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What if a wall could restore degrading land or save biodiversity? Imagine that it stretched from Senegal to Djibouti, was about three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef, and made entirely of trees and vegetation. With an influx of funding from a coalition of international development banks and governments, that wall is one step closer to becoming reality.

In 2007, the African Union launched the Great Green Wall initiative, as part of Declaration 137 VIII. The goal was to restore Africa’s degraded landscape by planting vegetation about 10 miles wide and over 4,000 miles long in the Sahel region, at the southern edge of the Sahara desert.  The goal has since evolved to address not only degradation, but land use, peacebuilding, and climate change.
Continue Reading Africa’s Great Green Wall

As project finance becomes more widespread in Africa, government officials, bankers and developers will all become exposed to the complex documentation that comes with it. Some of the payment mechanisms can be very complicated and lawyers are often asked to include “worked examples” in the documentation. A recent case looked at the use of worked examples in contracts governed by English law. The court concluded the following:

  • worked examples are integral parts of finance and other commercial contracts;
  • it is often only when narratives and formulae are worked through that their true effect can properly be seen;
  • where there is more than one worked example, consistency among the examples (in this case the inclusion of a missing step), strongly suggests that this was a deliberate choice by the drafter; and
  • it is inherently more probable that the parties’ true bargain is to be found in the worked examples.

Continue Reading Making Your Intentions Known in Contract: Complex Formulae

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on June 22, 2020, that certain sections of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act 4 of 2013) (“POPIA”) would become effective on July 1, 2020.  POPIA gives effect to the right to privacy in section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996).  POPIA will impact all responsible parties that collect, store, process and / or disseminate personal information as part of their business activities.  POPIA defines a responsible party as “a public or private body or any other person which, alone or in conjunction with others, determines the purpose of and means for processing personal information”.  The commencement of these essential provisions contained in POPIA, now position South Africa in line with global best practice on data protection and privacy.  The commencement of POPIA signifies a great advance for the South African data protection and privacy legal landscape.
Continue Reading An Update on South Africa’s 2013 Protection of Personal Information Act

Reports project that given current activities, the world will exceed the threshold for dangerous climate change in 2030. To address this forecast, 196 States plus the European Union met in Madrid, Spain in December 2019 for COP 25—the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate

Fires have ravaged Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, burning over 1,330 square miles of tree cover, and placing people, wildlife, and their habitats at risk. Experts warn that further degradation could inhibit the forest’s ability to release oxygen and absorb heat-trapping carbon dioxide—a key function for combatting climate change.

The fires in the Amazon