Business: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:27 am
Five winning African tech startups are in Silicon Valley competing with others from around the world and hopefully attracting venture capital. A lot of them are self-taught and lack formal training in venture creation and digital entrepreneurship, an event manager said. “They have built companies on binary codes and learned new skills through the mobile internet. If a Silicon Valley technology event is live streamed across the world, there are African entrepreneurs huddled somewhere, watching it and consuming every panel, consuming every fireside chat, taking notes, and then applying those notes to their local context.”
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:40 am AFKI Original
The rich will pay more tax. That’s one of the most riveting things to come out of South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2017 budget speech. Income tax increases across the board did not materialise, but wealthy South Africans will be taxed at a higher bracket. Taxpayers earning more than $115,000 a year will pay a 45% tax rate. Around 100,000 taxpayers will be affected. Investors and global credit agencies were keen to hear Gordhan’s speech — his second one in his second stint as finance minister. Here is a closer look at 12 things you should know about the 2016 South African budget speech.
Dana Sanchez, 2:43 pm AFKI Original
South Africa is invariably cited in discussions about jobless rates in Africa, but two thirds of African countries have higher unemployment. Africa is witnessing its best growth performance in decades, yet the world’s youngest continent, demographically speaking, continues to have high unemployment with few signs of recovery in 2017. High unemployment is a key factor shaping young people’s decisions to migrate. The continent’s youth population is expected to double to 830 million by 2050.
Dana Sanchez, 9:52 am
The surprisingly strong bull market in commodity prices in 2016 contributed to increased activity in mining and metals deals in Africa, says Quintin Hobbs, Africa mining and metals transactions leader at Ernst & Young. Organizations ran leaner and more efficient, with stronger balance sheets. The outlook improved so significantly through the course of 2016, that the predicted level of divestments and assets listed at rock-bottom prices at the beginning of 2016 just didn’t materialize, another expert said.
Dana Sanchez, 2:37 pm
Marijuana is illegal in South Africa, but the country is a step closer to legalizing it for medicinal purposes. The South African government plans to soon publish proposed guidelines for production of cannabis, known locally as dagga. “This is a major breakthrough and fantastic news for freedom of choice,” said Narend Singh, MP for the Inkatha Freedom Party. The hemp industry is interested in legalizing the strain of cannabis used for hemp. SA imports $76 million worth of hemp products a year, Singh said. There’s also a case due to be heard in the Constitutional Court calling for full legalization including for recreational use.
Dana Sanchez, 1:10 pm
Many see Muhammadu Sanusi II as a reformer whose exposure and knowledge of Islam can help push much-needed change in the country’s north. Northern Nigeria is plagued by men marrying multiple wives and fathering dozens of children they are unable to care for, Sanusi said. The children end up in the streets where they are easy recruits for terrorists. Sanusi proposes a new law that improves gender equality for women and limits polygamous marriage to men who can affored to raise children. There is nothing wrong with polygamy, he said, but women must have the opportunity to thrive.
Dana Sanchez, 10:26 am
Mugabe has long opposed Western intervention in Zimbabwe and has accused opponents of being sponsored by the U.S. He hopes Trump’s America First platform bodes well for Zimbabwe. Mugabe said he was glad that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton lost the election. He was afraid she would renew sanctions on Zimbabwe. In his last week in office, Obama renewed the sanctions on Zimbabwe for another year. “Why did he (Obama) have to do it? Why didn’t he leave it to the incoming incumbent to make his own decision?” Mugabe said on state-run TV.
Staff, 1:01 am
Emerging markets such as Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa are expected to grow twice as fast as advanced economies as technology improves productivity. SA and Nigeria are among the few countries expected to see a marked acceleration of annual average growth over the next few decades. However, PwC warns that to support this long-term sustainable growth, the countries need to diversify their exports to ensure their growth is not dampened by global price or demand shocks.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Local Nigerian appetites for luxury appear to be intact, despite the country’s financial hardship since crude oil prices fell off a cliff. Trendy hotspots are constantly appearing. There are rumors of a Nobu restaurant under construction. When wealthy Nigerians want a shopping spree without the airfare to London, some go to Polo Luxury, which operates luxury retail outlets across West Africa. Jennifer Obayuwana is executive director of the company founded by her father. She spoke to Forbes about the planned March launch of Polo’s luxury online shopping platform – a first of its kind in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 11:07 am AFKI Original
South African media giant Naspers is launching its 18-month-old internet TV service ShowMax in Poland. It plans to provide hyper-local content and original productions rather than trying to compete with expensive shows designed to appeal to audiences worldwide. It’s competing with the much older, bigger, more established U.S. firm Netflix, which launched in 1998. Netflix is also commissioning original content, but it has an overseas problem, one commentator said. “It just doesn’t have the amount of local content that some of the (streaming and pay TV) competitors have.”
- Real Estate