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2016/169/AFR: World Bank Group unveils $16 Billion Africa Climate Business Plan to Tackle Urgent Climate Challenges (24.11.2015)

Gado World Bank

One third of funds expected to come from Bank’s fund for the poorest countries

WASHINGTON, November 24, 2015—The World Bank Group today unveiled a new plan that calls for $16 billion in funding to help African people and countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent’s resilience to climate shocks.

Titled Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development, the Africa Climate Business Plan will be presented at COP21, the global climate talks in Paris, on November 30. It lays out measures to boost the resilience of the continent’s assets – its people, land, water, and cities – as well as other moves including boosting renewable energy and strengthening early warning systems.

Sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate shocks, and our research shows that could have far-ranging impact — on everything from child stunting and malaria to food price increases and droughts,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.  “This plan identifies concrete steps that African governments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from climate change.”

Per current estimates, the plan says that the region requires $5-10 billion per year to adapt to global warming of 2°C.

The World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme estimate that the cost of managing climate resilience will continue to rise to $20-50 billion by mid-century, and closer to $100 billion in the event of a 4°C warming.

Of the $16.1 billion that the ambitious plan proposes for fast-tracking climate adaptation, some $5.7 billion is expected from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that supports the poorest countries. About $2.2 billion is expected from various climate finance instruments, $2.0 billion from others in the development community, $3.5 billion from the private sector, and $0.7 billion from domestic sources, with an additional $2.0 billion needed to deliver on the plan.

“The Africa Climate Business Plan spells out a clear path to invest in the continent’s urgent climate needs and to fast-track the required climate finance to ensure millions of people are protected from sliding into extreme poverty,” explains Makhtar Diop, World Bank Group Vice President for Africa. “While adapting to climate change and mobilizing the necessary resources remain an enormous challenge, the plan represents a critical opportunity to support a priority set of climate-resilient initiatives in Africa.”

The plan will boost the region’s ability to adapt to a changing climate while reducing greenhouse emissions, focusing on a number of concrete actions. It identifies a dozen priority areas for action that will enhance Africa’s capacity to adapt to the adverse consequences of climate variation and change.

The first area for action aims to boost the resilience of the continent’s assets. These comprise natural capital (landscapes, forests, agricultural land, inland water bodies, oceans); physical capital (cities, transport infrastructure, physical assets in coastal areas); and human and social capital (where efforts should include improving social protection for the people most vulnerable to climate shocks, and addressing climate-related drivers of migration).

The second area for action focuses on powering resilience, including opportunities for scaling up low-carbon energy sources. In addition to helping mitigate climate change, these activities offer considerable resilience benefits, as societies with inadequate access to energy are also more vulnerable to climate shocks.

And the third area for action will enable resilience by providing essential data, information and decision-making tools for climate-resilient development across sectors. This includes strengthening hydro-met systems at the regional and country levels, and building capacity to plan and design climate-resilient investments.

The plan is a ‘win-win’ for all especially the people in Africa who have to adapt to climate change and work to mitigate its impacts,” said Jamal Saghir, the World Bank’s Senior Regional Adviser for Africa. “We look forward to working with African governments and development partners, including the private sector, to move this plan forward and deliver climate smart development.”

The Africa Climate Business Plan reflects contributions and inputs from a wide variety of partners with whom the Bank is already collaborating on the ground, in a coordinated effort to increase Africa’s resilience to climate variability and change. The plan aims to help raise awareness and accelerate resource mobilization for the region’s critical climate-resilience and low-carbon initiatives.

The plan warns that unless decisive action is taken, climate variability and change could seriously jeopardize the region’s hard-won development gains and its aspirations for further growth and poverty reduction. And it comes in the wake of Bank analysis which indicates climate change could push up to 43 million more Africans into poverty by 2030.

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#RhodesMustGo: Statement on the Marikana Campaign (18.08.2015)

Rhodes-Statue

Following the wave of decolonial rage incited and ignited by the #RhodesMustFall movement, we have been consistently misunderstood, misrepresented, silenced and intimidated by wolves in sheep’s clothing- the colonial institutions we are learning to deconstruct.

In the shadow of the anniversary of the massacre of Marikana, #RhodesMustFall will relentlessly drive forward the project of decolonisation to its logical conclusion. The University of Cape Town, as an integral part of the machinery of colonialism, is deeply implicated in the events of Marikana, and we are here, if only to break that machinery into pieces.

The massacre of Marikana lies at the center of the problem of South Africa. The collusion of the state and white monopoly capital has not been clearer since the negotiated settlement that formed the nightmare that is contemporary South Africa- the ‘new’ dispensation.

On Thursday, August 16th, South African Police Services killed 34 protesters at a platinum mine, owned by the Lonmin company, and located in a town called Marikana. This display of police brutality was targeted at protestors who were fighting for a living wage.

The tragedy of this expression of state violence must be historicised and contextualised. In amidst the nuances and contradictions of the details of the massacre, the #RhodesMustFall movement echoes the call to target the roots of the tree, and by the roots, we explicitly refer to the violence of a) South Africa, b) the state, and c) it’s police, as an underpinning and unholy trinity of our nation’s (dys)function.

As a movement standing for the notion that ‘Rhodes’- as a symbol of the colonial situation of our nation- must fall, it is with bittersweet irony that we discover that the London Stock Exchange listed company, Lomnin, was a former division of the company known as LonRho (London Rhodes).

‪#‎RhodesLivesOnInMarikana‬

Without decolonisation, these structures will continue to demolish post-1994 reforms as they move forward with their colonial objectives. In the words of the revolutionary, Frantz Fanon, we remember –
“Colonialism hardly ever exploits the whole of a country. It contents itself with bringing to light the natural resources, which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the mother country’s industries, thereby allowing certain sectors of the colony to become relatively rich. But the rest of the colony follows its path of under-development and poverty, or at all events, sinks into it more deeply.

So what does this have to do with UCT?”

#RhodesMustFall, as we have articulated since our inception, has identified the University of Cape Town as amongst the key spaces and institutions that uphold the criminal status quo in which we find ourselves today. Through the legacy of the likes of Cecil John Rhodes, we have endeavoured to dig up the thinly veiled web of wealth, domination and violence that UCT has continuously benefitted from since its establishment.

In this, our next phase, we vow to hold the university accountable for its relationship to the unending violence against black bodies in Azania. It is an open secret that the University of Cape Town has, for several years, invested millions in mining corporations, in particular, Lonmin, through its retirement annuities. This has remained unchanged since the tragedy of Marikana.

We therefore encourage the public to work collectively in requesting the financial records of this institution because in moving forward, transparency is key.

The enormous financial contributions made by the mining sector to the university have, of course, come at a cost. The impact on knowledge production is most visceral in the engineering, economics and politics departments who house many programmes that propagate a neo-liberal conception of development and society that does little more than prepare them for careers and professions that exist to preserve the status quo and generate white monopoly capital. We note with disdain the particular deficiencies in the UCT economics department that has been established as a factory for the kinds of uncritical capitalistic thinking that will ensure that the events of Marikana will be repeated.

And of this we are certain:

Without decolonisation, Marikana will happen again.

As a self-avowed elite institution, UCT has garnered and fostered close relationships with multinational corporations who arrive at our doorstep with Trojan horses at career fairs, and on our donor acknowledgement boards. Many UCT graduates are granted safe passage into these organisations, while during education as students, are structurally and violently denied the information and history of the ground upon which they stand. The consequence is the repeated misdirection of potential skill, energy and passion away from the benefit of the majority of South Africans and toward the ends of white monopoly capital.

To further demonstrate the complicity of the ivory tower of UCT, we call to attention the presence of Judge Iam Farlam, the chair of the Marikana inquiry commission, on the university council. The #RhodesMustFall movement calls for the immediate removal of Judge Ian Farlam from council. This arises firstly out of a conflict of interest, as evidenced by the connections between Lonmin and UCT, but crucially as a response to the conclusions drawn by Judge Farlam in his report as highlighted below:

“The evidence shows -(a) that the tragic events at Marikana are rooted in widespread labour disputes in the area, particularly, at Lonmin’s Karee mine and at the nearby Impala Platinum Mine (‘Implats’) which were characterized by violence, intimidation and loss of life and the undermining of agreed collective bargaining processes; and (b) that the tragic events that occurred during the period 12 to 16 August 2012 originated from the decision and conduct of the strikers in embarking on an unprotected strike and in enforcing the strike by violence and intimidation, using dangerous weapons for the purpose”.

The conclusion listed above clearly places the root responsibility of the escalation of Marikana’s violence onto a disinherited black working class, which itself chooses to overlook the continual violence of the establishment of the mines themselves, and their historical role in the class formation and racialisation of African peoples. This is a tragedy of devastating gendered consequence, but this truth is unsurprisingly invisibilised by the power structure whose mobility is reliant on constructed and upheld ‘black dysfunction’.

Judge Ian Farlam failed to hold to account the state’s involvement in the massacre of Marikana and failed to identify the root of the violence that resulted in the murder of 34 mine workers. His decision and participation in this case must be problematised, as he sits on a governance structure that makes financial decisions regarding investments of Lomnin, (amongst others) the company involved in, and criminally complicit in this case.

The #RhodesMustFall collective reminds the UCT community in particular, that we are presently participating in the exploitation of our own workers. The struggle of the workers here is no different to those at Marikana. They demand a decent living wage of R10 500, as outsourced workers who are struggling for dignity, as they continue to prop up a university that celebrates its position as ‘the top in Africa’. We understand it as one whose ‘success’ lies purely in its upholding of the status quo.

In closing,

#RhodesMustFall demand the immediate renaming of the Jameson Memorial Hall to Marikana Memorial Hall, the removal of Judge Ian Farlam from council, a statement from the Vice Chancellor condemning the massacre, and the report and submission of a dossier detailing UCT’s relationship to mining corporations in Southern Africa.

Izwe Lethu,
M’Afrika

#RhodesMustFall

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