Rwanda: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 4:55 pm
In Burundi, where just 5% of people have electricity, a new 7.5-megawatt solar power plant is under construction. It’s expected to add 15% power generation capacity to the East African country. The groundbreaking was held Thursday in Mubuga. The solar plant will be built on 42 acres, 65 miles from the capital of Bujumbura. Mubuga has never had electricity and is 6.8 miles away from the power grid. Its residents have depended on candles, lanterns, firewood and charcoal since time immemorial.
Staff, 3:13 pm
Morocco’s investment in sub-Saharan Africa the past decade represents 85% of its overall foreign direct investment stocks. The story of its national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, testifies to its expansive economic ambition on the continent. Morocco has expanded economic ties with many African countries through trade and investments since it left the African Union. It now seeks to return to the A.U., boost these ties and settle the unresolved matter of the Western Sahara. It has support of 28 African countries. Leaving the A.U. was a “strategic mistake,” a stakeholder said. “Africa is our natural home.”
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:03 am AFKI Original
Presidential term limits are a slippery thing. Occasionally they can seem like a good idea. Most of the time, not so much. That’s what makes these five upcoming African elections so riveting. Everyone is watching to see who replaces Liberia’s popular Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf — Africa’s first female president. Will it be a former soccer player, or the ex wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor? He was convicted of aiding crimes against humanity. She’s one of the most powerful woman in Liberian politics. Or it may be a former Coca-Cola executive, a former central bank governor or an attorney.
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.
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.
Staff, 6:12 pm
Where there are challenges or deficits, business and investment opportunities often emerge in the informal sector. The East African informal sector contributes 30-40% of GDP. Operating off the grid (not paying taxes), informal-sector employers and employees run the risk of punishment, limited police protection, and lack of social support services. Consumers help keep the informal sector growing, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Formal companies are getting rich providing services to the millions of consumers who use informal services. Here are some of them.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi have a permissive approach to drone regulations, helping make them attractive places for trials. Madagascar has also tested drones to reduce the time it takes to transport life-saving supplies in areas where roads are impassable or transport infrastructure is nonexistent. How useful are drones for carrying out human welfare tasks? The work is still too new and the data too thin to know. One study said humanitarian cargoes are often much heavier than a drone can handle.
Staff, 7:19 pm
Countries conventionally seen as resource-poor, like Ethiopia and Rwanda, maintained higher growth in 2016 — as high as 8% in agriculture-heavy Ethiopia, despite the worst drought in decades. Successful African economies focused on expanding and diversifying to attract foreign investment. Some economists predict improvement in African economies in 2017 as commodity prices rise. Others are less optimistic that resource-dependent countries can change tack at this point. Diversification doesn’t happen overnight.
Dana Sanchez, 11:41 am
Europe’s largest automaker is expanding in Africa, hoping to open an auto assembly plant in Rwanda and also pilot ride-hailing and car sharing services. VW’s move into “app-based integrated mobility” in Rwanda is significant for two reasons. It’s happening in an African city and it’s a new business model for future urban mobility. Rwanda does not have an established vehicle industry and Uber hasn’t entered the market yet. VW isn’t just competing with Uber. Other ride-hailing services are looking for new markets in Africa.
Kurt Davis Jr., 4:29 pm AFKI Original
A sense of what Zimbabwe can expect post-Mugabe. Partnership in the fight against terror for Tunisia. Better strategies combating poverty and HIV in Swaziland. These are just a few of the wishes that a U.S. investment banker visualizes for African countries as the old year winds down and 2016 gives way to 2017.
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