Friday, 7 July 2017


ASA update, Pottinger & Guptas, Ethiopia's bootleggers and the world's largest battery

Friday first week of July, Africa’s Dimension Data sponsored Tour de France team lost Mark Cavendish; Wimbledon 2017 features Africans from Tunisia, Zimbabwe and South Africa; FIFA has banned Sudanese football clubs from participating in African football competitions, Africans appear on both teams in the Lords cricket test, and CJ Stander turns out in red in New Zealand.

But the "biggest" news of all involves a small town in the Southern Australia, called Jamestown after Africa born and educated Elon Musk (right) announced that the world’s largest lithium ion battery will be built there! Read more about that here and here.

For those readers following the resurgence of the ASA in South Africa, considerable progress has been made. The following companies have come to the party by pledging between them in excess of R4million  (roughly 50% of their immediate requirements) to help fund the ASA:
JHNet Web Development; McDonald's; Gendel Strategic Marketing Group; J Walter Thompson - Cape Town; TopCo 500; TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris; Brand et al; MAKRO; 99c; King James; Promise Group; Clover South Africa; GWK; Pack Leader Pet Foods; Colgate-Palmolive; Pioneer Foods; KIA Motors SA; MTN; SC Johnson; Boxer Superstores; Joe Public; McCann World Group; Wuma Dog Food; Montego Pet Nutrition. Legal firm ENSAfrica has also pledged its support behind the campaign.

Acting CEO Gail Schimmel is pleased with the progress to date saying that there may soon come a time when she has to close the promotional offer to supporters. Basically, if you want to show allegiance to the appeal for an independent regulatory authority, now is the time.

The Economist ran a story on Ethiopia’s ingenious bootleggers highlighting what they regard as endemic culture of IP theft in the country. They hail ATM style kiosks allowing transfer of pirated music and movies as "the brainchild of three Ethiopian science graduates". East African blogger Afro-Gore says this is opportunism and no different to what has happened elsewhere, eg  Piratebay, and that IP rights have been successfully enforced in Ethiopia. Don't write off Africa's second most populous, and oldest independent country!

Yesterday UK based PR firm Bell Pottinger issued an apology to the citizens of South Africa for spreading fake news that had incited racial violence in their work for Gupta owned Oakbay. To readers not familiar with this story, BusinessLive contains the gist of it  here and the commentary will give you an idea of the vitriol that exists against the firm. Locally, the main banks have refused to work for Oakbay over their unique relationship with the President. Afro-Buff wonders if the legal community, including advocates, will take the lead and refuse briefs to represent Oakbay and/or Pottinger, and whether CIPC could refuse to register their IP?
Error: the original post said South Africa and not Southern Australia in reference to the lithium battery development! "SA"is short for both and there is also a Jamestown in SA. This post has been updated to reflect the correct position - apologies though I am.pleased to say Elon Musk is still African. That is no mistake.



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