Staff, 5:34 pm
South Africa this week put on hold proposals to introduce a national minimum wage as part of an effort to stabilize the labor market. Labor upheaval is a potential risk factor to the country’s credit rating, which faces in the next two weeks a possible downgrade to junk status by ratings agencies. The economy has grown slowly in the last six years — too slowly to recoup the 1 million jobs lost during the 2008-2009 recession. Despite the gloomy numbers, the rand held its ground, propped up by firmer metal prices which boosted commodity currencies.
Staff, 6:23 pm
The Lekki Conservation Centre is one of the few natural relics in Lagos, and one of the city’s best kept secrets. Few Lagosians have any idea that it exists, let alone visit, though it’s been around for at least 25 years. That’s because they see Lagos as a completely built-up environment with little nature to spare. But after taking just a few steps into the 78-hectare wilderness, I feel the sound of honking traffic receding, replaced by ripples from the swamp water underneath the boardwalk. Soon the noise is gone and I am fully in nature’s embrace.
Staff, 7:10 am
scrutiny continues to mount on the various factors that led to his taking the vote. One of the more poignant factors was the role women played, spurning Hillary Clinton. This, despite allegations of Trump’s sexual misconduct and that, by electing him, women’s and minority’s rights were under threat. Let me start with the minority voters. A much shared YouTube video shows Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, dismantling apologist arguments
Staff, 6:58 am
The SA Breweries you knew and loved, which listed on the JSE back in 1897, is no more. After Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $109bn takeover last month, apprehension is stalking the corridors of the SA beer icon. But for new boss Carlos Brito, the numbers will trump all. A month ago Ricardo Tadeu, the tall Brazilian tasked with leading the 125-year-old SA Breweries after its takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), stood up in the brewer’s Sandton office to address jittery employees.
Staff, 4:49 am
The Federal Government’s draft National Oil Policy has proposed to consolidate Nigeria’s oil industry regulatory authorities into a single agency to be known as Petroleum Regulatory Commission, PRC, while scrapping all other regulators, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, among others.
Staff, 4:34 am
Difficulties breathing, abdominal pain and vomiting. These are the symptoms experienced by Ugandan women working at a flower farm who were told to cut flowers in greenhouses that had been fumigated with a toxic chemical a day before. More than 80 Ugandan women accuse a Dutch-owned flower exporter of exposing them to a toxic fumigant, in a case that suggests the difficult conditions faced by African workers at the lowest end of the lucrative international flower industry.
Staff, 12:01 am
Facebook is not the only big social media beast vying for users in Africa. WeChat, owned by Chinese firm Tencent, is also making forays on the continent, and has seen significant uptake in South Africa, where it has over 5 million users. WeChat is betting big on additional services such as money transfers and airtime purchases on top of its social network to encourage further growth, and is closing in on Facebook’s WhatsApp, which has been around much longer.
Staff, 11:13 am
High data costs are limiting full internet usage in Africa with 20MB being used per month despite the increasing mobile penetration, a leading global internet company has said. Opera in a State of the Mobile Web in Africa 2016 report said the data costs are highly prohibitive. “Data remains prohibitively expensive for many mobile users in Africa.
Staff, 11:01 am
South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, has survived yet another vote of no confidence in parliament. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), presented the motion, arguing that indications Zuma allowed the powerful Gupta family to choose Cabinet members shows he is a threat to the country’s stability.
Staff, 10:41 am
San Francisco-based drone deliveries firm Zipline has raised US$25 million in Series B funding to expand its operations across Africa. Zipline launched in Rwanda last month, enabling blood transfusion clinics across the Western half of the country to place emergency orders by SMS, which are then delivered by one of the company’s fleet of 15 drones, called Zips.