Asante Announces First Gold Pour at Bibiani Gold Mine

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Asante Gold Corporation (CSE:ASE | GSE:ASG | FRANKFURT:1A9 | U.S.OTC:ASGOF) ("Asante" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the first gold pour at the Bibiani Gold Mine has been completed successfully with process of gravity gold concentrate recovered by the Knelson Concentrator.

Asante acquired the Bibiani Gold Mine in August 2021 and completed its project execution plan that included refurbishment and upgrade of the Process Plant, Tailings Storage Facility and Mine Site Infrastructure. In September 2021, Asante announced start of the refurbishment process and the Company's plan to pour gold in Q3 2022.

In early June 2022, Asante announced the start of commissioning and operation of the Bibiani Process Plant. Since July 1, 2022, 24 hour per day operation has proceeded with the Carbon–in–Leach, carbon stripping and elution areas now operating. Hot Commissioning of the Gold Refinery was completed on July 7th. This is the final operating area of the Process Plant to be commissioned. Scale up of production is continuing as planned, including collection of gold on carbon, leading to delivery of approximately 175,000 oz gold over the next 12 months.

Asante Gold's CEO, Dave Anthony, stated,

"From the outset of our acquisition of the Bibiani Gold Mine, Asante has made a number of commitments to our stakeholders, including the local community, the Government of Ghana and our investors. We are proud that all of the commitments we made in the past 10 months relating to the Bibiani Gold Mine have been met or exceeded, up to this time.

"The quality and timeliness of work completed by the Asante team is testament to their abilities and commitment to delivering results as planned. We recognize and thank our principal project partners, all of which have been Ghanaian companies, including Harlequin International, Rabotec, KPS, Kozah Construction, iConstruction, Emak, Electrowind, FLSmidth "" Ghana, Caesar Furnace, Mining Project Processing and Engineering Limited (MPPE), Top Quality Investments Limited, Rand Sandblasting Company, Tesla Electricals, Multigeomatics, Knight Piesold Ghana Limited, Bosch Rexroth (Ghana) and PW International (Gh) Ltd."

About Asante Gold Corporation

Asante is a gold exploration, development, and operating company with a high–quality portfolio of projects in Ghana. Asante is currently focused on closing the acquisition of the Chirano Gold Mine from Kinross Gold Corporation and developing to production its Bibiani and Kubi Gold mines located on the prolific Bibiani and Ashanti Gold Belts. Asante has an experienced and skilled team of mine finders, builders and operators, with extensive experience in Ghana.

Asante is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the Ghana Stock Exchange and quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Asante is also exploring its Keyhole, Fahiakoba and Betenase projects for new discoveries, all adjoining or along strike of major gold mines near the centre of Ghana's Golden Triangle. Additional information is available on the Company's website at

About the Bibiani Gold Mine

The Bibiani Gold Mine is a historically significant Ghanaian gold mine situated in the Western North region of Ghana. Bibiani has previous production of +4Moz, is fully permitted with available mining and processing infrastructure on site consisting of a 3 million tonne per annum mill and processing plant.

The Current Mineral Resource Estimate for Bibiani, effective as of November 7, 2021, as set out in the Technical Report titled "Technical Report on the Bibiani Gold Mine, Ghana", prepared by Ian M. Glacken (FAusIMM (CP), FAIG, CEng) of Optiro Pty Limited and assisted by Dan Bansah (MSc, MAusIMM (CP), FWAIMM, MGIG) of Minecon Resources and Services Ltd. as Qualified Person and filed on SEDAR, is Measured and Indicated for the Bibiani main pit and the Satellite pits at 20.8 million tonnes at 2.71 grams of gold per tonne for 1.81 Moz of gold; and Inferred 8.41 million tonnes at 2.78 grams of gold per tonne for 0.753 Moz of gold. The Mineral Resource has been reported above a 0.65 g/t gold cut–off and has been depleted for both historical open pit and underground development as of August 31, 2017. The Technical Report was prepared using accepted industry practices in accordance with the JORC Code (JORC, 2012). There are no material differences between the definitions of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources under the CIM Definition Standards and the equivalent definitions in the JORC Code. The Satellite pit resource is an update completed in 2018 by Resolute Mining Limited, the former owner of the Bibiani Gold Mine. The Satellite pit resource is also reported above a cut–off grade of 0.65 g/t gold inside a pit shell defined at a gold price of US$1,950. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

About the Chirano Gold Mine

Chirano is an operating open–pit and underground mining operation located in southwestern Ghana, immediately south of the Company's Bibiani Gold Mine. Chirano was first explored and developed in 1996 and began production in October 2005. The mine comprises the Akwaaba, Suraw, Akoti South, Akoti North, Akoti Extended, Paboase, Tano, Obra South, Obra, Sariehu and Mamnao open pits and the Akwaaba and Paboase underground mines. Gold Equivalent Production in 2021 was 154,668 oz on a 100% basis (source Kinross Gold Corporation).

For further information please contact:

Dave Anthony, President & CEO: +1 647 382 4215 (Canada) or +233 558 799 3309 (Ghana) or
Malik Easah, Executive Director:
Frederick Attakumah, Executive Vice President:
Alec Rowlands, Capital Markets Consultant,
Valentina Gvozdeva, Manager IR,
Kirsti Mattson, Media Relations,

Cautionary Statement on Forward–Looking Statements

This news release contains forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects, and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward–looking statements, including statements regarding the structure and terms of the Chirano Acquisition, timing for completion of the Chirano Acquisition, the ability of the Company to complete the Chirano Acquisition on the terms announced, the ability of the parties to satisfy all administrative matters required in order to consummate the Chirano Acquisition, anticipated synergies, the resources, reserves, exploration results, and development program at Chirano, Bibiani and Kubi, including timing of future mine development and the start of production. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward–looking statements include, but are not limited to, the inability to satisfy any condition required to complete the Chirano Acquisition, termination of the share purchase agreement, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, the Company's inability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its planned activities, and the Company's inability to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies. The reader is referred to the Company's public disclosure record which is available on SEDAR ( Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward–looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Except as required by securities laws and the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward–looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

LEI Number: 529900F9PV1G9S5YD446. Neither IIROC nor any stock exchange or other securities regulatory authority accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Cellebrite to Release Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results on August 11, 2022

PETAH TIKVAH, Israel and TYSONS CORNER, Va., July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cellebrite (NASDAQ: CLBT) (the "Company"), a global leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, today announced that it will report its second quarter 2022 financial results before market open on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

On that day, management will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the Company's financial results at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Telephone participants are advised to register in advance at:

Upon registration, participants will receive a confirmation email detailing how to join the conference call, including the dial–in number and a unique registrant ID.

The live conference call will be webcast in listen–only mode at:–

The webcast will remain available after the call at:–presentations.

About Cellebrite

Cellebrite's (NASDAQ: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. We are a global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations in mastering the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies worldwide, Cellebrite's Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more, visit us at and

Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This document includes "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward–looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as "forecast," "intend," "seek," "target," "anticipate," "believe," "could," "continue," "expect," "estimate," "may," "plan," "outlook," "future" and "project" and other similar expressions that predict, project or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. Such forward looking statements include estimated financial information. Such forward looking statements with respect to revenues, earnings, performance, strategies, prospects, and other aspects of the business of Cellebrite are based on current expectations that are subject to risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those indicated by such forward looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: Cellebrite's ability to develop technologically advanced solutions and successfully integrate with the software solutions used by customers; acceptance of solutions by customers; errors, failures, defects or bugs in solutions; a failure to maintain sales and marketing personnel productivity or hire, integrate and retain additional sales and marketing personnel; the impact of the global COVID–19 pandemic; the impact of competition on pricing and on Cellebrite's market share; sub–optimal results from products due to misuse by customers; Cellebrite's failure to maintain and enhance its reputation and brand; inaccuracy of the estimates of Cellebrite's market opportunity and forecasts of market growth; changes to packaging and licensing models that adversely affect the ability to attract or retain customers; failure to manage future growth effectively; failure to introduce new solutions and add–ons; issues in the use of artificial intelligence resulting in reputational harm or liability; the need for additional capital to support the growth of Cellebrite's business; a failure to maintain the security of operations and the integrity of software solutions; the impact of government budgeting cycles and appropriations, early termination, audits, investigations, sanctions and penalties; a decline in government budgets, changes in spending or budgetary priorities, or delays in contract awards; a failure to adequately obtain, maintain, protect and enforce Cellebrite's intellectual property or infringement of the intellectual property rights of others; perceptions or court or regulatory decisions that Cellebrite's solutions violate privacy rights; the use of solutions by customers in a way that is, or that is perceived to be, incompatible with human rights; failure to comply with laws regarding privacy, data protection and security, technology protection, sanctions, export controls and other matters; and other factors, risks and uncertainties set forth in the sections titled "Risk Factors" and "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward–Looking Statements" in our Annual Report on form 20–F filed with the SEC on March 29, 2022 and in other documents filed by Cellebrite with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), which are available free of charge at You are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward–looking statements, which speak only as of the date made, in this communication or elsewhere. Cellebrite undertakes no obligation to update its forward–looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.

Anat Earon–Heilborn
VP Investor Relations
+972 73 394 8440

Victor Cooper
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director
+1 404 804 5910

China Renaissance Has Been Selected to Join the 2022 Shanghai Global Investment Partnership Program

HONG KONG, July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — China Renaissance Holdings Limited ("China Renaissance" or the "Company"; stock code: 1911.HK) is pleased to be selected by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization to become a member of the 2022 Shanghai Global Investment Partnership Program at this year's Shanghai Global Investment Promotion Conference, which was attended by China Renaissance Co–Founder Mr. Xie Yijing. As part of the program, China Renaissance will join leading investment, technology and professional services firms to support the Shanghai government to implement the city's 2022 investment promotion program across four "new tracks" "" digital economy, green economy, metaverse and smart terminals. The nine other program members are IQVIA, Ballard Power Systems, Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, Accenture, Roland Berger, Boston Consulting Group, Jones Lang LaSalle, Oaktree Capital and GSR Ventures.

Launched by the Shanghai government in 2021, the Shanghai Global Investment Promotion Conference aims to attract global investments and promote high–quality economic developments in the city. During the 2022 conference, officials and business leaders witnessed the signing of 322 investment projects valued at RMB565.8 billion (US$84.3 billion), representing a significant increase compared to the signing of 216 projects totaling RMB490 billion (US$74.9 billion) in 2021.

As a leader with a proven track record of supporting Smart Economy champions, China Renaissance will continue to bring the Company's extensive experience in the global primary and secondary capital markets to act as a bridge between China's capital markets with the rest of the world in support of the 2022 Shanghai Investment Promotion Program. Since its founding in 2005, China Renaissance has been dedicated to identifying companies with high growth potential and serving as a trusted partner to support their value creation journey. This includes successfully introducing high potential enterprises to Shanghai, such as Poizon, SenseTime, Navitas and Black Lack Technology, and providing investment banking services to hundreds of Shanghai–based companies, such as Zhenkunxing, ATRenew and Qinglang Intelligent.

Background on China Renaissance's Core Business Segments: Huaxing Growth Capital, Investment Banking and CR Securities

Huaxing Growth Capital

Huaxing Growth Capital ("HGC") is the flagship fund of the China Renaissance's Investment Management segment and the principal private equity investment arm of the Company, which manages four USD–denominated funds and four RMB–denominated funds with a total Asset Under Management ("AUM") of US$5.8 billion, as of December 31, 2021. Huaxing Growth Capital enjoys an unparalleled industry network and extensive market coverage by leveraging the comprehensive resources provided by the Company's platform. In addition to acting as the partner of choice and a quasi–strategic investor for Chinese Smart Economy champions, Huaxing Growth Capital serves as a bridge that helps global investors reach attractive investment opportunities in China. HGC aims to explore growth opportunities in China's emerging Smart Economy by capitalizing on the transformations across the consumer, industrial, healthcare and enterprise services sectors, as well as the technologies that enable the Smart Economy, namely the five core investment themes: Smart Technology, Smart Industries, Smart Healthcare, Smart Enterprises and Smart Consumerism.

Investment Banking

China Renaissance's Investment Banking segment has maintained its leadership position in the private placement market for 17 consecutive years by advising leading companies across the technology, medical, enterprise services and other high–growth sectors.

CR Securities

CR Securities was launched in Shanghai in 2016. Being one of the first securities firms established in accordance with the 10th Supplementary Agreement of Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement ("CEPA"), CR Securities has played an active role in the development of Chinese capital market, and was one of the first sponsors for companies listed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

About China Renaissance

Founded in 2005, China Renaissance ("CR") is a leading financial institution that provides private placement and M&A advisory, equity underwriting, sales & trading, research, investment management and other services. Over the past 17 years, CR has been dedicated to identifying companies with significant growth potential and serving as a trusted partner to support their value creation journey.

CR has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York, with more than 650 employees. As of June 30, 2021, China Renaissance has advised on and invested in over 1,125 transactions with a total value of over RMB 1.4 trillion (~US$220 billion). As of December 31, 2021, the company's private equity funds had an asset under management ("AUM") of over RMB 49 billion (~US$7.7 billion).

CR Securities (formerly known as "Huajing Securities") is one of the first securities firms set up in accordance with Supplement X to the "Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)". Since its establishment, CR Securities has assembled strong investment banking, fixed income, asset management, wealth management, securities brokerage, and research teams to serve existing and new clients.

For more information, please visit the company website at

Media Contact

China Renaissance

Public Relations
Yuki Zhao

Investor Relations


Sard Verbinnen & Co

Indigenous Peoples Must Continue To Challenge Human Rights Violations: PODCAST

By Marty Logan
KATHMANDU, Jul 7 2022 – Today we are starting a new series focused on human rights. For people working to create a more sustainable and just world – as we are – a human rights based approach makes sense as it starts from the premise that only by recognizing and protecting the dignity inherent in all people can we attain those goals.

Today’s guest, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, has immense experience in human rights. She is the founder and executive director of Tebtebba Foundation, which works to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples in the Philippines, her home country, and beyond. She was the Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples from 2005 To 2010, and UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples from 2014 to 2020.

We cover a lot of ground in this episode — from Vicky’s analysis of her time as special rapporteur to recent rhetoric around ‘building back better’, the circular economy and other touted economic reforms, versus the reality on the ground. Indigenous communities are facing growing pressure from both states and the private sector to extract the natural resources that they are trying to protect. This dichotomy between the words and deeds of these powerful actors must be continually exposed and challenged by Indigenous peoples, says Vicky.

Asked whether governments of poorer countries are doing enough to protect human rights, without hesitating Vicky answers no. But she also points out that these countries are themselves pressured by international agreements, brokered largely by rich countries, that leave them with few options but to exploit natural resources.

She also tells me about an exciting project — the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, a body of 23 global experts, is creating a General Recommendation on Indigenous women and girls. Among other things, it recognize the individual and collective rights of Indigenous women, the latter including respect for their rights to land, languages and other culture. Vicki says it is the first time that a UN treaty body is developing a recommendation focussed on Indigenous women.


Tebtebba Foundation

UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigneous Peoples

IPS Coverage About Indigenous Peoples Rights


The dichotomy between the words and deeds of powerful actors must be continually exposed and challenged by Indigenous peoples, says today’s guest, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

Gordon Brothers Acquires Unused Accommodation Barge Robyn S from Vanguard Shipping Limited for Immediate Sale

London, July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gordon Brothers, the global advisory, restructuring and investment firm, has acquired the Robyn S accommodation barge from Vanguard Shipping Limited.

The firm is managing the disposition of Robyn S, which is available for immediate sale to the international marine, shipping and offshore markets.

The barge was previously used to transport bridge sections and components during the construction of the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth. Robyn S was built in 2010 at Nanjing Yonghua Shipbuilding Industry Company Limited to standard North Sea specifications, and the topside was fabricated in 2012 by Consafe to DNV standards. In 2021, Vanguard Shipping Limited acquired a 120–personnel accommodation topside with helideck and combined both units. For additional vessel specifications, please visit–s.

"We're excited to build on our market–leading disposition and appraisal capabilities in the maritime sector with our acquisition of the Robyn S barge and to continue to support companies in the marine, shipping and offshore industries through strategic change," said Oliver Veart, Director, Marine & Valuations at Gordon Brothers.

"Gordon Brothers has a proven track record in supporting companies within multiple industries and sectors and has shown an enthusiasm for the Robyn S barge," said John Sumner, Managing Director of Vanguard Shipping Limited. "We are pleased to partner with them as they have the resources, expertise and market knowledge to sell the vessel and its associated assets."

Gordon Brothers has established a dedicated marine services and valuations practice that leverages decades of experience buying, selling, operating and valuing assets in the commercial and industrial economy across Australia, Brazil, Canada, the U.K., Europe, Japan and the U.S., and the firm looks forward to developing additional strategic opportunities as it increases activity in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Gordon Brothers provides clients with advisory services including fleet and vessel renewal analysis, disposition and investment strategies.

About Gordon Brothers
Since 1903, Gordon Brothers ( has helped lenders, management teams, advisors and investors move forward through change. The firm brings a powerful combination of expertise and capital to clients, developing customized solutions on an integrated or standalone basis across four services areas: valuations, dispositions, financing and investment. Whether to fuel growth or facilitate strategic consolidation, Gordon Brothers partners with companies in the retail, commercial and industrial sectors to provide maximum liquidity, put assets to their highest and best use and mitigate liabilities. The firm conducts more than $100 billion worth of dispositions and appraisals annually and provides both short– and long–term capital to clients undergoing transformation. Gordon Brothers lends against and invests in brands, real estate, inventory, receivables, machinery, equipment and other assets, both together and individually, to provide clients liquidity solutions beyond its market–leading disposition and appraisal services. The firm is headquartered in Boston, with over 30 offices across five continents.

About Vanguard Shipping Limited
Vanguard Shipping Limited is a British maritime company and sister company of Vanguard Packing Ltd, specialists in the export packing of large components and bespoke consignments operating from numerous locations throughout the U.K. Both companies sit within the Alkron Industrial group.

Sanctions Are a Boomerang

Economic sanctions against countries whose behavior is reproached by the West operate as punishment although they fail in their declared political objectives

The “bodegones” are Venezuela’s new commercial boom. They sell imported products, mostly from the United States despite the sanctions, and have spread into middle and lower-middle class neighborhoods in Caracas and other cities, to attract consumers who receive remittances of foreign currency from the millions of Venezuelans who have migrated in recent years. CREDIT: Humberto Márquez/IPS

By Humberto Márquez
CARACAS, Jul 7 2022 – Economic sanctions against countries whose behavior is reproached by the West operate as punishment although they fail in their declared political objectives, and in cases such as Venezuela the contrast is clearly on display in the windows of high-end stores that sell imported goods.

“Experience has shown that sanctions are an instrument that does not achieve the supposed objective, political change, as in the cases of Cuba and now also in Venezuela,” Luis Oliveros, professor of economics at the Metropolitan and Central universities of Venezuela, told IPS.

“There is a club of sanctioned countries, they feed off each other, share information and mechanisms to circumvent sanctions, and they cooperate with each other, such as Russia with China or Iran, or Cuba and Iran with Venezuela, even obtaining support from third party countries such as Turkey.” — Luis Oliveros
Moreover, “there is a club of sanctioned countries, they feed off each other, share information and mechanisms to circumvent sanctions, and they cooperate with each other, such as Russia with China or Iran, or Cuba and Iran with Venezuela, even obtaining support from third party countries such as Turkey,” said Oliveros.

The most commonly used sanctions are bans on exports and imports, financial transactions, obtaining technology, spare parts and weapons, and travel and trade; the freezing of assets; the withdrawal of visas; bans on entering the sanctioning country; the expulsion of undesirable individuals; and the blocking of bank accounts.

Russia became embroiled in a thick web of sanctions since its troops invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, and measures against its products, operations, institutions and authorities, which numbered 2,754 before the conflict, according to the private organization Statista, have now climbed to 10,536 and counting.

Following Russia on that list of punishments of various kinds are Iran, which faces 3,616 sanctions, Syria (2,608), North Korea (2,077), Venezuela (651), Myanmar (510), and Cuba (208).

The major sanctioners are the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan, Israel and Switzerland.

In the case of Iran and North Korea, sanctions have mainly punished their nuclear development programs. Pyongyang has not stopped its missile tests and Tehran flips the switch on its nuclear program according to the vagaries of Washington’s international policy.

A pro-government march in Caracas against the sanctions imposed by the United States on civilian and military officials and several public companies, as a measure of pressure against the government of President Nicolás Maduro. The president blames the sanctions for all the country's problems, which have driven 6.1 million people to migrate since he first took office. CREDIT: VTV

A pro-government march in Caracas against the sanctions imposed by the United States on civilian and military officials and several public companies, as a measure of pressure against the government of President Nicolás Maduro. The president blames the sanctions for all the country’s problems, which have driven 6.1 million people to migrate since he first took office. CREDIT: VTV

The Russian impact

Like a boomerang, sanctions sometimes hurt their proponents, and in the case of Russia their effects are felt in every corner of the planet.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Jun. 23 that sanctions “are becoming a weapon in the world economy.”

“Economic sanctions deliver bigger global shocks than ever before and are easier to evade,” observed Nicholas Mulder, author of “The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War.”

Mulder, an assistant professor in the history department of Cornell University in the U.S. state of New York, argues that “not since the 1930s has an economy the size of Russia’s been placed under such a wide array of commercial restrictions as those imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine.” He was referring to measures against Italy and Japan after the invasions of Ethiopia and China.

The difference is that “Russia today is a major exporter of oil, grain, and other key commodities, and the global economy is far more integrated. As a result, today’s sanctions have global economic effects far greater than anything seen before,” says Mulder.

Industrialized economies in Europe and North America have been impacted by energy price hikes, and as sanctions remove Russian raw materials from global supply chains, prices are rising and affecting the cost of imports and the finances of less developed countries, says the author.

In Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, there are fears of increased food insecurity as supplies of grain, cooking oil and fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia have been disrupted and the costs have been driven up.

“The result of these changes is that today’s sanctions can cause graver commercial losses than ever before, but they can also be weakened in new ways through trade diversion and evasion,” Mulder warned in a paper released in June by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Nazanin Armanian, an Iranian political scientist exiled in Spain, argues that “the tactic of shocking the economy of rivals and enemies suffers from two problems: neglecting the risk of radicalization of those who feel humiliated and ignoring the network of connections in a world that is a village.”

She cites the example of Iran, which has found multiple ways to export its oil. That is also the case of Cuba, which has endured and circumvented U.S. sanctions for more than 60 years.

With respect to Cuba, it was then President Barack Obama (2009-2017) who said on Dec. 17, 2014 that “It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba.”

The U.S. sanctions against Venezuela do not prevent luxurious commercial establishments in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities from selling U.S. and European products for consumption by a minority with ample access to foreign currency, benefited by the tax exemption on remittances. Meanwhile, four-fifths of the population are immersed in poverty. CREDIT: Humberto Márquez/IPS

The U.S. sanctions against Venezuela do not prevent luxurious commercial establishments in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities from selling U.S. and European products for consumption by a minority with ample access to foreign currency, benefited by the tax exemption on remittances. Meanwhile, four-fifths of the population are immersed in poverty. CREDIT: Humberto Márquez/IPS

The case of Venezuela

It was also Obama who on Mar. 15, 2015 declared in an executive order the government of Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” and that year sanctions were initiated against Venezuelan authorities, companies and public institutions.

Since then, Washington has sanctioned with a range of measures dozens of officials and their families, military commanders, government leaders, businesspersons who negotiate with the government and some one hundred companies, both public and private.

The EU also adopted sanctions, as did Canada and Panama, and U.S. sanctions also affect third country companies that do business with the Venezuelan government.

When the United States stopped buying Venezuelan crude oil and banned the sale of supplies to produce gasoline, Caracas appealed with some success to Iran, which has also sent equipment and personnel to refurbish Venezuela’s rundown refineries.

But the most visible demonstration of the ineffectiveness of the sanctions is that imported products are displayed and sold in hundreds of stores in Caracas and other cities and towns, even if only a minority can afford to buy them regularly.

There has been a proliferation of “bodegones” – up to 800 have been counted in Caracas, a crowded city of 3.5 million people located in a valley surrounded by mountains – the name given to new or quickly refurbished stores to give them a sophisticated appearance and satisfy tastes or the need to acquire imported foodstuffs and other perishable products, after years of widespread shortages.

The bodegones, as well as appliance stores and a handful of high-end restaurants and bars, have been the battering ram of the de facto dollarization that reigns in Venezuela, alongside the disdain for the bolivar as currency and the use of the Brazilian real and the Colombian peso in the border areas with those two countries.

Washington allows the export of food, agricultural, medicinal and hygiene products, while U.S. brands or imitations are imported from Asia, as well as household appliances, telephone and computer equipment and accessories. Wines, liquors and cosmetics arrive without major problems from Europe.

An apparent “bonanza bubble” has arisen, limited to trade and consumption by a minority, fed with income from the State – which sells minerals and other resources with a total lack of transparency -, and with remittances from the millions of Venezuelans who have migrated to escape the crisis over the last eight years.

In that period, poverty has expanded until reaching four-fifths of the country’s 28 million inhabitants and they have also suffered three years of hyperinflation. For this crisis, the government of President Nicolás Maduro tirelessly and systematically blames the sanctions from abroad.

The sanctions “have been an excellent business for the Maduro administration, because not only did it unify its forces based on a common external objective, but it forgot about paying the foreign debt and, under a state of emergency, exports without transparency or accountability, in a black market,” said Oliveros.
In addition, “a good part of the opposition put all its eggs in the sanctions basket and forgot about doing political work, and that is why the public, after so many years of difficulties, are questioning the results of that strategy,” he added.

In short, “instead of helping to bring about political change, what the sanctions have done is to keep Maduro in power,” said Oliveros.

In the cases of Venezuela and Iran, Washington and its European partners are interested in obtaining gestures of change – in the Venezuelan case, resumption of dialogue with the opposition – that would justify a relaxation of sanctions, which in turn would lead to an increase in oil supplies, now that Russian oil is facing restrictions.

Meanwhile, with respect to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, as well as countries opposed by the West on other continents, sanctions continue to function, in the eyes of public opinion in the countries that impose them, as a sign of political will to punish governments considered enemies, troublemakers or outlaws.

Myths Fuel Xenophobic Sentiment in South Africa

Around the world, from Syria to Libya, from Bangladesh to Ukraine, millions have become refugees in foreign lands due to war, famine, or political and economic instability in their countries. After South Africa gained freedom in 1994, Africa’s powerhouse became a magnet for migrants from politically and economically unstable African and Asian countries. But in […]

Carnrite and Persefoni Expand Partnership to Accelerate Private Sector Carbon Emission Reductions

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Carnrite Group ("Carnrite") and Persefoni Inc. (“Persefoni") have announced the development of a Footprint Data Services solution to expand their strategic partnership and support more businesses as they begin their emissions reduction journeys.

While new regulations are mandating climate disclosures across major markets including the US, UK and European Union, many businesses still lack the adequate resources and ability to accurately measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. This partnership will seek to resolve this by delivering to businesses at the start of their emission reduction journeys access to new climate technology solutions so they can meet evolving investor and stakeholder demands. By increasing accessibility, Persefoni and Carnrite hope to accelerate Persefoni's enterprise customers', and other businesses', emission reduction and net zero ambitions.

The Footprint Data Services combines Persefoni's market–leading SaaS climate management and carbon accounting platform with Carnrite's dedicated sustainability advisory practice and carbon accounting expertise. Under the Footprint Data Services, Carnrite will fully manage the collection of activity level data from various organizational sources, format and prepare collected activity data, including the preparation of proxy datasets as needed, and upload the activity data into the Persefoni platform. Carnrite will also conduct data quality assurance and gap assessments to identify any outliers of the client's carbon footprint. At the completion of the Footprint Data Services, Carnrite will provide clients with data governance and process recommendations to streamline on–going emissions reporting.

Going forward, Carnrite and Persefoni will continue to explore opportunities to expand collective service offerings that support and facilitate clients' carbon management initiatives, including decarbonization roadmap services for Persefoni customers.

Persefoni CEO, Kentaro Kawamori, commented: “One of the most time–intensive parts of any carbon accounting process is identifying, sourcing, and readying data to be usable for calculations. The Carnrite Group has developed a deep expertise working with financial, operational, supply chain, and investment data that allows them to deliver a service for our joint customers that significantly reduces their time spent going through a carbon accounting process.”

Carnrite Group's CEO, Al Carnrite, commented: "Combining our sustainability services with Persefoni's carbon management software enhances our ability to help companies achieve their climate and sustainability goals. We're excited to build upon our partnership and make it even easier for customers to adopt this market–leading software."

About Carnrite

Carnrite Group is a management consultancy with offices in Houston, London, and Abu Dhabi. The company deploys its unique combination of consulting expertise and industry experience to assist clients with topics such as corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, performance improvement, human capital, and digital transformation. Carnrite Group's Sustainability and Energy Transition practice helps clients measure, monitor, reduce, and offset their carbon footprint, while investing in new energies and low carbon solutions. Clients view Carnrite Group as a dedicated, practical business partner capable of implementing complex change. Learn more at

About Persefoni

Persefoni Inc. is a leading Climate Management & Accounting Platform (CMAP). The company's Software–as–a–Service solutions enable enterprises and financial institutions to meet stakeholder and regulatory climate disclosure requirements with the highest degree of trust, transparency, and ease. As the ERP of Carbon, the Persefoni platform provides users a single source of carbon truth across their organization, enabling them to manage their carbon transactions and inventory with the same rigor and confidence as their financial transactions. Learn more at

UN Predicts 68 Percent of World’s Population will be Living in Urban Areas by 2050

A residential building in Nairobi, Kenya. According to UN estimates, by 2050 about 68 per cent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. Credit: UN-Habitat/Kirsten Milhahn

By Simone Galimberti
KATHMANDU, Nepal, Jul 7 2022 – When we think of urbanization we often end up referring to the increasing number of megalopolises that are sprawling around the world.

Yet less thoughts are given on the fact that the future patterns of urbanization will be centered on secondary cities or semi urban spaces, now becoming extensions of these gigantic cities.

It means that the world will continue to urbanize even though the world share of population living in this new urban continuum is forecasted to slow down, reaching 58 per cent in the next fifty years according to data from UN Habitat.

Yet, especially in the developing world, such reduction will still bring in a whopping increase of 76% of the number of cities in low income nations that in practically terms will mean a rise of 2.2 billion residents mostly in Africa and Asia.

These are some of the key findings of the World Cities Report 2022, the flagship publication of UN Habitat that was recently launched in occasion of the 11th World Urban Forum, the biannual event that was held last week in Poland, bringing together top policy makers, experts and activists working in the area of urbanization.

The insights and discussions enabled by these publications and events are indispensable to activate the so called New Urban Agenda, a strategically important though overlooked agenda to rethink sustainability from the perspectives of those living in the cities.

Unfortunately there is still so much to be done here and unsurprisingly there are huge constraints in terms of funding to implement this vision even though more recently, several financial commitments have been done, including a massive boost in resilient infrastructures during the recently held G7.

The international community should be indeed worried and not only in terms of bridging the resource gap for a sustainable urbanization.

Global leaders need to seize the opportunity and reconsider the ways cities are governed.

While it remains paramount to think in terms of the future of the millions of people living in big cities, the trends and patterns are pointing to the urgency of systematically thinking about governing urban spaces in terms of multilevel governance.

It means we need to work on a future system of policy making and decision making that is able to function and deliver beyond a single administrative jurisdiction.

Such a model must be capable to address the needs of the people living within and in the peripheries from three key dimension, spatial, social and economic.

The opportunity here is not only about re-thinking the existing boundaries, merging existing administrative units, creating bigger and more extended centers of power with the tools and resources of governing entire metropolitan regions.

This, in itself, would be a mammoth task because it will eat away power to different, often overlapping and certainly inadequate local bodies of governance now in existence.

The real chance we need to seize is to re-think, holistically, the way local governance works and take action on the general ineffectiveness of local bodies in terms of social inclusion.

Securing stronger and more resilient cities, able to withstand the more frequent shocks and hazards, will require a new social compact, a re-distribution of powers between local governments in charge of urban spaces and the citizenry, especially those left behind.

This latter group is at the core of the recommendations World Cities Report 2022, highlighting how vulnerable citizens must shift from being “passive victims” of current patterns of urbanization to “active urban change agents”.

Such pivot towards the downtrodden can be successful if we go beyond the traditional recipe made only by stronger social policies.

This is a formula that tends to largely be centered around, on the one hand, more sophisticated and generous social protection schemes like universal basic income and, on the other, around health coverage and housing.

These three social areas of interventions, together with quality and affordable education, are extremely important but we need to imagine a new social contract in terms of participation and engagement.

Indeed, according to the so called Urban Resilience Principles, the guiding pillars for a different vision for the future of cities, it is essential to ensure a meaningful participation of the people, especially those disadvantaged, in the planning and governance of any future urban governance system.

“With ever larger cities, the distance between governments and their citizens has increased” explains the World Cities Report 2022 report.

“Effective communication, meaningful participation opportunities and accountability structures built into integrated governance relationships are all necessary responses for addressing the trust equation”.

The document goes even further, calling for new forms of collaborative governance that involve different stakeholders joining the decision making process.

That’s why deliberative democracy, often at the fringes of the political science studies, is now being rediscovered as a possible remedy to the distance between traditional decision makers and citizens.

Obviously there is one particular group that, not only has huge stakes in the future of urban spaces but also can play a vital role to re-animate the debate about more bottom up, participatory forms of democratic decision making: the youths.

Some attempts are being made in this direction.

Over the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting held on the 27th of April to review the progress taken so far in implementing the New Urban Agenda, the Youth 2030 Cities initiative brought together youths from Ecuador, Colombia and Ghana to discuss about their role and their contributions for a better urban future.

The event was a culmination of trainings and discussions in six different countries around the world, an exercise that led to the preparation of “DeclarACTIONS”, roadmaps and at the same time real blueprints for youths driven changes around sustainable urbanization.

These are not just aspirational documents but they contain concrete and practical proposals, result of a long raging series of interventions supported by UN Habitat and the Foundation Botnar.

The Youth 2030 Cities program is an example of how it is possible to enable youth to convene and discuss.

Potentially, it can be seen, as a bold attempt at expanding the decision making process at local level.

The challenge will be on how to shift from pilot mode to an approach that systematically includes all citizens, including the youth, in the policy and decision making processes.

An institution like UN-Habitat has a very important mandate to mainstream participatory processes across the developing and emerging world, enabling new transformative ways for people to be involved and engaged.

System ways partnerships, starting from within the UN System, can harness the potential shown when youths are allowed to discuss and debate.

The dynamics facilitated by Youth 2030 Cities, can truly bring transformative changes but with them, we need bold and farsighted vision from the world leaders.

Let’s not forget that, real change will happen when people, especially the youths, are empowered, not just to be consulted and be able to express their opinion, but when are enabled to take binding decisions.

The fact that also the World Urban Forum 11 saw the same Youth 2030 Cities youth to gather for a global “DeclarAction”, is promising but the road ahead is still indeed very steep.

Simone Galimberti is co-Founder of ENGAGE, a not-for-profit NGO in Nepal. He writes on volunteerism, social inclusion, youth development and regional integration as an engine to improve people’s lives.

IPS UN Bureau


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