African

South Africa’s unity government: 4 crucial factors for it to work

Retrieved on: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Now South Africa also has a unity government, following the 2024 general election in which no party won a majority.

Key Points: 
  • Now South Africa also has a unity government, following the 2024 general election in which no party won a majority.
  • The premise is that in divided societies, stability can be achieved by elites working together in a power-sharing pact.
  • Whether political parties call them coalitions or governments of national unity, these are generally expedient solutions designed to mitigate political conflict or instability.

South Africa’s unity government

  • It has chosen to form a unity government, joined by the Democratic Alliance (previously the official opposition), the Inkatha Freedom Party, the Patriotic Alliance and Good.
  • * Read more: South Africa's unity government: 5 parties that need to find common ground * ** At its first sitting, the country’s seventh parliament elected the president, speaker and deputy speaker.

It is workable?

  • This can be due to factors around political culture, most notably elite political culture.
  • These are the values, beliefs and attitudes that shape political elite behaviour within political institutions.
  • It must be based on recognising the need for stability and building an elite culture of accountability and collaboration.

What’s needed

G7 overcomes internal wrangling and ‘irrelevance’ barbs to strike US$50 billion deal to support Ukraine

Retrieved on: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Russia currently has US$350 billion of assets frozen in the western banking system earning annual interest of about US$3 billion.

Key Points: 
  • Russia currently has US$350 billion of assets frozen in the western banking system earning annual interest of about US$3 billion.
  • The deal envisages using this to back a US$50 billion loan to Kyiv.
  • It is expected to take months to settle on the final details of how the loan will be structured.
  • In Puglia, the G7 went even further with leaders announcing increased sanctions on companies trading with Russia that support its war efforts.
  • There was a particular focus on the role of Chinese support in supplying technical equipment and technology that are vital to Russia’s military industrial sector.

‘Lame duck’ leadership?

What’s New and Noteworthy in Columbus This Summer

Retrieved on: 
Friday, June 14, 2024

"Many people underestimate just how much Columbus has to offer," said Sarah Townes, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Experience Columbus.

Key Points: 
  • "Many people underestimate just how much Columbus has to offer," said Sarah Townes, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Experience Columbus.
  • But beyond these beloved summer staples, Columbus also offers fresh, new reasons to experience—or re-experience—the Arch City this season."
  • Launching in the summer of 2024, Ground Floor Growth is a program aiming to support small, local, minority- and women-owned businesses in downtown Columbus.
  • To learn more about all there is to see and do in Columbus this summer, visit www.experiencecolumbus.com/summer .

Global Fishing Watch and Gulf of Guinea Regional Fisheries Commission forge partnership in fight against illegal fishing

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The landmark partnership, inaugurated amid the global observance of the International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing , is a direct response to the devastating scale of IUU fishing activities and the illegal trade of marine resources in the Gulf of Guinea.

Key Points: 
  • The landmark partnership, inaugurated amid the global observance of the International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing , is a direct response to the devastating scale of IUU fishing activities and the illegal trade of marine resources in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • Representatives of Global Fishing Watch and COREP endorsed the partnership with a memorandum of understanding outlining the two organizations’ firm commitment to information sharing, tactical coordination and vessel transparency in fisheries management approaches.
  • "We are delighted to be working alongside the Gulf of Guinea Regional Fisheries Commission and honored by their request to lead this key collaboration," said Tony Long, chief executive officer of Global Fishing Watch.
  • "This partnership with Global Fishing Watch represents a significant step forward in our efforts to combat IUU fishing in the Gulf of Guinea region," said Emmanuel Sabuni Kasereka, COREP’s ad interim executive secretary.

IT News Africa Announces Digital Finance Africa 2024: A Crucial Summit for FinTech Innovation

Retrieved on: 
Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Abe Wakama, CEO of IT News Africa, highlighted the significance of this gathering, stating, "Digital Finance Africa 2024 is more than just a conference; it's a pivotal gathering for Africa's financial sector.

Key Points: 
  • Abe Wakama, CEO of IT News Africa, highlighted the significance of this gathering, stating, "Digital Finance Africa 2024 is more than just a conference; it's a pivotal gathering for Africa's financial sector.
  • Join us to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and shape the future of finance in Africa."
  • Who Should Attend and Sponsor:
    Digital Finance Africa 2024 is tailored for IT decision-makers in banking, FinTech entrepreneurs, financial regulators, technology service providers, and industry analysts.
  • By participating in Digital Finance Africa 2024, stakeholders will play a crucial role in shaping the future of finance in Africa.

EdVentures and Mastercard Foundation Partner to Boost Egypt's EdTech Startup Scene

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, June 6, 2024

EdVentures, the investment arm of Nahdet Misr Group and a leading EdTech venture capital firm in the MENA region, has announced a five-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to launch the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship in Egypt.

Key Points: 
  • EdVentures, the investment arm of Nahdet Misr Group and a leading EdTech venture capital firm in the MENA region, has announced a five-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to launch the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship in Egypt.
  • View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240606498723/en/
    The 12 Startups of the first Cohort of the MasterCard Foundation EdTech Fellowship in Collaboration with EdVentures (Egypt, 2024) - (Photo: AETOSWire)
    The 2024 program’s selection process involved scanning over 210 applicants for EdTech startups across multiple governorates in Egypt.
  • "We are honored to collaborate with Mastercard Foundation, a testament of our impact in Egypt's EdTech sector," stated Dalia Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of EdVentures.
  • The inaugural Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship cohort are:
    Armstrong: an interactive STEM e-learning platform.

National Geographic Debuts OCEANXPLORERS Trailer in Celebration of World Oceans Day

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, June 5, 2024

In celebration of World Oceans Day later this week, National Geographic revealed the trailer and key art for its epic six-part underwater discovery series OCEANXPLORERS.

Key Points: 
  • In celebration of World Oceans Day later this week, National Geographic revealed the trailer and key art for its epic six-part underwater discovery series OCEANXPLORERS.
  • The breathtaking series will premiere Aug. 18 on National Geographic and all episodes will stream the next day on Disney+ and Hulu.
  • OCEANXPLORERS is co-produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit and OceanX for National Geographic.
  • For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs is executive producer, and Tom McDonald is executive vice president of Global Factual and Unscripted Content.

Civil rights leader James Lawson, who learned from Gandhi, used nonviolent resistance and the ‘power of love’ to challenge injustice

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Lawson is best known for piloting two crucial civil rights campaigns – one in Nashville in 1960 and the other in Memphis in 1968.

Key Points: 
  • Lawson is best known for piloting two crucial civil rights campaigns – one in Nashville in 1960 and the other in Memphis in 1968.
  • In Nashville, Lawson trained students in the systematic use of nonviolent pressure.
  • Following the example of Mahatma Gandhi, who used nonviolent resistance to challenge the British occupation of India, students engaged in collective nonviolent direct action.
  • By 1968, Lawson had established himself as the leading authority on nonviolent conflict, a fact to which King himself attested.

Early influences

  • His father, James M. Lawson Sr., was an African Methodist Episcopal minister who carried a pistol on his hip, perhaps an odd influence for an advocate of nonviolence.
  • Lawson also closely followed the work of the Congress of Racial Equality as it challenged segregation laws with nonviolent direct action in the early 1940s.
  • Lawson began to see that he had an opportunity: He could challenge segregation, and he could use nonviolence to do it.
  • He said: “I made the commitment that … I’m not going to be disciplined, contorted into something that I’m not.”

Nonviolence and segregation laws

  • Required to register for the draft, Lawson concluded he would not cooperate: “There were certain laws that the Christian had to disobey: the laws of segregation and the laws of conscription.
  • So then I sent back my draft cards and said I could no longer cooperate with it.” He felt that conscription laws had the same fundamental problem as segregation laws.
  • Lawson sought to better understand Gandhian principles so he could apply them to battling Jim Crow segregation, racism and violence.
  • Lawson taught his students that Jim Crow laws were designed to make Black Americans both feel and act like second-class citizens.

Lawson’s influence lives on

South Africa: coalition government won’t fix past failures – expect the private sector to play a bigger role in delivering power, transport and security

Retrieved on: 
Monday, June 3, 2024

Although the country has presented guidelines for a just transition to greener energies, this has not been out of choice.

Key Points: 
  • Although the country has presented guidelines for a just transition to greener energies, this has not been out of choice.
  • It is mainly due to the collapse of the country’s energy infrastructure, not government leadership or a change of mind among the coal lobby.
  • State-owned enterprises, specifically in electricity, rail and ports, are a legacy of the apartheid state and South Africa’s “post-apartheid” settlement.
  • Even where government has adopted sustainable policies, the private sector has become the major driver of this shift, further worsening inequality.
  • Not only are private sector driven solutions only for those who can pay, they also end up driving public priorities.

Infrastructure collapse and inevitable privatisation

  • There are five main sectors where infrastructure collapse has been most obvious: energy, transport, security, education and agriculture.
  • A turnaround strategy is supposedly in place, but rolling blackouts are expected to continue despite the respite for two months.
  • There is now clear evidence that a massive private sector turn to solar power has reduced demand on old, ailing and poorly constructed coal-based infrastructure.
  • The shift onto roads using private transport companies, which hastens damage to the road infrastructure, is a classic instance of the harmful effects of public sector collapse.
  • Security: the privatisation of security in South Africa has been going on for over 25 years, but has reached fever pitch of late.

Will a coalition government change anything?

African countries could unlock billions in local and global trade – what’s working and what’s not

Retrieved on: 
Sunday, June 2, 2024

Aid for Trade is a development initiative that seeks to remove barriers to trade facing developing countries.

Key Points: 
  • Aid for Trade is a development initiative that seeks to remove barriers to trade facing developing countries.
  • International trade and development economics professor Bedassa Tadesse, who recently co-wrote a paper on Aid for Trade, unpacks what the initiative is doing to solve Africa’s trade problems.

What’s Africa’s state of trade?

  • It is estimated, for instance, that Africa could annually be generating US$21.9 billion more from exports to the world.
  • This limits the continent’s economic growth and ability to lift millions out of poverty.
  • Trade among African nations is also low, at about 16% of the continent’s total trade volume.

Why is trade with other nations important?

  • By fostering cultural exchange and interdependence among nations, trade also contributes to peace and stability.
  • To get the full benefits of trade, countries and regions need sound policies and institutional frameworks that ease global market integration and simplify trade.

What’s Aid for Trade, and how does it work?

  • Launched in 2005, it’s aimed at helping developing countries, particularly the least developed ones, to increase trade.
  • Like traditional aid, the beneficiary countries receive demand-driven funding from donors to finance their priority projects.
  • Also, unlike traditional aid, funds allocated may not always translate into direct financial inflows that support a recipient’s broader development goals.

Has it worked for Africa?

  • Under the initiative, countries on the continent received a total of US$233.18 billion from 2006 to 2022.
  • That’s why the initiative mostly funds projects like port facilities, trade corridors and telecommunications infrastructure across the continent.
  • We found that the initiative’s trade cost reduction effects were higher among African countries with relatively good infrastructure networks.

What are Africa’s key success stories?

  • The success stories from Africa include:
    The Busia One-Stop Border Post Project between Uganda and Kenya.
  • The project was launched in 2010 with funding from the World Bank’s East African Trade and Transport Project.
  • The project has since cut the average time it takes to cross from Busia (Uganda) to Busia (Kenya) by 80%.
  • Their success shows the initiative can lower trade barriers and enhance economic efficiency across the continent.

What remains to be done?