Dana Sanchez, 11:16 am
It wasn’t easy getting ECOWAS members to hold a conference in Israel. The 15-member Economic Community of West African States held their first-ever seminar outside West Africa. They learned hands-on about Israeli irrigation technology and how a tiny Middle Eastern country under attack from all sides has managed to thrive in adversity. “In Israel we make the impossible possible,” a conference organizer said. “This conference is an example.” Netanyahu plans to visit West Africa in a few months.
Dana Sanchez, 2:33 pm
Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in the U.S., has inspired schools all over the world. The Turkish president wants those schools closed. Gulen-inspired schools have existed in Turkey since the 1970s, but only became a global phenomenon in the past 20 years as Gulen grew closer to President Erdogan, whose Islamist-rooted AK Party won in 2002. Since 2013, Erdogan has demonized Gulen and wants schools and hospitals belonging to Gulen supporters confiscated or closed. Turkey invested $6.2 billion in Africa in 2015. At least six African countries have agreed to let the Turkish government take over private schools linked to Gulen.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Netherlands based off-grid solar provider Nova Lumos has raised $90 million in financing from private equity investment and development banks to roll out pay-as-you-go solar power systems in Nigeria. It’s the biggest fundraising round to date for the off-grid solar market, and hopes to provide cheaper and cleaner alternatives to kerosene for millions of people living in Africa. Nova Lumos was founded in Israel in 2012. Its “home power station in a box” includes a solar panel activated by text messaging that can supply enough electricity to charge a cell phone, operate a radio and illuminate a home.
Dana Sanchez, 2:50 pm
London-based discount airline Fastjet is seeking another injection of capital and trying to stabilize its business by cutting unprofitable routes. It’s hoping to add internal South African flights — a crowded market but one it said it can’t ignore. Fastjet was engaged in a price war with Kenya Airways. Now it’s cutting routes. Traded on the London Stock Exchange, Fastjet wants to be the first pan-African low-cost carrier, but has not made a profit since its 2012 inception. A new, sooner-than-expected capital raising effort in the first quarter of 2017 prompted Fastjet Chairman Colin Child’s resignation.
Dana Sanchez, 12:13 pm
The Zimbabwean diaspora has a significant interest in property investment in their home country. Although agricultural land is typically state-owned, and rural land communally owned, urban land in Zimbabwe is held under freehold title, and deeds are registered. There are rights to ownership of urban land, and interest and potential for investment in urban land in Zimbabwe. Continued interest in the diaspora has seen increased demand for small-scale, affordable housing in low- and high-density areas.
Dana Sanchez, 9:39 pm
At 17,057 feet, Mount Kenya gets less attention than its taller counterpart, Mount Kilimanjaro, but Africa’s second-highest mountain offers everything its bigger neighbor does, and then some. The area around the foothills is emerging as a hot spot for residential and commercial real estate. The focus of Mount Kenya Wildlife Estate is the wildlife, with houses clustered around waterholes and salt licks, and views of the Mount Kenya. The development consists of 100 holiday homes on 1,000 acres. Most houses have sold for $330,000 each.
Dana Sanchez, 5:18 pm
Chinese company Xinwei agreed to buy Israeli satellite company Spacecom for $190 million despite a Sept. 1 rocket explosion on the launchpad in Florida that took Spacecom’s share prices down more than 50 percent. The explosion destroyed a rocket owned by tech and space entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX. It was carrying a satellite that Facebook had planned to use to expand internet access in Africa. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he wouldn’t give up on internet for Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 3:50 pm
An Israeli garment firm manufacturing in Ethiopia just made its first shipment to the U.S. for Sweden’s H&M. Ethiopia has all the key elements for manufacturing — cheap labor, government support, and access to the U.S. through AGOA, the Israeli CEO said. Ethiopian garment workers start at about $21 a month compared to Bangladesh’s minimum wage of $68 per month and China’s average monthly wage of $500 in the textile sector.
Dana Sanchez, 1:39 pm
There is a gap for hospital services in Africa and property investors can benefit from this with healthcare real estate investment trusts, an expert says. A REIT is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate. Large hospital owners like Netcare or Life Healthcare in South Africa could sell hospitals to a property manager who runs a healthcare REIT. The REIT would then lease them back. REITs provide investors with a liquid stake in real estate, special tax considerations and typically high-dividend yields. In more mature markets, healthcare REITs are often popular investments.
Dana Sanchez, 10:46 am AFKI Original
Currency depreciation and rising inflation have made investing a challenge in some African countries. A global private-sector development group identifies four African countries that have potential for climate-smart investment. These investments will make energy more accessible and infrastructure more resilient as climate change threatens to undermine developmental gains. South Africa is ahead of the game. With 90% of its electricity from coal, SA has approved 79 renewable energy projects by independent power producers. The cost of wind and solar has decreased more than 70%, and is now competitive with new-build coal, IFC reported.