Staff, 6:11 pm
At least 39 vehicles caught fire and one person died before U.S. car manufacturer Ford agreed in January to recall the 2014 Kuga model in South Africa. For months, photos and videos made their way onto social media of Ford Kuga SUVs on fire in South Africa. The Ford Escape, sold in the U.S., is nearly identical to the Ford Kuga. Ford recalled 400,000 Escape and Mercury Mariner models due to a fuel leak before fires were reported. Some South African Ford owners want to know why they were treated differently.
Staff, 1:01 am
Overall, capital importation into Nigeria fell 47 percent in 2016. Foreign direct investment flows were way up but portfolio investments were way down, deterred by the recession and the currency. Nigeria in 2016 imported the bulk of its capital from Britain, the U.S. and Netherlands, with the telecoms, banking and oil sectors the main beneficiaries. Nigeria’s stock market fell 6.2 percent in 2016 while the naira lost a third of its official value against the dollar. In 2017, stocks continue to fall, down 3.1 percent so far.
Staff, 12:55 pm
To fulfill its economic potential, Africa must industrialize and it’s well suited to do so. The question is how. The economic growth experienced in recent decades has not been sustainable or inclusive. Africa’s economies must move beyond producing raw materials to build competitive manufacturing with added value. Developed countries’ experiences will help Africa avoid the pitfalls of unbridled industrialization, especially environmental damage. Africa is committed to industrialization. The process is already underway in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal.
Staff, 11:27 am
Legal permanent residents from three African countries who hold U.S. green cards may not be able to return to the U.S. if they are traveling abroad, according to new rules imposed by Donald Trump. A travel ban affects travelers with passports from Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and four other Muslim-majority countries. Confusion abounded at airports as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new rules, with some legal residents who were in the air when the order was issued detained at airports upon arrival. An official argued the pause on travel is a response to concerns that immigration and refugee programs are being abused.
She’s There When African Governments Turn Off The Internet: Meet The Lawyer Advancing Facebook In AfricaBy Staff, 1:01 am
Some describe Ebele Okobi, 42, as Facebook’s secretary of state for Africa. Last year, at least 11 African governments shut down the internet for various temporary reasons. Where there are shutdowns, there is Okobi. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of her work is Free Basics, the Facebook-driven platform that provides a free version of the internet. Telecos in 22 African countries provide it. Facebook can control what is accessible, and many have criticized it for creating different classes of internet access. For its part, Facebook says half of all Free Basics users convert into paying internet customers within a month.
Staff, 9:33 am
What’s been billed as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, in 2018 will operate a voyage down the west coast of Africa — rare in the cruise world. The voyage will bring one of the priciest cruise ships in the world to one of the globe’s poorest regions. The per capita income of many of the countries on the itinerary is less than $2,000 per year. The most expensive luxury ship ever built, it features some of the largest, most elaborate accommodations at sea, including a 4,443-square-foot suite — nearly 50% larger than the average home in the U.S. The ship spa is operated by Canyon Ranch.
Staff, 11:55 am
South Africa sees itself as a gateway to Africa and a spokesman for the continent. The rest of the continent doesn’t necessarily agree. African Union officials and observers of continental politics spoke anonymously on perceptions of South Africa’s policies and role in Africa. Respondents all raised similar concerns — paternalism, xenophobia, hypocracy and poor communication. Despite South Africa’s rhetoric of ubuntu (human kindness) and the African Agenda, its economic interests always come first, respondents said.
Staff, 8:02 am
Once a center of the slave trade, the ancient port of Calabar is now one of the prettiest cities in Nigeria. It has long sought to position itself as a tourist center and jumping-off point for exploring Cross River State, home to Nigeria’ s only population of drill monkeys. Drills are one of Africa’s most endangered mammals. You can see them at Pandrillus in Calabar, the world’s most successful drill monkey breeding program. Director Peter Jenkins is a hero to some and hated by others. He’s been the target of death threats for trying to change local attitudes against catching monkeys for bush meat.
Staff, 5:31 pm
In KwaZulu-Natal the strongest activity is along the North Coast from Durban to Ballito — popular among investors. Residential development in upscale areas such as uMhlanga and Sibaya is enormous, prompting converns of oversupply, but home prices are expected to increase. Durban’s North and South Beach areas, including The Point, have increased as popular residential areas, thanks in part to the general upgrade to the Promenade.
Staff, 1:00 am
An investment fund that describes itself as “the first cross-border fund between Africa and France” wants to help French companies expand in Africa and African companies expand into France and other E.U. markets. Investments will be in the form of equity participation, generally through minority stakes. The fund’s capital will targeted towards African startups displaying a high growth potential. Investors include Orange, Bpifrance, Société Générale and Proparco.