Kenya: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:52 am AFKI Original
Africa has been reluctant to adopt GM food technology for crop production, but that’s changing. Many African countries are willing to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM technology to boost their agriculture sector. Just four African countries allow GMO crops for cotton. In Africa, only South Africa grows GM food. Opponents urge African countries not to commercialize GM crops, saying it will put their agricultural sector in the hands of large multinational agri-businesses and hurt biodiversity. Proponents say GM crops are as safe.
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.”
Born In Caribbean, Educated In Boston, Startup In Nairobi: All Roads Led To Africa’s Mobile RevolutionBy Dana Sanchez, 9:15 pm
In the MIT lab, Kenfield Griffith thought he was going to solve the world’s problems. Then he arrived in Kenya and stood in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. “I looked around and said to myself that even if I was Bill Gates, I wouldn’t know what to do,” he said. Griffith put his faith in mobile phones, and prevailed. In 2016, his Nairobi startup, mSurvey, closed its seed funding round led by investments from Safaricom, Silicon Valley’s Cross Culture Ventures, and a Caribbean angels group backed by Richard Branson.
Dana Sanchez, 11:51 am
One of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, U.S.-based Boeing ranked No. 2 among defense contractor in the world in 2016. Boeing Defense does business with countries across Africa in security including surveillance drones. “The aerospace industry needs to start paying closer attention to Africa, because this continent is clearly on the move economically and all the trends are pointing in the right direction for the expansion of the sector,” a Boeing stakeholder said. Boeing hopes its two new African offices will be positioned to meet an anticipated demand of 1,150 new aircraft in Africa by 2035.
Becca Blond, 8:05 am
The true history of glamping is up for grabs. In the early 1900s, wealthy American and European travelers demanded luxuries while on safari in Africa. They wanted wild outdoors adventures, but their canvas safari tents usually included beds and a chef to prepare meals. When did this movement become glamping? According to Google Trends, the keyword first started being searched on Google in early 2007. With apologies to the buzzword-averse, here are some tried-and-true travel buzzwords — and some new ones — that apply to travel in Africa.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:20 am AFKI Original
Africa loves soccer, and the popularity of the sport has inevitably attracted soccer sponsors that provide funds in the form of sponsorship deals to be associated with the various competitions taking place around the continent. These global and local brands are important to the development of the sport, ensuring that the most popular brands on the continent are associated with the regional and continental competitions that command the most attention and support from fans. We take a look at 12 soccer sponsors that are involved in sponsorship of the beautiful game on the African continent.
Dana Sanchez, 4:10 pm
For many Western companies, Africa is a fresh start — an opportunity to build facilities and processes that are environmentally friendly and safe. And don’t forget the tax breaks. Manufacturing in Africa is expensive, training and the quality control are expensive. Most apparel will continue to be made in Asian countries where labor is still relatively cheap and infrastructure, in place. But in China, the world’s apparel manufacturing leader, wages have increased 80% since 2010.
Tom Jackson, 2:19 pm AFKI Original
Just 2% of retail transactions in Africa are electronic. Cash is still king and small transactions — less than $2 — have hindered the growth of mobile money outside of its Kenyan heartland. The value of M-Pesa and similar services is questionable for Africans living on just a few dollars a day. The average M-Pesa transaction value is closer to US$30. It’s unsustainable for agents to serve lower-income segments. They can’t afford to get down to the level of very small transactions, limiting the effect of mobile money on the bottom of the pyramid.
Julia Austin, 8:02 am
You can explore miles of sandbars and stunning coral reefs on the postage-stamp-size Medjumbe Island in Mozambique’s Quirimbas archipelago. There is one resort on the island, Anantara Medjumbe, and it has just 12 rooms. It’s a two-minute walk from the island’s private airstrip, which is how you get there — a 45-minute flight from Pemba Airport. The island is 0.62 miles long. Medjumbe Lighthouse was built in the 1930s, worked for three months, then broke down. It has been there ever since and still doesn’t work.
Dana Sanchez, 11:27 am
Five winning African tech startups are in Silicon Valley competing with others from around the world and hopefully attracting venture capital. A lot of them are self-taught and lack formal training in venture creation and digital entrepreneurship, an event manager said. “They have built companies on binary codes and learned new skills through the mobile internet. If a Silicon Valley technology event is live streamed across the world, there are African entrepreneurs huddled somewhere, watching it and consuming every panel, consuming every fireside chat, taking notes, and then applying those notes to their local context.”
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