Lacking substantial oil reserves, Morocco took a backseat to Angola and Algeria during China’s resource binge in the 2000s. That has changed as China seeks to diversify investments. Morocco now has three Confucius Institutes and is becoming the default investment destination in North Africa as instability continues in the region. Anti-Chinese sentiment in more established China-Africa relationships is also leading China to diversify its investment portfolio. Casablanca is scheduled to play host to the China-Morocco Trade Week in December 2017.
Tech: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 5:17 pm
Each security is equivalent to 100th of an ounce of gold and is backed by physical gold. The Nairobi all-share index hit a 47-month low March 8, driven down by bank stocks and a Safaricom selloff. Having local currency exposure to the spot price of gold is attractive to local pension funds and others restricted in overseas investment. “It makes sense to be adding complexity to the stock exchange… Barclays is ‘pushing at an open door by launching a gold-based ETF,” an investment advisor said. “There’s clearly demand for gold here because people see it as a store of value.”
Dana Sanchez, 4:58 pm AFKI Original
African exploration took a hit the last two years. Eni’s success shows it’s not over. Eni is Africa’s leading gas producer. With an oil sector less than 10 years old, Ghanaian companies have limited experience providing tech services to offshore operators. GE says it plans to provide training and support for the local oil and gas supply chain, and SMEs. GE’s new Ghana facility is already supporting Eni. Eni’s exploration success rate is the envy of its peers. Most of Eni’s oil finds were discovered in the last decade, mainly in Nigeria, the Congo, Ghana and Angola.
Ann Brown, 1:04 pm AFKI Original
When a coup in Madagascar sent her father into bankruptcy, 24-year-old Hanta Tiana Ranaivo Rajaonarisoa was forced to abandon her business administration studies in the U.S. She took over the family’s unused essential oil-making machine, and now supplies insect repellants to 40 pharmacies in Madagascar. Malaria is one of the country’s top 5 causes of death. Rajaonarisoa says she’s helping protect Madagascar’s amazing biodiversity — up to 90 percent of the country’s plant species are endemic — by using green waste recovery in her products.
Peter Pedroncelli, 11:22 am AFKI Original
The idea of funding a venture by raising money through many small contributions on the internet strikes a chord among Africans. It’s ubuntu at its finest. When Media 24 closed Ideas magazine in South Africa in 2016, former editor Terena le Roux took it upon herself to resurrect the publication. Thanks to support on social media, she launched a crowdfunding campaign via Thundafund. The money continues to come in, and she was able to relaunch the magazine.
Tom Jackson, 10:06 am AFKI Original
Vancouver tech innovator Barrett Nash was drawn to Rwanda for its repuation as an easy place to start a tech business. Rwanda issues entrepreneur visas to foreigners. It’s a lab-like environment where innovations can be cooked up and then brought to other African markets, Nash said. “Many startups try to conquer a market before they’ve mastered a product. A startup needs to grow into markets like Lagos and Nairobi, but getting the product right first is more important. Rwanda has created a continent-leading platform for taking this first pivotal step.”
Mongabay, 12:37 pm
An 8-pound monkey can cost $105 in Paris compared to $5.37 in Cameroon. In Europe’s biggest cities, demand for exotic delicacies or a “taste of home” drives a trade in African bushmeat that is as yet unquantified. African traffickers can get high prices for increasingly rare African species. The influx of bushmeat is small compared to the greater crisis in Africa. “Africa is eating its forests and we are looking at empty forest syndrome,” a stakeholder said. As African species get rarer and fetch a higher price abroad, Europe and the U.S. could become bigger bushmeat markets.
Dana Sanchez, 3:40 pm
Passengers flying nonstop to the U.S. on 9 carriers from airports in Egypt, Morocco, and six other Middle Eastern countries will not be allowed to bring electronics larger than cell phones in carry-on baggage. This is in response to unspecified terror threats and will be effective indefinitely, senior Trump administration officials said. Would-be terrorists “are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
Dana Sanchez, 3:22 pm AFKI Original
Despite declining oil prices, oil-rich Norway is the happiest country in the world — proof that it’s about more than income. The people who live in the happiest countries in the world also value good governance, freedom, generosity, honesty, and health, according to World Happiness Report. There’s a deficit of happiness in Africa. African youth are essentially optimisitic and resilient in the face of poor infrastructure, but they are disappointed with development under democracy, say the authors of the report.
Tom Jackson, 11:20 am AFKI Original
President Paul Biya promised to increase technology jobs by investing in infrastructure, but Cameroon had been slow in its digital transformation. Stakeholders believe investors will be reluctant to back local companies there as a result of the internet shutdown. The government shutdown is expected to damage the many startups that were getting themselves investment ready in the country. By restricting internet access, “the government is sending the wrong messages to investors … they are undermining the future of its people.”
Reuters, 1:01 am
Airbnb, a US-based online marketplace to list or rent short-term lodgings, expects to double its customer numbers in Africa this year to 1.5 million. Company CEO Brian Chesky was in Cape Town’s oldest township Friday to surprise graduates from an Airbnb training program. He described Africa as “an incredibly exciting emerging market for travel.” The top five Airbnb cities in Africa are Cape Town, Marrakesh, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Casablanca, although listings are found from St. Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.
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