Date Archives for December 2016
Dana Sanchez, 11:00 am
At the southern tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, you can take a self-guided, five-day coastal hike. The Cape Agulhas Southernmost Walk rewards adventurous travelers with stunning views, beautiful beaches, and shipwrecks. You’ll meet fishermen and Khoikoi beach nomads. Accommodation is in three- and four-star lodges. Your luggage will be transported for you. All you take with you is a day pack.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi have a permissive approach to drone regulations, helping make them attractive places for trials. Madagascar has also tested drones to reduce the time it takes to transport life-saving supplies in areas where roads are impassable or transport infrastructure is nonexistent. How useful are drones for carrying out human welfare tasks? The work is still too new and the data too thin to know. One study said humanitarian cargoes are often much heavier than a drone can handle.
Staff, 12:00 am
Throughout 2016, the perception of bitcoin as a new safe haven persisted. People thought that if the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates, bitcoin’s perceived use as protection against economic uncertainty might be diminished. Its price might then fall. But despite the dollar’s 2016 gains and year-end rate hike, bitcoin still outpaced. When the U.S. dollar surges, currencies in emerging markets are devalued, increasing demand and the price of bitcoin, says investor Vinny Lingham.
Dana Sanchez, 11:00 am
Durban’s potential tends to bubble beneath the surface, not quite as bold and direct as Johannesburg or Cape Town. A laid-back city on many counts, its art scene, rumored to be burgeoning for the last decade, may be better described as simmering slowly. “Durban isn’t an easy city for creatives. But that isn’t to say the city isn’t home to some really staggering talent,” says Jonas Barausse of Street Scene tours. For a little more context, I spend a morning with Carol Brown, a freelance consultant and curator who’s considered a doyenne of the Durban arts scene.
Kurt Davis Jr., 8:15 am AFKI Original
Mozambique had a tough 2016. The country is unable to pay its debt until gas revenues are available after 2021. Public debt is expected to be near 130 percent of GDP by the end of 2016. The IMF continues to help Mozambique negotiate with creditors – a bright spot considering the IMF suspended aid to the country in April after evidence of $2 billion in hidden loans came to light. This “hidden debt” by state-owned firms has destroyed creditors’ trust in Mozambique.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:21 am AFKI Original
Cote D’Ivoire coach Michel Dussuyer has named his squad for the upcoming 2017 AFCON, with a 24-man team set to defend their Nations Cup title in Gabon. Stoke City striker Wilfried Bony and Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha have been included in the list of attacking players set to feature in the tournament that begins on January 14.
Staff, 7:19 pm
Countries conventionally seen as resource-poor, like Ethiopia and Rwanda, maintained higher growth in 2016 — as high as 8% in agriculture-heavy Ethiopia, despite the worst drought in decades. Successful African economies focused on expanding and diversifying to attract foreign investment. Some economists predict improvement in African economies in 2017 as commodity prices rise. Others are less optimistic that resource-dependent countries can change tack at this point. Diversification doesn’t happen overnight.
Andrew Friedman, 5:44 pm AFKI Original
Sierra Leone takes religious tolerance seriously. Not only are relations cordial between the two main religious groups in the West African country, but it is not unusual here to be both Christian and Muslim. Thousands of Sierra Leoneans are known as ChrisMus. “I see it as the same religion,” one of the faithful said, sporting a Jesus bracelet. “All of us say it’s the same god that we’re worshiping.” Overall, the country ranks as “partly free” for human rights compliance.
Dana Sanchez, 12:50 pm
Less than 10% of African households qualify for a mortgage for even the cheapest new house. But the low-income housing market has more potential than the high end, where most new home construction lives. African housing industry exhibits in 2016 indicated most stakeholders are targeting lower-middle and low-income housing. Poor performance in the high-end market and enhanced tax incentives are partly responsible. “There is a stagnation in prices in some high-end property due to too much supply,” a stakeholder said.
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.
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