Items filtered by date: October 2016
The ‘Renewable Energy Champions’ campaign was first launched by Greenpeace in April this year with the report ‘Shopping Clean: Retailers and Renewable Energy’
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 27, 2016/ -- In order to fully benefit from the potential of abundant renewable energy in South Africa, companies need to step out of their comfort zones and send clear signals to the markets by committing to an ambitious 100% renewable energy future. This is the resounding message in an updated report ‘Shopping clean: Retailers and renewable energy – An Update’ [1] released today by Greenpeace Africa (Greenpeace.org/Africa/en) which gives an up to date outline of the state of renewable energy investments and commitments by South Africa’s top five retailers (Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Woolworths, Spar and Massmart). 

The ‘Renewable Energy Champions’ campaign was first launched by Greenpeace in April this year with the report ‘Shopping Clean: Retailers and Renewable Energy’ [2], and in the report update, Greenpeace takes a look at how the retailers have improved in the intervening six months. 

“When comparing the retailers to one another, Woolworths is still in the lead with an improved score of six out of ten. Massmart is close behind Woolworths with a score of five and a half, a significant improvement from their April score. Pick n Pay has also shown a significant improvement and is now engaging with Greenpeace on how they can increase their commitments to renewable energy in the future. Spar and Shoprite are at the bottom of the table with Shoprite scoring the lowest of all five retailers” said Penny-Jane Cooke, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Africa.

During 2016 both Woolworths and Massmart undertook solar PV installations; with Woolworths installing the first phase of their 2MW system at their Midrand distribution center, and Massmart installing a 520kW and a 430kW system at their Carnival Mall and Woodmead Makro stores respectively. This combined solar PV capacity is sufficient to power 500 - 700 average South African households. 

“One of the most significant actions undertaken by Massmart, Woolworths and Pick n Pay this year was their commitment to lobby to remove the barriers to renewable energy. The retailers have agreed to the need for a holistic sector approach that includes financial mechanisms and regulatory frameworks to create an enabling framework for renewable energy going forward, and have agreed to focus on lobbying for this, meanwhile Woolworths alone has taken the important step of committing to a 100% renewable energy future” continued Cooke. 

At the bottom end of the updated ranking table both Spar and Shoprite are dragging behind their fellow retailers. Spar’s score has stayed the same as they have not made any progress in the renewable energy sector in 2016. Shoprite continues to have the lowest score of three out of ten due to a lack of publicly available information, lack of transparency and unwillingness to engage with Greenpeace on these issues

 “Shoprite’s sustained low score is a clear indication that the retailer is not yet taking renewable energy seriously, neither are they engaging with the Renewable Energy Champions campaign. Greenpeace believes that Shoprite in particular can do much more to show solar some love, and we call on all five of the country’s top retailers to convert their scores from average to ambitious” added Cooke.

During the course of 2016, Eskom has begun what appears to be a sustained anti renewable energy campaign, which means there is an increased need for other sectors, including the retail sector, to champion and lobby for a renewable energy future in South Africa. Renewable energy offers a concrete alternative to the current electricity system that is failing all South Africans.

Caboz, a writer for Forbes Africa, in South Africa, won for his piece ‘40 Years of Mozambique - The Dead Port that Rose Again’ which was chosen from entries spanning 38 nations across the African continent
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, October 19, 2016/ -- Jay Caboz, from South Africa, has been awarded the GE Energy & Infrastructure Award, presented by Thomas Konditi, President and CEO GE Transportation Africa & GE South Africa, at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2016 Awards ceremony.  

Caboz, a writer for Forbes Africa, in South Africa, won for his piece ‘40 Years of Mozambique - The Dead Port that Rose Again’ which was chosen from entries spanning 38 nations across the African continent.

The awards, which rotate location each year in tribute to their Pan-African credentials, were held at a Gala ceremony hosted by CNN and MultiChoice at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The judging panel said: “This is a beautifully written story about the main port in Mozambique that had all but died – being brought back to life 40 years later. The writer weaves into the story the lines and events that took place in Mozambique over that period to bring us to where we are today, a vibrant port. It is indeed a great story straight out of Africa.”

Greg Beitchman, VP Content Sales and Partnerships, CNN International, said: “Powerful journalism has shone through once again at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards – from uplifting storytelling to hard-hitting investigations. Congratulations to all of tonight’s finalists and winners.”

The Director of Communications & Public Affairs for GE Africa Patricia Obozuwa said “Jay Caboz’s award winning entry is a typical example of the power of journalism to redirect public focus on the topical issues. We are glad to be associated with the Energy and Infrastructure category of the CNN Awards.”

Tim Jacobs, CEO Multichoice Africa, said: “Congratulations to all the winners, your words and images reflect the reality of our world and attest to the important role the media plays in Africa’s development. As a good corporate citizen, together with our partner, CNN and other sponsors we will continue to invest in the CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards to ensure increased development and advancement of outstanding journalism across the continent.”

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of M-Net, congratulated the winners of this year's awards: “Thank you to each of you for telling the stories of Africa and its people to the world. We’re proud to play a role in amplifying your voices and the voices of other journalists across the African continent.”

Source: Press Release from GE

PIASA, one of France’s most distinguished auction houses, will hold its third sale of Contemporary African Art, “Origins and Trajectories” on November 17 in Paris, featuring the work of 50 African artists.

PIASA’s ambition to own part of this increasingly valuable market is well within reach, says Christophe Person, who heads the Contemporary African Art department at PIASA in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A financier turned art specialist, Christophe has the ability to match big figures and powerful images.

Person comments: “African art is taking a long overdue turn in the spotlight of world interest. There is a growing understanding of the  relevance of the continent’s artists whose themes are universal. And there is also a groundswell of interest from collectors and investors who have seen the prices climbing steadily.”

PIASA’s auction is part of a very busy schedule in Europe for African Contemporary art. After the 1:54 Fair in London in October and the AKAA Fair in November, next year (2017), will be very busy with an exhibition scheduled at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and another at La Villette “Aperta Africa”, curated by Simon Njami of Revue Noire. And the Art Paris Art Fair at Le Grand Palais in March will be dedicated to Africa.

PIASA is determined to carve out a significant market share by using its powerful relations with Francophone Africa.

France and Africa have a long-intertwined art history. As early as the time of the ‘cabinets de curiosité’, artefacts from Africa were collected as these objects were seen as symbols of the African culture. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century, the Surrealists and the Cubists saw the intrinsic art value of these African artefacts. Today Classical African art remains a powerful component of the French art market, opening the way for the development of this new trade in Contemporary African Art which is being integrated into the global art market that still has its centre of gravity in Paris.  

With PIASA’s “Origins and Trajectories” auction on November 17th, it is not the ‘otherness’ of African art that the auction house is showing but the avant-gardism of African artists - in the way that it is produced by artists combining their African identity with their personal stories and exposure to the world.

The sale on November 17 includes artists who already have an international profile and a growing reputation. These include: Aboudia, Armand Boua, Ghada Amer, Godfried Donkor, Romuald Hazoumè, Oumar Ly, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Esther Malhangu, Gonçalo Mabunda, Dominique Zinkpè, Chris Offili, Wagechi Mutu, Mahi Binebine, Youssef Nabil and Nnenna Okore.

The sale reflects the diversity of the work of artists across the continent, some of whom move between Africa and the United States, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Belgium. The sale is organised into sections including migration; the place of women artists in Africa and the Diaspora; and the way contemporary artists interpret classical African art in a new way; and a group following in the wake of EL Anatsui taking their lead from him.

It also offers young artists such as Goncalo Mabunda and Nnenna Okore, Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga and Wallen Mapondera, who are leading the way in interpreting classical African culture and putting it at centre stage for the wider world.
The evidence that African art is on the march is all around us.  The Venice Biennale has most recently placed it centre stage, giving unprecedented visibility to a whole number of artists from Africa and its diaspora. Institutional interest and initiatives are multiplying too. The Bienniales in Marrakech, Dak'art, Bamako, Lubumbashi, Kampala and Luanda offer an invitation to discover the artists on the continent who are exporting more and more.

On a continent where public institutions have so far invested little in museums, there are passionate private collectors and collections that haven’t missed the opportunity to gather works from movements that will certainly establish themselves in time. The most emblematic are in Morocco, Benin, Angola, Nigeria and South Africa. Outside of Africa, we have seen exhibitions at the Tate in London and the Armory Show in New York, while Africa 1:54 at Somerset House in London offers art from every one of the 54 countries in the continent.

Now collectors have the opportunity to bid at PIASIA’s latest sale on November 17 in Paris. The sale provides a snapshot of all that is best of Africa’s artistic offering to the world.

Leading French art and design auction house PIASA has a 1,000 sq metre hotel particulier on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the heart of the city's art market district. Innovative auctions have established its reputation with specific themes or devoted to a single artist or designer, or covering such specialist collectables as furniture & objets d’art, haute epoque, 20th century design and modern & contemporary art.

Source: Piasa Press Release