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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, 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.
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.
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, 11:28 am
Newly elected Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga went to Taiwan for trade opportunities. The ruling ANC is furious, crying treason, conspiracy against BRICS and disrespect for the One China policy. The mayor said he considered SA-China ties but the need to create business opportunities should transcend party politics. Msimanga was elected mayor after the Democratic Alliance’s victory in Tshwane in the Aug. 3 municipal election. His office spent the first 100 days undoing “financial disaster” left behind by the ANC.
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, 1:19 pm
Hardly a day goes by when US. marijuana attorney Hilary Bricken does not get a call from someone overseas (often South Africa) asking about cannabis real estate opportunities in the U.S. With plans underway to legalize medical marijuana in South Africa, locals there hope to come up with alternative products that costs less and benefit the country more than Western treatment counterparts. South Africa is a major player in the global cannabis industry, producing a top strain — Durban Poison “The (South African) economic implications are absolutely astronomical if you look at what is going on in the rest of the world,” a local stakehoder said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:36 pm
In future, insurers, asset managers and banks are likely to benefit from the innovation revolution taking place in financial technology, which is creating new means of distribution. Partnerships will be key in reaching new customers, especially in parts of Africa where insurance premiums are being built into mobile subscriptions. “For insurers, the need to drive the distribution model and mobile platforms can fundamentally help,” an EY leader says.
Dana Sanchez, 11:41 am
Europe’s largest automaker is expanding in Africa, hoping to open an auto assembly plant in Rwanda and also pilot ride-hailing and car sharing services. VW’s move into “app-based integrated mobility” in Rwanda is significant for two reasons. It’s happening in an African city and it’s a new business model for future urban mobility. Rwanda does not have an established vehicle industry and Uber hasn’t entered the market yet. VW isn’t just competing with Uber. Other ride-hailing services are looking for new markets in Africa.
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.
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