Kenya: Latest News
Frank Mutulu, 8:01 am
Bullfighting in Kakamega County, Kenya, isn’t like bullfighting in Spain. Instead of matadors fighting bulls, bulls fight each other. Before the fight, the bulls are fed busaa – a local homemade beer – believed to make them feistier. Chanting traditional war songs and poking the air with twigs, the audience watches as a choice bull from one village locks horns with one from another. Despite opposition by animal rights activists, visitors are curious to witness local customs, and there’s growing interest to make bullfighting a tourist attraction here.
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, 11:07 am AFKI Original
South African media giant Naspers is launching its 18-month-old internet TV service ShowMax in Poland. It plans to provide hyper-local content and original productions rather than trying to compete with expensive shows designed to appeal to audiences worldwide. It’s competing with the much older, bigger, more established U.S. firm Netflix, which launched in 1998. Netflix is also commissioning original content, but it has an overseas problem, one commentator said. “It just doesn’t have the amount of local content that some of the (streaming and pay TV) competitors have.”
Dana Sanchez, 5:34 pm
With its island-building binge, Dubai is a big customer for African sand. So are Africa’s expanding concrete manufacturing giants. For the island project “The Palm Jumeirah,” Dubai used 200 million cubic meters of sand and stone. Some of the sand came from the sea off Dubai’s coast but a large amount came from African beaches. In Cape Verde, one in three people is unemployed. Sand mining is a fast way to earn money. The consequences of excessive sand mining are devastating. On beaches where tortoises once buried their eggs, there is now only dirt and stones.
Staff, 8:01 am
Traveling in the spirit of ubuntu can mean trying local African beers, wine and spirits instead of international brands, says scientist and travel expert Louise de Waal. It means you’re supporting the local economy and reducing your carbon footprint. Most African countries have their own beer brands — Tusker in Kenya, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Windhoek & Tafel in Namibia, and Kuche Kuche in Malawi. Try South African amarula liqueur, Malawi gin or Tanzanian Konyagi. Craft breweries are on the rise in SA, with labels like Jack Black, Darling Brew, Porcupine Quill, and Smack Republic.
Dana Sanchez, 4:16 pm
The world’s largest furniture and homeware store, Ikea, has collaborated with some of the best designers in seven sub-Sahran African countries to curate its first African collection in what is described as an effort to “democratize design.” Ikea says it wants to tap into the “creative explosion” happening across the continent. The furniture and homeware collection will focus on “modern rituals and the importance they play in the home.” The collection probably won’t be accessible in the African cities that inspired it. Ikea’s only African outlets are in Morocco and Egypt.
Mongabay, 9:25 am
There’s a mistaken belief that Africa is a continent of empty, freely available land open for development. Companies investing in land in Africa feel they can cut a deal with the government, raze the land, and create vast plantations. “No land is unclaimed,” a stakeholder said. “Uprooting communities without their consent from their lands and traditional livelihoods creates conflicts and social unrest.” Most disputes involving private investments in Africa – 63 percent – relate to local people being displaced off their land. These disputes affect sugarcane and palm oil production, mining for gold, diamonds and coal, and green energy to harvest wind and solar power.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:45 am AFKI Original
Everyone knows that Africa leapfrogged landlines to mobile phones, but without mobile, the continent is unconnected. Less than 20% are connected to the internet. Business and finance have become online activities globally. Africa needs to get up to speed to compete. Private investors are looking beyond the usual suspects. These are the African countries with the best opportunities for private investors to expand internet capacity in 2017.
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.
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