Sponsored Content Tony Elumelu MFR is founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and one of Africa’s most esteemed businessmen. Last month’s Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in Abuja, Nigeria brought together five African presidents and thousands of African entrepreneurs for two days of intensive talks about issues of job creation, technology, poverty, and youth empowerment. The TEF has long advocated entrepreneurship as a key driver of economic transformation in Africa. Its annual forum offers opportunities for budding CEOs to tap into the expertise of more than 60 international speakers and even to apply for seed capital, mentoring and training. The event enables would-be entrepreneurs to participate in a variety of masterclasses, panel discussions and debates designed to inspire innovation and boost economic development on the continent. The TEF initiative carries significant financial clout. A total of $100 million has been pledged by the Foundation over the next decade to benefit tens of thousands of young entrepreneurs, with 7500 candidates having already been accepted on the programme in the four years since its inception. Learning from Africa’s rapidly emerging economies The African leaders present at the event’s fifth gathering represented some of Africa’s most dynamic economies, including Senegal’s president Macky Sall. Under Sall’s leadership, Senegal has enjoyed impressive economic growth, with businesses also benefiting from a redoubling of government efforts to curb corruption. Senegal has steadily climbed up Transparency International’s corruption index since Sall’s election in 2012. Initiatives such as the creation of a new anti-corruption commission and a specialised court dealing with illicit enrichment cases have turned Senegal into the least corrupt country in West Africa. The progress Sall’s administration has made on stamping out corruption has given a boost to the country’s entrepreneurs—particularly important given that entrepreneurship is seen as a crucial catalyst for the country’s continued economic expansion and an important means of creating jobsb for its younger citizens. Macky Sall’s proposed reforms seek to make the process of starting up businesses substantially easier – allowing SMEs to be registered in a matter of days rather than months, for instance – with the aim of encouraging 100,000 young entrepreneurs to contribute to the country’s success story. Tony Elumelu’s United Bank of Africa has been an important partner for Senegalese entrepreneurs, as highlighted in a recent meeting between the two men in Dakar in the wake of the international forum. With local funding thin on the ground in many African countries, venture capital is often only available from investors outside the continent. TEF helps to redress the balance by funding first-time founders who may otherwise struggle to access pre-seed and seed capital. In partnership with the TEF, the government of Senegal has recently announced its intention to provide $1 million of sponsorship capital over a three-year period. Prioritising entrepreneurship A similar pattern of growth can be seen in Rwanda, where president and TEF keynote speaker Paul Kagame has targeted the expansion of business activity and opportunities, especially among the country’s young people and women. For years, the Rwandan government has been encouraging the development of a knowledge-based economy driven by young entrepreneurs, especially in the thriving tech sector. Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, hosts pioneering foreign investors and is home to incubators like kLab which attract Rwandan graduates as well as US and UK tech entrepreneurs keen to capitalise on the country’s growth culture. Fast-tracked business registration procedures enable companies to get up and running quickly and efficiently with the minimum of red tape. Some have questioned whether the state is taking the most efficient approach, though. While Rwanda’s young people learn about the power of entrepreneurship from an early age – entrepreneurship lessons are a mandatory part of the curriculum in the country’s secondary schools – there are still many more young Rwandans looking for jobs that there are opportunities available for them. The gap between government policy and Rwandan’s lived experience is significant. And yet, in just a few short years, Rwanda has successfully shifted government focus towards the support of entrepreneurship, having established a Human Capital and Institutional Development Department and invested in dedicated innovation camps. Although inter-departmental coordination could be better, the drive to encourage individuals to consider starting their own businesses seems to be bearing fruit. Unlocking Africa’s potential The TEF’s goal is for the many young entrepreneurs who joined Presidents Sall and Kagame at this year’s forum to spread their learning to yet more countries, spurring the massive shift in economic growth and job creation the continent needs. In his speech to the forum, Tony Elumelu reiterated his belief in so-called ‘Africapitalism’: the power of long-term investment in entrepreneurship to drive economic prosperity and social wealth that will catalyse Africa’s development. He said: ‘I salute those here; our ambition is that you become ambassadors for entrepreneurship in Africa. You are a generation of wealth creators who share our commitment to the transformation of Africa.’ This year’s event closed with the UBA-supported Marketplace where SMEs were invited to exhibit their products and solutions and encouraged to forge connections with investors. We are undertaking a survey to help us improve our content for you. This will only take 1 minute of your time, please give us your feedback by clicking HERE . All responses will be confidential. Tony Elumelu Foundation TEF Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship
If Africa really wants to end violence, states will need to take their own peace project more seriously. Both the value and the flaw of the African Union’s (AU) Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by the Year 2020 is the breadth of its vision. In offering practical steps for realising the AU’s ambitious plan to end conflict – adopted in 2013 as a flagship project of its wider developmental blueprint Agenda 2063 – the Master Roadmap identifies just about all of Africa’s familiar ills as causes of its endemic violence. Inequality, poverty, undemocratic behaviour, gross violations of human rights, proliferation of illegal arms, fragility of states, government corruption, illicit financial flows from the continent, uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources, climate change, lack of implementation by AU member states of the many treaties and decisions on these and other issues, the United Nations’ failure to fund more of the AU’s own peacekeeping efforts … etc. The self-criticism is often sharp and unsparing, including the observation that one of the causes of African conflicts is ‘the failure of liberation movements to transform themselves into dynamic governing political parties able to operate in pluralistic democratic societies’. The roadmap also berates many member states and the AU itself for persistently ignoring the often glaringly obvious early warning signs of brewing conflict and violence. These usually come in the form of those same violations of democracy and human rights. The roadmap’s main obstacle is its assumption that conditions for silencing the guns exist in Africa The roadmap is often pertinent and even radical in the solutions it proposes. Not least it suggests stiffer sanctions against AU members that perpetrate the undemocratic behaviours that provoke violence. But, as Oxfam’s Désiré Assogbavi pointed out in 2017 after the roadmap was adopted by the AU, it was always too generic to be achieved in the three years that remained then. He proposed that the AU focus on the worst conflicts, setting benchmarks and time frames. It should also identify and address the most volatile potential conflicts. Assogbavi suggested that the AU more formally institutionalise its mechanisms for tougher sanctions against member states for unconstitutional behaviour. More than two years later, these observations are just as pertinent, while the recommendations remain just as unimplemented. For example, the continuing tolerance of undemocratic behaviour. It does seem something of an anomaly that it was Equatorial Guinea that introduced a resolution at the UN Security Council in February this year for greater cooperation between the UN and AU in silencing the guns. This is after all a very repressive country – one that perpetrates many of the underlying causes of violence identified in the roadmap. The AU is of course only as strong as its member states and since many of them are deeply undemocratic, they are unlikely to reprimand or sanction others for the same flaws. But then it must be acknowledged that that is going to be a major obstacle to silencing the guns. After just six years of the whole initiative and barely three of the roadmap, it’s no surprise that Africa remains far from silencing all or even most of the guns. Some successes in peace efforts have been registered, such as the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace accord, the Sudan peace deal, the revitalised South Sudan peace deal, the mediations in Madagascar and Central African Republic – although many remain tentative. However the Uppsala Conflict Data Program , the most comprehensive global monitor of conflicts, shows that despite some fluctuations either way, the 2018 death toll from organised violence in Africa barely changed from that of 2013. It was 15 455 in 2013, jumped steeply to 24 264 in 2014, dropped to 20 515 in 2015, dropped again to 17 416 in 2016, rose to 18 308 in 2017, then dropped to 15 003 in 2018. Now, as the Institute for Security Studies’ Peace and Security Council Report notes , the AU has just adopted as its 2020 theme ‘Silencing the guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development’. This seems like a last push to, if not silence, at least lower the decibel levels of the guns by 31 December 2020. (Even if the key phrase ‘by 2020’ has been quietly dropped from the title.) This seems to be a tacit acknowledgement of failure, or perhaps just reality – that the guns will not go quiet next year. The AU must enforce its own stated values as a start to nipping future conflicts in the bud The PSC Report believes the project ‘was ambitious from the outset’ and that the roadmap was bound to struggle given its tight deadline. It does conjecture though, that adopting ‘silencing the guns’ as a theme will ‘galvanise stakeholders to take stock of achievements and challenges in implementing the roadmap.’ Also that the AU Peace and Security Council will consider these lessons when developing a more robust action plan for achieving peace – but only beyond 2020. The report says the roadmap faced operational and institutional obstacles, mainly stemming from its assumption that conditions for silencing the guns now existed in Africa. Instead, it says, ‘The activities of violent extremists and other insurgent groups in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, violence related to political transitions and the unprecedented level of climate change and natural disaster-induced displacement all pose a threat to states’ ability to keep their citizens safe.’ Indeed the Uppsala data shows the Nigeria-Sahel axis has the highest death rates. Like Assogbavi, the PSC Report notes member states’ lack of political will to implement AU decisions as a major source of conflict. It also finds the roadmap to be unrealistic in its expectations of AU institutions that aren’t yet fully functional. Equally unrealistic is its proposal that member states and regional economic communities as well as the AU and its organs themselves fund all the ambitious recommendations. But the report also notes that the AU Peace Fund has secured more funding from member states than ever before. This raises hopes that it can finance the implementation of more peace and security activities. Appointing former AU peace and security commissioner and former Algerian foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra as AU High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa has also raised hopes. In the above-mentioned February UN Security Council debate, African contributors tended to emphasise what outsiders could and should do to help silence the guns. For example, the need for more Security Council support for AU peacekeeping, and noting that the small arms flooding the continent were almost all manufactured abroad. True enough. But the one thing the AU and its member states have in both their power and their budgets to do, is to enforce the AU’s own stated values of democracy, human rights, respect for the rule of law and good governance. That would be a good place to start in order at least to nip future conflicts in the bud. Peter Fabricius , ISS Consultant In South Africa, Daily Maverick has exclusive rights to re-publish ISS Today articles. For media based outside South Africa and queries about our re-publishing policy, email us.
KPTV photo. PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – An African-American man has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the owner of a Pearl District bar, alleging the Splash Ultra Lounge conspired to keep him from entering the club because of his skin color. Ray Peterson says he tried to attend a friend’s party at the nightclub on Northwest 9th and Northwest Couch Street about a year ago, but wasn’t allowed to enter the building. According to Peterson, the owner and security staff said he was wearing too many gold chains, which violated the club’s dress code. Peterson says he asked the club’s security staff if he could see the dress code, but he says they refused to show it to him. Peterson and his lawyers are seeking half-a-million dollars in damages. They say the owner of Splash Ultra Lounge, Chris Lenahan, and his security company, Top Flyte, conspire to limit the number of African-Americans who can enter the nightclub. According to Peterson, they communicate by radio and code, and when they believe there are too many African-Americans in the club, they “arbitrarily enforce a dress code” to regulate the number of African-Americans or people of color they allow inside. A similar lawsuit against Lenahan involving a different African-American man and a different club he owns was settled outside of court a few years ago, even though Lenahan had said the allegations were fabricated. FOX 12 reached out to Splash Ultra Lounge and the security company for comment but did not hear back. Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
Members of Team South Africa pictured soon after arriving for the Africa Games in Rabat. Photo: @TeamSA19 on twitter RABAT –The SA swimming team opened the aquatics programme of the 12th African Games in a spectacular fashion, claiming 11 medals (six gold, three silver and two bronze) in Rabat, Morocco, on Wednesday. Michael Houlie kicked off the evening session with a gold medal-winning performance in the 50m breaststroke, posting 27.41 ahead of Egypt’s Youssef Elkamash in 27.52 and Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi in 28.27. Martin Binedell won himself a gold medal in the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:01.38 followed by Algeria’s Abdellah Ardjoune in 2:02.73 and Egypt’s Yassin Elshamaa in 2:05.77. Binedell bagged his second gold as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team with Douglas Erasmus, Brad Tandy and Ryan Coetzee when they finished in 3:21.63. There was no stopping Erin Gallagher as she sped to the finish line of the 100m freestyle in 55.13, while team-mate Emma Chelius scooped the bronze in 55.86. The silver went to Egypt’s Farida Osman in 55.62. Gallagher and Chelius were also a part of the gold medal-winning 4x100m freestyle relay team, alongside Jessica Whelan and Kerryn Herbst, where the ladies’ topped the podium in 3:48.88. GOLD RUSH! Team SA picked up 6 golds
Image: South32 South32 has received an offer from Seriti Resources Holdings to acquire its South Africa Energy Coal business. The company did not disclose a value of the proposed transaction, but indicated Seriti’s offer included a “modest” up-front cash payment with a deferred payment mechanism. Seriti is a South African mining company co-owned by four black anchor shareholders, including Masimong Group, Thebe Investments, Zungu Investments (Zico) and Community Investment Holdings (CIH). The company was incorporated to acquire the New Vaal, New Denmark and Kriel mines from Anglo American, as well as various life extension coal resources and closed collieries. “When we announced our intention to broaden the ownership of South Africa Energy Coal in November 2017, our vision was that it become a sustainable, black-owned and operated business, consistent with South Africa’s transformation agenda,” Kerr said. The divestment would reduce South32’s sustaining capital intensity, strengthen the balance sheet and improve margins, according to Kerr. The South Africa Energy Coal business has cost South32 $US578 million ($851.8 million) in impairment charges and reduced the group’s profit after tax by 71 per cent to $US389 million in the 2019 financial year. The charges resulted from South32’s historical investment in the operation, its assessment of Seriti’s current offer and the market outlook for thermal coal demand and prices. “Looking ahead our portfolio will include industry leading positions in alumina and manganese, and we will continue to embed development options with a bias to base metals that have the potential to deliver meaningful growth in shareholder value,” Kerr said. “Our announcement that we have entered into exclusive negotiations with Seriti is an important milestone and we expect to provide a further update to the market in the December 2019 half year.” South32’s financial results ending June this year saw its revenue slide by four per cent to $US7.27 billion on the previous corresponding period, despite positive results across its Australian operations. The company achieved a 57 per cent increase in production at Illawarra Metallurgical Coal in New South Wales, with the Appin Colliery continuing to ramp up towards historical rates. Australia Manganese also operated its premium concentrate ore circuit at around 120 per cent of its design capacity, contributing to South32’s production of 5.5 million tonnes of manganese ore. This underpins a three per cent increase in the group’s production volumes. South32 has also commenced a feasibility study at the Eagle Downs Metallurgical Coal following its acquisition of a 50 per cent interest in the project.
A South African court on Wednesday partially banned the former national flag of South Africa, which has become a symbol for many of the apartheid era [Denis Farrell/The Associated Press] A South African court has partially banned flying the country’s apartheid -era national flag, saying such display amounted to “hate speech” and “harassment”. Wednesday’s landmark ruling in South Africa ‘s Equality Court in Johannesburg barred the so-called “apartheid flag” – comprised of three stripes of orange, white and blue with the emblems of Britain, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic at its centre – from being displayed except for academic, artistic or journalistic purposes. WATCH 09:45 During the ruling, Judge Phineas Mojapelo said any gratuitous display of the old flag was “racist and discriminatory”. “It demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful, to be harmful and incite harm and it, in fact, promotes and propagates hatred against black people … it constitutes hate speech,” Mojapelo said. Offenders will not face arrest. However, they will be subject to community service and fines for displaying the flag, which had sometimes been exhibited by far right-wing and conservative groups at political gatherings and at rugby matches. Supporters of the ban, who have rallied around the #morethanaflag hashtag on social media , likened the ruling to Germany banning the swastika, while opponents said the decision was an infringement on free speech. The ruling followed a petition to the court by the Nelson Mandela Foundation Trust after the flag was displayed in October 2017 during a protest by white South Africans against the killing of farmers. The foundation, which is the custodian of former president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela ‘s archives and legacy, argued that flying the flag showed nostalgia for the old days. “Gratuitous displays of the old flag express a desire for black people to be relegated to labour reserves, a pining for the killing, the torture, the abductions, a melancholia for the discrimination, the death squads, the curfews and the horrific atrocities committed under the flag,” the foundation said in the statement. Outside of the court, the foundation’s CEO Sello Hatang praised the ruling. “We must be a nation that celebrates our diversity instead of fighting over our differences,” she said. The Apartheid flag is gone! The Equality Court has today ruled that gratuitous displays of the old flag are legally hate speech! A win for democracy and all South Africans! #MoreThanAFlag pic.twitter.com/tdDLdz2IEw — NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) The old flag was adopted in 1928, 20 years before the formal promulgation of apartheid laws in 1948. It was officially replaced by the multicoloured “Rainbow flag” after South Africa achieved majority-rule democracy in 1994, implementing a constitution with laws to prevent racial discrimination. The constitution also created the Equality Court, meant to protect equal rights for all citizens. The new flag, designed by Frederick Brownell, who died in May at the age of 79, was meant to symbolise the unity of the previously segregated racial groups. “Those who display the old flag choose deliberately to not only display the old flag, but also consciously and deliberately choose to not display the new, multiracial flag,” Mojapelo also said during the ruling. “They choose oppression over liberation.” Opponents, including the groups Afriforum and the Federation for Afrikaans Cultural Societies, who lobby on behalf of South Africa’s white Afrikaner minority, said the ruling corroded free speech. Also speaking to reporters outside of the court, Ernst Roets, of Afriforum, said his organisation was not convinced that displaying the flag alone amounted to hate speech, adding that “for it to be hate speech, it must be coupled with a call to action to inflict harm.” The so-called ‘apartheid flag’, which a court partially banned on Wednesday, was replaced by the ‘Rainbow flag’ in 1994 [File: Andrew Boyers/Reuters] Many hailed the verdict as progress for South Africa, where, despite the end to minority rule, tensions remain high as the nation is gripped by wide economic disparities, rampant corruption and a battle to ease unemployment and roll back crime . Dakota Legoete, spokesman for the ruling African National Council party, said the court’s decision was a “national victory”. Nathi Mthethwa, the minister of sport, arts and culture, tweeted that the ruling was “in the spirit of” the South African constitution which calls for the healing of “the divisions of the past.” The Congress of South African Trade Unions said that “if the Nazi flag and the Confederate flag can be denounced in Germany and America, there is no reason to keep glorifying the apartheid flag.” Is apartheid in South Africa over? Get a free audiobook
Landscape architect Walter Hood (tan suit) explains landscape design of the African Ancestors Memorial Garden, at the soon to be built International African American Museum. The museum will receive a $1 million donation from the city of North Charleston. File/Brad Nettles/Staff The city of North Charleston plans to give $1 million to the International African American Museum, making it the first city other than Charleston to make a major contribution to the soon-to-be-built facility. The donation will be given over four years in annual sums of $250,000, funded by the accommodations tax revenue. Council members are scheduled to vote on the proposed gift Thursday. The city’s finance committee, which includes every member of council, approved the donation unanimously last week. Mayor Keith Summey said he’s been considering the contribution for about six months. He sat down with former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley this month to discuss his hope for how North Charleston may be included in the project. “We want our part of the history to be recognized,” Summey said. Specifically, Summey would like to see the museum highlight the neighborhood of Liberty Hill. Founded in 1871 by four freed black men, the community is North Charleston’s oldest and predates the city itself. An exhibit in the city’s new Intermodal Transportation Center will feature an exhibit on Liberty Hill’s history. But exposure in the IAAM, Summey said, would spread the community’s story on a much greater scale. “Municipalities have a competitive spirit sometimes,” Summey said. “But we thought enough of this project that we believed we would be treated fairly.” Riley said he was “extremely grateful” to have the support of the neighboring city. The idea of incorporating Liberty Hill into the IAAM fits with the museum’s focus of “telling African American stories through the lens of Charleston, the Lowcountry and South Carolina.” “This is a place where African Americans were able to build their own community,” Riley said. “I think it’s wonderful.” The funds given to the museum will not be designated for a specific use, Summey said. Money from accommodations taxes — the revenue gathered from stays at hotels and other commercial lodgings — was chosen for the gift since the museum is expected to draw new travelers to the area, including North Charleston. One of the goals of the museum is to serve as a hub for visitors who want to discover other places that are meaningful to African American history throughout the state. For example, one gallery will feature an interactive media table with a map of South Carolina. Visitors can zoom in on different points of interest and learn about relevant sites and how they connect to the stories presented at the museum. More than 2,200 contributors have raised the more than $90 million already donated to the project. So far, public contributions have come from the city of Charleston, Charleston County and the state of South Carolina. The museum reached its original fundraising goal, $75 million, last August. But construction costs, including the price of steel, were higher than anticipated, and fundraising continued. Several large donations have been announced this year, including contributions of $1 million or more from BP, Nucor Corp., Dominion Energy and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After almost two decades of planning and fundraising, the IAAM reached a milestone last month when Charleston City Council voted to approve critical contracts allowing work to begin on the museum’s waterfront site. The contracts totaled $60.2 million, about $58.46 million of which will go to the primary contractor, Turner-Brownstone, for the first phase of construction. Other smaller contracts included electrical work and project management services. An official groundbreaking ceremony will be held in October at the museum site, which is next to the Charleston Maritime Center. Riley, museum board chairman Wilbur Johnson and interim CEO Bernard Powers will join North Charleston city officials Friday morning for an announcement of the donation at the Felix Pinckney Community Center.
About the Author: Gary Roughead, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired), is a former chief of U.S. Naval Operations and former Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Media reports about Mozambique’s failure to launch a fishing and security fleet and its subsequent $2 billion debt default seem destined to torpedo, or at least set back similar efforts to build needed coastal security and national fishing fleets across Africa. That must not happen. The systems and equipment Mozambique bought a few years ago from shipbuilder Privinvest could serve as a template for coastal African nations seeking to rightfully benefit from their natural resources and lift their populations out of poverty. I have long monitored African maritime security challenges from piracy to other illicit activities in that vast continent’s rich exclusive economic zones and welcomed an opportunity to conduct a thorough, independent assessment of the Mozambique maritime projects. I concluded the vessels, systems and equipment procured by Mozambique are appropriate to the tasks for which they were acquired, including commercial fishing and coastal security. They can advance Mozambique’s economic and security interests and can help other African nations do the same. Mozambique is the world’s second-poorest nation (behind the Democratic Republic of Congo) yet it is remarkably rich in offshore resources. Its undersea natural gas reserves of nearly 3 trillion cubic meters ranks as the world’s 13thlargest. The nation’s abundant fish stocks can be a source of revenue, jobs and much needed dietary diversity, according to the World Health Organization. In addition, Mozambique’s 1,400-mile coastline and three deep-water ports are well-positioned to build a robust regional ship repair and maintenance industry to serve its own fleets and commercial vessels of other nations operating in the Indian Ocean. Mozambique, like many coastal nations in Africa, faces the threats of piracy, sea robbery, smuggling, trafficking in drugs, weapons and people and illegal migration. The Mozambique maritime projects wisely took a comprehensive approach to Mozambique’s opportunities and challenges with a plan to secure its sovereign waters, create a viable offshore fishing industry and begin building a maritime industrial sector. The government pursued an integrated solution and acquired a range of capabilities that included maritime domain awareness radar sites, operations centers, patrol vessels, aircraft, an afloat-maintenance ship and fishing vessels. Privinvest was a good choice as a supplier because of its network of shipyards and record of building integrated maritime systems for major navies. The ships are modern, capable, and impressive, yet not overly complex. Privinvest also delivered operating-base enhancements, shipbuilding and repair facilities, training classrooms and programs, spare parts and transferred intellectual property licenses and technologies. The set of capabilities is a solid foundation for growing a larger maritime capability. Mozambique launched the projects with minimal maritime infrastructure, few professional mariners, and without the direct involvement of its armed forces. Unfortunately, the undertaking lacked a national strategy to attract, recruit and retain the minimum number of personnel needed to operate and maintain the acquired maritime capability and infrastructure. But all is not lost. Mozambique can still revive the fleets and systems and the rest of Africa can learn from the experience. Like Mozambique, Tanzania, Mauritania and Senegal have massive natural gas discoveries. Ivory Coast, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo and Cameroon have major finds as well. African waters are also a major source of the world’s seafood, with Congo, Somalia, Guinea and Gambia among the world’s fastest-growing fish export countries. If they are building from a nascent maritime infrastructure, other African nations first step must be to prioritize the recruiting, training, and retention of personnel. Buying the correct vessels and systems and using them effectively are two different things. Without trained, motivated crews, capable vessels, like those of Mozambique, are likely to become expensive, dormant waterfront decorations. Second, nations should take advantage of existing organizations of their armed forces to avoid duplicative overhead costs and to use the military personnel system to recruit and manage talent. This also enhances interoperability with regional navy and air force command and control systems. Third, take a comprehensive approach. Selecting a multifaceted contractor like Privinvest that can deliver modern fishing and security vessels, littoral surveillance systems and vessel maintenance and repair has significant downstream benefits. This approach can ensure uniform design as well as a consistent and reliable supply chain and maintenance. Finally, Mozambique was smart to buy the intellectual property rights to the vessels it acquired. This gives it the ability to build an indigenous shipbuilding and ship repair industry and earn revenue by selling to other countries that want to “buy African.” By turning a “tuna scandal” into an opportunity, Mozambique could become a maritime leader and an enviable model for a new maritime Africa.
President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that his government will continue to implement policies and execute people-oriented projects that will change the narrative for Nigerians. He made the pledge on Thursday in Zaria, Kaduna State, while commissioning the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project. According to him, the federal government, in spite of lean resources spent N11.8 billion as its contribution to the construction of the multipurpose 186.1 Million Cubic Meters Galma Dam project. He said, “This project is the culmination of the joint efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria , Kaduna State Government, Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank. “The multilateral nature of the funding for this project underscores the great importance the Kaduna State government and the federal government attach to this project, which is designed to provide adequate water to the growing city of Zaria and its environs.” He commended Governor Nasiru El Rufai of Kaduna State for completing the water project which had hitherto languished for years. “I am aware that the governor undertook to offset all outstanding payments to the contractor in 2015 which led to the resumption of construction activities at the 150 Million Litres-per- day water treatment plant,” he said. Buhari equally praised the Kaduna State government for demonstrating an appreciable commitment to development through people-oriented projects. READ ALSO: TIMI FRANK TO NIGERIANS: Brace up for more hardships, corruption masters are now ministers “To our multilateral partners, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank, we are grateful for your part in providing the needed funding to undertake and complete the transmission mains, service reservoirs, booster stations and distribution network. “We could not have done it without your contributions. We are hopeful that this partnership will continue as we seek to reach out to other communities, cities and states in Nigeria to provide water facilities and other essential services,” he added. Join the conversation Opinions
Second Transition, Tiger, 2012 Courtesy of Thabiso Sekgala and Goodman Gallery “The idea of home,” said the late South African photographer, Thabiso Sekgala , “is very complex, and changes depending on who you are and where you come from.” Home, in other words, cannot be reduced to a single definition; and Sekgala’s photography prompts us to reconsider it, not merely as a place in which we live but also as a space where power dynamics – both personal and political – are played out. It is precisely such dynamics that Sekgala’s photography interrogates in a new exhibition of his work Here is Elsewhere , which opens next week at London’s Hayward Gallery . Born in Johannesburg in 1981, Sekgala died in 2014, but his place in his country’s photographic history has been well and truly cemented; in the past decade, his work has been exhibited across South Africa and Europe, while his photography has been included in prestigious group shows including LagosPhoto Festival and Bamako Biennale . Here is Elsewhere – the first solo exhibition of his photography in the UK, which is supported by The African Arts Trust – brings together projects from various parts of the photographer’s life, reflecting on power, place and belonging as well as South Africa’s spatial politics in the context of Apartheid’s racist legacy. Central to Here Is Elsewhere are photographs from Sekgala’s influential three-year project entitled Homeland (2009–2011). The series documents life in two former homelands: KwaNdebele and Bophuthatswana. A Homeland – or Bantustan – was an area of land set aside for South Africa’s black population by the Apartheid regime as a way to implement its white supremacist ideologies. By designating black people to allocated territories, the government stripped them of their South African citizenship and, in turn, deprived them of their few remaining political and civil rights. Sekgala’s photographs sensitively capture the material remnants of such exclusionary and dehumanising policies. “Growing up in both rural and urban South Africa influences my work,” Sekgala writes . “The dualities of these environments inform the stories I am telling through my photographs, by engaging issues around land, peoples’ movement, identity and the notion of home.” Here Is Elsewhere , however, does not just focus on this one pivotal project. Rather, it brings together 50 photographs from six different series taken over five years in South Africa, Jordan and Germany. At the heart of his work lies an interest in the politicisation of space as a powerful instrument of oppression. The exhibition, for example, includes photographs from Second Transition (2012), a series that considers the relationship between Rustenburg, a mining town in northwestern South Africa, and the workers who live in it, as well as Running, Amman (2013) and Paradise (2013). In Running, Amman , Sekgala reflects on a city that is home to Jordan’s second-largest Palestinian refugee camp through images of parked cars, silent streets and lonely pedestrians. Paradise , meanwhile, is an attempt to dismantle the myth of the West as an ideal destination for safety and self-realisation. Through shots of urban cityscapes and their residents, the photographer uncovers the reality behind this damaging but popular narrative. Homeland, Mawilli Thubane, Loding, former Kwandebele, 2009