Business: Latest News
22 Pioneering Digital Media Projects Getting Paid To Tell Africa’s Stories And Hold Governments AccountableBy Dana Sanchez, 10:08 am AFKI Original
Ideas that solve African problems but have the potential to be adopted globally are attracting investment. A jury that includes Google, World Bank and Ford chose 22 media projects to receive $1M in seed funding. The ideas tackle issues from fake news to frontline war reporting using technology such as bots, drones and sensors to improve journalism in Africa. It’s an experiment with leapfrog technologies, but the real goal is to build real-world solutions to real-world problems that can immediately be scaled by mainstream media.
Dana Sanchez, 3:44 pm
Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed spent much of his adult life in Buffalo, New York. He has lived in the U.S. since 1985, sent there with Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry. He earned degrees from the State University of New York, raised a family and worked for the NY state government. But he stayed involved in Somali politics. More than 20 candidates ran in the Somali presidential race. At least 16 have dual citizenship. Nine have U.S. passports, according to a leading private Somali radio station.
Staff, 9:40 pm
Crowdfunding has been steadily gaining traction in Africa over the past decade. There are 57 crowdfunding platforms on the continent — most designed to serve local consumers and support projects in the host country only. Still, crowdfunding in Africa is limited compared to other regions. In 2015, the African crowdfunding market amounted to about $70 million, less than 1 percent of the global market. Investors and African entrepreneurs who use crowdfunding are operating in an unregulated space, at least in most African countries.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:32 am AFKI Original
Infrastructure in Africa is at the forefront of investors’ minds. Private equity investors see great opportunity, especially in power projects. The Ivorian president is a former IMF economist. The Ivorian budget minister is a former Goldman Sachs trader, and they’re on the same wavelength. The Côte d’Ivoire economy is expected to grow 8-9% in 2017 and 2018. Strengthening infrastructure will be key in the next phase of the Ivorian growth story. The government plans to spend $60 billion on infrastructure through 2020.
Dana Sanchez, 4:43 pm
The worst is over and commodities prices are climbing, World Bank says. But not everyone is ready to call it a trend. Despite some improvement, gold and platinum remain flat. The bouyant, even euphoric mood at this year’s Mining Indaba contrasts with recent years — 2016 was gloomy. Towards the end of the year, commodity prices rebounded. Investors want a stable political environment, regulatory certainty and labor stability. “In 2017, we are looking at expansion, local and international. Mergers and acquisitions are also starting to take place. There is consolidation,” a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:35 pm
Facebook beat Wall Street expectations for sales and user growth in the fourth quarter of 2016, and it credits Internet.org, its free basic version of the internet in developing countries, for helping make that happen. It added more users worldwide in the fourth quarter than any quarter since the company went public in 2012. Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision is to get more Africans online. “This isn’t a purely altruistic venture,” an analyst said. Internet.org, is available in 23 African countries through partnerships with mobile operators.
Dana Sanchez, 3:36 pm
Out of nine female heads of state and government that Africa has had, only two were elected — Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. The outgoing chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says Africa needs more female heads of state. She’s considered a front runner in the race for the next South African president. Elections are scheduled for 2019. Promoting women’s rights was the highlight of Dlamini-Zuma’s legacy during her 4.5 years as chairwoman of the African Union Commission.
Staff, 12:15 pm
Netherlands-based Vitol has been one of the big winners of the oil price crash, as the glut in supply led to arbitrage and storage opportunities. The company enjoyed one of its most profitable years in 2015, with a 15% increase in net income to $1.6B. Independent oil traders typically avoid involvement in big oil exploration projects, focusing on moving oil and fuel from where it is produced to where it is most needed. But a few have made tentative steps as it can provide an alternative source of revenue and secure source supply.
Staff, 6:11 pm
At least 39 vehicles caught fire and one person died before U.S. car manufacturer Ford agreed in January to recall the 2014 Kuga model in South Africa. For months, photos and videos made their way onto social media of Ford Kuga SUVs on fire in South Africa. The Ford Escape, sold in the U.S., is nearly identical to the Ford Kuga. Ford recalled 400,000 Escape and Mercury Mariner models due to a fuel leak before fires were reported. Some South African Ford owners want to know why they were treated differently.
Staff, 1:01 am
Overall, capital importation into Nigeria fell 47 percent in 2016. Foreign direct investment flows were way up but portfolio investments were way down, deterred by the recession and the currency. Nigeria in 2016 imported the bulk of its capital from Britain, the U.S. and Netherlands, with the telecoms, banking and oil sectors the main beneficiaries. Nigeria’s stock market fell 6.2 percent in 2016 while the naira lost a third of its official value against the dollar. In 2017, stocks continue to fall, down 3.1 percent so far.
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