This newsletter gives you highlights of selected sustainability insights that were, perhaps, too long (you) didn’t read (TLDR) or there’s just too much out there to read. The highlights presented cover insights gleaned from a global, regional (African), and national (Kenyan) perspective. Happy reading!

GLOBAL: European Union common phone charger law

European union member states have agreed that by 2024 all smartphones and tablets sold in the EU must have a common standard charger (USB Type-C port) that can be used across any device…yes, even Apple!

This EU decision has been decades in the making, and finally regulators took it on after companies refused to reach a common solution through voluntary/self-regulation.

Switching to USB Type C port is estimated to ‘ up to 250 million euros a year on unnecessary charger purchases’ in the EU.

My two-cents: this is positive for consumers and markets everywhere.


Russia’s war in Ukraine hitting us all

Russia’s war has been raging for the past three months. For most peoples of the world, the war seems far away, but it is having significant global repercussions. Here are 6 highlights from reports by McKinsey and the United Nations, on how the war is impacting all of us, globally:

  • Disruption of the global food production system – both Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of global wheat and barley exports, 65% of sunflower seed oil, 20% of corn/maize, 1/3 of ammonia and potassium used in fertilizer. Food importing nations are greatly affected especially if they don’t have long term fixed price contracts.


  • 25 Africa countries, 25 Asian countries and 19 Latin America and the Caribbean face severe exposure to food, energy and financial shocks (UN, 2022).


  • Global value chains are shifting from just in time, to ‘just in case’ inventory, and diversifying their supply sources


  • Countries are committing to spend more of their budgets on defense, especially across the Europe and the US, and other countries and continents may follow.


  • Corporate leaders are no longer neutral – about 70% of wester companies have pulled out or scaled back their Russia-based operations. It’s no longer just investors driving decision-making.


  • Global inflation is at a decade high, central banks are increasing interest rates, and debt servicing costs will be higher

My two-cents: It’s a grim outlook. Tighten your purse strings, belts, food budgets, and lifestyle comforts. It may be a good time to re-define and differentiate between your needs vs wants. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs could be a good reminder of what motivates our lives.


GLOBAL: Africa will rise – in the next half-century

Experts at the recent World Economic Forum, believe that only less than 2% of Africans will live in extreme poverty by 2060 – currently about 40% of Africans living in extreme poverty. That is great news! But it is also nearly 40 years away!

It will take African leaders and governments prioritizing fundamental health and social conditions that will secure livelihoods and life expectancy. It will require a focus on education, and fostering a culture of responsible leadership.

Digital skills and technology will be key to empowering African youth, and African countries will need to amplify entrepreneurship, self-employment for sustainable development.

Although Africa will rise – how the countries address Climate Change (adaptation and mitigation) will greatly impact the ability to rise.

My two-cents: The work has to start now for us to get there! Can we get there sooner?!


GLOBAL: New role for Uhuru Kenyatta as a Climate Champion

The Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta as a champion for Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP). The AAAP is a joint initiative between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and (GCA) to mobilise global commitments on climate financing for Africa. International climate finance is needed for Africa’s climate-resilient development – and this development is essential if the world is to the needle on the climate crisis for the future.

As a country, Kenya was at the fore of the SDGs architecture at the United Nations, and recently the global treaty on plastic pollution reached at UNEP HQ, Nairobi.

My two-cents: It’s too early to have a view – the appointment was on May 22nd.  But I do know that climate financing will be critical for Africa’s just transition. “Africa will also not be able to finance the scale of the investments needed without a dramatic step up in international effort.” Says Amar Bhattacharya, Senior Fellow – Global Economy and Development, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institute.