Democratic Republic of Congo: Latest News
Mongabay, 12:37 pm
An 8-pound monkey can cost $105 in Paris compared to $5.37 in Cameroon. In Europe’s biggest cities, demand for exotic delicacies or a “taste of home” drives a trade in African bushmeat that is as yet unquantified. African traffickers can get high prices for increasingly rare African species. The influx of bushmeat is small compared to the greater crisis in Africa. “Africa is eating its forests and we are looking at empty forest syndrome,” a stakeholder said. As African species get rarer and fetch a higher price abroad, Europe and the U.S. could become bigger bushmeat markets.
Dana Sanchez, 10:15 am
Many migrants who make it to Italy don’t tell friends and family about the hardship. A campaign that exposes the realities is now targeting potential African migrants on social media in 15 West and Central African countries — where most arrivals in Italy originate. Posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram give testimonials created by migrants in multiple languages. All end with the warning, “Be aware, brother” and “Be aware, sister.” A record 181,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2016 on flimsy boats operated by smugglers. Of those, 25,000 were mostly unaccompanied children. Arrivals in Italy are up 66% so far in 2017.
Staff, 12:52 pm
The Duolingo app is video-game-like and addictive, according to Time. It was co-developed by Luis Von Ahn, the same Guatemalan-American entrepreneur who founded CAPTCHA — the test used by most website forms to make sure you’re a human, not a computer. It sold to Google in 2009. This allowed von Ahn to pursue his passion project — to improve education so all social classes could have better opportunities. Classes or computer-based language programs like Rosetta Stone cost at least $1,000, he said. “So we decided to do languages for free. We realized that we are teaching almost every European language you can think of, but we had no African languages.”
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.
Kurt Davis Jr., 1:00 am AFKI Original
The number of urban Africans almost doubled between 1995 and 2015 and is expected to double again by 2035. Rapid growth is driving the African phenomenon of the megacity — an urban area with a population of at least 10 million. Megacities have economic benefits – economies of scale, innovation, clusters of skilled labor, and higher incomes. But they also struggle with congested slums, unemployment and out-of-control traffic. More than 50 percent of the African urban population lives in slums.
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.
Staff, 1:02 pm
It may be surprising to learn that North Korea has long fostered diplomatic, economic and military relations with various African countries. These relations have thrived even after widespread international condemnation following its first nuclear test in 2006. An Africa pivot may be the only option left for the country as China -— its traditional ally — increasingly distances itself. Following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test over the weekend, the U.N. warned members to “redouble efforts” to enforce existing sanctions.
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.
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.
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