South Africa: Latest News
Reuters, 10:52 am
The deal includes 820 Chevron and Caltex gas stations, 220 convenience stores across South Africa and Botswana, a refinery in Cape Town, a lubricants plant in Durban, and other oil storage facilities. The Chinese firm says it will keep jobs and company names intact for up to six years before launching a rebranding strategy. Sinopec was the last remaining bidder in an auction to sell Chevron Corp’s South African assets and its subsidiary in Botswana. The auction lasted more than a year and drew interest from French oil firm Total and commodity traders Glencore and Gunvor.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
Despite declining oil prices, oil-rich Norway is the happiest country in the world — proof that it’s about more than income. The people who live in the happiest countries in the world also value good governance, freedom, generosity, honesty, and health, according to World Happiness Report. There’s a deficit of happiness in Africa. African youth are essentially optimisitic and resilient in the face of poor infrastructure, but they are disappointed with development under democracy, say the authors of the report.
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:06 am
South African 19-year-old Luther Singh has been given a chance to shine for his national team after receiving a call-up to represent Bafana Bafana in upcoming friendly international matches this month. Singh, a star player with the under-20 side that reached the semi-finals of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia earlier this month, has been drafted into a 25-man squad for games against Angola and Guinea Bissau. The teenager ended the tournament as the top scorer with four goals for Amajita, helping them to a fourth-place finish in Zambia.
Reuters, 1:01 am
Airbnb, a US-based online marketplace to list or rent short-term lodgings, expects to double its customer numbers in Africa this year to 1.5 million. Company CEO Brian Chesky was in Cape Town’s oldest township Friday to surprise graduates from an Airbnb training program. He described Africa as “an incredibly exciting emerging market for travel.” The top five Airbnb cities in Africa are Cape Town, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Casablanca, although listings are found from St. Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
Staff, 1:01 am
Visas are routinely denied by U.S. embassies without explanation. With the heightened attention on foreign travelers coming to the U.S., there have been stories of more visas being denied to people from countries not named in the Trump administration’s travel ban executive order. If there has been an increase in the number of visas rejected under the new administration, it’s hard to verify. The State Department data made available to the public ended in late 2016.
Dana Sanchez, 6:25 pm
Google launched an online learning portal a year ago offering digital skills courses free to anyone in Africa, designed to use up as little data as possible. Many people who took the courses had limited internet access and high data costs. The US tech giant is now turning its attention to web-focused skills training for small businesses across Africa. In addition to skills and workforce training, Google is laying fiber optic cable, easing access to Android phones as it expands on the continent. Google was valued at $109.5 billion in 2016.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:40 am AFKI Original
Africa is the new tech frontier, with a great deal of potential and passion for technology that should translate into the right environment to nurture and grow successful African tech startups, but obstacles and struggles remain. These issues scupper the necessary investment and growth that these startups require so that they can become sustainable and successful on a continental and global scale. We take a look at 12 things that need to be addressed in order to help struggling African tech startups.
The Conversation, 9:16 am
Disruptive competition through technology can benefit consumers, but it also raises socioeconomic issues. Africa is no exception. There are concerns that Uber, with its first-mover advantage in the ride-sharing market, is growing into a monopoly despite the benefits to consumers. Traditional metered taxis are seeing red. In South Africa, new entrants into the ride-sharing app market have made little progress. The picture is very different in Kenya. Safaricom appears to have overcome the seemingly insurmountable first-mover position enjoyed by Uber.
Peter Pedroncelli, 10:46 am
South African coastal city Durban will no longer host the 2022 Commonwealth Games in five year’s time, as the city did not meet financial demands levied by the Commonwealth Games Federation. Durban was officially chosen as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Federation’s general assembly in New Zealand last year in April. According to the South African government the decision was set to benefit the country’s economy with around $1.49 billion expected to be injected into the country.
Dana Sanchez, 7:17 pm AFKI Original
500 Startups invests 70% in the U.S. The rest of its deals are in 60 other countries and the VC fund has its eyes on Africa. “We continue to look for and source deals from traditionally underrepresented ecosystems,” said 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure. Geeks on a Plane has done 17 tours. This will be its first in Africa. “We are looking to build stronger relationships with investors on the ground, maybe even find a few startups to invest in.” 500 Startups has invested in 1,700-plus companies. The tour is a way for startups, investors, and executives to learn about high-growth tech markets.
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