Dana Sanchez, 2:29 pm
Prices rose even faster than in December, when inflation was 24.3 percent — the highest since January 2011 when the Arab Spring uprising was at its height. Food prices have gone up more than other goods, rising by 38.6 percent year on year. Tourism, one the main sources of foreign currency, has been hit hard by jihadist insurgency. The number of tourists visiting Egypt in 2016 was 46 percent less than 2015. This decline is attributed to Russian and British flights being suspended following the Metrojet flight crash in the Sinai.
Dana Sanchez, 1:07 pm
Through regulation and legislation, the ANC-led government plans to break up the dominance of some big players in the local market such as media, banks, retail and construction. It plans to introduce new competition laws for “a more inclusive economy” and to “deconcentrate high levels of ownership and control.” This means it will force some sectors to give up their empires — like the so-called “Stellenbosch mafia.”
Opinion: Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy An Opportunity For China To Access AGOA, US Markets By Manufacturing In AfricaBy Dana Sanchez, 9:52 am
The main target of Trump’s America First policy is China, the world’s top industrial exporter. China has positioned itself as the world’s factory. Africa does very little trade with the U.S. and is no threat to U.S. jobs. Because China is Africa’s biggest export market, the America First policy will hurt Africa. The export-oriented China creates wealth by exporting manufactured goods to the U.S. and other Western markets. China can circumvent Trump’s efforts by relocating some of its manufacturing to Africa to take advantage of AGOA and access the U.S. market through Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 3:39 pm
Tourists seeking an animal encounter can dive with Cape fur seals throughout the year at South Africa’s Plettenberg Bay. There’s a boat excursion to a marine protected area near Robberg Nature Reserve where visitors can jump into the water and swim with the seals — often babies, and often playful. Before you go though, definitely read the reviews at TripAdvisor. Here’s what one recent visitor said after going on this excursion: “You get super close to the seals. Sometimes when you hold still, they even gently touch you with their nose.” Not all the reviews are glowing.
22 Pioneering Digital Media Projects Getting Paid To Tell Africa’s Stories And Hold Governments AccountableBy Dana Sanchez, 10:08 am AFKI Original
Ideas that solve African problems but have the potential to be adopted globally are attracting investment. A jury that includes Google, World Bank and Ford chose 22 media projects to receive $1M in seed funding. The ideas tackle issues from fake news to frontline war reporting using technology such as bots, drones and sensors to improve journalism in Africa. It’s an experiment with leapfrog technologies, but the real goal is to build real-world solutions to real-world problems that can immediately be scaled by mainstream media.
Dana Sanchez, 3:44 pm
Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed spent much of his adult life in Buffalo, New York. He has lived in the U.S. since 1985, sent there with Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry. He earned degrees from the State University of New York, raised a family and worked for the NY state government. But he stayed involved in Somali politics. More than 20 candidates ran in the Somali presidential race. At least 16 have dual citizenship. Nine have U.S. passports, according to a leading private Somali radio station.
Dana Sanchez, 4:43 pm
The worst is over and commodities prices are climbing, World Bank says. But not everyone is ready to call it a trend. Despite some improvement, gold and platinum remain flat. The bouyant, even euphoric mood at this year’s Mining Indaba contrasts with recent years — 2016 was gloomy. Towards the end of the year, commodity prices rebounded. Investors want a stable political environment, regulatory certainty and labor stability. “In 2017, we are looking at expansion, local and international. Mergers and acquisitions are also starting to take place. There is consolidation,” a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:35 pm
Facebook beat Wall Street expectations for sales and user growth in the fourth quarter of 2016, and it credits Internet.org, its free basic version of the internet in developing countries, for helping make that happen. It added more users worldwide in the fourth quarter than any quarter since the company went public in 2012. Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision is to get more Africans online. “This isn’t a purely altruistic venture,” an analyst said. Internet.org, is available in 23 African countries through partnerships with mobile operators.
Dana Sanchez, 3:36 pm
Out of nine female heads of state and government that Africa has had, only two were elected — Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. The outgoing chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says Africa needs more female heads of state. She’s considered a front runner in the race for the next South African president. Elections are scheduled for 2019. Promoting women’s rights was the highlight of Dlamini-Zuma’s legacy during her 4.5 years as chairwoman of the African Union Commission.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
If Ant expands access to mobile money, it could mean that even more people will receive remittances on their mobile money accounts, and that will be good for Ismail Ahmed. Mobile money is disrupting remittances and making formal transactions easier, says Ahmed, a Somali entrepreneur and CEO of online money transfer service WorldRemit. Only 5% of remittances today are sent online. The rest is cash, paid over the counter or at agents. Online remittances are projected to grow six-fold to reach at least 40 percent in the next few years.