You should know

The Cop21 Sustainable Innovation forum begins today in Paris with more than 150 leaders from around the world coming together to develop an agreement on climate action. You can follow the BBC’s live blog for continuous coverage of the event that runs through December 11th and look for #Cop21 on Twitter.

Ahead of today’s opening, 100s of thousands of protestors joined worldwide demonstrations Sunday in an effort bring even greater attention to the need for improved emissions policies and climate controls (The Guardian). Parisians placed hundreds of empty shoes in the city’s Place de la Republique when their march was cancelled amid continuing safety concerns, as a ‘symbolic and touching‘ way to commemorate those lives lost in the recent terrorist attacks (Quartz).

Burkina Faso voted Sunday in the country’s 1st election since massive protests last year forced Blaise Compaore to resign the presidency after ruling for almost 3 decades. About 5 million people were eligible to vote and results are expected within a few days as no incidents were reported according to the EU observer mission (Blooomberg). Drew Hinshaw (@drewfhinshaw) writes how after a ‘tumultuous year’, this is a historic election for Burkinabé (Wall Street Journal).

And Pope Francis will end his 3 country tour of Africa today when he visits a mosque in Bangui, in the Central African Republic to address ongoing violence between Christians and Muslims. The Pope hopes to encourage dialogue between followers of the two religions in a country that has endured ongoing religious and politically motivated attacks for nearly 3 years (VOA News).

What We Need

Christine Mungai (@Chris_Mungai) looks at the ‘problem with institutionalized plunder’ and says there is a way to build a better Africa free from corruption (M&G Africa).

Senior African human rights leaders have created a new group with a goal to, ‘end impunity across the continent‘ and develop better cooperation between the AU and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability includes African experts in international criminal law and human rights law, as well as leading political figures from the continent. Bettina Ambach, director of the Wayamo Foundation, says members will support bringing war criminals to justice through domestic and regional capacity building, outreach, and enhanced cooperation (VOA News).

Biz Dev

Stears NG editor in chief, Michael Famoroti (@Mikey_Fam) writes on the importance of strong regional economies and how ‘trade with Africa should be higher up‘ on Nigeria’s agenda (Stears NG).

Our Environment

Ahead of the Cop21 climate action summit, Wanjohi Kabukuru (@WanjohiK) and Obi Anyadike (@enugu62) examine the role of participating African leaders and ask, ‘how can Africa unlock climate funds?‘ (

Identity & Culture

An ‘influx of West Africans spurs demand for interpreters‘ in the Bronx, U.S.A. Whether it’s, Wolof, Diula, Efik or Gur, the impact is clear, the proliferation of West Africans in New York is prompting a growing need for African language interpreters. (NY Times).

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