Barack Obama’s 2008 election as U.S. president inspired millions of Africans with hopes that strong ties to Kenya, country of his father’s birth, would mean increased U.S. involvement. Some believe Obama will leave office Jan. 20, 2017, falling short of those expectations. He has been blamed for not making African issues a top priority of his foreign policy. Others say he leaves a lasting legacy that will live on — especially in Africa’s young leaders.
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Kurt Davis Jr., 10:56 am AFKI Original
Kenya has long been known for fantastic athletes, but not so much for entrepreneurs focused on the business of fitness. Kenya-born Saloni Kantaria Mathur ranked No. 1 in Kenyan women’s tennis and studied law in the U.S. before starting an indoor cycling studio in Nairobi. The Reform brand is unmistakably Kenyan and it’s not your average gym experience. Reform integrates live-streamed performance data tech into classes, bringing the competitive instinct into the workout. Mathur shared with AFKInsider what she learned as a female African fitness entrepreneur.
Staff, 8:15 am
Blockchain has applications in industries other than financial services, a stakeholder says. Start-ups are already offering products that cover specific use cases. Interest was intense at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa in Cape Town. Most of us do not understand TCP/IP protocol, but that doesn’t stop us from surfing the web and exchanging emails. In the same way, clients will come to trust blockchain the same way they trust the Internet. Organizations starting now on a blockchain journey will have a first-mover advantage.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:45 am AFKI Original
The cosmetics industry in Africa is a burgeoning market that is set for increased interest from international brands as well as added opportunities for local entrepreneurs. From $400 per weekend to $1 million a month, local business successes form part of the cosmetics narrative in Africa, with opportunities waiting to be tapped. Here are 12 things you may not know about the cosmetics industry in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 5:26 pm
South Africans supported Semenya overwhelmingly on social media with the hashtag #handsoffcaster during the Rio Olympics. She experienced open hostility and protests from other runners who said the race was unfair because they were competing against a man. Semenya was born without ovaries. Instead she has internal testes and testosterone levels three times higher than most women. “If I was a woman 800-meter runner right now, I’d be looking to change careers,” a sports scientist said. SA is the only African country where same-sex marriage is legal.
Dana Sanchez, 10:57 am
A scholarly tradition tied to agriculture, stargazing in Ethiopia predates Christianity. Some historians argue that the first study of celestial bodies can be traced back to Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s space ambitions could make it the first country in the Horn of Africa and Northeast Africa to become a space power. Developing satellites and rocket launchers locally in Ethiopia could prompt Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and even Sudan to accelerate their own space ambitions.
Dana Sanchez, 4:40 pm
Local and international tourists flock to a centuries-old public circumcision ritual in Uganda and parts of Western Kenya. They watch teens and young men of the Bamasaaba tribe go under the knife without pain killers. If they show no pain, the “candidates” are rewarded with mobile phones, cash and cattle. More than 30,000 people attended the 2016 Imbalu festival. Ugandan tourism plans to build a cultural center celebrating and preserving the history of the Bamasaaba people. The goal is to attract international visitors.
Staff, 6:12 pm
Where there are challenges or deficits, business and investment opportunities often emerge in the informal sector. The East African informal sector contributes 30-40% of GDP. Operating off the grid (not paying taxes), informal-sector employers and employees run the risk of punishment, limited police protection, and lack of social support services. Consumers help keep the informal sector growing, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Formal companies are getting rich providing services to the millions of consumers who use informal services. Here are some of them.
Staff, 4:43 pm
Demo Africa has sent 20 African startups to Silicon Valley over the last four years. Arriving there is no guarantee of success. Twelve of the startups are still alive and breathing, four are on life support and four “are just dead and done,” said angel investor Stephen Ozoigbo. Demo Africa was launched five years ago by the U.S. State Department. It’s the African edition of a bigger group of events that include Demo U.S., Russia, Europe, Brazil and Demo China. The Demo-brand launchpad has helped big-name startups such as Adobe got exposure.
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:25 am AFKI Original
The South African private healthcare industry is among the best in the world, with quality care available through a selection of private healthcare giants that operate hospitals, clinics and medical facilities across the globe. The South African private healthcare industry is dominated by three major companies: Mediclinic International, Netcare Limited and Life Healthcare. With that in mind, we take a look at 12 things you may not know about South Africa’s three private healthcare giants.
Dana Sanchez, 2:32 pm
The U.S.’s National Basketball Association is on a fast track to build a brand in soccer-crazy Africa. The NBA held its first game in Africa in August 2015.
Now it’s launching its first African basketball academy for boys and girls. This will be the NBA’s sixth academy globally. This is its latest move to unearth talent from outside the U.S. and extend the league’s reach into new territories. Amadou Gallo Fall, the NBA’s vice president for Africa, is originally from Senegal.
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