Tag Archives: Africa
Africa: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:52 am AFKI Original
Africa has been reluctant to adopt GM food technology for crop production, but that’s changing. Many African countries are willing to overcome domestic and international opposition to GM technology to boost their agriculture sector. Just four African countries allow GMO crops for cotton. In Africa, only South Africa grows GM food. Opponents urge African countries not to commercialize GM crops, saying it will put their agricultural sector in the hands of large multinational agri-businesses and hurt biodiversity. Proponents say GM crops are as safe.
Dana Sanchez, 8:04 am
MTN’s shares are down 35 percent since October 2015, when Africa’s largest mobile service provider reported a $5.2B fine by Nigerian regulators over unregistered sim cards. That could make MTN cheap enough to be considered for a takeover, Times Live reports. MTN had other problems in the last two years including foreign exchange losses and bad investments. Investing heavily in South Africa, MTN grew revenue and subscribers, but it would be difficult for an international operator to convince its shareholders to back a bid, given the challenges MTN faces, an analyst said.
Staff, 12:52 pm
The Duolingo app is video-game-like and addictive, according to Time. It was co-developed by Luis Von Ahn, the same Guatemalan-American entrepreneur who founded CAPTCHA — the test used by most website forms to make sure you’re a human, not a computer. It sold to Google in 2009. This allowed von Ahn to pursue his passion project — to improve education so all social classes could have better opportunities. Classes or computer-based language programs like Rosetta Stone cost at least $1,000, he said. “So we decided to do languages for free. We realized that we are teaching almost every European language you can think of, but we had no African languages.”
Dana Sanchez, 11:34 am
South Africa ranks fourth in world for titanium reserves. This should give the country a competitive edge in the 3D printing market for aerospace. It’s a market expected to be worth tens of billions of dollars as aerospace, auto and military industries seek cheaper way to make parts. Aircraft makers want to replace aluminum bodies with lighter materials such as titanium alloys. South Africa says its 3D printer is 10 times faster than any other laser melting machine available.The new manufacturing process could save millions of dollars on production and fuel costs.
Mongabay, 3:04 pm
Lemurs — small primates endemic to Madagascar — are among the most endangered mammals on Earth. A new computer-assisted recognition system — LemurFaceID — can use facial characteristics of lemurs from photos taken in the wild to identify them. The technology could remove many limitations of traditional identification and could do it faster, cheaper and more accurately than other traditional methods, researchers say. It could even help track lemurs taken from their natural habitat by wildlife traffickers.
Dana Sanchez, 4:02 pm
Africa has potential to boast more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else on Earth, says an Africa-focused investment manager. More than 200 African private equity deals were reported in 2016. Almost a third were in South Africa, but the potential in Nigeria is mind boggling. Internet spending in Nigeria was nearly $2B last year, with only 3% of Nigerians having fixed broadband access. Multiple billions in spending is driven by mobile internet users. Digital content and the subsequent advertising and brand exposure are, for the first time, accessible by the majority of Nigerians on their mobile devices.
Tom Jackson, 12:55 pm AFKI Original
U.S. firms are suspicious of non-homegrown products, whereas Germany had a more positive view of Africa, says a South African fintech manager. “No technology product, no matter how cool, sells itself,” she said. The CEO of an African blockchain startup hopes to start doing business in Hollywood and Bollywood. He encourages new startups expanding internationally to “develop the narrative around their product, unique value proposition, back story, and successes.”
Dana Sanchez, 11:51 am
One of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, U.S.-based Boeing ranked No. 2 among defense contractor in the world in 2016. Boeing Defense does business with countries across Africa in security including surveillance drones. “The aerospace industry needs to start paying closer attention to Africa, because this continent is clearly on the move economically and all the trends are pointing in the right direction for the expansion of the sector,” a Boeing stakeholder said. Boeing hopes its two new African offices will be positioned to meet an anticipated demand of 1,150 new aircraft in Africa by 2035.
Staff, 12:14 pm
A New York pizza chain is taking extreme measures to keep its pizzas authentic when it opens a pizza parlor in Accra, Ghana — its first in Africa. “I want to have the exact same pizza as in New York City,” said Dan Isaacs, co-owner of the new franchise shop scheduled to open on May 1. “New York City water has a very unique chemical composition and taste to it. I’m a purist — I wouldn’t want to do anything less than the original.” Famous Famiglia has 16 shops in NYC and more than 100 across the U.S. and overseas. It exports NYC water to other overseas shops in Mexico, Canada, China and Ecuador.
Dana Sanchez, 11:11 am
Facebook wants to connect everyone in the world with its social network, but that’s hard to do if the world doesn’t have internet access. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are building their own networking infrastructure on land and across the seas rather than just leasing bandwidth connections operated by telecoms. In doing so they’re assuming a role traditionally played by telecom companies. Facebook has announced plans to lay nearly 500 miles of fiber cable in Uganda by the end of the year, infrastructure it believes will provide internet access for more than 3 million people.
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