Pulse #31 - See you in 2021: Happy Holidays from the Movemeback Pulse Team, and 2020's final edition of actionable insight
Season's Greetings Movemeback,
After 31 editions of actionable insight over 32 weeks, we're looking forward to bringing you more in 2021! Let us know what you would like to see more (or less!) of in the new year; and don't forget to share Pulse with those who would benefit from reading it in 2021. Until then, we wish you a well deserved, safe and meaningful break.
Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana have been listed as “Break Out” economies for their speed of digital evolution and use of technology to leapfrog and transform their economies. A new Digital Intelligence Index report remarks that these leapfrogs make for ideal role models for countries which are trailing behind on how to use digital technology as a lever for change. Of the 90 global economies assessed, Nigeria fared the worst, revealing considerable unrealised digital evolution potential, and the opportunity for catch-up in the years ahead.
Numbers in the Spotlight
(USD4.9bn) needs to be raised by the Covid-19 Covax scheme, to meet its target of vaccinating at least 20% of people in poor countries in 2021
(USD1bn) will be loaned by US to the World Bank to help clear Sudan’s debt
(USD1bn) is estimated to have been invested this year alone, by wealthy Nigerians purchasing overseas citizenships
(USD300mn) is how much the US International Development Finance Corporation is investing in the expansion of Africa Data Centres
Somalia has cut diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing Kenya of trying to infringe upon the sovereignty and unity of Somalia before a general election. It came as Kenyan President Kenyatta hosted the leader of Somaliland - the north-western region that declared independence from Somalia in 1991. Somalia is a key export market for Kenya, earning it Ksh12bn in 2019 ($106mn) for its miraa leaf alone. With Kenya housing 200,000 Somali refugees, and contributing thousands of troops to an African Union military operation fighting al-Shabab in the region, Somalia’s decision could have wide consequences for trade and security in the Horn of Africa. With the countries also in dispute over 100,000sq km of maritime territory with prospects of vast oil and gas deposits, the global community may be increasingly pressured to take sides.
Couscous, the Berber dish enjoyed across northern Africa and increasingly the world, has been added to UNESCO’s list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage. UNESCO have described the addition as “a real diplomatic success”, as Algeria and Morocco put aside their diplomatic rivalry to join Tunisia and Mauritania in submitting a joint petition to add the dish to the list in March 2019. With Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia all claiming to be the home of the dish, as with West Africa's furious debate over who makes the best jollof rice, might this be a case study for how recognition of shared culture can help strengthen a sense of common identity across the Continent?
Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership
Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy
Sub-Saharan Africa is the riskiest investment region due to militant violence and abuses by security forces, according to a new ‘Terrorism Intensity Index’ report. The report identifies seven African states - Burkina Faso, Mali, Somalia, Cameroon, Mozambique, Niger, the DRC and Nigeria - amongst the world’s 11 highest risk countries. Violent extremism comes at a heavy cost to not just life, but also economies - costing African countries ~$97bn per year due to damage to physical infrastructure, a reduction in investment, increased informalisation of economies as trade is forced to go underground, and money diverted to security spending. A multilateral and multi-sectoral approach is needed, including regional operations, peace talks, youth livelihood development programming and tailored economic and social interventions.
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