African fashion, literature, and 7.47%….what to look out for in July

By The Africa Report
Posted on Wednesday, 13 July 2022 16:26, updated on Thursday, 14 July 2022 01:31

'Chasing Evil' collection, IAMISIGO, Kenya, Autumn/Winter 2020. Courtesy IAMISIGO. Photo: Maganga Mwagogo

The Africa Report delivers news about what's in store for the continent's creators, policy-makers and event attenders in July 2022.

Fashion

The African art of attitude

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is devoting a major retrospective to African fashion. From 2 July 2022 until 16 April 2023, the ‘Africa Fashion’ exhibition will show the worldwide impact of the versatile and varied African fashion industry.

Ranging from the mid-20th century to today, its highlights include photographs of pieces by the pioneering Moroccan designer Naima Bennis (1940-2008), to the outfits designed by Kofi Ansah for the 2014 wedding of Ashley Shaw-Scott and David Adjaye, to examples of Nigeria’s famous indigo-dyed cloth, adire.

The exhibition aims to present African fashion as an ‘art form that reveals the richness and diversity of African histories and cultures’, according to the V&A. The showcase will bring not only the work of individual designers to the forefront, but also that of stylists, collectives and fashion photographers. It aims to give an insight into how global digitalisation increased the expansion speed of an already fast-growing industry.

Christine Checinska, a designer and fashion historian, is the curator behind ‘Africa Fashion’. In a blog post announcing the exhibition, she said it would tell ‘a story of fashion as a self-­defining art form; a kind of movement culture that goes beyond individual garments to encompass attitude, gesture, style.’

Oil and gas

On 1 July, the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) became a fully regulated private company.

This forms part of a raft of reforms to improve the oil and gas sector made possible by the Petroleum Industry Act that was finally signed in 2021.

Literature

The multi-award-winning Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees, inhabits a white man’s skin for her second novel. After a trip to Tanzania, Harry Sylvester Bird, from Edward, Pennsylvania, becomes resentful of racism in small-town America. But when he falls for a Nigerian woman, he is forced to look more deeply within himself. “In [Okparanta’s] hands, humour is a weapon, a tool, and a salve,” says fellow writer Tayari Jones.

HarperCollins

Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola, the popular British-Nigerian author of Love in Colour, is a new novel about the impressions that we make and the love that some people fake, through the experiences of two university students who develop an unusual relationship.

HarperCollins

Health

Ghana gets a vaccine boost

Construction of Ghana’s first manufacturing plant for Covid-19 vaccines is due to start in July. The consortium leading the project includes Germany’s BioNTech and local firm DEKS Vaccine. The Ghanaian government has put $25m into the plant, and the German Development Corporation $5m. The German firm Glatt is in charge of the first phase of the plant’s development.

The plant will be a ‘fill and finish’ site, which imports components of mRNA vaccines for processing and packaging. The vaccines will be distributed across Ghana and the sub-region. The main building will be 7,000 square metres, and at full capacity, the plant should be able to fill at least 100m doses per year.

The government’s goal is to begin production by January 2024, as a first step to making the country self-sufficient in vaccine production within the next 10 years. The wider plan includes supporting the private sector and creating a national vaccine institute. BioNTech also plans to ship modular mRNA manufacturing facilities to Africa so that countries can begin their own end-to-end production.

Quote

‘Covid-19 has created a historic opportunity to build a new public health order that makes health for all a reality across the continent. Together, we can build health systems and manufacturing capacities to effectively respond to multiple health threats.’

John Nkengasong, the outgoing director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that the AU entity will get the status of a public health agency in July.

Appointment

Dayalan Nayager, the managing director of Diageo Great Britain, becomes president of Diageo Africa in July, joining the company’s executive committee. His previous roles at the brewer included global travel retail.

Stats

7.47%

The South African energy regulator plans another electricity price hike in July, raising tariffs for municipal customers by 7.47%.

Separately, it approved a 9.6% increase in tariffs for Eskom customers in April to help the state utility.

Events

  • 17 July The richness of African culture is in the spotlight at The African Village Cultural Festival in London, UK. afriviculfestival.com
  • 2-23 July The 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations football tournament takes place in Morocco, with the best of the continent’s talent. cafonline.com
  • 25-30 July Interested in Nigeria’s startup community? Join Lagos Startup Week 2022 to talk about the next big thing. lagosstartupweek.com
  • 28 July The Africa Energy and Infrastructure Forum in Accra, Ghana discusses big projects in the sector moving forward. eventbrite.co.uk

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