Zambia: Latest News
Tom Jackson, 8:41 am AFKI Original
African tech hubs play a crucial role in the business development of tech startups, but many of them are struggling for sustainability. Hubs must understand the local ecosystem within which they operate, as well as the needs of their customer startups, keeping in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works perfectly for all tech hubs on the African continent.
Tom Jackson, 3:38 pm AFKI Original
Informal markets represent an incredible opportunity in Africa. In Zambia, for example, the informal sector accounts for 90 percent of employment, and represents well over one million informal businesses. Key areas that need exploring are agribusiness, textiles, timber and forestry, as there are huge opportunities to disrupt smallholder enterprise systems and introduce innovative concepts that can be sustainable and profitable.
Peter Pedroncelli, 10:40 am
South African fintech startup JUMO has announced the appointment of Amazon EC2 founder Chris Pinkham as an active independent director of the company. Cape Town University-educated Pinkham begins work for the South African company with immediate effect, having left his role as vice president of Engineering at Twitter in February this year, and will be working with JUMO’s leadership team on technical and product strategy.
Ann Brown, 5:46 pm AFKI Original
At age 18, Knight Ganje knew he wanted to be a businessman. When a friend invited him to visit Botswana he persuaded his mother to let him go. Once there he started taking odd jobs such as painting to survive until a local entrepreneur decided to mentor him, and the rest is history. Fast-forward 11 years and high school dropout Ganje is at the head of H&G Advertising Group, Botswana’s biggest ad agency with a turnover of $38 million annually and clients that include Unilever, Emirates, Coca-Cola, and Samsung.
Tom Jackson, 3:26 pm AFKI Original
Startups innovate much faster than mobile operators but they lack the wide reach — and customers — that more established companies have. Mobile operators and startups in emerging markets should work together because collaboration could be mutually beneficial, according to a new GSMA report — “Opening Doors: A Start-Up’s Guide to Working With Mobile Operators in Emerging Markets.” Some mobile operators are openly listing their API documentation and integration processes, and are willing to listen to startup founders.
Staff, 8:20 am
African Heads of State and Government present at the recently concluded Transform Africa Summit pledged to advance the continent’s digital transformation. The leaders noted that they recognize the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in fast-tracking development of their countries and the continent in generals.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:20 am AFKI Original
The United States provides foreign aid that benefits numerous African recipients, with over $43 billion of total obligations going to 222 countries around the world in 2015. Much of this goes to assisting countries in sub-Saharan and North Africa, with USAID funding countless programs for the good of people within those nations. We take a look at the 12 biggest African recipients of foreign aid from the United States.
Tom Jackson, 9:58 pm AFKI Original
TerraPay is the latest mobile payments platform to enter the crowded East African market with its launch in Tanzania. The challenge for the market lies in navigating regulatory hurdles from one country to the next, an expert said. Interoperability has the potential to unlock intra-African mobile remittances and could be key to promoting cross-border trade. It is expected to overcome challenges to scale and facilitate micro-transfers across borders, a common theme for Africa’s low-income population. Expect to see some consolidation in the market.
Reuters, 9:41 pm
Israel’s Sapir Capital had expressed interest in buying a stake worth more than $100 million in Zambia’s state mining investment arm. Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings has diversified interests in mining, energy and other sectors of the southern African nation’s economy. The state-owned Industrial Development Corporation, an investment company wholly owned by the government, is the majority shareholder. Sapir, which holds a minority stake in foreign mining firms in Zambia, has more than 4,000 shareholders. Its market cap is over $657 million.
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:00 am AFKI Original
Short-term volatility and uncertainty in the African growth story create opportunities for hedge funds. Hedge funds generally operate more flexibly than private equity, and they have the creativity to generate bond-like returns that outpace inflation. Critics say hedge funds have limited liquidity in an opaque world. The riskiest play — but with big returns — is in agriculture and land. Where land is for sale in Africa, investors are making a play for a limited resource, especially when it’s arable, ripe for production or ideal for commercial and residential construction.
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