Kenya: Latest News
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.”
Dana Sanchez, 11:11 am
Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat replaces South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is expected to run for president of South Africa in a bid to replace her ex, Jacob Zuma. Mahamat, 56, previously served as the chairman of the A.U.’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council. His boss, President Idriss Deby, has ruled Chad for 26 years. Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed was Mahamat’s main rival in the final round of voting. She is one of the most vocal critics of the International Criminal Court.
Tom Jackson, 7:55 am AFKI Original
As tech becomes more widespread in Africa, democratic processes will become more accessible. Internet and mobile technologies can reach remote areas and give voice to many. Rashaad Alli is a manager at South African nonprofit People’s Assembly, which supports websites that make parliamentary information more accessible to ordinary people. “Access to information is a great enabler to effect social change and deepen democracy,” Alli said. “Tech tools help increase transparency, expose corruption, strengthen democracy and hold governments to account.”
She’s There When African Governments Turn Off The Internet: Meet The Lawyer Advancing Facebook In AfricaBy Staff, 1:01 am
Some describe Ebele Okobi, 42, as Facebook’s secretary of state for Africa. Last year, at least 11 African governments shut down the internet for various temporary reasons. Where there are shutdowns, there is Okobi. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of her work is Free Basics, the Facebook-driven platform that provides a free version of the internet. Telecos in 22 African countries provide it. Facebook can control what is accessible, and many have criticized it for creating different classes of internet access. For its part, Facebook says half of all Free Basics users convert into paying internet customers within a month.
Dana Sanchez, 2:50 pm
About 90% of managed assets are concentrated in four countries including South Africa and Nigeria. SA leads, thanks to rules that allow them to invest 10% of assets through private equity. Nigeria is held back by trust issues. “The thought of using our pension fund for investment in public-sector infrastructure development is highly frightening given the well-known penchant for mismanagement inherent in public-sector institutions in Nigeria,” the Nigerian Labour Congress says. Pension funds are ideal for driving inclusive growth and social stability through long-term projects such as infrastructure, says consultancy firm RisCura.
Tom Jackson, 10:02 am AFKI Original
Africa is outsourcing great tech jobs to skilled workers on other continents. There are tens of thousands of unfilled software jobs on a continent plagued by unemployment, especially among its digitally savvy youth. Digital skills training is vital to Africa’s future, says the co-founder of CodeX, one of many companies in Africa trying to address the shorfall. Many of the continent’s challenges can be solved with tech solutions, but ultimately they must be solved by the people who understand the problems intimately – Africans themselves. Help is on the way. Here are some of the companies offering skills training in Africa.
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