Business: Latest News
Staff, 6:29 pm
The Trump campaign made no mention of Power Africa in any campaign materials. The sole data point seems to be a 3-year-old tweet complaining that money going to Africa will be stolen, but one tweet from before the campaign doesn’t tell us much about future policy. Power Africa boosts American jobs by creating opportunities for U.S. companies. The Obama administration did bar public support for coal plants, which will likely be reversed by the new White House.
Dana Sanchez, 4:47 pm
Ethiopia was the world’s fastest growing economy in 2015 at 10.2 percent. China has invested heavily Ethiopian infrastructure, funding railways, roads, dams, and sub-Saharan Africa’s first modern tramway in Addis Ababa. Chinese firms have also stepped up engagement in Ethiopian manufacturing and upped their supply of manufactured goods exported from China. Ethiopian Airlines has a new $150 million cargo terminal under construction that is scheduled to be completed by April.
Global Risk Insights, 12:51 pm
Wildlife tourism represents 80% of total annual travel sales to Africa. Environmental crime deprives countries of future revenue. After China announced last week that it plans to end all commerce in ivory by the end of 2017, illegal poaching is back in the spotlight. Corruption remains the key enabler of wildlife trafficking. High-level members of poaching syndicates, sometimes government officials, are rarely convicted. The fight against environmental crime has to be addressed as a political issue. It’s the world’s fourth largest crime sector after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.
Dana Sanchez, 4:10 pm
Around 60% of all products in South African stores are halal certified. Despite Muslims forming 1.5% percent of the population, this huge percentage of halal products is due to the large quantity of exports sent north in the continent, much of which is Muslim. South African traders make up about half of Africa’s fast-moving consumer goods sector, and 35 percent of these traders are Muslim. SA has helped other African countries set up halal certification including Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
Dana Sanchez, 11:28 am
Chevron South Africa assets include a refinery in Cape Town that produces 110,000 barrels a day, a lubricants plant in Durban and about 800 Caltex service stations. It’s one of South Africa’s top five petroleum brands and has done business in the country for more than 100 years. Low oil prices and uncertainty about future prices will make it difficult for potential buyers to fund an acquisition themselves or to raise capital externally, a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:45 pm
In the process of tapping into the sharing economy, Airbnb tapped into a relatively unfilled niche in Africa — the need for reliable, mid-range accommodation in African cities. Doing so helped Airbnb become the second most valuable U.S. startup in 2016. Valued at $68 billion, Uber is the most valuable startup in the U.S. and across the globe — proof that you can get rich by sharing.
Kevin Mwanza, 6:32 am
M-Pesa, the world’s largest mobile money network, could be the key to poverty eradication in the developing world based on its success in Kenya where almost 200,000 households headed by women are living above the poverty line as a result of the innovation, according to a study by Journal Science. The service, owned by telecom service provider Safaricom has economically improved the lives of many families in rural parts of East Africa’s biggest economy in the last six years.
Dana Sanchez, 6:15 pm
Teodorin Obiang, the vice president of Equatorial Guinea, is in line to succeed his father, the president. The son also faces 10 years in prison and a $105 million fine for money-laundering. The country’s treasury paid almost $115 million into Obiang’s personal account. Africa’s only Spanish-speaking country is often criticized for repression, torture, corruption and unlawful killings. France is preparing cases against relatives of other African leaders including from Congo, Gabon and CAR.
Dana Sanchez, 4:40 pm
Local and international tourists flock to a centuries-old public circumcision ritual in Uganda and parts of Western Kenya. They watch teens and young men of the Bamasaaba tribe go under the knife without pain killers. If they show no pain, the “candidates” are rewarded with mobile phones, cash and cattle. More than 30,000 people attended the 2016 Imbalu festival. Ugandan tourism plans to build a cultural center celebrating and preserving the history of the Bamasaaba people. The goal is to attract international visitors.
Staff, 6:12 pm
Where there are challenges or deficits, business and investment opportunities often emerge in the informal sector. The East African informal sector contributes 30-40% of GDP. Operating off the grid (not paying taxes), informal-sector employers and employees run the risk of punishment, limited police protection, and lack of social support services. Consumers help keep the informal sector growing, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Formal companies are getting rich providing services to the millions of consumers who use informal services. Here are some of them.
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