Staff

  • AGOA: Just 1 Reason Why China Loves Manufacturing In Ethiopia

    why China loves manufacturing in Ethiopia By Staff, 1:00 am

    By moving manufacturing to Ethiopia, Chinese textile companies are moving closer to their raw material base, the cotton-producing countries. This is part of their value chain repositioning, a strategy most Chinese companies are adopting. They’re are also using Africa as a gateway to emerging markets on and off the continent. Products made in Ethiopia can be exported duty- and quota free to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The same benefits apply to the E.U. Ethiopia also offers cheap electricity at US$0.04 cents per kilowatt hour. It’s now the second-largest electricity producer in sub-Sahara due to its hydropower dams.

  • 2016 Was A Bad Year For Private Equity In Africa. Commodities Prices Could Turn That Around

    bad year for private equity in Africa By Staff, 12:01 am

    The fall in African private equity investment in 2016 could be a short-term blip. Among the losers was US-based Carlyle, one of the world’s winningest investment firms. Carlyle invested $147m in Nigeria’s Diamond Bank in 2014. The bank’s market cap fell by 90% over the subsequent two years. Bob Geldof’s PE firm 8 Miles just invested in Blue Skies, a British fruit firm that operates in Africa. Utilities including telecoms were the most popular target for private equity investment in 2016. West Africa was the most active region.

  • Opinion: Getting Africa’s Energy Transformation Right Will Involve Policies, Investments That Boost Diversity

    Africa's energy transformation By Staff, 1:00 am

    Africa has an opportunity to pioneer the next investment frontier. Rather than treating new climate-related risks as hurdles to overcome, African policymakers should view them as opportunities for investment and innovation. To accelerate a market shift on the scale that Africa needs will require increased financing from export credit agencies, development banks, commercial financial institutions, and other cross-border sources.

  • South Africa’s Big 12 Retailers Shift From Expansion To Tech Investment

    shift from expansion to tech investment By Staff, 11:08 am

    Data from the big 12 retailers in South Africa show that they are putting their money into store refurbishments and IT instead of African expansion. Compare this to five years ago. The picture was very different. There was talk of aggressive store rollouts. Some South African companies have expanded into Europe and the U.K. to diversify earnings, but when the rand strengthened, those companies lost out. The customer focus is grounded in technology for the Big 12. IT is playing a critical role in investing in customers — building online capability, enhancing efficiency across supply chains and distribution, and reward programs to enhance client insights.

  • Young Entrepreneurs Combine Web Savvy, African Tradition, In Kente-Colored Swimwear Line

    Kente-colored swimwear line By Staff, 4:02 pm

    When their Kickstarter campaign failed, a brother-sister team switched gears and ran a successful social media campaign selling Africa-inspired swimsuits online. Their swimwear prints include the Apremo-Canon pattern, a Kente design symbolic of resisting foreign domination — something Ghanaians fought beginning in the 15th century against English colonizers. The Ashanti Swimwear platform helps women in the diaspora and Africa dominate in the online e-commerce space so they can be location-independent, said British-Ghanaian Yasmeen Opare, co-founder of Ashanti Swimwear.

  • 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.