South Africa: Latest News
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, 12:00 am
Throughout 2016, the perception of bitcoin as a new safe haven persisted. People thought that if the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates, bitcoin’s perceived use as protection against economic uncertainty might be diminished. Its price might then fall. But despite the dollar’s 2016 gains and year-end rate hike, bitcoin still outpaced. When the U.S. dollar surges, currencies in emerging markets are devalued, increasing demand and the price of bitcoin, says investor Vinny Lingham.
Dana Sanchez, 11:00 am
Durban’s potential tends to bubble beneath the surface, not quite as bold and direct as Johannesburg or Cape Town. A laid-back city on many counts, its art scene, rumored to be burgeoning for the last decade, may be better described as simmering slowly. “Durban isn’t an easy city for creatives. But that isn’t to say the city isn’t home to some really staggering talent,” says Jonas Barausse of Street Scene tours. For a little more context, I spend a morning with Carol Brown, a freelance consultant and curator who’s considered a doyenne of the Durban arts scene.
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.
Andrew Friedman, 5:44 pm AFKI Original
Sierra Leone takes religious tolerance seriously. Not only are relations cordial between the two main religious groups in the West African country, but it is not unusual here to be both Christian and Muslim. Thousands of Sierra Leoneans are known as ChrisMus. “I see it as the same religion,” one of the faithful said, sporting a Jesus bracelet. “All of us say it’s the same god that we’re worshiping.” Overall, the country ranks as “partly free” for human rights compliance.
Dana Sanchez, 12:50 pm
Less than 10% of African households qualify for a mortgage for even the cheapest new house. But the low-income housing market has more potential than the high end, where most new home construction lives. African housing industry exhibits in 2016 indicated most stakeholders are targeting lower-middle and low-income housing. Poor performance in the high-end market and enhanced tax incentives are partly responsible. “There is a stagnation in prices in some high-end property due to too much supply,” a stakeholder said.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:23 am AFKI Original
The year 2016 has provided African sports fans with numerous moments to be proud of, with many African Sporting highlights that stand out after reflecting on the year that was. Sport can always be relied upon to lift the spirits of fans, and give everyone something to celebrate, even during difficult times. That is the beauty of sport. We gathered 15 highlights in African sport from the year 2016.
Staff, 4:43 pm
Demo Africa has sent 20 African startups to Silicon Valley over the last four years. Arriving there is no guarantee of success. Twelve of the startups are still alive and breathing, four are on life support and four “are just dead and done,” said angel investor Stephen Ozoigbo. Demo Africa was launched five years ago by the U.S. State Department. It’s the African edition of a bigger group of events that include Demo U.S., Russia, Europe, Brazil and Demo China. The Demo-brand launchpad has helped big-name startups such as Adobe got exposure.
Dana Sanchez, 11:28 am
Newly elected Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga went to Taiwan for trade opportunities. The ruling ANC is furious, crying treason, conspiracy against BRICS and disrespect for the One China policy. The mayor said he considered SA-China ties but the need to create business opportunities should transcend party politics. Msimanga was elected mayor after the Democratic Alliance’s victory in Tshwane in the Aug. 3 municipal election. His office spent the first 100 days undoing “financial disaster” left behind by the ANC.
Dana Sanchez, 9:35 pm
For centuries, humans introduced alien species into new environments, sometimes with the hope of solving a problem. These acts often disrupted native ecosystems. Native to India, common mynas escaped into the wild in South Africa in 1902. Strong territorial instinct and a preference for living close to humans make the common myna an enormous urban pest. They’re known to kick other birds out of the nest. Their range is increasing so fast that they’ve been declared one of the world’s most invasive species — one of three birds in the top 100 species that could impact biodiversity, agriculture and human interests.
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