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AfricaFocus Bulletin: Latest six bulletins
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October 6, 2015 South Africa/Global: Piketty says "Tax the Rich"
"I think Europe and North America should stop having a double language with Africa, which is on the one hand they always give lessons about governance and transparency etcetera, and on the other hand, their own multinational companies and their own wealthy citizens are the very ones who are benefiting from financial opacity and they are doing nothing at all about it." - Thomas Piketty, in Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture
September 30, 2015 Africa/Global: Climate Action Beyond Paris
"Temperatures over subtropical southern Africa have risen at more than twice the global rate over the last five decades." - CSIR, South Africa. *** "To date, 436 institutions and 2,040 individuals across 43 countries and representing $2.6 trillion in assets have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies." - Arabella Advisors, USA. *** "Kenya is emerging as a hotspot for off-grid solar power. A 2014 study by M-KOPA Solar and InterMedia shows that 14 per cent of the surveyed population use solar as their primary lighting and charging source." - The Nation, Kenya
September 21, 2015 Africa: Internet Usage Rising Rapidly
The ways in which disruptive technologies change the world are often unpredictable, and how much the results are positive or negative can be debated. But there is no doubt that they give scope for human creativity to have greater impact, for both good and evil. Internet growth, giving new opportunities for African creativity, has already changed Africa significantly. And, notes Russell Southwood of the leading industry newsletter Balancing Act Africa, further changes are coming rapidly.
September 14, 2015 West Africa: Tax Giveaway Follies
"Our research shows that three countries alone – Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal – are losing up to $5.8 billion a year. If the rest of ECOWAS lost revenues at similar percentages of their GDP, total revenue losses among the 15 ECOWAS states would amount to $9.6 billion a year [due to tax incentives offered to foreign companies]." - Action Aid and Tax Justice Network Africa
September 8, 2015 Mozambique/Africa: "The Eloquent Peasant"
The juxtaposition of a current trial for freedom of expression in Mozambique with a classic ancient Egyptian poem may seem incongruous at first glance. One trial currently awaiting a verdict in Maputo includes a Mozambican economist and two Mozambican journalists [with the trial of one journalist postponed because of health], while the other features a peasant seeking redress from the country's rulers for wrongs inflicted by a landowner. But the poem was cited in his own defense by economist Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco, in a one-day trial in Maputo on August 31.
August 3, 2015 Africa/Global: Climate Change Roundup
Coal is the most damaging of fossil fuels, both for human health and for the planet. Although it still dominates in some countries, including South Africa, the case against coal is rapidly gaining ground around the world. On business grounds as well, coal is losing its competitive advantage. 2015, many are suggesting, may be the beginning of the end for coal.