Sotheby’s dedicated sale of Modern and Contemporary African Art Totals £2.4 Million / $2.9 Million

02.April.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA


Total: Newly converted to an online-only format, Sotheby’s sixth sale of Modern & Contemporary African Art realised £2,359,375 / $2,881,741, featuring over 100 works from 58 artists across 21 countries. The auction saw a 46% increase in the number of bidders in comparison to the equivalent sale last year.

Top Lot: The auction was led by Irma Stern’s rich and colourful Grape Packer (Lot 85) ( from 1959, which realised £435,000 / $531,309 – well within-the pre-sale estimate of £350,000-550,000. The timeless painting is a seminal example of the South African artist’s mature works from the 1950s and early sixties, and her increasing focus on labourers as subjects. Across the auction, six works by female artists accounted for 41% of the total value of the sale.

Records: In their debut appearances in an international auction, records were established for Tanzanian artist Elias Jengo’s Wakulima (The Farmers) (Lot 69: ( £5,250 / $6,412) and Nigerian artist Shina Yussuff’s Royal Welcome (Lot 21: ( £5,000 / $6,107). Cameroonian photographer Samuel Fosso also broke his previous record twice when two photographs from his ‘Tati’ series (Lot 11: ( £21,250 / £$25,955 & Lot 12: ( £20,000 / $24,428) soared above their high estimates. Influenced by Mozambican art and Portuguese modernism, a further record was set for Bertina Lopes’ elegant ‘Portrait of a Woman’ (Lot 78: ( £8,125 / $9,924). Elsewhere in the sale, 13 bids were placed on a painting by Zimbabwean artist Richard Mudariki (Lot 103: ( £6,875 / $8,397) – most known for his satirical use of iconic figures and symbols – breaking his previous auction record.

Further highlights: Forming the cover lot of this season’s sale catalogue, a radiant early painting by Nigerian master Ben Enwonwu, Sefi (Lot 13) (, brought a regal £250,000 / $305,350 in its auction debut. Until recently, the enigmatic sitter had been known only as the ‘Nigerian princess’ but, upon close examination, Sotheby’s specialists noticed intricate details which lead them to believe the sitter could be Princess Judith Safinet ‘Sefi’ Atta. The artist’s bronze sculpture, Afi Ekong (Lot 14) (, which depicts one of Nigeria’s most famous female artists, and who at the time was married to Sefi’s brother, also achieved £125,000 / $152,675.

Young star Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga proved once again that he is one to watch when Ko Bungisa Mbala Mibale 2 (Lot 5) ( sold for £62,500 / $76,338, and Ko Bungisa Mbala Mibale 3 (Lot 6) ( achieved £43,750 / $53,436. First offered in the inaugural Modern & Contemporary African sale in 2017, Sotheby’s now holds the top eight prices for the artist at auction.

Credited as one of the pioneers of contemporary art in Morocco, 34 bids were placed across three works by Hassan El Glaoui, which all sold above their high estimates to achieve a combined total of £113,750 / $138,934 (Lots 57 (, 58 ( & 60 ( Featuring the military horses, camels and riders for which he is famed, the paintings are a powerful celebration of his homeland.

Statistics on Bidders & Buyers:

  • 35% of bidders were new to Sotheby’s, translating to 27% of buyers purchasing lots for the first time at Sotheby’s.
  • Almost 30% of bidders in the sale were under 40 years old.
  • Participants hailed from 22 countries.

Full Results here ( | Images available to download here (

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Sotheby’s.

Attention: Copyright in this image shall remain vested in Sotheby’s. Please note that this image may depict subject matter which is itself protected by separate copyright. Sotheby’s makes no representations as to whether the underlying subject matter is subject to its own copyright, or as to who might hold such copyright. It is the borrower's responsibility to obtain any relevant permissions from the holder(s) of any applicable copyright and Sotheby’s supplies this image expressly subject to this responsibility. Note that the image is provided for a one-time use only and no permission is granted to alter this image in any way.

Sotheby’s Press Office:
+44 207 293 6000
Alicia Stockley

Abi Tavener

About Sotheby’s:
Sotheby’s ( has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris.  Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby’s also presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby’s Wine, Sotheby’s Diamonds, and Sotheby’s Home, the online marketplace for interior design. *Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.

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Coronavirus – Africa: Number of hungry people spikes in Central Sahel as COVID-19 looms

02.April.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

World Food Programme (WFP)

The humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel region of Africa is spiralling out of control – with more than 5 million people facing severe food insecurity across the region, according to a new joint food security assessment released today by food security partners including the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

The dramatic spike in the number of hungry people comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading into fragile countries in a region home to the weakest health systems anywhere in the world.

Burkina Faso – which has seen the largest number of officially-reported deaths from COVID-19 anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa — is where the number of food insecure is expected to more than triple to 2.1 million people as the lean season sets-in in June, up from over 680,000 at the same time last year.

“This is a crisis layered on top of a crisis, and the situation risks getting out of hand,” said Chris Nikoi, WFP's Regional Director for West Africa. “People are on the brink — we must step up now to save lives — we are the only hope for millions.”

“Our message to the world is clear – look away now and the consequences will be no less than catastrophic,” added Nikoi.

Across the Central Sahel — a region that encompasses Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – the situation is extremely worrying, with the number of hungry rising steadily as the crisis deepens, also pushing 1.3 million people in Mali and 2 million people in Niger into severe food insecurity.

The number of internally displaced people has also increased four-fold across the Central Sahel, with numbers spiking in Burkina Faso to 780,000 up from half a million at the start of the year. These communities have been forced from their homes by extremist violence and now rely almost entirely on external assistance to survive.

WFP's food and nutrition assistance provides a lifeline to millions in the region, as well as providing stability and strengthening the resilience of the communities in which they live. WFP assisted 1.5 million people in Burkina Faso and Mali in February, but more support is needed to tackle the crisis, especially as the threat of COVID-19 puts life-saving humanitarian work on the line. WFP urgently requires USD 208 million through August 2020 to carry out its lifesaving operations.

WFP has extensive experience operating in the midst of a disease outbreak as it did during the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which showed that food assistance can play a vital role in containing disease spread on the one hand, while reducing vulnerabilities to infection through nutrition programmes that target vulnerable communities with compromised immune systems — like the chronically ill and the elderly.

WFP has rapidly adapted its operations to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting in place measures to reduce the risk of infection to beneficiaries, partners, and WFP staff.

Photos *available here, and broadcast quality footage available on request.*

Multimedia Sway presentation on the situation in the Central Sahel *available here.*

Cadre Harmonisé Food Security Analysis report *available here.*

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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Coronavirus – Sudan: UNAMID supports Government of Sudan in combating desert locusts amid COVID-19 Global Pandemic

02.April.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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At a unique virtual handover ceremony and press conference, UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative /Joint Chief Mediator (JSR/JCM) Jeremiah Mamabolo, contributed 10 off-road vehicles to the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Eisa Osman Sharief, as part of the Mission’s resolve to continue its operational support to the Transitional Government of Sudan (TGoS) in its fight against desert locusts, especially at a time the country, and the rest of the world, is also battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the virtual handover ceremony, Mr. Mamabolo noted that: “In the midst of the threat of COVID-19, there are other dangers as well. The threat of a desert locust invasion is one of them as it poses a real threat to the agricultural season and food security in Sudan during these tenuous times.”

“Today, as part of our joint partnership with the Government, UNAMID is pleased to handover this gift of 10 serviceable 4X4s, off-road and desert dweller vehicles to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, to tackle the devastating effect of the swarms of desert locusts that are ravaging crops in the country. While these vehicles would help to curtail the destructive effects of the locusts, and enhance food security, they would also be of use to advance Government’s endeavor to combat the dreadful COVID-19 disease,” Mr. Mamabolo stated.

“Against this backdrop, I would like to re-echo the Secretary General’s appeal for cessation of hostilities and allow for collaborative effort as the world gears itself to fight this COVID-19 menace, and reiterate my call on all parties to the Sudan conflict to see reason to join the peace process in Juba for a comprehensive agreement that would foster genuine and speedy nation building,” he added.

JSR Mamabolo further extended his appreciation to the Government of Sudan for its continued efforts to respond to the needs of its citizens. He also commended the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN Country Team members for their unfettered support to the Government in fulfilling its responsibilities to its citizen.

On his part, the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources commended UNAMID’s support to his Ministry in its war against desert locusts and to the TGoS in its fight to protect everyone in Sudan from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today’s contribution from UNAMID is another landmark in the Mission’s endeavor to support us in protecting our crops to ensure food security for our population during these critical times where we are working shoulder-to-shoulder with the international community to combat COVID-19,” Minister Eisa Osman Sharief stated.

“UNAMID has worked in partnership with us at the federal level and at the state levels to support the Darfuri population over the years. For that we are grateful,” he concluded.

  1. The Virtual Handover ceremony and Press Conference were held via CCTV from the Mission’s Khartoum Office, Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources (MoA) press suite and the Ministry’s parking lot where UNAMID drivers, in protective masks and gloves, handed over the keys of the vehicles to MoA transport officials.

  2. Both the Minister and the JSR signed the official handover documents virtually in the presence of media and journalists.

  3. This virtual event is the first of its kind in the history of UN and AU Peace Operations in Sudan which was inspired by the current global COVID-19 pandemic crisis

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Source: Apo-Opa

Coronavirus – Tanzania: Tanzania confirms another COVID-19 case

02.April.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania Tel Aviv, Israel

Tanzania has today confirmed one more Coronavirus cases bringing the national total to 20.

Health Minister, Ms. Ummy Mwalimu in statement released to the public said the confirmed case who tested positive is a 42-year-old female American national.

This now brings the number of cases to 20 out of which 17 are still continuing with treatment, two have healed whereas one died on March 31st.

The patients are spread out in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha and Kagera.

Tanzania first recorded a COVID-19 case a fortnight ago in Arusha after a Tanzanian national who had returned from Belgium tested positive.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania Tel Aviv, Israel.

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African Development Bank approves $1.5 million emergency grant to curb desert locusts ravaging East and Horn of Africa

02.April.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank ( on Wednesday approved a $1.5 million emergency relief grant to assist nine countries in the East and Horn of Africa on the control of swarms of desert locusts that are threatening livelihoods and food security.

The proposed assistance will be channeled to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has been mandated to mobilize resources on behalf of the African Union.

IGAD is collaborating with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is leading coordination of development partner support to provide desert locust invasion control, safeguard of livelihoods and to promote early recovery of affected households in the in the East and Horn of Africa. FAO will act as the Executing Agency for the grant.

The funds will be used to control the spread of the current locust invasion, prevent potential next-generation swarms and to conduct impact assessment and monitoring to enhance preparedness and awareness. A portion of the funds would also be allocated to administrative costs.

The nine beneficiary countries are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have been particularly hard hit by the outbreak and widespread breeding of locusts that is expected to create new swarms in the coming weeks. The infestation poses an unprecedented risk to livelihoods and food security in an already fragile region and has caused huge damage to agricultural production.

In Ethiopia and Somalia, the outbreak is the worst in 25 years, and in Kenya, in 70 years.

In Ethiopia, the locusts have devastated more than 30,000 hectares of crops, including coffee and tea that account for about 30% of the nation’s exports. Despite government’s interventions, swarms and breeding have been reported in large parts of the country. In Djibouti, over 80% of 1,700 agro-pastoral farms located in 23 production zones are affected by desert locust infestations.

At least 18 of 47 Kenyan counties are affected with more than 70,000 hectares of crops under infestation according to recent FAO reports. Locust swarms are devastating pastureland, maize, cowpeas, beans and other crops despite the government’s efforts to curb the outbreak.

Locust swarms are reportedly also threatening Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan and Eritrea.

Efforts to control the infestations will require around $147 million, of which $75 million has been provided by governments, donors and UN agencies including FAO and the World Food Program (WFP). However, a significant funding shortfall remains.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact:
Amba Mpoke-Bigg
Communication and External Relations Department
African Development Bank

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) ( is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 44 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
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Coronavirus – Democratic Republic of the Congo: UNHCR Update on COVID-19 Response

02.April.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
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As of 1 April, there were 123 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the DRC, with 11 reported deaths. No new cases of Ebola have been recorded since 17 February; should this trend continue until 12 April, the epidemic can be declared over.

On 25 March, UNHCR declared a global L2 emergency for the COVID-19 situation.

Across DRC, UNHCR is putting in place prevention measures in refugee camps, IDP sites and transit centres. This includes temperature screening and handwashing at entry points, the installation of handwashing stations in public places (markets, health centers etc.), distributions of soap and cleaning products, and awareness-raising on COVID-19 using posters, leaflets, radio spots, and community networks.

UNHCR continues its protection and assistance activities to the extent possible maintaining physical distancing.

Operational context

On 24 March, President Tshisekedi declared a countrywide state of emergency, and shut down national borders to stop the spread of COVID-19. While most COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Kinshasa, a first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ituri Province on 27 March according to WHO, while two additional cases were confirmed in South Kivu Province on 29 March. As part of the measures taken to prevent further spreading of COVID-19, the DRC Government has banned gathering of more than 20 persons, and ordered the closure of schools, universities, churches, restaurants and other public spaces for four weeks, from 19 March. As most cases have been identified in Kinshasa, the DRC Government has also banned all travel of persons from Kinshasa to the provinces and vice versa, and only is allowing cargo shipments.

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Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Source: Apo-Opa

Coronavirus – Eswatini: Partial Lockdown Update – COVID-19

02.April.2020 · Posted in APO-OPA

Government of Eswatini
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The Kingdom of Eswatini entered its sixth day of the Partial Lockdown initiated to halt the spread of the coronavirus. With 850 000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 41000 deaths globally, this virus is proving to be among the biggest health challenges the world has faced in many years. This is a highly contagious virus that has the tendency to spread like wildfire across communities and countries.

Eswatini remains with nine confirmed COVID-19 cases, and at high risk and high alert. The Kingdom is currently under a status of National Emergency. The decision to activate a partial lockdown was crucial in flattening the curve and ensuring that the number of infected does not balloon to over burden our already strained health system. The past six days has been a period of many lessons with false starts and uncertainty is some instance as EmaSwati adapted to a change of lifestyle never experienced before.

I take this opportunity to thank all citizens who have heeded to the call to stop unnecessary travel and stay at home in adherence to the partial lockdown measures.

Experience from other countries has taught us that there is no better intervention to restrain the spread of the virus than to keep it contained in one place instead of spreading from community to community.

The virus does not move in itself but people move it and thus spread the risk of infecting others. The partial lockdown allows us to travel only for food supplies, medication, and for the workers in essential services. All other travel remains strictly prohibited.

May I take this opportunity to appreciate His Majesty King Mswati III and Ingwenyama for his incisive leadership and direction at this challenging time, and for calling for a National Day of Prayer which was successfully held on Sunday 29 March 2020. Thousands of EmaSwati, in and out of the country, joined the prayer through broadcast channels and Government social media platforms. As a nation we have no doubt that through prayer all things are possible.

My appreciation also goes to the Deputy Prime Minister for the role he has played in effectively leading the National Emergency response. The National Emergency Task teams, Regional and Sectorial Committees have accepted this responsibility with speed and commitment since the National Emergency was declared.

Government continues to pursue all avenues that will lessen the negative effects of this partial lockdown on the pockets of the populace. To cushion EmaSwati from the economic impact of this period and the devasting effects of the coronavirus, Government has made several interventions. These include:

  • The Central Bank has reduced the discount rate by 100 basis points. This reduces the cost of debt by 1%.
  • Government has reduced the price of fuel with effect from midnight 2 April 2020.
  • The increase in the price of electricity has been suspended for two months.
  • The renewal of motor vehicles registration has been extended without attracting penalties to the 29th May.
  • Taxpayers projecting losses are expected to file loss provisional returns and no payment will be required.
  • Government is engaging the transport sector with a view to assist with a small subsidy to ensure the industry to continue transporting workers in essential services and citizens embarking on essential travel.

We are thankful to the cooperation we are getting from the transport industry in this difficult period for them and business as a whole. Government further appreciates law enforcement agencies for ensuring that the public complies with the partial lockdown measures.

May I emphasize the importance of allowing only essential travel and essential businesses to operate. We are cognisant of the massive economic impact that this partial lockdown will have on business. This decision was not taken lightly. We are called upon to prioritise the health of our people at all times. No one will work in these businesses if EmaSwati would succumb to this virus. The lives of all EmaSwati matters and cannot be compromised. We therefore plead for patience and understanding as we traverse together through this difficult path and challenging times for our economy and country.

It has been observed that while the virus does not generally discriminate in terms of age, it has the tendency to substantially affect the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Therefore, it is important for Government to protect our elderly from being exposed to this virus especially in the issuance of the elderly grant where large numbers of people gather at one time. Government has taken the decision to pay all elderly grants electronically with immediate effect. This is done in collaboration with Eswatini Post and Telecommunication Corporation, MTN Eswatini and Eswatini Mobile. The distribution of grants is going well so far. The elderly are very appreciative of this initiative and clearly this is a significant step forward towards Vision 2022.

Government has also approved a preliminary costed procurement plan for the COVID-19 Eswatini National Emergency Response after wide consultation with stakeholders. The Resource Mobilization team has been able to raise E18 million towards the COVID-19 Response. This would not have come at a better time as financial resources are urgently needed to procure more health equipment and material so desperately needed to effectively manage the spread of the virus. An assessment of the overall amount of financial resources required to fight this pandemic is underway and the public will be informed. To this end, Government fully appreciates the generosity of all our international friends and local companies that have already donated towards the response.

To cope with the demands of halting the spread of coronavirus, Government has recruited several health personnel. They include eight doctors, 145 nurses, environmental health specialists, paramedics, orderlies and others. A total of 1,007 nurses from all levels, 147 medical doctors and over 3,000 rural health motivators have been trained on COVID-19. Training is an important element in the fight against the virus and will be an ongoing exercise. Our rural health motivators are crucial in reaching out to communities and helping with the required information to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Forty water tanks with a capacity of 5000 litres each have been procured and distributed to various communities in the country to provide running water to wash hands.

The priority has been rural areas which are experiencing water shortages. We are aware this is not enough and Government continues with the programme to bring clean water closer to all EmaSwati. 

Government is in contact with EmaSwati in high risk countries ensuring their wellbeing and safety at this time.

This pandemic continues to test our resolve as a nation and we have the opportunity to leverage on its effects to uplift our communities. Once again let us be all vigilant and follow all the partial lockdown measures and health precautions as provided by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation. The public is advised to rejects myths and conspirancy theories that seem to dominate the social media platforms.

As we observe the partial lockdown and restrict unnecessary movement and stay at home, let us remember to follow the precautionary guidelines as provided by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation. These include:

  • Our home environment should be kept clean and safe and all high touch surfaces must be disinfected regularly.
  • Wash hands regularly with running water and soap. Help the young to also appropriately wash hands. In the absence of water and soap, the public is advised to use sanitizers.
  • Stop shaking hands and use other non touch methods of greeting.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from each other.
  • Avoid touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes) and cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Take care of the vulnerable, especially senior citizens and those with underlying respiratory conditions who are more susceptible to the coronavirus infection.
  • If you experience flu like symptoms (fever, difficulty breathing, cough, high temperature) visit your nearest health centre facility or call the Emergency Medical Services Toll free line 977.

The message is clear, stay at home and save yourself, family, community and the country.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Eswatini.
Source: Apo-Opa