Tanzania: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:52 am AFKI Original
Africa has been reluctant to adopt GM food technology for crop production, but that’s changing. Many African countries are willing to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM technology to boost their agriculture sector. Just four African countries allow GMO crops for cotton. In Africa, only South Africa grows GM food. Opponents urge African countries not to commercialize GM crops, saying it will put their agricultural sector in the hands of large multinational agri-businesses and hurt biodiversity. Proponents say GM crops are as safe.
Staff, 12:52 pm
The Duolingo app is video-game-like and addictive, according to Time. It was co-developed by Luis Von Ahn, the same Guatemalan-American entrepreneur who founded CAPTCHA — the test used by most website forms to make sure you’re a human, not a computer. It sold to Google in 2009. This allowed von Ahn to pursue his passion project — to improve education so all social classes could have better opportunities. Classes or computer-based language programs like Rosetta Stone cost at least $1,000, he said. “So we decided to do languages for free. We realized that we are teaching almost every European language you can think of, but we had no African languages.”
Dana Sanchez, 10:53 am AFKI Original
The annual survey evaluates the top 100 brands in Africa based on consumer responses via mobile text messaging. Results show that non-African brands strengthened their positions in Africa, while African brands’ share among most admired brands dropped from 23 percent to 16 percent. “It is a great concern that the share of African brands is so low and even declining,” said the founder of Brand Africa. “It is a wake-up call for African governments to create enabling environments to support entrepreneurs.”
Tom Jackson, 2:19 pm AFKI Original
Just 2% of retail transactions in Africa are electronic. Cash is still king and small transactions — less than $2 — have hindered the growth of mobile money outside of its Kenyan heartland. The value of M-Pesa and similar services is questionable for Africans living on just a few dollars a day. The average M-Pesa transaction value is closer to US$30. It’s unsustainable for agents to serve lower-income segments. They can’t afford to get down to the level of very small transactions, limiting the effect of mobile money on the bottom of the pyramid.
Julia Austin, 8:02 am
You can explore miles of sandbars and stunning coral reefs on the postage-stamp-size Medjumbe Island in Mozambique’s Quirimbas archipelago. There is one resort on the island, Anantara Medjumbe, and it has just 12 rooms. It’s a two-minute walk from the island’s private airstrip, which is how you get there — a 45-minute flight from Pemba Airport. The island is 0.62 miles long. Medjumbe Lighthouse was built in the 1930s, worked for three months, then broke down. It has been there ever since and still doesn’t work.
Kurt Davis Jr., 1:00 am AFKI Original
The number of urban Africans almost doubled between 1995 and 2015 and is expected to double again by 2035. Rapid growth is driving the African phenomenon of the megacity — an urban area with a population of at least 10 million. Megacities have economic benefits – economies of scale, innovation, clusters of skilled labor, and higher incomes. But they also struggle with congested slums, unemployment and out-of-control traffic. More than 50 percent of the African urban population lives in slums.
Dana Sanchez, 5:34 pm
With its island-building binge, Dubai is a big customer for African sand. So are Africa’s expanding concrete manufacturing giants. For the island project “The Palm Jumeirah,” Dubai used 200 million cubic meters of sand and stone. Some of the sand came from the sea off Dubai’s coast but a large amount came from African beaches. In Cape Verde, one in three people is unemployed. Sand mining is a fast way to earn money. The consequences of excessive sand mining are devastating. On beaches where tortoises once buried their eggs, there is now only dirt and stones.
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.
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.
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.
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