South Africa: Latest News
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.
Dana Sanchez, 3:39 pm
Tourists seeking an animal encounter can dive with Cape fur seals throughout the year at South Africa’s Plettenberg Bay. There’s a boat excursion to a marine protected area near Robberg Nature Reserve where visitors can jump into the water and swim with the seals — often babies, and often playful. Before you go though, definitely read the reviews at TripAdvisor. Here’s what one recent visitor said after going on this excursion: “You get super close to the seals. Sometimes when you hold still, they even gently touch you with their nose.” Not all the reviews are glowing.
Keren Mikva, 1:11 pm AFKI Original
In the developing world, many water-fetchers — often women and children — do the back-breaking work of lugging water buckets over their heads or by hand. The Hippo Water Roller won the 1997 South Africa Design for Development Award. The 90-liter drums can carry 90 kilograms (198.4 pounds) of water and can be pushed or pulled across rough terrain. Check out these 17 things used across the globe that were invented by South Africans.
Tom Jackson, 11:29 am AFKI Original
From digital educational materials for school children to the Uberisation of tutoring, tech is finding new ways of improving access to quality learning in Africa. But it isn’t happening fast enough for some people. Data is expensive, and many areas still have little or no connectivity. African governments have spent a lot of money to enable e-learning, but have not yet seen the results. Still, it’s an attractive sector to investors. Africa’s e-learning market doubled in size from 2011 to 2016.
22 Pioneering Digital Media Projects Getting Paid To Tell Africa’s Stories And Hold Governments AccountableBy Dana Sanchez, 10:08 am AFKI Original
Ideas that solve African problems but have the potential to be adopted globally are attracting investment. A jury that includes Google, World Bank and Ford chose 22 media projects to receive $1M in seed funding. The ideas tackle issues from fake news to frontline war reporting using technology such as bots, drones and sensors to improve journalism in Africa. It’s an experiment with leapfrog technologies, but the real goal is to build real-world solutions to real-world problems that can immediately be scaled by mainstream media.
Dana Sanchez, 3:44 pm
Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed spent much of his adult life in Buffalo, New York. He has lived in the U.S. since 1985, sent there with Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry. He earned degrees from the State University of New York, raised a family and worked for the NY state government. But he stayed involved in Somali politics. More than 20 candidates ran in the Somali presidential race. At least 16 have dual citizenship. Nine have U.S. passports, according to a leading private Somali radio station.
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