities
to sell their work and difficulties getting basic supplies of artistic
materials. Curators are concerned that the lack of a major domestic art market
will mean that little work currently being produced remains in the country.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN