Nigeria: Latest News
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.
Dana Sanchez, 1:11 pm
Aliko Dangote, CEO of Nigeria’s massive Dangote Group, said he wants to diversify his investments in Ethiopia, and he’s looking at sugar production. Ethiopia produces enough of its own sugar to finally stop importing it this year and start exporting it — a turnaround the government describes as revolutionary. Three new sugar refineries are scheduled to begin production this month. Construction is also planned for 10 new sugar factories for a total of 13 by 2020. Sugar is where Africa’s richest man cut his teeth.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:11 am
Today is transfer deadline day, and of course, there are some bits of last minute business that clubs in Europe are looking to conclude, with Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo set to confirm his next move in the coming hours. A deal that is close to being officially confirmed is Nigerian striker Ighalo’s move from Watford in the English Premier League to Chinese club Changchun Yatai.
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.”
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.
‘This Is Huge’: Nigeria Seizes Africa’s Richest Oilfield From Shell, Eni In Corruption InvestigationBy Dana Sanchez, 12:54 pm
A Nigerian court has ordered petroleum giants Shell and Eni to temporarily forfeit assets and control of a massive, long-disputed oilfield to the government. The OPL 245 bloc is considered the richest in Africa — big enough to provide all Nigeria’s oil production needs for 11 years. Shell and Eni bought the bloc in 2011 for $1.2 billion knowing it was a fraudulent transaction, the petition said. The government is investigating conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering. “Generations of Nigerians have been robbed of life-saving services while oil men have grown rich at their expense,” an anti-corruption NGO said.
Dana Sanchez, 4:05 pm
The E.U. wants to pay for migrant holding camps in Libya or neighboring countries that will be run by the U.N. and aid groups. There, in a supposedly “safe place,” migrants who want to attempt the treacherous Mediterranean crossing will be processed and returned before they ever attempt it. A similar deal with Turkey worked. The E.U. approach fails to recognize that migration is a positive thing for African countries which receive remittances from workers abroad and get rid of people who could politically destabilize the country, an analyst said.
Ann Brown, 2:31 pm AFKI Original
In Nigeria’s competitive advertising and marketing environment, Adaora Mbelu-Dania has learned that standing out sometimes means sitting down — at the table, that is — with agencies much larger than her own. A creative consultant, she counts among her clients a violinist, graffiti artist and contortionist. “Size does not matter,” she told AFKInsider. “We are a small agency, and have pitched for jobs alongside the popular or large agencies. We’ve been chosen over them several times. We are not afraid to sit at the same table as global agencies.”
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