South Africa: Latest News
Staff, 8:01 am
Traveling in the spirit of ubuntu can mean trying local African beers, wine and spirits instead of international brands, says scientist and travel expert Louise de Waal. It means you’re supporting the local economy and reducing your carbon footprint. Most African countries have their own beer brands — Tusker in Kenya, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Windhoek & Tafel in Namibia, and Kuche Kuche in Malawi. Try South African amarula liqueur, Malawi gin or Tanzanian Konyagi. Craft breweries are on the rise in SA, with labels like Jack Black, Darling Brew, Porcupine Quill, and Smack Republic.
Dana Sanchez, 4:16 pm
The world’s largest furniture and homeware store, Ikea, has collaborated with some of the best designers in seven sub-Sahran African countries to curate its first African collection in what is described as an effort to “democratize design.” Ikea says it wants to tap into the “creative explosion” happening across the continent. The furniture and homeware collection will focus on “modern rituals and the importance they play in the home.” The collection probably won’t be accessible in the African cities that inspired it. Ikea’s only African outlets are in Morocco and Egypt.
Staff, 1:02 pm
It may be surprising to learn that North Korea has long fostered diplomatic, economic and military relations with various African countries. These relations have thrived even after widespread international condemnation following its first nuclear test in 2006. An Africa pivot may be the only option left for the country as China -— its traditional ally — increasingly distances itself. Following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test over the weekend, the U.N. warned members to “redouble efforts” to enforce existing sanctions.
Dana Sanchez, 12:25 pm AFKI Original
Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, some members of the international community including the U.S. have accused Iran’s government of sponsoring terrorism. South Africa is not one of the accusers. On the contrary, South Africa is expanding trade and defense commitments with the Islamic republic, with plans to expand tourism ties between the two countries. A potential loss of tourists to the U.S. from Muslim-majority countries could be South Africa’s gain as President Donald Trump attempts a travel ban and threatens to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.
Mongabay, 9:25 am
There’s a mistaken belief that Africa is a continent of empty, freely available land open for development. Companies investing in land in Africa feel they can cut a deal with the government, raze the land, and create vast plantations. “No land is unclaimed,” a stakeholder said. “Uprooting communities without their consent from their lands and traditional livelihoods creates conflicts and social unrest.” Most disputes involving private investments in Africa – 63 percent – relate to local people being displaced off their land. These disputes affect sugarcane and palm oil production, mining for gold, diamonds and coal, and green energy to harvest wind and solar power.
Tom Jackson, 12:35 pm AFKI Original
Despite the hype, profitability is still an unattainable ideal for Nigerian online shopping giants Konga and Jumia. Believers say e-commerce in Africa is “absolutely a long-term play.” They expect the short- and medium-term to be challenging. Players are still working on fast and easy payments and refunds, and trouble-free deliveries and returns. “It takes a long time for consumers to become comfortable shopping online, and it’s hard and expensive to accelerate this,” a stakeholder said. Investors aren’t all put off though. The potential prizes are too great.
Dana Sanchez, 8:53 am
A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops in southern Africa. Uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause food shortages. Damage to maize is likely to have the biggest impact because it’s the main staple food crop. The Fall armyworm destroys the cob itself. In parts of their native range in the Americas, genetically-modified Bt maize is grown to combat the Fall armyworm. This may be an option for South Africa and other countries where GM crops are already grown. But many parts of Africa do not allow or welcome GM varieties.
Dana Sanchez, 3:39 pm
Some U.S. journalism professors have been encouraged to incorporate Trevor Noah’s new book, “Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood,” into their classwork. A comedian and host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Noah is still finding his voice, one commentator said. He lacks the tenacity, defiance and indignation that made his predecessor, Jon Stewart such a stalwart. But time will treat him well. If cable TV fails Noah, “literature will remain a firm ally.” Noah’s debut book has been described as “extraordinarily heartfelt, compulsively enriching (and) a hell of a memoir.”
Dana Sanchez, 1:07 pm
Through regulation and legislation, the ANC-led government plans to break up the dominance of some big players in the local market such as media, banks, retail and construction. It plans to introduce new competition laws for “a more inclusive economy” and to “deconcentrate high levels of ownership and control.” This means it will force some sectors to give up their empires — like the so-called “Stellenbosch mafia.”
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:45 am AFKI Original
Everyone knows that Africa leapfrogged landlines to mobile phones, but without mobile, the continent is unconnected. Less than 20% are connected to the internet. Business and finance have become online activities globally. Africa needs to get up to speed to compete. Private investors are looking beyond the usual suspects. These are the African countries with the best opportunities for private investors to expand internet capacity in 2017.
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