Zambia: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 2:43 pm AFKI Original
South Africa is invariably cited in discussions about jobless rates in Africa, but two thirds of African countries have higher unemployment. Africa is witnessing its best growth performance in decades, yet the world’s youngest continent, demographically speaking, continues to have high unemployment with few signs of recovery in 2017. High unemployment is a key factor shaping young people’s decisions to migrate. The continent’s youth population is expected to double to 830 million by 2050.
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, 4:43 pm
The worst is over and commodities prices are climbing, World Bank says. But not everyone is ready to call it a trend. Despite some improvement, gold and platinum remain flat. The bouyant, even euphoric mood at this year’s Mining Indaba contrasts with recent years — 2016 was gloomy. Towards the end of the year, commodity prices rebounded. Investors want a stable political environment, regulatory certainty and labor stability. “In 2017, we are looking at expansion, local and international. Mergers and acquisitions are also starting to take place. There is consolidation,” a stakeholder said.
Dana Sanchez, 12:35 pm
Facebook beat Wall Street expectations for sales and user growth in the fourth quarter of 2016, and it credits Internet.org, its free basic version of the internet in developing countries, for helping make that happen. It added more users worldwide in the fourth quarter than any quarter since the company went public in 2012. Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision is to get more Africans online. “This isn’t a purely altruistic venture,” an analyst said. Internet.org, is available in 23 African countries through partnerships with mobile operators.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
If Ant expands access to mobile money, it could mean that even more people will receive remittances on their mobile money accounts, and that will be good for Ismail Ahmed. Mobile money is disrupting remittances and making formal transactions easier, says Ahmed, a Somali entrepreneur and CEO of online money transfer service WorldRemit. Only 5% of remittances today are sent online. The rest is cash, paid over the counter or at agents. Online remittances are projected to grow six-fold to reach at least 40 percent in the next few years.
Dana Sanchez, 10:32 am
Faced with an escalating price war at home in India, Bharti Airtel is looking to its African operations to reduce debt. India is one of the most competitive telecom markets in the world. The company lost $91 million in Africa in Q3 of 2016. Airtel has 22.14 percent market share in Nigeria and 34.1 million customers. Market observers in Nigeria say lack of access to foreign exchange for operators, falling revenue per user and customers’ lack of disposable income are hurting telecom operators in the country.
Bridget Williamson, 3:59 pm
Victoria Falls gets all the attention when it comes to waterfalls in Africa, and deservedly so. It’s not the highest or the widest waterfall in the world, but it’s the biggest — about twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and more than twice as wide. Africa has other fabulous waterfalls that many people don’t know about. They’re on the periphery of the beaten path in regions previously overlooked or ignored. Some are hard to reach. They’re among the most underappreciated aspects of Africa’s natural heritage.
Dana Sanchez, 11:09 am
ECOWAS is credited with persuading Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh to give up power. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that it takes some external persuasion to remove a dictator. “Forget Trump,” a commentator said. “We in Africa were watching the Gambia and the drama there as African leadership for once, stood up to a tyrant and insisted he respect the outcome of an election.” This regional intervention represents a paradigm shift in African governance, an exiled Zimbabwean judge said. It’s no longer dictatorship as usual in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 6:42 pm AFKI Original
Large numbers of Chinese migrants have followed the money to Africa, but no one really knows how many — not even close. Estimates range from 250,000 to 2 million. Experts say informed guesses are anything from speculative to “very problematic.” It’s a problem because inaccurate claims about the Chinese migrant population can contribute to xenophobic election rhetoric and violence, says a migration researcher. In many countries, statistics on migration are incomplete, out of date or nonexistent. “Statistics are political,” a stakeholder said. The data may be out of date but it’s the only data we’ve got.
Dana Sanchez, 5:02 pm
In a sign that local credit ratings are becoming more lucrative in Africa, U.S. buyout firm Carlyle agreed to become the largest shareholder in Africa’s largest rating agency. GCR rates more credits on the continent than giants Fitch, Moody’s and S&P. Growth is constrained in the present credit ratings system, said the president of the BRICS New Development Bank. The Big 3 rate over 90% of the global sovereign ratings market. GCR specializes in national-level ratings, which rely less on a country’s sovereign rating.
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