Namibia: 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.
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.”
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.
Staff, 9:33 am
What’s been billed as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, in 2018 will operate a voyage down the west coast of Africa — rare in the cruise world. The voyage will bring one of the priciest cruise ships in the world to one of the globe’s poorest regions. The per capita income of many of the countries on the itinerary is less than $2,000 per year. The most expensive luxury ship ever built, it features some of the largest, most elaborate accommodations at sea, including a 4,443-square-foot suite — nearly 50% larger than the average home in the U.S. The ship spa is operated by Canyon Ranch.
Bridget Williamson, 3:59 pm
Victoria Falls gets all the attention when it comes to waterfalls in Africa, and deservedly so. It’s not the highest or the widest waterfall in the world, but it’s the biggest — about twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and more than twice as wide. Africa has other fabulous waterfalls that many people don’t know about. They’re on the periphery of the beaten path in regions previously overlooked or ignored. Some are hard to reach. They’re among the most underappreciated aspects of Africa’s natural heritage.
Dana Sanchez, 11:09 am
ECOWAS is credited with persuading Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh to give up power. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that it takes some external persuasion to remove a dictator. “Forget Trump,” a commentator said. “We in Africa were watching the Gambia and the drama there as African leadership for once, stood up to a tyrant and insisted he respect the outcome of an election.” This regional intervention represents a paradigm shift in African governance, an exiled Zimbabwean judge said. It’s no longer dictatorship as usual in Africa.
Staff, 3:53 pm
Recently renewed by U.S. President Barack Obama, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, allows qualifying African countries to export certain products to the U.S. duty free. U.S. exports to Africa, however, are subject to customs duties. Incoming President Donald Trump isn’t going to go for that, says Herman Cohen, a former U.S. ambassador to several African countries. “I have the feeling that he will ask African governments to accept reciprocity in trade relations,” Cohen said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:02 am
If you own a mobile phone, chances are it has tantalum in it from Africa and you have small amounts of the rare metal within inches of your brain. U.S.-based AB Minerals claims to have invented a new disruptive tantalite processing technology that it says will enable tantalum-producing countries to add value to the ore themselves rather than exporting raw ore to China. The company hopes to sell this technology all over Africa. The first African plant is expected to begin operating in Rwanda in 2017. Here’s part of an interview with AB Minerals founder and CEO Frank Balestra.
Dana Sanchez, 2:41 pm
Sweden-based Ericsson is at the show, predicting that 5G will dominate mobile subscriptions in Africa by 2022. It’s one of several companies trying to connect the dots between the latest technology innovations and their dependence on infrastructure. Thermal cameras that help protect African elephants from poachers are on display there, backed by Google and the World Wildlife Fund. And The Swazi Bridge Project is there — a tech company using white space bandwidth to deliver high-speed internet to people in Swaziland.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:57 am AFKI Original
In cities from Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria to Maputo, Mozambique, gym memberships can be above $100 per month. Africans are paying higher fees than in more mature markets. Zumba classes are abundant, yoga is everywhere, and biking and running are an ever-growing trend in Africa. Putting cash into the facilities for these types of activities is lucrative. Scalability is still a concern but branding across borders and within regions is necessary for growth.
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