Dana Sanchez, 9:12 pm AFKI Original
Daniel Adidwa, founder and CEO of Tour 2.0, said he built a tourism company that creates new perceptions about Africa by exposing tourists to people living in communities once considered “no-go” zones. His tours of Alexandra Township — it’s next door to Sandton, Africa’s richest square mile — allow tourists to get an authentic experience of South Africa and its cultural diversity. Adidwa’s new Cocktails and Culinary tour of Alexandra continues to blast away at stereotypes.
Dana Sanchez, 11:39 am
Supporters of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi have gathered in Kinshasa to mourn the death of a hugely popular figure who has been compared to South African icon Nelson Mandela. Some fear Tshisekedi’s death could have a destabilizing effect in the DRC, a country with a history of foreign intervention, civil war, and leaders who won’t step down. The government has promised Tshisekedi will be buried in state. Tshisekedi’s son Felix has taken on a growing role in opposition politics in the past three years as his father’s health deteriorated.
Dana Sanchez, 3:29 pm
Johannesburg-based Standard Bank is the latest to join the R3 consortium after some global heavyweights pulled out. The network represents a collaboration of 75-plus banks exploring blockchain as a solution for digital payments. Goldman Sachs, Santander, Morgan Stanley and the National Australian Bank have quit the NYC-based R3. Their departure raises questions about how much distributed ledger and blockchain technology are worth to the financial sector. One expert says they could have quit over competition and not wanting to share.
Dana Sanchez, 1:49 pm
The A.U. is divided on whether or not to collectively adopt a plan that Human Rights Watch described as having no timeline and “few concrete recommendations for action.” Unless the ICC undergoes reforms, African countries should make a coordinated withdrawal, according to the resolution. A proposal refers to the creation of an alternate regional African war crimes court. South Africa and Kenya have pushed for withdrawal. “They’ll be disappointed that the discussions about completely severing ties with the ICC will have to wait another six months for the next summit,” an analyst said.
Dana Sanchez, 3:04 pm
BitPesa, a bitcoin payments startup that launched in Kenya and expanded in Africa and beyond, announced a $2.5M round of funding. The Series A round is led by Silicon Valley-based industry investor Draper VC, with existing U.S. investors. Series A investors are willing to take on the risk when a new venture is generating revenue but not yet making a profit. BitPesa will use some of the funds to move to Luxembourg. The firm’s goal is to be the largest payment company in the U.K., Europe and Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 1:11 pm
Aliko Dangote, CEO of Nigeria’s massive Dangote Group, said he wants to diversify his investments in Ethiopia, and he’s looking at sugar production. Ethiopia produces enough of its own sugar to finally stop importing it this year and start exporting it — a turnaround the government describes as revolutionary. Three new sugar refineries are scheduled to begin production this month. Construction is also planned for 10 new sugar factories for a total of 13 by 2020. Sugar is where Africa’s richest man cut his teeth.
Dana Sanchez, 3:49 pm
A former Spanish colony, Western Sahara is the last unresolved African case on the U.N. Committee on Decolonization. The debate on readmitting Morocco to the A.U. was “an emotional call for the fight against colonization.” South Africa and Algeria were opposed. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said Morocco’s acceptance back into the A.U. was the will of the majority of member countries. Resolving the Western Sahara question will have to wait for another day. “Africa wants to speak in one voice. We need all African countries to be a part of that voice,” she said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:48 pm
The U.S. president’s travel bans provided a rallying call today for African unity. Today’s African Union summit had divisive issues on the agenda, including Africa’s relationship to the International Criminal Court and Morocco’s readmission to the A.U., but outgoing A.U. head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma identified Trump’s refugee ban as one of the “greatest challenges to our unity.” A South African A.U. expert says the A.U. is more divided than ever, but it’s not over refugees. “You have all these calls for unity but actually… (it’s) over Morocco, the regional divisions and the ICC.”
Dana Sanchez, 11:11 am
Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat replaces South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is expected to run for president of South Africa in a bid to replace her ex, Jacob Zuma. Mahamat, 56, previously served as the chairman of the A.U.’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council. His boss, President Idriss Deby, has ruled Chad for 26 years. Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed was Mahamat’s main rival in the final round of voting. She is one of the most vocal critics of the International Criminal Court.
Dana Sanchez, 10:35 am
Ethiopia’s shoe-making industry is getting more attention in the U.S., where 87 percent of imported footwear is from China. A local group of 10 Ethiopian leather and footwear manufacturers have joined forces to supply footwear products destined mainly for the U.S. It’s part of a pioneering effort to persuade global buyers that Ethiopia is an alternative sourcing market to Bangladesh and Vietnam. Ten major brands visited Ethiopia recently. Most are are represented by the 1,000-member American Apparel and Footwear Association.