Business: Latest News
Tom Jackson, 12:35 pm AFKI Original
Despite the hype, profitability is still an unattainable ideal for Nigerian online shopping giants Konga and Jumia. Believers say e-commerce in Africa is “absolutely a long-term play.” They expect the short- and medium-term to be challenging. Players are still working on fast and easy payments and refunds, and trouble-free deliveries and returns. “It takes a long time for consumers to become comfortable shopping online, and it’s hard and expensive to accelerate this,” a stakeholder said. Investors aren’t all put off though. The potential prizes are too great.
Dana Sanchez, 2:34 pm
Supporters of the conflict minerals rule say it successfully held manufacturers accountable for the minerals they source from DRC. Its suspension would “enrich abusive thugs” and could lead to the complete repeal of Dodd-Frank regulations, implemented after the 2007-2009 financial crisis to limit risky practices that caused the U.S. banking crisis. However a U.S.association of manufacturers estimates the law costs U.S. businesses $9-to-$16 billion. This led to the suspension plan by Trump, who campaigned on a pro-business platform.
Dana Sanchez, 8:53 am
A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops in southern Africa. Uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause food shortages. Damage to maize is likely to have the biggest impact because it’s the main staple food crop. The Fall armyworm destroys the cob itself. In parts of their native range in the Americas, genetically-modified Bt maize is grown to combat the Fall armyworm. This may be an option for South Africa and other countries where GM crops are already grown. But many parts of Africa do not allow or welcome GM varieties.
Dana Sanchez, 3:39 pm
Some U.S. journalism professors have been encouraged to incorporate Trevor Noah’s new book, “Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood,” into their classwork. A comedian and host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Noah is still finding his voice, one commentator said. He lacks the tenacity, defiance and indignation that made his predecessor, Jon Stewart such a stalwart. But time will treat him well. If cable TV fails Noah, “literature will remain a firm ally.” Noah’s debut book has been described as “extraordinarily heartfelt, compulsively enriching (and) a hell of a memoir.”
Dana Sanchez, 2:29 pm
Prices rose even faster than in December, when inflation was 24.3 percent — the highest since January 2011 when the Arab Spring uprising was at its height. Food prices have gone up more than other goods, rising by 38.6 percent year on year. Tourism, one the main sources of foreign currency, has been hit hard by jihadist insurgency. The number of tourists visiting Egypt in 2016 was 46 percent less than 2015. This decline is attributed to Russian and British flights being suspended following the Metrojet flight crash in the Sinai.
Dana Sanchez, 1:07 pm
Through regulation and legislation, the ANC-led government plans to break up the dominance of some big players in the local market such as media, banks, retail and construction. It plans to introduce new competition laws for “a more inclusive economy” and to “deconcentrate high levels of ownership and control.” This means it will force some sectors to give up their empires — like the so-called “Stellenbosch mafia.”
Opinion: Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy An Opportunity For China To Access AGOA, US Markets By Manufacturing In AfricaBy Dana Sanchez, 9:52 am
The main target of Trump’s America First policy is China, the world’s top industrial exporter. China has positioned itself as the world’s factory. Africa does very little trade with the U.S. and is no threat to U.S. jobs. Because China is Africa’s biggest export market, the America First policy will hurt Africa. The export-oriented China creates wealth by exporting manufactured goods to the U.S. and other Western markets. China can circumvent Trump’s efforts by relocating some of its manufacturing to Africa to take advantage of AGOA and access the U.S. market through Africa.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:45 am AFKI Original
Everyone knows that Africa leapfrogged landlines to mobile phones, but without mobile, the continent is unconnected. Less than 20% are connected to the internet. Business and finance have become online activities globally. Africa needs to get up to speed to compete. Private investors are looking beyond the usual suspects. These are the African countries with the best opportunities for private investors to expand internet capacity in 2017.
Keren Mikva, 1:11 pm AFKI Original
In the developing world, many water-fetchers — often women and children — do the back-breaking work of lugging water buckets over their heads or by hand. The Hippo Water Roller won the 1997 South Africa Design for Development Award. The 90-liter drums can carry 90 kilograms (198.4 pounds) of water and can be pushed or pulled across rough terrain. Check out these 17 things used across the globe that were invented by South Africans.
Tom Jackson, 11:29 am AFKI Original
From digital educational materials for school children to the Uberisation of tutoring, tech is finding new ways of improving access to quality learning in Africa. But it isn’t happening fast enough for some people. Data is expensive, and many areas still have little or no connectivity. African governments have spent a lot of money to enable e-learning, but have not yet seen the results. Still, it’s an attractive sector to investors. Africa’s e-learning market doubled in size from 2011 to 2016.
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