Rwanda: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:22 am
The Silicon Valley based Zipline team tested its drone delivery system for months in Rwanda to make sure it worked prior to launch, usually with an audience of locals. “Every day, we have hundreds of Rwandans lining up along the fence of the distribution center to watch operations,” said Zipline’s CEO. “The whole crowd cheers for every single takeoff and landing throughout the day. Some people show up at 6 a.m. to get good seats.” Some aid workers say drones have a bad reputation in Africa. People think they’re weapons.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:53 am AFKI Original
Critics argue the Trans-Pacific Partnership will cancel out trade benefits that many African countries have under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Others say TPP is the newer, better AGOA. The next trade agreement between the sub-Saharan African countries and the U.S. as well as Europe should be a better version of TPP. Intra-Africa regional trade still accounts for just 25% of total exports in sub-Sahara. By comparison, European and Asian intra-regional exports are at 70% and 50%. Sub-Sahara still has a way to go.
Dana Sanchez, 3:18 pm
Rwanda, with the world’s first drone port under construction, also has a new international airport planned and recently took possession of its first wide body aircraft — an investment expected to open up new markets. RwandAir has its eye on the U.S., Europe and Asia, with 25 targeted destinations by 2018. The 7-year-old airline has yet to turn a profit, but the government plans to build a new airport to accommodate four times more passengers than Kigali can handle.
Dana Sanchez, 6:28 pm
Ibrahim got rich on telecommunications, but he has invested millions in good governance. “Power corrupts absolutely,” Ibrahim said. He called for more international outrage over stolen elections. “People are learning how to steal elections because that looks less brutal than saying ‘I’m president for life,'” he said. “There is a limit to how long they can go on stealing elections. More and more of these elections are being subject to the harsh light of … social media.”
Dana Sanchez, 1:57 pm
Africa is short 90,000 doctors, 500,000 nurses, 300,000 community health workers and 500,000 hospital beds — and that was in 2007. With populations among the fastest-growing in the world, the ratios are getting worse. For someone interested in investing in the continent, these numbers could spell opportunity. Here are some market opportunities and investment ideas that could help fill the gap where other medical services are lacking.
Staff, 4:45 am
Many innovations in Africa fail to materialize due to of lack of knowledge about registering intellectual property. Resident applications for patents are low in African countries. In 2014, there were 132 patent applications in Kenya, 14 in Zambia and five in Rwanda compared to over 280,000 in the U.S. and 19,000 in the U.K. The registration of copyright in many African countries has not taken off and this data is not taken into account in economic surveys. Microsoft’a online IP registration system replaces traditional paper-based forms.
Dana Sanchez, 6:05 pm
In a closed-door meeting at this week’s U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu said he plans to visit West Africa later this year, “but I don’t intent to limit myself to East Africa or West Africa. Israel is looking at all of Africa,” he said. “And I hope that all of Africa looks at Israel.” Energyia Global Capital, a Jerusalem-based solar enterprise, launched East Africa’s first solar field in 2015 in Rwanda. The company is prepared to invest $2 billion in Africa over the next four years through Obama’s Power Africa program. The goal is clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.
Dana Sanchez, 3:21 pm AFKI Original
Online retail is still small by global standards in much of Africa, but it’s growing fast thanks to increased penetration of smartphones. E-commerce in Africa is expected to be worth $50 billion in 2018, up from US$8 billion in 2013. There’s rising demand for warehouse space by manufacturers seeking to expand in Africa. Knight Frank singled out landlocked Zambia as one of the most promising logistics locations in sub-Sahara, thanks to its geographical position at the intersection of Southern, Eastern and Central Africa.
Godfrey Olukya, 10:26 am AFKI Original
Rwandan trader Pierre Ndimwibo exports raw materials and imports electronic devices. Eliminating barriers like roadblocks and weigh stations will help his profits and grow his business, he said. East African Community members agreed on Jan. 14 to no new non-tariff barriers. Now they want all non-tariff barriers removed. It will save up to 20% of the time it take to import and export goods. Cross-border traders are all for it — if it ever actually happens.
Staff, 8:39 am
Many private equity firms exert more control on the companies they invest in than African entrepreneurs are comfortable with. Businesses built by African entrepreneurs are usually local. Local political patronage and connections often sustain them. The Dangotes, Elumelus and Thakkars are the exception. The majority of African entrepreneurs will continue to rely on debt capital – even at rates close to 30%. That may be another opportunity for foreign firms looking to Africa.
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