Botswana: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 5:11 pm
Biometrics have been around for years. African countries have used fingerprint biometrics for voting, but they’re relatively new in the payment space. Fingerprint login already exists in mobile banking in South Africa, Kenya, Benin and Nigeria. London-based bank Standard Chartered plans this year to bring biometric tech to mobile banking in eight African countries. The bank claims this will be a first in most markets, and the largest deployment of fingerprint biometric tech by any international bank.
Keren Mikva, 2:56 pm
Nine out of the 10 biggest produce exporters to the U.K. are E.U. member countries. Potential changes to E.U. tariffs and the falling value of sterling have forced some retailers to consider sourcing from different countries. U.K. produce importers say they expect to see more produce from Africa. South Africa is already the No. 2 source of fresh fruit to the U.K. after Spain, and Kenya may become a beneficiary of the changing trade patterns.
Julia Austin, 11:56 am AFKI Original
Dakar’s colorful car rapides — “fast cars” — are the most popular mode of transportation in Senegal’s capital. Part of history, some of these buses and mini-buses have been operating for over 40 years, and even have an exhibit dedicated to them. A ride on a car rapide costs around 16 cents. Some newer buses called tatas or kinglongs cost around 90 cents per ride. There’s a plan to phase out car rapides by 2018 as Dakar upgrades its urban transportation network.
Julia Austin, 2:21 pm AFKI Original
A former member of the South African police force noticed a gap in high-level security for the private sector, and he capitalized on it. Chris Beukes’s TSU Protection Services has grown from a single office in Cape Town to a multinational business in at least 14 countries. Clients have a mobile app as extra protection when trained professionals aren’t at their side. A quick shake of a cell phone alerts TSU to danger, and sends out video surveillance.
Dana Sanchez, 2:55 pm
The rough diamond market appears to be making a cautious recovery. Polished diamonds? Not so much. Monthly fluctuations show it’s too soon to tell. Lack of firm evidence for a diamond market recovery is not deterring diamond exploration. A Namibian joint-venture with De Beers recently took possession of its sixth mining and exploration vessel, price tag: $160 million. It’s the most sophisticated diamond sampling and exploration vessel in the world, and will operate off the Namibian coast.
Dana Sanchez, 2:07 pm AFKI Original
EcoSolutions manages some of the world’s largest bat and insect mitigation programs. Insects have decimated Nigeria’s tomato crop and Nigerian free-tailed bats could help control them, a director told AFKInsider. The company builds bat and owl houses and manages them for chemical-free pest control. “It would be better to include bats in the agricultural success of tomatoes in Africa than bailing out (countries) or providing aid when the tomato crop fails.”
Staff, 5:06 pm
Botswana has not always supported the African Union on critical issues such as the International Criminal Court, and experts believe it lacks the goodwill needed to support its candidate. South Africa’s A.U. opinions appear closer to Equatorial Guinea’s than Botswana’s on issues such as the politics in Burundi and the ICC’s relations with Africa. The need to give voice within the A.U. to the continent’s historically marginalized regions could push Equatorial Guinea’s candidate to the top. The A.U. faces many challenges including its dependence on foreign aid for its financing.
Dana Sanchez, 1:40 pm
Eight other countries in Africa besides SA will have radio telescopes contributing to the Square Kilometre Array network. The SKA will outperform the most advanced modern instruments in exploring exploding stars, black holes, dark energy and traces of the universe’s origins 14 billion years back. It’s the first time African countries are hosting global science infrastructure of this scope. South Africa will become home to the most powerful instrument ever used in radio astronomy when SKA is fully operational.
Becca Blond, 9:47 am
As an explorer’s paradise, traveling in Botswana exposes tourists to a vast, mostly roadless wilderness filled with with fascinating ecosystems including savannas, wetlands, deserts and massive salt pans, plus some of the world’s best, most luxurious safaris. The country is also one of Africa’s political and ideological success stories, with an economically stable population that has access to some of the continent’s best health care and education. Here are 10 essential things to know about traveling in Botswana.
Dana Sanchez, 1:24 pm AFKI Original
A tourism entrepreneur who runs a Cairo-to-Cape Town cycling expedition predicts e-bikes are the future of African transport. “E-bikes will be just like the cell phone revolution,” says Henry Gold, founder of Tour d’Afrique. Gold sees a future where Africans will be able to go home and charge their e-bikes. Africa still has relatively few cars, but emissions are mostly unregulated and much higher than the rest of the world. With e-bikes, Africa has a massive opportunity to go down another road, says the U.N.’s head of transport.
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