Is electoral violence in sub-Saharan Africa overreported? This new book looks at the data.
August 12, 2016 | 0 Comments
By Kim Yi Dionne and Stephanie Burchard*
In the run-up to Zambia’s election Thursday, there were violent clashes between supporters of the ruling Patriotic Front party and the main opposition party, the United Party for National Development (UPND). In one incident in July, police opened fire on opposition protesters, killing a UPND supporter.Zambia’s electoral commission temporarily suspended campaigning in the capital after that incident — and reports of other violence — claiming that doing so would quell electoral violence.
How typical is this contemporary Zambian example of elections in Africa? What do we know about electoral violence in Africa?
In this week’s African Politics Summer Reading Spectacular post, we feature a Q&A with Stephanie Burchard, author of “Electoral Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa: Causes and Consequences.” In her book, Burchard offers case studies of electoral violence in Kenya, Liberia and Senegal, and also analyzes data measuring election violence across sub-Saharan Africa from 1990 to 2014.
Kim Yi Dionne: Early in your book, you distinguish between two types of violence: incidental and strategic. You say that the key distinction between the two is that incidental violence is not planned in advance (p. 28). Given the social norms against violence, isn’t it hard to know if violence was premeditated by political actors? As a researcher, how do you get around that obstacle of not knowing what’s in politicians’ heads?
Stephanie Burchard: As I wrote this book and dug deeper into specific cases of election violence, it became clear that not all election-related violence was the same. In terms of both intensity and underlying motivation, there is a lot of variation across sub-Saharan Africa. The violence that took place before Senegal’s 2012 election, for example, looked very different from the violence that usually (but not always) accompanies elections in Nigeria and Kenya. One of the key differences was the planning and purpose of the violence.
In Senegal, protesters were angry with the incumbent Abdoulaye Wade regime for manipulating the election in an attempt to remain in power beyond the two-term constitutional limit. These protesters engaged with state security forces for several weeks. Unfortunately, some protests turned violent. The government may have given security forces tacit support to respond with a heavy hand, but I found no evidence that violence was planned by either protesters or the state. This is the type of violence I categorize as “incidental.”
Anecdotal evidence, however, also supports the notion that unscrupulous politicians have deliberately organized violence to affect the outcome of elections in several countries in Africa. Post-election analyses in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, for example, have established that violence was planned months in advance as part of an overall strategy to ensure victory at the polls. Parties and/or politicians have hired youth groups for the explicit purpose of intimidating potential voters. In the case of Zimbabwe, for instance, youth groups were trained to bully voters to back Robert Mugabe in the March 2002 elections. This is the type of violence I term “strategic.”
Measuring intent is obviously very difficult, especially when actors have a vested interest in disguising their motives. This is a fundamental shortcoming of any research into criminal behavior. Thus, the difference I make between incidental and strategic violence is more of a theoretical distinction than a strict typology. This is not to say it is unimportant — I think it is an important distinction to make in understanding the persistence of electoral violence and its effects — but the categories are admittedly fuzzy.
Further complicating matters, both types of violence may occur in the same election, as the categories are not mutually exclusive. This is why I chose in my book to employ a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis as a sort of quality check to ensure my assumptions and measurements accurately reflected reality.
KYD: To be honest, I was surprised to learn from your book that so many African elections were violent. According to your data, 57 percent of the 289 elections held in sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2014 experienced pre-electoral violence — meaning violence that occurred prior to election day.
When I think of election violence, I’m imaging what you characterize as the most severe, “Category 3” cases, like in Côte d’Ivoire in 2010-2011, when 3,000 people were killed. Or I think of the election that opens your investigation: Kenya in 2007-2008.
Still, does this greater frequency of lower-level harassment lead people to overestimate the proportion of “violent” elections in Africa?
SB: First, I do think that certain violent events surrounding the 2016 U.S. election are cause for concern. And I think a better understanding of African experiences with election violence would help us understand what is taking place in our own elections, what steps could be taken to mitigate any problems, and what the long-term consequences for democracy might be if no action is taken. But I am not an expert on American politics, so I will leave that discussion and analysis to my more qualified colleagues.
Does my categorization overstate violence in African elections? No, I would argue that my analysis is a more nuanced treatment of electoral violence than we have seen to date. Disaggregating election violence into multiple categories provides us with more analytic leverage than if we applied a simple binary assessment of “violent or not violent” to an election and set a minimum threshold of protests, injuries or fatalities. By looking at changes in the type and intensity of electoral violence over time, we can closely track not only any decline in electoral quality but also improvements — and we can assess what factors might account for changes in either direction.
I’d like to emphasize that 43 percent of elections held in Africa are peaceful, which is commendable. And, as you mention, the majority of elections that I identify as violent are of the less intense variety. These elections are characterized by harassment and intimidation from state security forces, hired thugs and/or party functionaries. Opposition candidates or supporters may be detained, but only briefly. Fights within and between partisan supporters break out but are contained relatively quickly. Anti-government newspapers are shuttered but generally resume publication shortly thereafter.
These activities might not escalate to the level where fatalities occur, but they still are coercive. I think that any violence or coercion has the potential to be disruptive to democratic development, especially if it is recurring and can directly be connected to the electoral process.
High-profile election violence, such as has occurred in Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire, typically garners attention and international intervention. But less intense forms of violence, like the events that have taken place during the recent elections in Zambia, are just as important to monitor and understand.
Left unaddressed, lower levels of violence can be a precursor to major violent episodes in future elections. The 2007 post-election violence was not Kenya’s first experience with turbulent elections. Violence had accompanied all multiparty elections in Kenya since 1992; only the intensity and perpetrators have varied over time. Electoral harassment or intimidation, my Category 1, might be common, but that doesn’t mean something can’t or shouldn’t be done about it.
KYD: In your case study on Liberia focusing on the 2011 elections, you mention the work of Ushahidi Liberia. Ushahidi is a nonprofit technology organization developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the 2007 election. It has since worked in or developed platforms used in multiple crisis situations, including other African elections and the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.
You shared some of Ushahidi Liberia’s crowdsourced data on 2011 electoral violence with caveats. These caveats included potential for citizens to over- or underreport violence, the low Internet penetration in Liberia, and the lack of cellphone infrastructure outside the capital city of Monrovia.
As cellphone coverage and Internet accessibility continues to grow on the continent, what potential do you see in using future Ushahidi data for scholars and students studying election irregularities and electoral violence?
SB: Honestly, the potential is limitless, and the innovative work that groups such as Ushahidi are doing is invaluable. But, unfortunately, less-than-democratic governments have also discovered this dissent channel and are working to frustrate efforts at crowdsourced reporting on elections.
Just within the past six months, Uganda, Ethiopia, Congo-Brazzaville and Chad have all imposed social media blackouts during elections, under the guise of national security. Even Ghana, arguably one of the more mature democracies in Africa, recently floated the idea of shutting down social media during its upcoming December 2016 elections to prevent the promulgation of hate speech and dampen the potential for violent mobilization.
As long as governments have and are willing to exercise control over information and communications technology in this manner, researchers will have to continue to take extra care to ensure that any data they analyze is representative, reliable and externally valid.
KYD: Finally, I think exploring the data you analyze might be of interest to some of our readers. Whether they accept the arguments you made or have ideas for other potential factors shaping election violence, they can look and see for themselves what the data say. Is there a website where people could download the data or analyze it online? Or related sites that you think readers would find interesting?
SB: I don’t have a website, but am preparing my data set to be housed online at the Harvard Dataverse. In the interim, I am more than happy to make my data available to anyone who would find it useful — people are welcome to contact me on Twitter. I am a big fan of transparency and replication. I’d love to see others use my data to continue furthering our understanding of the causes and consequences of electoral violence in Africa. Or anywhere for that matter (cough *United States* cough).
*Washington Post.Stephanie Burchard is a research staff member in the Africa Program at the Institute for Defense Analyses and occasionally teaches courses at Georgetown University and American University. You can follow her on Twitter at @smburchard.
China’s Military Push In Africa Is Unlikely To End Anytime Soon
July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
Beijing is no longer happy simply playing a low-key support role to peacekeeping operations on the continent.
Over the past five years the Chinese military presence in Africa has undergone a profound change. Until 2012, the Chinese were happy to play a low-key support role in multinational peacekeeping operations on the continent, preferring to send military engineers and medical staff rather than deploy combat forces. Today, that is no longer the case. China is in fact the eighth-largest supplier of troops for U.N. peacekeeping operations in Africa and the largest among the five permanent Security Council members, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations.
The large and growing Chinese military presence in Africa is also becoming increasingly diverse both in terms of where its forces are deployed and their operational capacity. China’s most sophisticated warships have been actively involved in multinational anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden since 2008. In West Africa, the People’s Liberation Army deployed elite medical units, including a massive hospital ship, to Ebola-ravaged regions in Liberiaand Sierra Leone and, similarly, Chinese military medical teams have also been dispatched to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where they provide desperately needed health care to the embattled civilian population.
Around 2014, the Chinese began to shift their military engagement strategy in Africa to include the deployment of combat-ready infantry units to countries like Mali and South Sudan where the United Nations peacekeepers are targeted by Islamist radicals and partisan fighters. Although at least three Chinese soldiers have been killed this year in Africa, experts note these PLA combat forces are typically confined to their bases and rarely venture outside the wire. Nonetheless, the fact that the Chinese have taken that first step in redefining their role in African security operations is significant, and with the imminent completion of the PLA Navy’s new outpost in Djibouti, it seems likely that this trend will continue in the coming years.
Mathieu Duchâtel, Richard Gowan and Manuel Lafont Rapnouil recently explored China’s new military engagement strategy in Africa in a policy brief for the European Council on Foreign Relations. The trio raised the interesting question of how a more robust Chinese security presence in Africa will impact European military operations on the continent given that countries like France and Britain, among others, have long considered Africa to be a traditional sphere of influence. Mathieu and Manuel join Eric and Cobus ― in the podcast above ― to discuss the rapidly changing multinational security architecture in Africa.
*Source Huffington Post
How do you make a man wear a condom?
July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
Some 2,700 young South Africans are infected with HIV every week – 74 % of them girls. The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani speaks to some women in Johannesburg about their attitudes towards sex, men and getting them to use condoms.
Chwayita Bam, 31, real estate agent:
I’m in a new relationship now and one of the first things we spoke about is condoms. I told him straight, “I don’t know where you’ve been, you don’t know where’ve I’ve been. I don’t know your status so we have to use a condom.” He wasn’t too happy with the decision but he agreed.
It becomes a bit awkward because at times in the heat of the moment we need to stop what we’re doing to grab a condom and it interrupts the whole thing.
We’ve spoken about getting tested for HIV together so we can stop using them but I’ve explained to him that because I’m not on any contraception – this is my only way of preventing pregnancy.I’ve been in a situation in the past where a guy wanted to have sex without a condom and we had a massive fight about it, he even became physical. He didn’t understand why I wouldn’t sleep with him without it.
I was blunt. I told him, “If you force yourself on me it will be rape.” That scared him and he stopped. I didn’t ever see him again.
People say when you’re having sex without a condom it’s a lot nicer, I agree and I think that’s why some people, including women, don’t like them. But the reality is that there are many diseases so we’re forced to use them so we don’t get sick.
Nomandla Mabaso, 22, university student
It is condoms or no sex at all for me. Guys just don’t want to use condoms but in the end they’d rather have sex with a condom than no sex at all – if more women got that they’d actually have more control, they’d feel more at ease with insisting on it.
I don’t know that it’s a power thing more than it being a case of us wanting to please our partners. I have a white friend who is 25, smart, educated. She’s dating a black guy and he convinced her that they didn’t need to use a condom and she agreed. She contracted herpes.
I thought she’d break up with him but they’re still together. She’s smitten with him. I think the issue comes when we fall in love, we become more willing to please, to make our guys happy and that’s where the condom fight is lost.
A lot of women when they are in love sadly lose their voice. It becomes all about pleasing the other person. I’m a very strong-willed person, so I’m comfortable with making my case.
I know I don’t want to fall pregnant and I don’t want to contract any diseases so my motto is simple: “It’s condoms or no sex.” I’m still young and have my whole life to plan for. I haven’t even established myself as a career woman so having a baby isn’t a part of my plan just yet.
I’m on birth control but want to be absolutely sure. If a guy wants to be with me, he needs to respect that. He must respect that I always use a condom.
Aids in South Africa:
- 340,000 new infections in 2014 (931 a day)
- 2,700 young people infected every week – 74% girls
- More than half a million infected in the past year
- 140,000 recorded Aids deaths every year
- Many Aids deaths go unreported, so it is estimated there are more than 400 Aids deaths each day
Source: UNAids, 2014
Paulina Lapise, 39, domestic worker
The reason there are so many diseases is because we don’t use condoms as often as we should. Most of the time when you tell your partner that you want him to use a condom he tells me that it hurts him.
I end up agreeing to sleeping with him without it because I tell myself that I want to make him happy. My partner says it’s difficult for him to ejaculate when he’s wearing a condom. He actually hates it.
These sort of attitudes are the reason we have so many diseases going around. Yes, you can refuse to sleep with him but then he’ll force himself on you and no woman wants that.
Men are more powerful, when they want something they want it. There is a lot of pressure on us women to please them. I know I feel that pressure at home.
In some instances you know he’s cheating on you but you’ll still agree to sleep with him without a condom but we don’t want to lose him. This is why so many women are contracting HIV. We don’t know how to stand up for ourselves.
Society even today teaches us that to be seen as a worthy woman you need to be in a relationship or married – that you need to have a man.
Condoms are a big point of conflict in our relationships and we, as women, are not being listened to but what can we do? It’s the way things are.
Kutloano Buthelezi, 21, juice bar manager
I personally find condoms quite uncomfortable, I’ve often had to use a douche afterwards. I also don’t like how they smell, so yes, I’m not a fan of condoms. The only reason I use them is the prevention aspect.
If I was in a committed relationship and was sure my partner is being faithful I would do without them altogether. I think women are still sheepish about getting their partners to use them.
I’ve once been in a situation where the guy and I were about to have sex. I asked him if he’d put on a condom. He told me he had – only for me to find out afterwards that he didn’t but I felt powerless to raise it.
I think as powerful as we believe ourselves to be as women we are conditioned to be submissive. It’s not just in sex.
It even becomes more difficult in situations where the male is older – older men call the shots. I stay away from older guys because I don’t want to find myself in a position where I feel like I can’t say no because I’m also financially dependant on him – which is what often happens.
These sort of relationships are dangerous because in all likelihood he’s not just sleeping with one girl – it’s you, his wife and a bunch of other girls. It’s a serious problem and perhaps why HIV is still an issue here and why it’s affecting young people.
If they are serious about fighting HIV, they need to look at making condoms thinner, which you can barely feel and make it more affordable to everyone.
It would also mean more women would stop relying on men to buy them.
And black parents need to educate their kids more. We live in an age where parents are more aware of just how sexually active their children are and so they should be more open to talking to them about the choices they makes as well as guiding them.
Fifa World Cup: Africa will get two extra places if tournament expands – Infantino
July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
Africa will get an additional two World Cup finals places should the tournament be expanded to 40 teams from 2026, says Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
Infantino proposed the expansion from 32 teams before he was elected by world football’s governing body in February.
Africa is currently allocated five places at World Cups.
“My proposal has been 40 teams and if that happens then my proposal has been to have at least two extra places for African teams,” said Infantino.
The move would not come into effect until 2026 with the format of 32 teams already confirmed for Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.
The Fifa boss is still set to be interviewed by ethics investigators after allegedly breaching its code of ethics.
The allegations relate to a possible conflict of interest when using private jets laid on by a World Cup-bidding country; that he filled senior posts without checking people’s eligibility for the role; and billing Fifa for mattresses, flowers, an exercise machine and personal laundry.
If there is sufficient evidence then a full investigation could be opened and he could be suspended from his role for up to 90 days.
This year’s summit will feature various discussions on innovative strategies and collaboration, as well as showcasing new real estate opportunities and projects across Africa
July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
Despite Africa’s slowdown; property developers and private equity funds continue to pour investment into the continent, but with more focused strategies. “Over $1,2 billion has been raised and allocated to real estate investment in Africa over the past year and we expect this trend to continue” said Kfir Rusin, General Manager of the upcoming Africa Property Investment Summit.
Commenting on the global capital flows making their mark on African real estate, Peter Welborn, chairman of Knight Franks’ Africa business says that “The underlying investment theme across sub-Saharan Africa, over the next decade will undoubtedly be driven by substantial allocations of equity, into JV’s with successful local partners. Both the west African retail sector as well as the southern and east Africa logistics sectors will be high on the hit list of international capital.”
The last year has seen Actis, RMB Westport, Novare, Phatisa and Growthpoint successfully raising capital from global funds such as GIC Singapore, Grosvenor (USA), The IFC, CDC Group (UK) among other international funds.
The Africa Property Investment (API) Summit is the leading African focused real estate forum, which brings together influential property players from around the continent. The API Summit offers developers and investors access to new development strategies, a chance to showcase projects and meet with new sources of capital across Sub-Saharan Africa. The summit is the perfect opportunity to leverage off the expertise and knowledge of key industry players.
“This year’s summit will feature various discussions on innovative strategies and collaboration, as well as showcasing new real estate opportunities and projects across Africa. Whilst uncertainty remains, we believe that African property is still poised for growth, albeit at a lower but more sustainable level,” says Rusin.
The effects of the currency and liquidity crises have been sharply felt across the continent but most notably in the larger oil driven commodity exporting countries. This has resulted in a shift towards economic diversification and countries in the East African region providing more economic stability than others. Although there has been a slowdown across Africa, one of the continents’ largest funds remain optimistic. Bronwyn Corbett, CEO of Mara Delta says, “The company remains bullish under the African growth story. We have built extensive IP into our target countries and see tremendous growth in these markets that we are levering to build an Africa powerhouse real estate fund. Focus is on the strength of the counter party and mitigation of risks to build a quality portfolio and deliver substantial returns to shareholders.”
“We can already confirm over 500 delegates from over 30 different countries. We have noticed substantial growth in delegate numbers, with a 30% increase in attendance and a large international contingent compared to previous years. We see real estate and related industries as an important contributor to GDP in Africa and therefore we expect this trend to continue in future years” Concluded Rusin
The two-day conference will be held from 18-19 August 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and will feature speakers from Broll, CBRE, Mara Delta, Knight Frank, Old Mutual, STANLIB, Standard Bank, Novare, RMB Westport, JLL, CDC Group, ALN, ITL, Growthpoint, UPDC, Britam, Fusion Capital, and Heriot Properties to name a few.
Key sessions at the API Summit will include: The Role of global capital in Africa , Africa’s Retail reality check, Logistics & Industrial sector making its mark as well as focused discussions on countries such as Rwanda, Ivory Coast and Tanzania.
The Africa Property Investment (API) Summit is a forum for the discussion of real estate investment opportunities in Africa which offers a platform to network with industry experts. The event focuses on current themes, trends and challenges related to property investments and developments in Africa. The 7th Annual API Summit takes on 18 – 19 August 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg South Africa. This year’s key sponsors are Broll, Mara Delta , Knight Frank, JHI, Crystal Lagoons, ALN, JLL, Standard Bank, G5 Properties and ITL.
Governance, Corruption & Democratic Development Questions will guide Clinton’s African Policy-Snr Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan
July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
Hillary Clinton views Africa not just as a place with challenges to address but also opportunities says Jake Sullivan, Senior Policy Advisor for Hillary for America. Speaking at the Foreign Policy Center briefing center at the Democratic Convention, Sullivan said to Hillary Clinton, Africa is not just made up of countries which need development aid and assistance but also partners who can work with the USA in addressing a range of global issues.
Issues of governance, corruption, and democratic development have been central to Secretary Clinton’s policy towards Africa and will continue to be, said Jake Sullivan in response to a question from Ben Bangoura of Allo Conakry.com on what Africa should expect a Clinton Administration.
The policy will be in the mold of the work the democratic flag bearer did as first lady and later Secretary of State, Sullivan said. From her multiple trips to the continent, Hillary Clinton has shown commitment to pillars like fostering economic growth, peace keeping, security, human rights, and democratic development said Sullivan.
“She is fond of reminding us on her team many of the top 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are African economies. How we think about where the future growth is going to come from in the world is bound up in how we approach our policy towards Africa,” Sullivan said.
In contrast to the recent Republican Convention in Ohio, the Democratic Convention seems to have more African faces present. Executive Women for Hillary ,a powerful coalition of executive, entrepreneur and professional women backing Mrs. Clinton has two African diaspora leaders Sarian Bouma and Angelle Kwemo of Believe in Africa as State Co-Chairs for the DMV area.
Congolese singer Koffi Olomide caught ‘kicking woman’ in Kenya
July 23, 2016 | 0 Comments
Police are seen intervening to stop the attack on the woman, identified by Kenyan media as one of his dancers.
The 60-year-old rumba star denied in a Facebook post that he attacked the dancer and said he respected women.
In 2012, he was convicted in the Democratic Republic of Congo, his home country, of assaulting his producer.
The court gave the singer a three-month suspended prison sentence.
The altercation with his producer, Diego Lubaki, was over a debt of about $3,700 (£2,800), the court heard.
In 2008, he was accused of kicking a cameraman from DR Congo’s private RTGA television station and breaking his camera at a concert in the capital, Kinshasa, following disagreement over recording rights.
In the end, the speaker of national assembly stepped in to resolve the dispute, brokering a reconciliation between the star and owner of TV station.
News of the latest incident is trending on Twitter in East Africa under #KofiOlomide, with some people calling for the musician to be arrested, charged and deported.
He is due to perform at a concert in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, on Saturday.
Kenya’s privately owned KTN television station quoted witnesses as saying that he assaulted the dancer after she had been involved in an altercation with his wife.
It showed footage of a man calming Mr Olomide down, who then goes, flanked by his entourage, to his vehicle.
Before he jumps into it, he jokes with a television crew and remarks in the Lingala language, “Take a photo of me”, which is a lyric in his song about selfies.
Referring to the assault, Mr Olomide said: “The girls are excited. They fight…”
He later told BBC Africa: “I didn’t fight no-one… I came to stop a fight… I didn’t kick anyone. I wanted to stop a girl who wanted to fight the dancers I came with.”
Like other Congolese musicians, he is known for his extravagant lifestyle and flashy outfits.
The music he plays is known as “soukous”, which comes from the French word secouer, meaning to shake, and its dancers are renowned for their erotic moves.
L’Oréal Accelerates Product Development for Sub-Saharan Africa Thanks to New Research & Innovation Center
July 22, 2016 | 0 Comments
It hosts product development, evaluation and advanced research teams and will employ scientists from the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, physiology, cosmetology and biochemistry
L’Oréal inaugurated today its new Research & Innovation Center to study African hair and skin specificities as well as the beauty routines and expectations of sub-Saharan consumers. The Research & Innovation Center in South Africa is the Group’s 7th R&I hub globally. It hosts product development, evaluation and advanced research teams and will employ scientists from the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, physiology, cosmetology and biochemistry.
Alexandre Popoff, Executive Vice-President Eastern Europe and Africa, Middle East, said “Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions for L’Oréal.Our new research arm in South Africa will solidly enable us to continually create the beauty products of the future for our African consumers, while drawing inspiration from the diverse beauty rituals and the various needs of our consumers on the continent.”
Laurent Attal, Executive Vice-President of Research and Innovation, said “By opening this new Research & Innovation Center, we are spearheading L’Oréal Research for the African continent. We are showing our determination to go further in innovations for the African beauty market. Our consumer surveys conducted since 2010 and our in-depth studies of skin and hair since early 2000, represent the knowledge base for the development of tailored products for African consumers. We are starting with hair and our ambitions are much broader and cover the body, hygiene, skin care and makeup categories.”
Deep knowledge of African beauty
The Research activity in South Africa started in 2003 with an Evaluation Center focused on consumer knowledge and product assessment. The mission of the brand new Research & Innovation Center is to translate beauty needs and hair and skin knowledge into innovative products ranging from hair care, hair color, relaxers and shapers to personal hygiene. Cutting edge instruments to visualize the skin surface, the spots or to measure hair breakage and rigorous protocols are used daily to assess the technical, functional and sensorial benefits of the products. The key areas will be skin evenness, sebum, acne, dryness, hair manageability, sensitive scalp and the fine tuning of fragrances.
The new Research & Innovation Center will also cooperate with the African scientific ecosystem, universities, dermatologists, natural biodiversity centers as well as hairdressers.
Innovating for the African consumer
L’Oréal has already introduced key beauty innovations for African consumers. For example, the African Beauty Brands team has brought to the market the black oil technology for hair color, failsafe relaxers as well as skin evenness routines. In addition, customized products such as Hair Food and Makeup fully adapted to African skin tones are already offered to sub-Saharan consumers.
L’Oréal has devoted itself to beauty for over 105 years. With its unique international portfolio of 32 diverse and complementary brands, the Group generated sales amounting to 25.26 billion euros in 2015 and employs 82,900 people worldwide. As the world’s leading Beauty Company, L’Oréal is present across all distribution networks: mass market, department stores, pharmacies and drugstores, hair salons, travel retail, branded retail and e-commerce.
Research and innovation, and a dedicated research team of 3,870 people, are at the core of L’Oréal’s strategy, working to meet beauty aspirations all over the world. L’Oréal’s new sustainability commitment for 2020 “Sharing Beauty With All” sets out ambitious sustainable development objectives across the Group’s value chain.
L’Oréal South Africa was established in 1963 in Johannesburg and is the largest subsidiary in Africa. The company has four divisions, namely the Consumer Products Division, Professional Products Division, L’Oréal Luxe and the Active Cosmetics Division. These divisions manage a range of over 26 brands including Mizani, Redken, Vichy, Armani, Lancôme, YSL, L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline and Dark & Lovely. L’Oréal South Africa employs more than 500 people across the business. The manufacturing plant, located in Midrand, is responsible for the production of African Beauty Brands and select Garnier products that are exported throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
The U.N. Appeals For $204 Million to Combat Africa’s Food Security Crisis
July 22, 2016 | 0 Comments
UNITED NATIONS) — The U.N. food agency has declared its highest-level emergency in drought-stricken southern Africa and is appealing for $204 million immediately to purchase food and transport it to the region to help millions of hungry people.
World Food Program Executive Director Ertharin Cousin told reporters in a telephone briefing from hard-hit Malawi on Tuesday that the El Niño-induced drought — which also affected South America and Ethiopia — has devastated crops and caused harvests to fail in southern Africa.
Currently, she said, 18 million people need emergency food assistance in seven countries severely affected by El Niño — Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
But Cousin said WFP is anticipating an escalation in needs later this year and estimating that approximately 33 million people will be impacted by El Niño and the upcoming La Niña, which could bring severe flooding.
“This year’s crisis is a food availability problem,” she said. “We’re seeing alarming increases in people facing hunger in several countries.”
Cousin pointed to a more than 150 percent increase in people without enough to eat in Malawi — from 2.83 million in need last year to 6.5 million this year — as well as a 99 percent increase in Swaziland and a 53 percent increase in Lesotho.
She said the U.N. agency will be working to assist 11.5 million people in the seven countries by the end of March 2017.
That will require $549 million — including $204 million for immediate needs and to set up a pipeline to scale-up the operation as the region goes into the rainy season in October, she said.
“The message today is we have a drought … but we have an opportunity to prevent this drought becoming a severe crisis if we get out ahead of it and provide the food that is required,” Cousin said. “Malnutrition rates are climbing. … We don’t have people starving yet because of the lack of food. We are hopeful that we can bring the attention necessary and receive resources so nobody starves.”
She said WFP declared southern Africa a level three emergency — its highest level — late last month “because this is primarily a food security crisis.” The four other level three emergencies that WFP is dealing with are broader and cover all U.N. funds and agencies — Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen.
CAF Announces Total as Title Sponsor of AFCON
July 22, 2016 | 0 Comments
THE Confederation of African Football, CAF, has announced Total as the official sponsor of the body for the next eight years. Total is a global, integrated energy producer and provider, the world’s fourth-ranked international oil and gas company and second-ranked photovoltaic solar.
CAF, in its website on Thursday, July 21, said that both bodies have reached an agreement that Total would support CAF’s ten principal competitions, starting with the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON. It said that the AFCON which would hold from Jan. 14 to Feb. 5, 2017 in Gabon would be renamed as the Total Africa Cup of Nations.
According to CAF President, Issa Hayatou, the partnership is a plus for football development in Africa. “This partnership is a major milestone in our ongoing search for additional resources to accelerate African football’s development. “It brings CAF governance up to date, upgrade its sports infrastructure and advance its performance globally.
“As a leading multinational in its field, with strong ties to Africa, Total will make a significant contribution to CAF’s initiatives to foster personal and professional growth,” it said.
It added that Patrick Pouyanne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Total said that football equal parts enthusiasm, sharing and team performance, concepts that resonate across cultures. “We are delighted to partner with CAF, because Africa is part of Total’s makeup.
“Through this commitment, we hope to strengthen ties with our stakeholders and customers through exciting, celebratory events that are always popular, including within our own teams,” it said.
The statement added that the scale and duration of this sponsorship reflect Total’s strong roots in Africa, with operations in more than 40 countries. It said that the company was a major contributor to the continent’s economy. The 10 competitions are the Africa Cup of Nations, African Nations Championship (CHAN), CAF inter-club competitions (CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Super Cup). Others are Youth competitions (U-23, U-20 and U-17 Africa Cup of Nations), Women Africa Cup of Nations and the Futsal Africa Cup of Nations. – *Vanguard/Real News
African Union to Use Imports Cash to Get $1.2 Billion Funds
July 18, 2016 | 0 Comments
Bill Gates To Invest Another $5B In Africa
July 18, 2016 | 0 Comments
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates announced Sunday that his foundation will invest $5 billion in Africa over the next five years. In a speech at the University of Pretoria on the eve of the former president Nelson Mandela’s birth anniversary, Gates said that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already invested $9 billion in the continent over the past 15 years.
“We’ve put a lot of this money into discovering and developing new and better vaccines and drugs to help prevent and treat the diseases of poverty. We’ve also invested in global partnerships that work closely with countries across the continent to get these solutions to the people who need them most,” Gates said. “We’ve been fortunate to work with amazing partners and, together, we have seen some incredible progress.”
Although he did not specify the areas the fresh investment would be made in, healthcare — which has been a major area of focus for Gates’ foundation in Africa — is likely to receive a huge chunk of the money.
Sub-Saharan Africa has long been grappling with a serious HIV/AIDS epidemic. Currently, an estimated 25.8 million people living with HIV live in countries in the region, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global total. The continent also tops the chart insofar as the global burden of malaria is concerned. In 2015, 88 percent of global cases and 90 percent of global deaths due to malaria were reported in Africa.
“If young people are sick and malnourished, their bodies and their brains will never fully develop. If they are not educated well, their minds will lie dormant. If they do not have access to economic opportunities, they will not be able to achieve their goals,” Gates said. “But if we invest in the right things – if we make sure the basic needs of Africa’s young people are taken care of – then they will have the physical, cognitive, and emotional resources they need to change the future.”