Once the undisputed leaders of the booming East African retail market, today some of the biggest names in Kenyan retail are no more. The collapse of leading household brands stands in stark contrast to the hype around high-investment returns expected from Africa’s “burgeoning” middle class, not to mention the conviction of a string of reports claiming outright local domination over multinational competitors in the opaque African consumer market.
Read Edward Lange’s review of his own Southern African Resource Watch report, Living in a Parallel Universe: First Quantum versus the mining communities in Zambia, and one would believe that First Quantum, the largest investor in Zambia, was an evil extractor, not a long-term stakeholder.
After the ‘coup’ in Zimbabwe, too many governments rushed to accept new President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a reformer and largely ignored the nature of the coup itself. What it showed us was a deeply militarised state, entangled with party politics.
Instead of growing hope, Zambia’s Kansanshi mine’s corporate social responsibility programme is undermining the hope of poor communities. The mine does not attach significant importance to the economic and social transformation of mining communities, and most of the company’s corporate social responsibility activities reflect a total lack of seriousness in conceptualisation, design, financing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.