Dana Sanchez, 12:02 am
If you own a mobile phone, chances are it has tantalum in it from Africa and you have small amounts of the rare metal within inches of your brain. U.S.-based AB Minerals claims to have invented a new disruptive tantalite processing technology that it says will enable tantalum-producing countries to add value to the ore themselves rather than exporting raw ore to China. The company hopes to sell this technology all over Africa. The first African plant is expected to begin operating in Rwanda in 2017. Here’s part of an interview with AB Minerals founder and CEO Frank Balestra.
Dana Sanchez, 2:41 pm
Sweden-based Ericsson is at the show, predicting that 5G will dominate mobile subscriptions in Africa by 2022. It’s one of several companies trying to connect the dots between the latest technology innovations and their dependence on infrastructure. Thermal cameras that help protect African elephants from poachers are on display there, backed by Google and the World Wildlife Fund. And The Swazi Bridge Project is there — a tech company using white space bandwidth to deliver high-speed internet to people in Swaziland.
Dana Sanchez, 10:57 am
A scholarly tradition tied to agriculture, stargazing in Ethiopia predates Christianity. Some historians argue that the first study of celestial bodies can be traced back to Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s space ambitions could make it the first country in the Horn of Africa and Northeast Africa to become a space power. Developing satellites and rocket launchers locally in Ethiopia could prompt Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and even Sudan to accelerate their own space ambitions.
Dana Sanchez, 4:47 pm
Ethiopia was the world’s fastest growing economy in 2015 at 10.2 percent. China has invested heavily Ethiopian infrastructure, funding railways, roads, dams, and sub-Saharan Africa’s first modern tramway in Addis Ababa. Chinese firms have also stepped up engagement in Ethiopian manufacturing and upped their supply of manufactured goods exported from China. Ethiopian Airlines has a new $150 million cargo terminal under construction that is scheduled to be completed by April.
Dana Sanchez, 4:10 pm
Around 60% of all products in South African stores are halal certified. Despite Muslims forming 1.5% percent of the population, this huge percentage of halal products is due to the large quantity of exports sent north in the continent, much of which is Muslim. South African traders make up about half of Africa’s fast-moving consumer goods sector, and 35 percent of these traders are Muslim. SA has helped other African countries set up halal certification including Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
Dana Sanchez, 11:28 am
Chevron South Africa assets include a refinery in Cape Town that produces 110,000 barrels a day, a lubricants plant in Durban and about 800 Caltex service stations. It’s one of South Africa’s top five petroleum brands and has done business in the country for more than 100 years. Low oil prices and uncertainty about future prices will make it difficult for potential buyers to fund an acquisition themselves or to raise capital externally, a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:45 pm
In the process of tapping into the sharing economy, Airbnb tapped into a relatively unfilled niche in Africa — the need for reliable, mid-range accommodation in African cities. Doing so helped Airbnb become the second most valuable U.S. startup in 2016. Valued at $68 billion, Uber is the most valuable startup in the U.S. and across the globe — proof that you can get rich by sharing.
Dana Sanchez, 6:15 pm
Teodorin Obiang, the vice president of Equatorial Guinea, is in line to succeed his father, the president. The son also faces 10 years in prison and a $105 million fine for money-laundering. The country’s treasury paid almost $115 million into Obiang’s personal account. Africa’s only Spanish-speaking country is often criticized for repression, torture, corruption and unlawful killings. France is preparing cases against relatives of other African leaders including from Congo, Gabon and CAR.
Dana Sanchez, 4:40 pm
Local and international tourists flock to a centuries-old public circumcision ritual in Uganda and parts of Western Kenya. They watch teens and young men of the Bamasaaba tribe go under the knife without pain killers. If they show no pain, the “candidates” are rewarded with mobile phones, cash and cattle. More than 30,000 people attended the 2016 Imbalu festival. Ugandan tourism plans to build a cultural center celebrating and preserving the history of the Bamasaaba people. The goal is to attract international visitors.
Dana Sanchez, 11:00 am
At the southern tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, you can take a self-guided, five-day coastal hike. The Cape Agulhas Southernmost Walk rewards adventurous travelers with stunning views, beautiful beaches, and shipwrecks. You’ll meet fishermen and Khoikoi beach nomads. Accommodation is in three- and four-star lodges. Your luggage will be transported for you. All you take with you is a day pack.