Dana Sanchez, 11:52 am AFKI Original
Africa has been reluctant to adopt GM food technology for crop production, but that’s changing. Many African countries are willing to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM technology to boost their agriculture sector. Just four African countries allow GMO crops for cotton. In Africa, only South Africa grows GM food. Opponents urge African countries not to commercialize GM crops, saying it will put their agricultural sector in the hands of large multinational agri-businesses and hurt biodiversity. Proponents say GM crops are as safe.
Dana Sanchez, 8:04 am
MTN’s shares are down 35 percent since October 2015, when Africa’s largest mobile service provider reported a $5.2B fine by Nigerian regulators over unregistered sim cards. That could make MTN cheap enough to be considered for a takeover, Times Live reports. MTN had other problems in the last two years including foreign exchange losses and bad investments. Investing heavily in South Africa, MTN grew revenue and subscribers, but it would be difficult for an international operator to convince its shareholders to back a bid, given the challenges MTN faces, an analyst said.
Dana Sanchez, 11:10 am
South African President Jacob Zuma announced new land reform plans Friday, telling traditional leaders that the government will do a “pre-colonial” land audit. Uncertainty over property rights is expected to push investors to look elsewhere. This isn’t the first time Zuma has promised to amend laws allowing expropriation without compensation, but it’s the first time a pre-colonial audit has been mentioned. EFF party leader Julius Malema has been traveling the country, encouraging black South Africans to take back land from “white invaders and Dutch thugs… Take it, it belongs to you,” he said.
Dana Sanchez, 11:34 am
South Africa ranks fourth in world for titanium reserves. This should give the country a competitive edge in the 3D printing market for aerospace. It’s a market expected to be worth tens of billions of dollars as aerospace, auto and military industries seek cheaper way to make parts. Aircraft makers want to replace aluminum bodies with lighter materials such as titanium alloys. South Africa says its 3D printer is 10 times faster than any other laser melting machine available.The new manufacturing process could save millions of dollars on production and fuel costs.
Dana Sanchez, 10:53 am AFKI Original
The annual survey evaluates the top 100 brands in Africa based on consumer responses via mobile text messaging. Results show that non-African brands strengthened their positions in Africa, while African brands’ share among most admired brands dropped from 23 percent to 16 percent. “It is a great concern that the share of African brands is so low and even declining,” said the founder of Brand Africa. “It is a wake-up call for African governments to create enabling environments to support entrepreneurs.”
Dana Sanchez, 4:02 pm
Africa has potential to boast more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else on Earth, says an Africa-focused investment manager. More than 200 African private equity deals were reported in 2016. Almost a third were in South Africa, but the potential in Nigeria is mind boggling. Internet spending in Nigeria was nearly $2B last year, with only 3% of Nigerians having fixed broadband access. Multiple billions in spending is driven by mobile internet users. Digital content and the subsequent advertising and brand exposure are, for the first time, accessible by the majority of Nigerians on their mobile devices.
Born In Caribbean, Educated In Boston, Startup In Nairobi: All Roads Led To Africa’s Mobile RevolutionBy Dana Sanchez, 9:15 pm
In the MIT lab, Kenfield Griffith thought he was going to solve the world’s problems. Then he arrived in Kenya and stood in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. “I looked around and said to myself that even if I was Bill Gates, I wouldn’t know what to do,” he said. Griffith put his faith in mobile phones, and prevailed. In 2016, his Nairobi startup, mSurvey, closed its seed funding round led by investments from Safaricom, Silicon Valley’s Cross Culture Ventures, and a Caribbean angels group backed by Richard Branson.
Dana Sanchez, 11:51 am
One of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, U.S.-based Boeing ranked No. 2 among defense contractor in the world in 2016. Boeing Defense does business with countries across Africa in security including surveillance drones. “The aerospace industry needs to start paying closer attention to Africa, because this continent is clearly on the move economically and all the trends are pointing in the right direction for the expansion of the sector,” a Boeing stakeholder said. Boeing hopes its two new African offices will be positioned to meet an anticipated demand of 1,150 new aircraft in Africa by 2035.
Dana Sanchez, 11:11 am
Facebook wants to connect everyone in the world with its social network, but that’s hard to do if the world doesn’t have internet access. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are building their own networking infrastructure on land and across the seas rather than just leasing bandwidth connections operated by telecoms. In doing so they’re assuming a role traditionally played by telecom companies. Facebook has announced plans to lay nearly 500 miles of fiber cable in Uganda by the end of the year, infrastructure it believes will provide internet access for more than 3 million people.
Dana Sanchez, 9:08 am
The allegation that Nigerians are taking up jobs that could otherwise go to black South Africans is false. Nigerians employ local people in their small businesses. The claim that Nigerians are destroying the moral fabric of the South Africa through drug peddling and prostitution is not entirely true. Yes, some Nigerians may be in the business but their number is negligible. They are however loud and showy, which could trigger envy. Most Nigerians in SA are legitimate — academics, professionals, artisans and other needed service providers. When Nigeria helped SA in its liberation struggles, “we were called brothers. Now, we are expendable strangers.”