Making it Easier for Africans to Invest in other African Countries
The President of the African Development Bank believes passionately that poverty has no place in Africa. Restless about creating opportunities for the continent and promoting food security through agricultural innovation, this is a man on a mission. Adesina advises looking beyond trading in the same things through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): “So as opposed to sending raw materials that dominate Africa’s exports to Europe or to America, or to China, if we start trading among ourselves, we should not be trading in raw materials, we should be trading in high value-added products.”
SOURCE: FORBES AFRICA
The Reality of the Continent’s Development Story
The Quality of Growth in Africa has sections dealing with GDP, Equity, and Employment; Structural Transformation for Quality Growth; Economic Transformation; Environment; and Urbanisation. The book opens with a critical analysis of GDP. Authored by Lorenzo Fioramonti, it argues the need for a new approach to the measurement of prosperity that is less reliant on simple GDP figures. He argues that GDP estimates do not fully take into account informal activities, nor the depletion of natural resources and the impact of pollution – all factors which are prevalent in Africa’s growth story.
SOURCE: AFRICAN BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Top Brands Named in Rights Abuse Case in the DRC
A landmark legal case has been launched against the world’s largest tech companies by Congolese families who say their children were killed or maimed while mining for cobalt used to power smartphones, laptops, and electric cars, the Guardian can reveal. Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft, and Tesla have been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in Washington DC by human rights firm International Rights Advocates on behalf of 14 parents and children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The lawsuit accuses the companies of aiding and abetting in the death and serious injury of children who they claim were working in cobalt mines in their supply chain. Cobalt is essential to power the rechargeable lithium batteries used in millions of products sold by tech firms. The insatiable demand for cobalt, driven by a desire for cheap handheld technology, has tripled in the past five years and is expected to double again by the end of 2020. More than 60% of cobalt originates in DRC, one of the poorest and most unstable countries in the world. The extraction of cobalt from DRC has been linked to human rights abuses, corruption, environmental destruction, and child labor.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
African Cities are at least 20 Percent More Expensive than Cities in other Parts of the World
Chad is one of the world’s poorest countries, but in its capital, Ndjamena, rent rates rival those of New York or London at upwards of $2,000 a month for a two-bedroom flat in the city centre. The dusty city on the edge of the Sahara was ranked the most expensive in Africa and 11th in the world this year by global consulting firm Mercer, which bases its annual index on the average cost of living for employees working abroad. The ranking is aimed at expatriates, whose modern flats are a far cry from the tin-roofed shacks where many locals live. But Chadians said that for them too the city is prohibitively expensive, with the price of housing and utilities, in particular, pushing many people out to neighbourhoods on the periphery with no roads, electricity or running water.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
Innovative Solution to Some of the Pressing Issues Faced by African Users
Nineteen startups from across the continent have been selected to take part in the AfriTech XYZ virtual accelerator programme, which will see them benefit from training in go-to-market strategies, networking and mentoring. AfriTech XYZ is an initiative run by Do it Now Now, which works with Africa-based startups to help them reach new networks and grow. It is a free to join, equity-free programme for pre-seed and seed-stage companies run in partnership with Google, F6S, Lagos Innovates, BongoHive, iSpace Foundation, PYPR, Strand Sahara and Academy London. Hundreds of applications were received, which have now been whittled down to the final 19 startups. The selected companies will now be connected to key expert know-how, tools, investors and legal support.
SOURCE: DISRUPT AFRICA
Top 5 Areas With Affordable Properties In Kenya
Kenya is among the low and middle-income countries where small and informal businesses make up the majority of all enterprises. The informal sector represents 82.7% of employment including a mother selling tomatoes, young men running a car wash, and a young man operating a motorcycle taxi among others. All of these individuals are looking for places that are offering affordable investment opportunities that are within their incomes. Africa.com has compiled some of the areas that have affordable properties with prices as low as Ksh 199,000 with flexible payment plans where young people can consider investing and settling their families.
The Credibility of Zimbabwe as an Investment Destination
Zimbabwe, which is banking on investment in its natural resources to arrest an economic free-fall, faces having the assets of the state mining company seized after a final appeal of a 2014 arbitration ruling failed. Companies linked to British Virgin Islands-based Amari Holdings Ltd. won the right to seize assets worth $65.9 million in compensation for Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp.’s cancellation of nickel and platinum ventures formed in 2007 and 2008. The ruling by the International Court of Arbitration was made after a hearing in Lusaka, Zambia. The state is seeking to convince investors from Cyprus, South Africa, Russia and Nigeria to spend billions of dollars developing its platinum reserves, the world’s third-largest.
Luanda’s Corruption Clampdown Yields Results
Angola has recovered more than $5 billion stolen from state coffers so far this year, both at home and from abroad. The money, including $3 billion stolen from the sovereign wealth fund, had been siphoned off by corruption and money laundering. An anti-corruption drive has accelerated in Africa’s second-biggest oil-exporting country since 2017, when Joao Lourenco became president, ending the nearly 40-year grip on power by Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
SOURCE: PUBLIC FINANCE INTERNATIONAL
Windhoek’s Energy Crisis
Namibia’s electricity generation has dropped to below 40% of its
capacity as the worst drought in almost a century has hit the country’s own
hydropower plant and others in the region reliant on water from dams and
rivers. The drought, plus power blackouts at South Africa power company Eskom,
on which Namibia relies for 70% of its energy requirements, has put the
security of the country’s electricity supply at risk. State power firm NamPower
said on Wednesday that electricity generation at Namibia’s only hydropower
plant currently ranges between 90 megawatts and 160 megawatts, compared to an
installed capacity of 374 megawatts.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA
Good Tidings From Zambia to Gemstone Companies
South African gemstone miner Gemfields Group Ltd said on Thursday that the Zambian government has suspended a 15% export duty on gemstones, excluding diamonds, from Jan. 1, 2020. Miners say the duty, announced in a September 2018 budget, has hurt their operations – one pain point in a wider dispute with the mining industry over tax rates. Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer, has tried to levy higher taxes on the mining industry – a key sector – as it grapples with high levels of debt and low growth. However, pushback from the industry has forced it to roll back plans to replace its value-added tax with a non-refundable sales tax, a big bone of contention in the industry.