Business: Latest News
Reuters, 10:52 am
The deal includes 820 Chevron and Caltex gas stations, 220 convenience stores across South Africa and Botswana, a refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban, and other oil storage facilities. The Chinese firm says it will keep jobs and company names intact for up to six years before launching a rebranding strategy. Sinopec was the last remaining bidder in an auction to sell Chevron Corp’s South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana. The auction lasted more than a year and drew interest from French oil firm Total and commodity traders Glencore and Gunvor.
Dana Sanchez, 11:34 pm
Angola has pushed Egypt out of second place in Africa for number of hotel rooms under construction. Angolan tourism is thriving internally, but the former Portuguese colony isn’t attracting many international tourists. Education is one way African professionals can add value to hospitality and tourism, and carve out a niche that reflects national character, tradition, and culture. Angola’s College of Hospitality Management train locals as game reserve and safari lodge managers. This is how Africa’s hospitality sector should mature. Private equity investors should take notice.
Dana Sanchez, 3:40 pm
Passengers flying nonstop to the U.S. on 9 carriers from airports in Egypt, Morocco, and six other Middle Eastern countries will not be allowed to bring electronics larger than cell phones in carry-on baggage. This is in response to unspecified terror threats and will be effective indefinitely, senior Trump administration officials said. Would-be terrorists “are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
Despite declining oil prices, oil-rich Norway is the happiest country in the world — proof that it’s about more than income. The people who live in the happiest countries in the world also value good governance, freedom, generosity, honesty, and health, according to World Happiness Report. There’s a deficit of happiness in Africa. African youth are essentially optimisitic and resilient in the face of poor infrastructure, but they are disappointed with development under democracy, say the authors of the report.
Tom Jackson, 11:20 am AFKI Original
President Paul Biya promised to increase technology jobs by investing in infrastructure, but Cameroon had been slow in its digital transformation. Stakeholders believe investors will be reluctant to back local companies there as a result of the internet shutdown. The government shutdown is expected to damage the many startups that were getting themselves investment ready in the country. By restricting internet access, “the government is sending the wrong messages to investors … they are undermining the future of its people.”
Reuters, 1:01 am
Airbnb, a US-based online marketplace to list or rent short-term lodgings, expects to double its customer numbers in Africa this year to 1.5 million. Company CEO Brian Chesky was in Cape Town’s oldest township Friday to surprise graduates from an Airbnb training program. He described Africa as “an incredibly exciting emerging market for travel.” The top five Airbnb cities in Africa are Cape Town, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Casablanca, although listings are found from St. Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
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.
Ann Brown, 12:48 pm AFKI Original
There is no Silicon Valley in Cape Verde. The government sells a lot of tech services that independent companies could be providing, acting as both regulator and provider. This limits the private market, says Pedro Fernandes Lopes, a local who is bringing the first TEDx talk event to the island nation. It took a local Cape Verdean tech startup months just to register an app because Google didn’t recognize Cape Verde, Lopes told AFKInsider. “We need to raise the global visibility of Cape Verde and its tech innovators. And I think TEDx Praia will play a part in that.”
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:08 am AFKI Original
The economic downturn did little to stifle demand for African real estate. Some of the biggest returns and opportunities exist in rental properties, from beachfront getaways to hidden villas. Affordable housing is a major challenge for governments. Private investment is seen as a solution. Developers, private investors, and ordinary people can play a role in addressing the construction gap in the real estate sector and make a good return while doing so.
Dana Sanchez, 6:25 pm
Google launched an online learning portal a year ago offering digital skills courses free to anyone in Africa, designed to use up as little data as possible. Many people who took the courses had limited internet access and high data costs. The US tech giant is now turning its attention to web-focused skills training for small businesses across Africa. In addition to skills and workforce training, Google is laying fiber optic cable, easing access to Android phones as it expands on the continent. Google was valued at $109.5 billion in 2016.
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