Kenya: Latest News
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, 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, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
If Ant expands access to mobile money, it could mean that even more people will receive remittances on their mobile money accounts, and that will be good for Ismail Ahmed. Mobile money is disrupting remittances and making formal transactions easier, says Ahmed, a Somali entrepreneur and CEO of online money transfer service WorldRemit. Only 5% of remittances today are sent online. The rest is cash, paid over the counter or at agents. Online remittances are projected to grow six-fold to reach at least 40 percent in the next few years.
Susan McKee, 8:04 am
A trip to Nairobi wouldn’t be complete without time spent in Karen, an affluent neighborhood of Kenya’s capital. The area has an English country feel. Houses are on five-acre lots with stone walls and iron gates. Many have stables. It’s still debated whether Karen is named for the author of the book, “Out of Africa.” One thing is clear. Karen Blixen is remembered here. The centerpiece of the neighborhood is her former home, now a museum. Much of the action in the 1985 movie starring Meryl Streep took place here.
Dana Sanchez, 1:49 pm
The A.U. is divided on whether or not to collectively adopt a plan that Human Rights Watch described as having no timeline and “few concrete recommendations for action.” Unless the ICC undergoes reforms, African countries should make a coordinated withdrawal, according to the resolution. A proposal refers to the creation of an alternate regional African war crimes court. South Africa and Kenya have pushed for withdrawal. “They’ll be disappointed that the discussions about completely severing ties with the ICC will have to wait another six months for the next summit,” an analyst said.
Karen Elowitt, 8:01 am
Humans evolved with day-and-night rhythms of natural light-dark cycles. Most of us no longer experience dark nights. Exposure to artificial light disrupts our circadian rhythm, increasing our risk of cancer. Far from city lights, Namibia’s Sossusvlei Desert offers uncompromised views of the night sky. The Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is an International Dark Sky Reserve. It’s almost totally free from light pollution. Located on the private NamibRand Nature Reserve, it has its own observatory and astronomers.
Peter Pedroncelli, 2:15 am AFKI Original
The African continent is home to some of the fastest growing economies on the planet, with numerous nations on the continent among the top 10 best performing economies globally. The best performing economies in Africa have benefited from government policies and structural reforms, which have resulted in strong inclusive growth. According to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook for 2016, a long list of African economies were in line to achieve positive growth above 3% for the year 2016.
Dana Sanchez, 3:04 pm
BitPesa, a bitcoin payments startup that launched in Kenya and expanded in Africa and beyond, announced a $2.5M round of funding. The Series A round is led by Silicon Valley-based industry investor Draper VC, with existing U.S. investors. Series A investors are willing to take on the risk when a new venture is generating revenue but not yet making a profit. BitPesa will use some of the funds to move to Luxembourg. The firm’s goal is to be the largest payment company in the U.K., Europe and Africa.
Karen Elowitt, 8:02 am
Lions had strayed out of Nairobi National Park and they were preying on livestock. After combing the area for three hours, we were unable to locate the culprit. A community member proposed using tracker dogs. Sure enough, the lion roared inside the bush and we called in the vet team for sedating and relocating it back to the park. After the vet darted the lion, the lion didn’t move. We thought it was dead. We approached on foot. In a split second, the lion roared, jumped over the vehicle and ran away with the dart still in him. We gave chase for a while, then the drugs took control and he fell down. We narrowly escaped death that day.
Dana Sanchez, 12:48 pm
The U.S. president’s travel bans provided a rallying call today for African unity. Today’s African Union summit had divisive issues on the agenda, including Africa’s relationship to the International Criminal Court and Morocco’s readmission to the A.U., but outgoing A.U. head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma identified Trump’s refugee ban as one of the “greatest challenges to our unity.” A South African A.U. expert says the A.U. is more divided than ever, but it’s not over refugees. “You have all these calls for unity but actually… (it’s) over Morocco, the regional divisions and the ICC.”
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