Dana Sanchez, 3:04 pm
At the World Economic Forum, where finance ministers attract as much attention as presidents, Pravin Gordhan’s presence this week in Davos is expected to be a show of strength, leadership and survival. Gordhan was asked to be SA finance minister after a bizarre, four-day, four-finance-minister sequence of firings by President Zuma. Deputy South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading Team SA at WEF. Cyril could use some “sparkle on his presidential ambitions,” a commentator said. Zuma won’t be attending.
Dana Sanchez, 12:29 pm
Despite reports of inequality and xenophobia, South Africa’s relative wealth and stability continue to draw migrants from all over Africa. South Africa has the highest number of pending asylum claims in the world — more than 1 million. African refugees heading to Europe get disproportionate media coverage. A far greater number would rather seek security and livelihood elsewhere in Africa. Of the world’s 17 million displaced Africans, only about 3 percent are in Europe. The vast majority are in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 5:03 pm
Democratic Alliance opposition leader Maimane met this week with the Palestinian and Israeli business leaders to discuss how trade can be used for peace when politics fail. Zuma has endured overwhelming criticism from South Africans over corruption. Citizens voiced their displeasure at the polls in the August municipal elections. All major South African areas are now controlled by the DA except for Durban, Bloemfontein and Kimberley. Zuma needs a place to hide, a critic said. The narrative of the “oppressed” is a safe place for him.
Dana Sanchez, 11:08 am
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates invested $9 billion in Africa over the course of 15 years, and said he plans to spend another $5 billion there in the next five. The world’s richest man says Africa is proof that life is getting better for more people. His optimism is not universal. His funding of GMO research to improve crop yields and reduce famine has been controversial. Anti-GMO voices don’t deter him. Here are five reasons why Gates said he sees the glass as more than half full in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 5:05 pm
The Asian strain of Zika responsible for the outbreak in Brazil and the U.S. has not been reported on the African mainland. Cape Verde has reported nine cases of the Asian strain. It’s not known if exposure to the African strain gives protection against the Asian strain. A $54.2 million grant in 2016 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is funding a candidate Zika virus vaccine now in its first phase of trials
Dana Sanchez, 11:24 am
Built in China, paid for by China, built by Chinese, operated and maintained by Chinese — news media reports often describe the newly refurbished, high-speed Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway as a project in which China is fully vested. But China didn’t finance the entire railway by a long shot. Ethiopia and Djibouti financed about 45 percent of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway.
Dana Sanchez, 11:20 pm
Foreigners have been invited to invest in Ethiopia’s state-owned shipping and logistics company. Will telecommunications and banks be next? Ethiopia is one of the last African countries to have a state monopoly in telecoms. The U.S. hopes to bring its technology, know-how and managerial skills to Ethiopia. The American Chamber of Commerce of Ethiopia was launched in November. “The private sector needs a level playing field that allows fair competition with state-owned enterprises,” a U.S. stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 5:26 pm
South Africans supported Semenya overwhelmingly on social media with the hashtag #handsoffcaster during the Rio Olympics. She experienced open hostility and protests from other runners who said the race was unfair because they were competing against a man. Semenya was born without ovaries. Instead she has internal testes and testosterone levels three times higher than most women. “If I was a woman 800-meter runner right now, I’d be looking to change careers,” a sports scientist said. SA is the only African country where same-sex marriage is legal.
Dana Sanchez, 2:22 pm AFKI Original
Shopping is changing in Africa. Formal retail developers are learning from the failures of malls in developed markets like the U.S., and applying new models to old ideas. African micro enterprises and small businesses will have a greater demand for shared space and flexible office space in the future. New or existing African office developments will need to apply design principles used in innovation labs, incubation centers and flexible work spaces, a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 11:06 pm
In 2016, South Africa was the top country in the world for greatest proportion of consumers using mobile devices to watch porn, according to data from Pornhub, the world’s largest porn portal. For the first time, South Africa made the list of top 20 countries for porn-watching traffic. That means South Africa is ahead of the rest of the continent. The jump can be attributed to an increase in Internet access and porn viewing by black people, according to News24.