Dana Sanchez

  • Will Canada’s Trudeau Be The Anti-Trump When It Comes To African Engagement?

    Trudeau anti-Trump African engagement By Dana Sanchez, 1:29 pm

    Canada’s renewed commitment to Africa seems strategically timed to coincide with uncertainty about future U.S. commitment. President elect Donald Trump has tweeted almost nothing on the subject. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just returned from his first African trip as head of state, unveiling a host of spending initiatives that support gender equality. “I’m hoping that the new president of the U.S. will be inspired by Canada’s position,” a stakeholder said. Absent from Trudeau’s agenda was discussion of freedom of speech.

  • US-Based Renewable Energy, Data Tech Firms Attract Angolan Investors

    Pioneering Angolan firm By Dana Sanchez, 7:13 pm AFKI Original

    Angolan attorney Zandre Campos quit his job with Sonangol, Angola’s giant state-run oil company, to start a private international investment firm. He wants to bring the best of the world to Africa. “We want to participate in the future of this continent. We’re talking about international standards,” he told AFKInsider. His latest investment is his company’s first in the U.S. He’s investing in U.S. technology. “Most of our investors are local Angolans — young guys like us,” Campos said.

  • Will Trump’s US-Africa Policy Vacuum Help Boost Chinese Trade With Africa?

    Chinese trade with Africa By Dana Sanchez, 3:56 pm

    Donald Trump’s election could not have been better news for the economic and political ambitions of China. Suddenly, all roads lead to China from Africa, Europe, most of Asia and most of South America. African manufacturers could profit from China’s growing power, but that may have more to do with rising labor costs in China than it has to do with retreating U.S.-Africa trade. Manufacturing salaries are rising fast in China, which is starting to outsource production to other countries. China has become a victim of its own success.

  • Zimbabwe Issues Bond Notes. Will This Lead Back To Hyperinflation?

    Zimbabwe issues bond notes By Dana Sanchez, 11:17 am

    Hyperinflation in 2008 had Zimbabweans paying 50 billion Zimbabwean dollars for an egg and 100 trillion dollars for a weekly bus ticket. The U.S. dollar has been Zimbabwe’s main currency since 2009 but those are in short supply. Now it’s deja vu all over again as the Zimbabwe government forces bond notes into circulation, a move many feel is a ploy to bring back the Zimbabwean dollar. The central bank promised to keep a lid on issuing bond notes, insisting they are not an official currency and will have no value outside of Zimbabwe. The first test will be in the informal foreign exchange markets on the streets.

  • Castro’s Mixed Legacy In Africa: He Fought Colonialism, Found Capitalism Repugnant

    Fidel Castro By Dana Sanchez, 5:24 pm

    Fidel Castro was no angel. He ran Cuba with “a strong arm and dodgy economic policies,” but for many in Africa, the Cuban leader was a friend in need. Castro is credited with helping pit Russia against the U.S. in a war in Angola that brought about the beginning of the end of apartheid. It wasn’t just about independence from colonialists but also from the perceived injustices of capitalism. “I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating,” Castro said.

  • Fitch’s Lowered Outlook, And Why South Africa Can’t Ignore Credit Ratings

    South Africa can't ignore credit ratings By Dana Sanchez, 5:24 pm

    Credit ratings agency Fitch on Friday revised its outlook for South Africa from stable to negative, citing political risks. Moody’s was also expected to release its outlook Friday, but had not done so by late afternoon. There are fears that South Africa will be downgraded to junk status. Junk status means high risk, and therefore, high borrowing costs. For fund managers representing investors, a downgrade to junk status means they will have to sell the assets (bonds) they hold. Their mandates require that they only invest in investment-grade assets. For ordinary South Africans it means paying more interest, leaving less money for savings or food.

  • Why China’s WeChat Is Paying South Africans To Eat At McDonald’s

    WeChat By Dana Sanchez, 2:06 pm

    McDonald’s opened its first burger and fast-food restaurant in South Africa in 1995, and now has more than 200 stores. Chinese mobile messaging app WeChat is trying to compete with Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which dominates in SA, by collaborating with large merchants like McDonald’s. Customers can now pay at McDonald’s using mobile payments at some locations. WeChat is dominant in China, where 200M-plus use its mobile payment platform. Mobile payments have not caught on in SA like they have in China or Kenya.

  • Africans Embrace Black Friday, Online Retailers Want A Piece. Is This Cultural Colonialism?

    By Dana Sanchez, 3:26 pm

    South Africa has seen a massive adoption of North American retail trends, and Black Friday is no exception, a trend analyst says. “It is tested, it works and is already embedded in the minds of South Africans.” Other research analysts are more critical. “Black Friday…is an attempt to cash in on the hype surrounding the day in the U.S.,” said Arthur Goldstuck, managing director at tech research firm World Wide Worx. “It is a classic example of self-inflicted cultural colonialism, except that here the motive is unashamedly commercial. That, in turn, means it represents blatant exploitation of the consumer at its worst.”

  • Zimbabwe Won’t Give Details Of Controversial Bond Notes Until Their Release Next Week

    By Dana Sanchez, 10:31 am

    Bond notes will not be forced on consumers, the Zimbabwe government has said. This is not about re-introducing the Zimbabwean dollar, which became worthless in 2008 due to hyperinflation. The public has been warned not to adopt a negative attitude towards bond notes because they’ll ease the country’s cash shortage. Zimbabweans fear bond notes will trigger a repeat of 2008 hyperinflation. Adopting the U.S. dollar as the official currency in 2009 helped stop the bleeding. For Zimbabweans, cash isn’t the only thing running low. There’s a shortage of trust.

  • Sub-Saharan Shrimp Farm Shines Spotlight On Growing African Aquaculture Subsector

    Sub-Saharan shrimp farm By Dana Sanchez, 2:53 pm

    Nigeria’s top shrimp producer, Atlantic Shrimpers has unveiled a 400-acre shrimp farm that it says will be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, producing shrimp for Nigeria and the export market. A French-owned shrimp farm in Madagascar that is about 10 times bigger may already have claimed that title. Owned by a French company, the farm in Northwest Madagascar is one of two spread over 4,000 acres of natural clay soil, producing more than 5,000 tons of shrimp per year. The Madagascar farm is also the first in Africa to get international certification that promotes responsible fish farming.