Staff

  • Bitcoin Startups Hope To Tap Huge Demand In Africa For Small Business Loans

    Bitcoin Africa small business loans By Staff, 12:32 pm

    There’s a huge unmet demand for small business financing in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa-based bitcoin startup BitPesa and Germany-based Bitbond have partnered to help change that. Bitbond’s role includes checking the creditworthiness of applicants and determining an interest rate. About 10% of Bitbond’s users are from sub-Sahara. The partnership means a small business owner can receive a loan from investors from all over the world within 20 minutes, a stakeholder said — “an unprecedented level of innovation and convenience in the entire online lending space.”

  • Opinion: South Africa Has Reached Its Mugabe Moment

    South Africa has reached its Mugabe moment By Staff, 6:40 pm

    South African President Jacob Zuma has emptied his cabinet of his critics. Now that he has collaborators in all key cabinet spots, we know the country’s path if he stays in power. South Africa will move ahead with a deal for a large number of Russian nuclear plants. Property rights for farmers and mines will be further diminished so that Zuma allies can participate in once-thriving South African industries now in decline because of a lack of business confidence. Foreign investors will look elsewhere, and South Africans will move their money out.

  • How The Genomics Revolution Could Finally Help Africa

    genomics revolution By Staff, 10:34 am

    Tests developed to treat white people may be unsuitable for Africans. Ethiopia banned the painkiller codeine because many Ethiopians carry a gene variant that causes their bodies to convert the drug to morphine. Scientists have been pushing to improve health care by tailoring to the environment, lifestyle and genes of individuals. Few have taken this precision-medicine approach in Africa, but that’s changing. Precision public health is a new approach to precision medicine that bases decisions on populations and communities rather than on individuals. There’s a big problem though. Precision medicine is expensive.

  • Can Aliko Dangote’s Name Help Open The Africa Center In NYC’s Harlem?

    By Staff, 1:01 am

    Halima Aliko Dangote, daughter of Nigerian cement magnate Aliko Dangote, is trying to raise money in Africa to open an African art and policy institute in New York. She hoped to raise up to $5 million at a recent fundraiser in Nigeria, and said she planned similar events in Morocco and Kenya. The building that houses the Africa Center was completed several years ago but the center itself hasn’t opened yet for lack of funds.

  • Entire African Delegation Denied Visas To US-Africa Trade Conference

    us-africa By Staff, 1:01 am

    Visas are routinely denied by U.S. embassies without explanation. With the heightened attention on foreign travelers coming to the U.S., there have been stories of more visas being denied to people from countries not named in the Trump administration’s travel ban executive order. If there has been an increase in the number of visas rejected under the new administration, it’s hard to verify. The State Department data made available to the public ended in late 2016.

  • Not Just Theory Anymore: Gates Foundation Funds Malarial Mosquitoes, Being Bred In Labs To Destroy Their Entire Species

    By Staff, 5:18 pm

    In Africa, scientists are preparing to use genetics to end malaria. The Gates Foundation is exploring technology that involves altering mosquitoes so that new generations are almost all male. Male mosquitoes don’t bite people, and a population without females can’t reproduce. It’s never been done before. No one knows if a gene drive, once released into the wild, could jump to other species. Malaria is one of the greatest public health threats on the planet. If we have the power to end it, should we?

  • Mobile Connectivity Is To Africa What Infrastructure Is To The west

    By Staff, 1:01 am

    Accessing utilities in the Western world is relatively straightforward. You have an address, a bank, and a measurable credit rating. Service providers know you have credit in place to pay for the service in advance. However, if you are one of the millions of people across Africa who are unbanked, the process is not nearly as easy. Africans have been forced to find alternative solutions to solve the problem and drive innovation as they do so. By ensuring people have access to credit and services, organisations can open further access to infrastructure.

  • Meet The Woman Considered An Architect Of The African Growth And Opportunity Act

    By Staff, 1:01 am

    The U.S. did not have a trade policy for Africa when Rosa Whitaker went to work for the U.S. State Department. U.S. policy was to view Africa as a charity case. Whitaker helped draft AGOA, the law gives duty-free access to the U.S. for African countries meeting eligibility requirements on human rights, rule of law and labor standards. With AGOA, the whole narrative changed, Whitaker said. “We no longer saw Africa as benefactors of charity. We were able to substitute paternalism with partnership.” The U.S. had trade representatives for every other region of the world except Africa. President Bill Clinton did not wait for AGOA to be passed before appointing Whitaker assistant trade representative for Africa.

  • A First For Africa: Swahili Added To Free US Language App With 150M Users

    Swahili added to free US language app By Staff, 12:52 pm

    The Duolingo app is video-game-like and addictive, according to Time. It was co-developed by Luis Von Ahn, the same Guatemalan-American entrepreneur who founded CAPTCHA — the test used by most website forms to make sure you’re a human, not a computer. It sold to Google in 2009. This allowed von Ahn to pursue his passion project — to improve education so all social classes could have better opportunities. Classes or computer-based language programs like Rosetta Stone cost at least $1,000, he said. “So we decided to do languages for free. We realized that we are teaching almost every European language you can think of, but we had no African languages.”

  • Restaurant Chain Will Make Pizzas In Africa With Water From New York

    pizzas in Africa By Staff, 12:14 pm

    A New York pizza chain is taking extreme measures to keep its pizzas authentic when it opens a pizza parlor in Accra, Ghana — its first in Africa. “I want to have the exact same pizza as in New York City,” said Dan Isaacs, co-owner of the new franchise shop scheduled to open on May 1. “New York City water has a very unique chemical composition and taste to it. I’m a purist — I wouldn’t want to do anything less than the original.” Famous Famiglia has 16 shops in NYC and more than 100 across the U.S. and overseas. It exports NYC water to other overseas shops in Mexico, Canada, China and Ecuador.