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Ozwald Boateng Steps in as Guest Editor for a Leading Issue of New African

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Made In Africa Foundation

The Made In Africa Foundation is a charitable organisation, established to support strategic infrastructure projects and create sustainable solutions to some of Africa’s most pressing problems. It works to support technical feasibility studies, to kick start key infrastructure developments and to engage the African diaspora in innovative fund-raising activities. The Foundation was founded in 2011 by international designer Ozwald Boateng OBE, and Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko, and is supported by Atlantic Energy.


The leading pan-African current affairs magazine, New African, has just published its May edition, guest edited by the internationally renowned Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng , a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and founder of the Made in Africa Foundation.

This new issue looks at a Future Made in Africa and, in a 60 page supplement, celebrates the Organisation of African Unity’s (now the AU’s) golden jubilee. It has a strong focus on infrastructure, which reflects the work of the Made in Africa foundation – a $400m fund to finance feasibility studies to fast-track infrastructure investment throughout Africa.

Editorial contributors include Tony Blair , President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson , Tony Elumelu, Mo Ibrahim , David Adjaye , Jay Naidoo , Omar Bongo Ondimba, Minna Salami, Swaady Martin-Leke, and Kandeh Yumkella and Babatunde Fashola .

In its “Trailblazers under 50” feature, New African presents its selection of 50 Africans under the age of 50, who are breaking ground and raising hopes for Africa’s future.  The list includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alex Wek , Didier Drogba, Hadeel Ibrahim , David Rudisha, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Juliana Totich, P-Square, Dambisa Moyo and its very own readers.

In his introductory article “Why our future should be made in Africa“. Boateng insists “If the world is to get beyond boom and bust, it requires African creators, farmers, workers, industrialists and leaders to be given the tools and opportunities to play their part for the good of all”.

Omar Ben Yedder , publisher of New African magazine, commented: “ Ozwald Boateng has done a fantastic job and this really is a collector’s item – one which we hope will be read and studied in schools and universities across Africa. It was a true learning experience working on this issue”.

The May 2013 issue is available on newsstands and local vendors now.

SOURCE Made in Africa Foundation

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Redi Tlhabi interviews Banda & Ramphele on South 2 North

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

This Friday on Al Jazeera’s new global talk show South 2 North, Redi Tlhabi interviews two remarkable African leaders: Joyce Banda, Malawi’s first female president, and Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, founder of Agang, South Africa’s new party political platform.

President Banda became only the second woman to lead an African country in April 2012, following the example of Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Time Magazine recently named Banda one of the most influential people in the world, while Forbes called her the most powerful woman in Africa in 2012.

Ramphele, a former vice-chancellor at The University of Cape Town and past managing director of The World Bank, was a co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement with Steve Biko. In February 2013, she launched Agang, a new party political platform intended to challenge The African National Congress in South Africa.

What gender-related challenges have Banda and Ramphele had to overcome? Are there more opportunities for women in the political arena in Africa today? Do women do politics differently? Is there space developing for opposition politics in Africa?

Watch Redi ask the important questions on this week’s episode of South 2 North, which premieres at 19:30 GMT on Friday, 17 May 2013 and also screens Saturday at 14h30, Sunday 04h30 and Monday 08h30.

For more information, visit, where all episodes are available to watch online.

You can also tweet your questions, comments and opinions to @AJSouth2North or find South 2 North on Facebook:

Catch up on last week’s episode of South 2 North, where Redi discussed re-imagining Africa, at


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Gurwitch Products Debuts nyakio™, a New Founder-Driven Skincare Line Utilizing Beauty Secrets and Ingredients From Africa, Exclusively With HSN

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

— Available Now on —

NEW YORK, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Gurwitch Products, a manufacturer and marketer of global prestige cosmetics and skincare brands, today announces the launch of nyakio™, a collection of skincare products formulated with luxurious and sophisticated ingredients indigenous to Africa. The brand’s founder and namesake, Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, is an American beauty entrepreneur of Kenyan descent who was inspired by her Kenyan family’s personal beauty secrets to create nyakio™. The nyakio™ assortment is available now for purchase exclusively on and will debut on air, May 14.

“The launch of nyakio™ is the culmination of a dream to share my family’s beauty secrets through results-driven formulas that utilize the best natural African ingredients,” said Grieco.  “I am excited to join HSN’s roster of beauty authorities and to bring the rich sophistication of Africa to life for women everywhere.”

Just as Africa represents many cultures and ethnicities, nyakio™ products were formulated to benefit women of all ages, skin types and backgrounds.  Through its brand promise, ‘rich in heritage, effective for all skin … naturally™,’ nyakio™ products deliver highly effective skincare that hydrates, revitalizes and leaves all skin more youthful-looking.

The nyakio™ collection includes: nyakio™ Kenyan Coffee Face Polish, nyakio™ Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub, and nyakio™ Hydrating Face Oil with Kola Nut. The products range in price from $34-$55.  Additional products will be introduced in 2013, and all will be available for purchase on HSN and

“Like all of the beauty properties in the Gurwitch portfolio, nyakio™ is a founder-driven brand, with an authentic story and unique point of difference,” said Claudia Poccia , President and CEO of Gurwitch Products, whose portfolio also includes Laura Mercier cosmetics and ReVive skincare. “We look forward to partnering with HSN to bring Nyakio’s story directly to our target consumers, in a format that will allow them to develop a real connection with the brand and its founder.”

For additional information about nyakio™, visit @NyakioBeauty on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or join in the conversation with HSN on and @HSN on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

SOURCE Gurwitch Products

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IFC Support for Country Bird’s Expansion Encourages Agribusiness, Employment in Southern Africa

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Africa Business

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit


WASHINGTON, May 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a convertible loan of $25 million to support poultry producer Country Bird’s expansion in Africa. IFC’s investment will allow Country Bird to increase production and operations; encouraging a thriving agribusiness enterprise and creating employment opportunities in Southern Africa and beyond.


With operations including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, Country Bird’s business comprises poultry breeding, broiler production, stock feed, and processing. IFC funding will support Country Bird increase chick production over the next three years in Zambia and Botswana, expand feed mill capacity in Zambia, and add poultry processing facilities and two soybean plants in South Africa.


Country Bird’s expansion will provide more affordable proteins in Southern Africa, create jobs in the rural areas where the company operates, and increase revenues for its 21,500 maize farmers and 112,000 workers employed through the company’s supply chain.


Kevin James, Founder of Country Bird, said “In just a decade since we started operations, Country Bird has become the third largest integrated poultry producer in South Africa. We are seeking to expand our production, so we can meet increasing consumer demand in the region. IFC’s investment supports Country Bird’s growth and our goal to provide more affordable proteins in Southern Africa.”


With increasing urbanization and disposable incomes, per capita meat consumption is expected to double in Africa by 2030, particularly that of poultry, which is cheaper relative to other meats.


Saleem Karimjee, IFC Senior Country Manager for Southern Africa, said, “IFC is committed to investing in companies like Country Bird that catalyze growth in this important sector. Africa needs dynamic regional agribusiness companies that help encourage competitiveness and can expand successful models outside their home markets.”



Agriculture accounts for one third to one half of GDP in most African countries, and 80 percent of the poor in Africa live in rural areas.

Promoting agribusiness in Africa is a key priority for IFC as is food security, given that the sector employs a large percentage of Africa’s labor force, and has a strong impact on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.




International Finance Corporation (IFC) – The World Bank

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Why has Africa been so important for Global Pacific & Partners ?

Posted on 06 April 2013 by Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

Dr Duncan Clarke,
CEO of Global Pacific & Partners

What is the nature of your organisation?

We are a private advisory group, built on research and knowledge, with a suite of annual strategy briefings and landmark management conferences in world oil and gas with focus on Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, with thirty years-plus in the upstream industry, whilst we equally hold extensive database on world oil/gas and on the economics of Africa, on which we have been author for widely-acclaimed books (Africa: Crude Continent, and Africa’s Future– as well as a TV/Film Documentary made on Africa’s oil and gas. So we are diversified but highly focused and we have pioneered many facets within the world industry including dedicated and gratis Newsletters across the world.

How do you see your role?

Our firm has been active in building relationships in oil and gas between companies and Governments and National oil Companies across Continents over many years, and we undertake Roadshows as well as assist Private Clients in advisory practice whilst our renown PetroAfricanus Club has been active in Africa for over a decade. So in a sense we facilitated acreage and asset marketing and strategies, and high-level management interfaces across the corporate/state oil world.

How long have you been with Global Pacific & Partners, and where did it all begin?

I am the founder of the firm which began in its inception and origins in the late 1970s, whilst in the last two decades Babette van Gessel (Senior Partner) has been involved with our business in all spheres, and acts now as Deputy-CEO. Our origins trace back to Geneve and research ventures and joint ventures begun there, and our Conference suite dates from 1991 (our landmark Africa Upstream since 1994) whilst we have undertaken 22 years in the sphere of Strategy Briefings which are conducted worldwide.

What conferences are taking place this year and where will your first conference be?

We have a well-established conference suite – including on Western Africa, Eastern Africa, North Africa-Mediterranean-MidEast, and Africa Oil Week (24-29th November 2013) as well as on Asia and Latin America, for which details can be found on

Why is Western Africa so hot right now and what can delegates expect from the 19th Western Africa Oil, Gas & Energy conference?

Our Conference in Windhoek, Namibia over 22-24th April showcases the potential in oil/gas and LNG from Morocco to South Africa and including the littoral states, whiles it features 30 speakers, and covers highly prospective exploration zones, onshore and offshore frontiers, and deepwater potential across 25 countries – half of Africa nearly.

Why has Africa been so important for Global Pacific & Partners ?

Our origins lie in Africa, for both Senior Partners, and where we have been active in economics and related sphere for over four decades, whilst we have had an office in South Africa since 1994, and many of our Team come from Southern Africa, whilst we have been active with all countries on the Continent, visited around 47 countries on business to date, and been intimately involved in the oil and gas industry across the continent, plus we have extensively published on Africa and conducted numerous Advisory mandates in and on the Continent, and not just its hydrocarbon industry.

What will be some of the highlights for this year?

Probably the continued interest in Africa both in economic growth terms and in hydrocarbons, as well as in intensified competition and corporate new entries into frontiers, notably Eastern Africa.

In what ways, do you think Global Pacific & Partners is meeting the needs and expectations of delegates that attend these conferences?

Our feedback from a wide range of delegates, sponsors and exhibitors as well as speakers is excellent, and has earned us the reputation as the No-1 player of our type in Africa and the global upstream, with the greatest longevity of a cross-continent suite of meetings, the deepest and most important Conference portfolio on Africa within the oil and gas industry, and an unrivalled position in strategy briefings, roadshows and social networking for corporate/state clients across the world.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for this invitation to be interviewed.

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How to manage the mobile revolution

Posted on 29 March 2013 by Africa Business

Enterprise mobility is inevitable, but the challenges of implementing it are significant. To help CIOs navigate the mobility minefield, ITWeb will stage a one-day Mobility Summit, addressed by experts in the enterprise mobility space.

There is no turning back from enterprise mobility, say key players – the only consideration now is how enterprises will adapt their strategies to cope with the inevitable change. Enterprise mobility and its associated challenges, including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) management and information security, are a key concern for CIOs and executives around the world as they grapple with the change that enterprise mobility is bringing.

ITWeb Events Director Angela Mace says ITWeb, first to bring to market events that address top trends in a changing landscape, noted serious concerns among CIOs and business management over the issues of embracing enterprise mobility in a manageable and secure way. To assist local enterprises in doing so, ITWeb is fielding a line-up of experts in mobility management, security and trends to address these concerns.


ITWeb Events Director Angela Mace notes serious concerns among CIOs and business management over the issues of embracing enterprise mobility in a manageable and secure way.

Among the experts addressing the ITWeb Mobility Summit will be Sean Wainer, Country Manager of Citrix, who will outline trends and proven benefits in enterprise mobility, Paulo Ferreira, head of enterprise mobility at Samsung South Africa, who will address the BYOD phenomenon; and Jon Hoehler, manager, Mobile Technologies, Deloitte Digital, with Tim Bishop, director, Deloitte Digital, who will outline new business models and untapped potential presented by enterprise mobility.

Dr Brian Armstrong, managing director of Telkom Business, will elaborate on convergence in the enterprise, explaining his point that “There is a misconception that convergence is a small area of telecommunications. It is much bigger than that, he notes – convergence is happening across all areas of IT, throughout the enterprise.”

“We are seeing platforms combining, fixed and mobile combining with the cloud, and the horizontalisation of services. There is no turning back from this,” Armstrong says. This is having a huge impact on IT within companies, he notes.

Farren Roper of FNB Connect ISP and FNB Business Operations; Justin Coetzee, founder of mobile transport information app Go Metro; and Lynette Hundermark, head of Prezence Digital, will present local case studies designed to illustrate real-world mobility benefits and challenges. Hundermark, who will present a case study on Ster Kinekor’s mobile strategy, believes enterprises need to focus on their mobile strategies now, to gain competitive advantage. “In the next six to 12 months, it will all start coming together in terms of mobile purchasing, mobile ticketing and access to multiple payment options, including an integrated mobile wallet payment solution,” she says.

In addition, Andre van Zyl, senior manager enterprise products & services at MTN Business and Wesley Lynch, chief executive officer at Realmdigital, will explain the real business benefits to be experienced through mobility and mobile apps.

The Mobility Summit, sponsored by Citrix, Samsung, Telkom Business and Quintica, will present South Africa’s CIOs, CEOs, business executives and senior IT professionals with an invaluable opportunity to gain in-depth insights into the trends, challenges and solutions around enterprise mobility. They will also benefit from extensive networking opportunities with the experts and their peers throughout the Summit and during a cocktail function after the event.

The ITWeb Mobility Summit 2013 will take place at The Forum in Bryanston on 22 May. For more information about this event, click here.

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World Water Day: South Africa has most progressive water policies, but fails with implementation

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Africa Business

African Utility Week to look at municipalities’ key water challenges

On 22 March World Water Day will be celebrated globally.  But South Africa has little to celebrate according to Harold Smook, founder of Urban Roots – Sustainable Communities Initiative and registered Professional Engineering Technologist.

“We can celebrate our water policies – the most progressive policies in the world, but when it comes to implementation we have nothing to celebrate,” says Smook who will be speaking about water security aspirations at African Utility Week which is taking place in Cape Town from 14 – 15 May.

Poor performance due to environmental devastation
South Africa was recently 128th out of 132 countries on the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy’s 2012 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) which measures a country’s performance in terms of water, air quality and overall environmental performance.   “South Africa’s poor performance is mostly because of the environmental devastation caused by the overexploitation of our limited water supply,” says Smook.

He explains:  “acid mine drainage, water system losses and pollution, lack of holistic approach to water security, poor demand management, unchecked mining activity and our continuous hunger for coal fired power plants has resulted in 84% of South Africa’s 112 unique river ecosystems being classified as threatened and a disturbing 54% critically endangered.”


Water – energy – food
Harold Smook says furthermore that most of South Africa’s water resources have already been allocated and water licences have been expropriated from farmers to provide water for the mining and energy sectors – especially in the Vaal River system.  He continues:  “the interrelatedness of water, energy and food has to form part of any attempt to improve water security. Once water stressed conditions arise there are significant trade-offs resulting from the water-food-energy nexus. In South Africa the conditions of our natural ecosystems combined with the increase in coal fired power plants and increased mining activities, is an indication that government is focused on economic growth at all costs rather than the basic human needs of the people; water and food security.”


Agriculture biggest water consumer
Smook emphasises that while there are alternative sources of energy there is no replacement for water.  “South Africa has an abundance of natural beauty, but if the rivers start dying, ecosystems are destroyed with devastating consequences.”

Smook cites population growth, prosperity and pollution as the ultimate reasons for our escalating water crisis.   Agriculture is the biggest national and global consumer of water and growing populations demand more food.   Furthermore, a person rising out of poverty prefers protein based diets, which requires significantly more water to produce than carbohydrate foods.

Water budget deficit
According to Smook R670 billion is needed over the next ten years to: service previously unserviced communities (17%), to grow and maintain the water infrastructure (34%), and to rehabilitate the existing infrastructure (49%).

However, the South African Government only has an available budget of R332 billion, which leaves a budget deficit of R342 billion rand.

A part of the solution lies in demand-side driven solutions says Smook.  “Consumers need to realise how important it is to use only as much as we need and as efficiently as possible. Governments and business need to realise that economies cannot grow indefinitely with limited water resources. We need a paradigm shift and to start living within our planetary limits.”

Dedicated municipalities
Despite the water challenges, there is some reason for optimism –  many of the country’s municipalities  have dedicated individuals working behind the scenes to ensure that the public has 24/7 access to potable water and safely managed waste water, according to Nicolette Pombo-Van Zyl, programme manager of the water track at African Utility Week.

“It is easy to forget that water management includes the collection, transportation and treatment of millions of litres of raw sewage that must undergo due diligence in ensuring that public health is protected and that our drinking water resources remain uncontaminated,” says Pombo-Van Zyl.

There has been considerable progress in the water sector as indicated in the 2011 Census and the State of the Nation address earlier this year:  nine out of ten households have access to water; the roll out of 315 000 solar water geysers to homes that never had running hot water before; and the construction of the bulk water distribution system for the De Hoop Dam that began in October 2012, to supply water to the Greater Sekhukhune, Waterberg and Capricorn district municipalities.

Pombo-Van Zyl:  “At African Utility Week we will be addressing the key challenges of Integrated Water Resource Management including bridging the gap between water security aspirations and economic reality. With platforms such as these South Africans can celebrate the advancements made towards proactively managing this scarce resource now and in future.”



Blue Drop is a project of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs to encourage municipalities to improve the quality of drinking water. In 2012 the province of Gauteng received the accolade for having the highest quality water, followed by the Western Cape with average percentages of higher than 90%. The Department expressed serious concern about the Eastern Cape where some municipalities had percentages as low as 5,9 %.

The positive results of the Blue Drop initiative are clearly visible in two municipalities in Mpumalanga.  The Victor Kanye local municipality scored 18.26% in 2011 and improved tremendously in 2012 to an astonishing 80.07%.  The Thembisile local municipality obtained a mere 27.77% in 2011 but through the use of Blue Drop processes managed to reach 78.30% in 2012.

Says Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl:  “Many people are unaware of the impact their behaviour has on water resource and water quality. The Blue Drop initiative provides tools that everyone can work with to make a difference at ground level, as shown in the two Mpumalanga municipalities above.”

She adds: “Gaining Blue Drop certification is an indication that the authority has complied with a stringent set of procedural, chemical, biological and other requirements. Blue Drop certificates are an indication that the municipality is promoting a healthy environment and this encourages economic investment.”

African Utility Week site visits
African Utility Week brings together the entire ecosystem for the African water and power sector, from high level government representatives, utilities and municipalities, regulators and power pools to consultants, vendors, service providers and energy intensive power users for the purpose of sharing and determining the future development of Africa’s power industry.

The water site visit on 16 May takes delegates on a tour of the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation department’s full range of facilities including the Athlone Wastewater Treatment Works, the Mandalay Pressure Management Project and the Faure Water Treatment Plant.

The dates for African Utility Week are:

Exhibition & Conference: 14-15 May 2013
Pre-conference Workshops: 13 May 2013
Site Visits: 16 May 2013
Location:  CTICC, Cape Town

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Africa in Motion- NYU African Economic Forum, April 6, 2013

Posted on 11 March 2013 by Africa Business

NYU Stern African Business Club (“Stern in Africa”) and NYU Africa House announce their Annual African Economic Forum inviting the African community and Friends of Africa for an engaging discussion on the People, Ideas and Events Reshaping the economic landscape of the African Continent.


New York, NY, March 11, 2013 –(– On April 6, NYU Stern African Business Club, in partnership with NYU Africa House and The Council of Young African Leaders will host their annual African Economic Forum. Themed “Africa in Motion: People, Ideas, and Events Reshaping the African Continent,” the forum will provide an opportunity for active practitioners in the areas of business, policy, and social enterprise to interact with forum attendees to exchange ideas, and insights on the current state of Africa’s economic landscape. 

The forum will feature a Leadership Fireside Chat, and four concurrent panels on Technology, Social Enterprise, Finance, and Development. Confirmed featured speakers include President and Chairman of the African Export-Import Bank Jean-Louis Ekra, world-renowned Entrepreneur, Activist, and Former Cameroonian presidential candidate Kah Walla, Managing Director of The Whitaker Group Aubrey Hruby, and Founder and CEO of Advanced Finance and Investment Group M. Papa Madiaw Ndiaye. Dean of New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business Peter Blair Henry will provide the opening remarks.

This year, the forum will introduce the 9-on-9: New Faces of Africa Series. 9 young pioneers in the fields of fashion, law, entertainment, business, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise will each take the stage to share their experiences, ideas and vision, shedding light on the promise of the next generation of African leaders.

The realization of Africa’s potential as an economic frontier is currently taking place. This forum will bring to life the people, ideas, and initiatives behind this effort. Much has been made about the continent’s potential for economic, political, and social development. The time has come to share the stories of those working to make these aspirations a reality in hopes of inspiring a new generation of leaders to take part in this great cause.

The 2013 forum is being sponsored by the Financial Times, African Export-Import Bank and NYU Africa House; with Applause Africa,, Face2Face Africa, and Enovative TV as media sponsors.For more information and registration, please visit the forum website:

Contact Information
The Council of Young African Leaders
Divine Muragijimana


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SA: Moladi housing model builds communities

Posted on 05 March 2013 by Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

Decent housing is one of the key factors in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. It is not just about putting a roof over someone’s head – development experts attest.

Academic research proves that access to a clean and stable home implicates an improvement in security, health and education.

Moladi, a South African based company established in 1986, makes housing accessible to low-income people through innovative and eco-friendly technology.

The Moladi system consists of a reusable and recyclable plastic formwork mould, which is filled with stone-less concrete and a special chemical additive. This additive ensures that, once the mortar is set, the formwork can be removed – and reused up to 50 times.

According to the founder Hennie Botes, the brickless walls can withstand all types of weather. The formwork is lightweight allowing easy transportation. Due to the simplicity in design and the repetitive application scheme, construction costs can be reduced significantly.

The Moladi model is not only cost-effective but fast too.

Botes further comments that the wall structure of a house can be completed within one day. A further plus point, especially in remote areas, is that the construction does not require heavy machinery or electricity.

With the motto “Train the unemployed to build for the homeless” Moladi combines construction with economic development.

The company also offers training locally for the unemployed thereby creating jobs and empowering the community as a whole.

Due to the simplicity of the approach, construction techniques and skills can be transferred in a short time. In this way, the communities benefit from affordable shelter and skilled entrepreneurs (in the area of low-cost housing) at the same time.

Moladi’s success in over 20 countries shows that affordable housing is an important key in finding solutions to promoting security and alleviating poverty.

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Illegal Trade Robs Wild of Almost 3,000 Great Apes Annually, Threatening Populations / Released at CITES Meeting, New UNEP Report Links Ape Traffic to Organized Crime

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Africa Business


The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) is an innovative and ambitious partnership comprised of great ape range states with an immediate challenge: to lift the threat of imminent extinction faced by gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans across their ranges in equatorial Africa and Southeast Asia. Visit the GRASP website here:


BANGKOK, Thailand, March 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The illegal trade that sees almost 3,000 live great apes lost from the forests of Africa and Southeast Asia each year is increasingly impacting wild populations as links to organized crime grow stronger.


Stolen Apes: The Illicit Trade in Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangutans is the first report to analyze the scale and scope of the illegal trade and highlights the growing links to sophisticated trans-boundary crime networks, which law enforcement networks are struggling to contain.


Stolen Apes, which was produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), estimates that a minimum of 22,218 great apes have been lost from the wild since 2005 – either sold, killed during the hunt, or dying in captivity – with chimpanzees comprising 64 per cent of that number.


The report examines confiscation records, international trade databases, law enforcement reports, and arrival rates from sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers between 2005 and 2011.


Stolen Apes says that each great ape confiscated or confirmed in the illegal trade represents many more that died either during the capture or the trafficking process.

Over the past seven years, a minimum of 643 chimpanzees, 48 bonobos, 98 gorillas and 1,019 orangutans are documented to have been captured from the wild for illegal trade. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg, and extrapolating from this research the report estimates that at least 2,972 great apes are lost from the wild each year.


“The taking of great apes from the wild is not new – it has gone on for well over a century,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director. “But the current scale outlined in this report underlines how important it is that the international community and the organizations responsible for conserving endangered species remain vigilant, keeping a step ahead of those seeking to profit from such illegal activities.”

All great apes are endangered and protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as Appendix I animals.

Yet Stolen Apes reveals that the illegal trade has shifted from being a by-product of traditional conservation threats such as deforestation, mining and bush-meat hunting to a more sophisticated business driven by demand from international markets.

These markets include the tourist entertainment industry, disreputable zoos, and wealthy individuals who want exotic pets as status symbols. Great apes are used to attract tourists to entertainment facilities such as amusement parks and circuses. They are even used in tourist photo sessions on Mediterranean beaches and boxing matches in Asian safari parks.

Since 2007, standing orders from zoos and private owners in Asia have spurred the export of over 130 chimpanzees and 10 gorillas under falsified permits from Guinea alone, an enterprise that requires a coordinated trading network through Central and West Africa. A safari park in Thailand admitted in 2006 that it acquired at least 54 orangutans from the forests of Borneo and Sumatra.

“It is important to establish baseline figures for the illegal trade in great apes, even if these numbers only hint at the devastation,” said Doug Cress, coordinator of GRASP. “Great apes are extremely important for the health of forests in Africa and Asia, and even the loss of 10 or 20 at a time can have a deep impact on biodiversity.”

The illicit trade is increasingly linked to organized crime, and sophisticated trans-boundary networks now move great apes along with other contraband such as ivory, arms, drugs, rhino horn and laundered money. A smuggler recently apprehended in Cameroon was transporting a live chimpanzee wedged between sacks of marijuana.

Profit margins are high for the criminal networks. The report found that a poacher may sell a live chimpanzee for US$50, whereas the middleman will resell that same chimpanzee at a mark-up of as much as 400 per cent.

Orangutans can fetch US$1,000 at re-sale, and gorillas illegally sold to a zoo in Malaysia in 2002 reportedly went for US$400,000 each.

“The illegal trade in apes has little to do with poverty,” said Ofir Drori, founder of the Last Great Ape Organization in Cameroon. “It is instead generated by the rich and powerful.”

Law enforcement efforts lag far behind the rates of illegal trade. Only 27 arrests were made in Africa and Asia in connection with great ape trade between 2005 and 2011, and one-fourth of the arrests were never prosecuted.


The report also found that the loss of natural great ape ranges in Africa and Asia helps drive the illegal trade, as it promotes contact and conflict between apes and humans. Great ape habitat is being lost at the rate of 2-5 per cent annually. By 2030 less than 10 per cent of the current range will remain on current trends.

In Southeast Asia, the conversion of rainforest for agro-industry is directly linked to the illegal trade, as orangutans are flushed from the forest and end up being captured, killed, or trafficked. Extractive industries such as logging, mining, and petroleum exploration create transportation and trade routes that facilitate the illicit traffic of great apes.

Key Recommendations from the Report

As well as highlighting the scale of the problem and the worrying trend of increasing organization of the trade, the report issues a series of recommendations aimed at reducing the startling rate of decline of ape populations, including:

• Establish an electronic database that includes the numbers, trends and tendencies of the illegal great ape trade, and monitor arrests, prosecutions and convictions as a means of assessing national commitment.


• Target organized crime by investigating traffickers and buyers, establishing trans-national criminal intelligence units targeting environmental crime to ensure that intelligence is compiled, analyzed and shared with national police forces, customs and INTERPOL, and prosecuting the accused to the fullest extent of the law.


• Utilize national and international multimedia campaigns to eliminate the trade/ownership/use of great apes and emphasize laws and deterrent punishment.


• DNA-test all confiscated great apes and return to country of origin – if discernible – within eight weeks of confiscation.


• Review national laws and penalties relating to the killing and trafficking of great apes and support efforts to forcefully implement and strengthen those laws.


• Increase enforcement of protected areas, to both reduce illegal trade in great apes and to protect their habitat.


Download the full report here:


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

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