Zimbabwe: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 12:02 am
If you own a mobile phone, chances are it has tantalum in it from Africa and you have small amounts of the rare metal within inches of your brain. U.S.-based AB Minerals claims to have invented a new disruptive tantalite processing technology that it says will enable tantalum-producing countries to add value to the ore themselves rather than exporting raw ore to China. The company hopes to sell this technology all over Africa. The first African plant is expected to begin operating in Rwanda in 2017. Here’s part of an interview with AB Minerals founder and CEO Frank Balestra.
Dana Sanchez, 2:41 pm
Sweden-based Ericsson is at the show, predicting that 5G will dominate mobile subscriptions in Africa by 2022. It’s one of several companies trying to connect the dots between the latest technology innovations and their dependence on infrastructure. Thermal cameras that help protect African elephants from poachers are on display there, backed by Google and the World Wildlife Fund. And The Swazi Bridge Project is there — a tech company using white space bandwidth to deliver high-speed internet to people in Swaziland.
Dana Sanchez, 11:00 am
Africa is a paradise for birdwatchers with almost 2,500 bird species. Topping the list is Democratic Republic of the Congo with 1,139 species, followed by Tanzania, Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ethiopia. An African eagle, the bateleur is the national emblem of Zimbabwe. Endemic to Africa, it’s one of the most colorful birds of prey with jet black plumage, a scarlet face and orange feathers down the back. In 2009, this bird was listed as “near threatened” due to a drop in population. The bateleur spends as much as 80% of the day in flight, covering up to 300 miles in search of food.
Ann Brown, 2:52 pm AFKI Original
Simbarashe Mhuriro has learned that doing business in a country with a bad reputation requires a fighting spirit. Mhuriro founded Oxygen Africa, raising $7 million so far to develop grid-connected solar plants in Zimbabwe. “Every time I step in front of a panel of investors, it’s like stepping into a ring and fighting for your country,” he told AFKInsider. In the process, Mhuriro said he has learned to create his own destiny. “With renewable energy you get to effect change in people’s thoughts and actions.”
Dana Sanchez, 9:35 pm
For centuries, humans introduced alien species into new environments, sometimes with the hope of solving a problem. These acts often disrupted native ecosystems. Native to India, common mynas escaped into the wild in South Africa in 1902. Strong territorial instinct and a preference for living close to humans make the common myna an enormous urban pest. They’re known to kick other birds out of the nest. Their range is increasing so fast that they’ve been declared one of the world’s most invasive species — one of three birds in the top 100 species that could impact biodiversity, agriculture and human interests.
Uganda Could Be 1st African Country To Regulate Digital Currencies. Bitcoin Africa: What To Expect In 2017By Dana Sanchez, 4:52 pm
Some African countries have openly criticized bitcoin use. Others have taken a wait-and-see approach. Bitcoin enjoyed a rally in 2016 that’s beaten every major currency, stock index and commodity contract, surging 15 percent during Christmas week alone. Bitcoin transactions increased more than tenfold in Kenya in 2016, according to LocalBitcoins, the world’s largest online bitcoin trading marketplace. In 2017, Uganda could be the first African country to regulate digital currencies.
Dana Sanchez, 7:00 am
You need a visa to visit Eritrea, and another permit to go to Eritrea’s Dahlak Archipelago, a chain of 124 small islands and two larger ones in the Red Sea near Massawa. Off the beaten path doesn’t begin to describe it. You can expect pristine beaches and unparalleled marine life with few other tourists for miles. Dahlak’s pearl fisheries have been famous since ancient times. Charter yachts can be hired for scuba diving and pearl fishing. During years of war, fishery came to a halt in the area. The unexpected result of isolation? There are lots of fish and they aren’t shy.
Kurt Davis Jr., 4:29 pm AFKI Original
A sense of what Zimbabwe can expect post-Mugabe. Partnership in the fight against terror for Tunisia. Better strategies combating poverty and HIV in Swaziland. These are just a few of the wishes that a U.S. investment banker visualizes for African countries as the old year winds down and 2016 gives way to 2017.
Dana Sanchez, 12:45 pm
Coca-Cola and AB InBev are the world’s largest makers of soft drinks and beer, respectively. Africa is important for Coke because soft drink consumption continues to grow on the continent. Coke has not said why it decided to buy back the stake, but it might be in its best interest to avoid partnering with AB InBev, which has no experience in Africa. With little room left for AB InBev to grow meaningfully in beer, bankers speculate the deal-hungry mega brewer may eventually move into soft drinks. That could put Coke at the top of its list.
Dana Sanchez, 2:09 pm
Grace bought a $1.4 million diamond ring from a Dubai dealer and paid for it from her Zimbabwe account at the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. She changed her mind and demanded a refund to her bank in Dubai. The country’s economy is crippled by cash shortages and a forex crisis. President Robert Mugabe is immune from prosecution while in office. Grace is not immune. Many Zimbabwean lawyers won’t risk taking on Grace, but the diamond ring case is the second time Beatrice Mtetwa has gone head-to-head with the first lady.
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