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Africa has been dealing with the impacts of climate change since the 1970s. The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described the African continent as the one that will be most affected.

What does Africa need to tackle climate change?

Out of the 10 countries most affected by greenhouse gas emissions, six of them are in Africa, yet the continent only receives 5 percent of dedicated climate funding, writes Abou-Sabaa [Reuters]
Out of the 10 countries most affected by greenhouse gas emissions, six of them are in Africa, yet the continent only receives 5 percent of dedicated climate funding, writes Abou-Sabaa [Reuters]

One Planet Summit showcases Africa’s role against climate change – Maria Macharia

While Africa is responsible for merely 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 65 percent of the continent’s estimated population of 1,3 billion people is considered to be directly impacted by climate change.

It is against the backdrop of this irony that global leaders, entrepreneurs, international organizations, and civil society meet in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Thursday next week to help accelerate focus and attention on climate investments in line with the Paris Agreement objectives.

The stakeholders will meet under the auspices of the One Planet Summit (OPS), which also focuses on promoting renewable energies, fostering resilience and adaptation and protecting biodiversity in the continent.

“OPS, which is in its third edition, is the French initiative to engage states and global ministers to implement climate policies,” said Mr Lõhmus. Nairobi will be the first first regional host of the OPS.

One Planet Summit (OPS) is held following the realization that resources and solutions for renewable energy already exist in Africa but there is a need to speed their financing and mainstream their development

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French President, Emmanuel Macron, and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, as well as World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, will co-chair the conference, which will be among the highlights will co-chair the conference, which will be among the highlights of the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) running from March 11-15.

Ado Lohmus, a UNEA special envoy, this week confirmed Macron will be in the East African country next week.

“On the 14th, he (Macron) will open the OPS, which will also be meeting here in Kenya alongside UNEA,” Lohmus said in Nairobi this week.

More than 2000 delegates from around the world have registered to attend UNEA-4 and are to be a key part of OPS proceedings.

OPS is one in a series of some climate events this year leading up to the UN 2019 Climate Summit and to the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In December 2018, the World Bank Group announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action.

Africa, from the shores of Lake Chad to the Congo Basin, is being hardest hit by the effects of climate change but it can also be at the forefront of solutions

The new plan significantly boosts support for adaptation and resilience, recognizing mounting climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, especially in the world’s poorest countries. The plan also represents significantly ramped up ambition from the World Bank Group, sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.

Ahead of the OPS, Kenya government officials assured preparations for the OPS were progressing well, with the country having previously held international events of this nature.

Last year, Kenya co-hosted the first-ever global conference on the sustainable blue economy, alongside Canada.

OPS is held following the realization that resources and solutions for renewable energy already exist in Africa but there is a need to speed their financing and mainstream their development.

Judy Wakhungu, Kenya’s Ambassador to France, and French State Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson, recently held meetings to finalise plans for the OPS and UNEA-4.

Macron has previously spoken of his government’s goal to be a strategic partner to Africa in the field of climate change adaptation.

France is the largest financial contributor to the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), alongside Germany and followed by the Council of the European Union.

At the Africa-France Summit held in Mali in 2017, the French president announced that financing for renewable energy in Africa would be increased from €2 billion to €3 billion, implemented by the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency) over the 2016-2020 period.

“Africa, from the shores of Lake Chad to the Congo Basin, is being hardest hit by the effects of climate change but it can also be at the forefront of solutions. It can succeed where Europe has not always been able to,” Macron prominently said during a state visit to Burkina Faso in late 2017.

This week, the World Bank, a partner for the OPS, stated cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nairobi, could inform global action on climate change.

Nairobi already has a strong private sector presence as the eighth most attractive city in Africa for foreign direct investment, according to the global institution.

“As such, it can share important lessons learned with other cities in the region and around the world. The One Planet Summit provides the perfect space to do just that by actively inviting new partners to collaborate and launch new initiatives,” the World Bank stated.

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Kenya hotel terror attack: Luke Potter named as Briton killed, 22 people reported killed, figure likely to rise

Luke Potter
Image captionLuke Potter was involved in development projects across East Africa

|AIWA! NO!|BBC NEWS|A British man killed in an attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, has been named as Luke Potter by the international development charity he worked for.

In a statement, Gatsby said it was “shocked and saddened” by the death of its Africa programmes director.

Mr Potter was among at least 21 people killed. It is understood a member of the UK Special Forces was involved in a rescue operation at the complex.

Nairobi Hotel attack locations
Nairobi Hotel attack locations

The Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab said it was behind the attack.

Gunmen stormed the complex in the capital on Tuesday. Gunfire and explosions continued into Wednesday before President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the siege had ended.

The Foreign Office said another Briton was also wounded in the attack.

In a statement, Gatsby Africa said Mr Potter had “devoted the past 10 years of his career to helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world” and had worked with the charity for more than three years, carrying out assignments across East Africa.

“Luke was respected by all he worked with, bringing huge drive, determination, a relentless work ethic, and a thirst for new ideas to every project,” the statement said.

“He brought a calm head and his unique sense of humour to every situation.”

It said Mr Potter was “instrumental” in establishing the organisation’s forestry programme in Kenya and provided “crucial leadership, guidance and support” to other programmes in Tanzania and Rwanda.

The charity said its “thoughts and deepest condolences” were with Mr Potter’s family, partner, daughter and friends and they were offering support to them and their own staff.

Media captionThe scene at the Nairobi Dusit hotel as the rescue operation took place

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, confirmed the death of a British man on Twitter.

“I’m very sad to confirm that we believe at least one British national has been killed in the attack,” he said.

“We are providing our support to his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

The Foreign Office added it was “in contact with the Kenyan authorities” and was “ready to help any other British people affected”.

It is understood a member of the British SAS – who was in Kenya as part of a training team – was involved in rescuing hostages.

The armed special forces soldier entered the hotel complex to help rescue the trapped civilians and, according to a source, fired his weapon.

He is believed to have been working alongside members of the US Special Forces, who were already in Nairobi when the attack took place.

A man believed to be a member of the British SAS helps a woman caught up in the attack to safety
Image captionA man believed to be a member of the British SAS helps people caught up in the attack to safety

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: “Really tragic news from Kenya – my thoughts are with the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this attack including one British citizen.

“UK stands with Kenya at this difficult time. Our team in Nairobi are supporting all Brits affected.”

On Wednesday morning, President Kenyatta announced the assault was over, adding that the “terrorists” had been “eliminated” and more than 700 civilians had been evacuated to safety.

He said: “We will seek out every person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of this heinous act.

“We are a country governed by laws, rules and regulations – a country that embraces peaceful coexistence… I must also state that we are also a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children.”

The president said 14 “innocent” people had been killed in the attack.

Kenya’s police chief later said the death toll had risen to 21. The Kenya Red Cross said about 45 people were still unaccounted for.

The US State Department said an American man was among those killed.

Map

The luxury complex, which houses the DusitD2 hotel as well as offices, is in the Westlands district of the city.

The attack began at about 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday, when four gunmen threw bombs at vehicles in the car park, before entering the lobby, where one blew himself up, police say.

Security camera footage showed at least four heavily armed men walking in and opening fire. There are reports they had been seen visiting the compound in recent days.

When the gunmen first entered the complex there was confusion, as people first tried to escape to freedom and then retreated into the building as they came under fire.

Many civilians remained holed up in the complex for several hours, as they hid from the attackers in bathrooms, and even under tables and chairs.

Groups of civilians were escorted to safety by security forces throughout the night.

In the early hours of Wednesday, more than 100 people were rescued. About 30 people are being treated at Nairobi hospitals, media reports say.

Tanzanian officials order physical exams of 10 alleged gays

“We now fear these men may be subjected to forced anal examination, the government’s method of choice for ‘proving’ same-sex sexual activity among men,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s East Africa Deputy Director.

|AIWA! NO! |ASSOCIATED PRESS|Tanzanian authorities are carrying out physical examinations on 10 men suspected of homosexual activity in Zanzibar, according to police.

A wave of arrests of gays in Tanzania is feared after a senior official urged the public to report suspected homosexuals to authorities. Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and can bring a sentence of up 30 years.

Tanzania has vowed to deport foreigners campaigning for gay rights in a country where gay male sex is punishable by anything from 30 years to life imprisonment

Tanzania has vowed to deport foreigners campaigning for gay rights in a country where gay male sex is punishable by anything from 30 years to life imprisonment (AFP Photo/Daniel HAYDUK)

The examinations are taking place on Friday to see if there are any signs of same-sex relations among the men, who were arrested last week on suspicion of celebrating a gay marriage at a resort hotel, police chief of the south region of Zanzibar, Suleiman Hassan, told The Associated Press.

READ RELATED: Tanzania deports three S. Africans for ‘promoting homosexuality’

“We acted on a tip-off from a good citizen leading them to abort their party during the weekend and then police made a quick arrest,” said Hassan. After being held for several days, the men have been released pending the investigations, he said.

Last week Paul Makonda, the administrative chief of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, urged citizens to report any suspected homosexuals. He said a task force would be established to seek out and punish homosexuals and prostitutes.

Forced anal examination

Days later Tanzania’s foreign ministry said Makonda’s statement did not represent government policy but many gays in this East African country say they are frightened.

Amnesty International warned against the examinations of the men who were arrested.

“We now fear these men may be subjected to forced anal examination, the government’s method of choice for ‘proving’ same-sex sexual activity among men,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s East Africa Deputy Director.

“This appalling attack on Tanzanian people simply exercising their human rights shows the danger of inflammatory and discriminatory rhetoric at senior levels of government,” said Magango. “This is a shocking blow following the Tanzanian government’s assurance that no-one would be targeted and arrested because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.”

There’s also been a significant diplomatic reaction. The European Union has recalled its ambassador to Tanzania, citing “the deterioration of the human rights and rule of law situation” in Tanzania. The EU will be conducting a broad review of its relations with Tanzania, said the statement emailed to AP.

The US Embassy in Tanzania warned American citizens in the country and those planning travel to Tanzania about the possible crackdown against LGBT people. The embassy also urged its citizens to check their social media profiles and “remove or protect images and language that may run afoul of Tanzanian laws regarding homosexual practices and explicit sexual activity.”

Since coming to power in 2015, President John Magufuli has made several statements against the rights of sexual minorities.

Another development this week highlighted repressive measures in Tanzania. Two journalists working for the Committee to Protect Journalists were detained for five hours after they began investigating the case of a Tanzanian journalist who is missing. The two journalists were released, but their detention attracted considerable international attention.

“It is now abundantly clear to anyone who followed the latest developments that Tanzanian journalists work in a climate of fear and intimidation,” said CPJ executive director Joel Simon, on the organization’s website . We call on the government of Tanzania to allow journalists to work freely and to allow those who defend their rights to access the country without interference.”

Mandela My Life is a welcome tribute to a hero, but avoids difficult questions

It is a welcome tribute to a hero, but  ‘Mandela My Life’ exhibition avoids difficult questions; Andrea Witcomb, Professor, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, Deakin University

Detail from Father of the Innocents, from the series, Mandela A Life’s Journey, by John Meyer.

Review: Mandela My Life, Melbourne Museum.


AIWA! NO!//The desire to eulogise, as often appears to be the case in this exhibition, does not allow space for questions that might allow for a fuller explication of the nature of Mandela’s legacy and its relevance beyond South Africa.

What is the role of commemorative exhibitions that focus on the life of a single change agent I asked myself, as I viewed Melbourne Museum’s latest blockbuster, Mandela My Life: The Official Exhibition.

The result of an international collaboration between Museums Victoria, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and IEG exhibitions, the exhibition is billed as a major international event that “will commemorate, illuminate and most importantly share Nelson Mandela’s living legacy with the world” on the centenary of his birth.

At first glance I doubted that these aims could be achieved. The tone of the exhibition could be accused of being hagiographic, given the ostensible reason for the exhibition – to celebrate the centenary of Mandela’s birth – as well as its narrative structures, which blended Mandela’s own words with the editorialising of the Mandela Foundation. This lent support to the claim that this exhibition was the “official” version of how to interpret the meaning of Mandela’s life.

Read more: Revisiting Nelson Mandela’s roots: a photographic exploration


Organised chronologically, the exhibition follows Mandela’s life. It begins with his birth in the Transkei region of South Africa, where he was initiated into his tribe’s traditional cultural practices and knowledge systems and attended a mission school.

The exhibition then follows him as he decides to leave his homeland for Johannesburg, where his experiences under apartheid radicalised him, leading on towards his role as a leader in the African National Congress, and his eventual imprisonment. His resilience while in prison and his leadership of the new post-apartheid South Africa led him to become the revered figure he is today.

This simple chronological narrative is given emotive force by three elements that come into play.

The first of these is the sound of Mandela’s voice at key moments. These include his famous Rivonia Trial speech in which he stated that he was prepared to die for the anti-apartheid movement.

Others are his memories of his childhood in the Transkei, his reflections on his time in prison, and his speech when he was freed, where his conciliatory approach to ending apartheid set the tone for what was to follow. Mandela’s voice guides us through the exhibition, supported by a rich display of personal photographs, letters and personal objects carefully preserved by the Mandela Foundation.

Boxing glove signed by Muhammad Ali.
Nelson Mandela Foundation. Photo: Jon Augier/Museums Victoria

These are then contrasted with the evidence of apartheid from material borrowed or reproduced from other collections and media organisations, which provides the second element. The role of these sources is to lend authority to the human rights claim that apartheid was an unjust system – they are the evidence of what goes wrong when equality between humans is not respected.

The third element is the visitor – a visitor who already knows the end of the story and believes in its righteousness. Mandela was on the right side of history.

None of this is wrong of course. But the desire to eulogise, as often appears to be the case in this exhibition, does not allow space for questions that might allow for a fuller explication of the nature of Mandela’s legacy and its relevance beyond South Africa.

Read more: Centenary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s birth: a tribute in poems

For instance, the final gallery shows a series of 16 paintings by John Myer, retelling Mandela’s life story and giving body to South African’s pride in the achievements of this extraordinary man. This could have been the moment, however, when his legacy could have been broadened out and key themes explored and thus gone beyond the outpouring of grief on his death, captured by the 95 messages of condolence, one for each year of his life – available in the penultimate gallery via a table full of telephone handsets.

Melbourne MuseumPrepared to Die, from the series Mandela A Life’s Journey, by John Meyer.

Beyond the obvious answer – he was a hero who fought apartheid and won – what is it that those fighting for human rights can learn? What are the difficult questions his activism raises for those fighting on behalf of the oppressed? And, finally, are there other contexts in which his life might have meaning?

In an Australian context, some of the answers were alluded to in the speeches on opening night, which pointed to the relevance of Mandela’s activism for Australians fighting for Indigenous rights. Such speeches go some way towards explaining why the Melbourne Museum, which is aligned with human rights museums and whose First Peoples Gallery is an eloquent articulation of the need for treaty, is host to this exhibition.

But I would also argue that Mandela’s life is relevant to all of us at this particular juncture in time – a time when we need to hang on to the hope that change is both necessary and possible and that the actions of ordinary, everyday people can bring it about. This is as true for situations of unequal power relations as for other complex problems, such as what to do about climate change.

Mandela was an extraordinary man – but he was also supported by many others, both within and outside South Africa, all of whom believed in the necessity of change. Mandela is important because we need to have figures who show us that hope, resilience and leadership is still possible when those values are valued by all of us.

The exhibition does not make these points itself – but perhaps it is enough that such points can be made by those who visit it and reflect upon it. Even so, I wish there was less emphasis on the authorised, official nature of the exhibition, which, for me, closed down the potential for some really interesting discussions on the nature of change and how to achieve it.


Mandela My Life is being exhibited at the Melbourne Museum until March 3 2019.The Conversation

Andrea Witcomb, Professor, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, Deakin University

ABU DHABI – UAE Leaders Send Condolences to Tanzanian President in The Wake of Lake Victoria Ferry Catastrophe

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to President John Magufuli of Tanzania, on the victims of the ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria.

UAE leaders condole Tanzanian President on Lake Victoria ferry disaster

ABU DHABI, 24th September, 2018 (AIWA! NO!) — President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to President John Magufuli of Tanzania, on the victims of the ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria.

UAE leaders condole Tanzanian President on Lake Victoria ferry disaster

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a cable of condolences to President John Magufuli of Tanzania, on the victims of the ferry that capsized in Lake Victoria.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent similar cables to the Tanzanian President. Their Highnesses also sent condolence messages to the Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

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