1How Africa Can Fulfill its Agricultural Potential
Organisations like the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) are working to strengthen smallholder capacity and guide farmers into stable selling relationships with buyers. FtMA encourages farmers to engage in contracts extending beyond one season.
SOURCES: African Business Magazine
2Revising Africa’s Donor Model
Rather than expand government-run programs, researchers are testing if giving cash directly to the poor might be better. Michael Faye, president of GiveDirectly, says it wants to see cash accepted as a benchmark for aid projects in the future. While Faye acknowledged cash will never be a silver bullet (aid programs with larger budgets have been shown to be effective), he says cash can become the baseline to beat.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
3Kenya Tightens its Belt
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta proposed a 50 percent reduction on an unpopular new tax on petroleum products and promised expenditure cuts across government departments. The East African state introduced a 16 percent value-added tax on gasoline on Sept. 1 in hopes of raising $345.8 million to plug a budget deficit of 5.9 percent of gross domestic product in the fiscal year through June 30, 2019.
4Stabilising Zimbabwe’s Economy
Newly appointed finance minister Mthuli Ncube says the country is seriously considering using the rand as its official currency. Ncube, a former dean of the Wits University Business School and deputy president and chief economist of the African Development Bank, said that Zimbabwe had only three viable options to get out of the cash crunch it was facing.
5EU Wants a Different Relationship with Africa
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed a new alliance with Africa to deepen economic relations and boost investment and jobs. The proposal could help create up to 10 million jobs in Africa in the next five years alone, Mr Juncker said. The vision involves what he calls a “continent-to-continent” free-trade agreement. The EU plan comes after China announced $60 billion in financing for Africa last week through grants, interest-free and concessional loans, credit lines, and the purchase of African imports.
6The CAR Spends more on Weapons than on anything Else
The country has the lowest per capita income — less than $2 a day — in the world. Two-thirds of the country’s population lives in poverty, according to its government. But the landlocked nation has emerged an unlikely leader in an arena usually dominated by emerging or established powers, and relatively wealthier nations: military imports.
7The Sahara Desert’s Earning Potential
What if the Sahara desert was turned into a giant solar and wind farm, for instance? The scientists behind the research have looked at the maximum amount of solar and wind energy that could be generated in the Sahara desert and the transition region to its south, the Sahel.
8Rwanda’s Percolating Industry
An estimated 400,000 farmers across Rwanda earn a living by cultivating coffee. The crop, which last year brought in $58.5m, is key to the country’s economy. Rwanda exports more than 80 percent of its coffee, its second-largest export earner, with just 16 percent of all homegrown produce being consumed domestically.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
9Africa’s Future through Manufacturing
Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa says, “The role of data architecture in this metamorphosis cannot be magnified enough, and with the exponential value of industrialization, Africa’s development could be fast tracked to tip the scales of its economic potential. The only element left will be active collaboration between government, regulators, business and society.”
SOURCES: CNBC Africa
10Introducing the First Online Card in Tanzania
The virtual card will allow M-Pesa mobile wallet holders to make payments on any local or international website or app where Mastercard is accepted for payment, without the need for a bank account or credit card. Mastercard officials say, “the introduction of this functionality through the M-Pesa virtual card will revolutionize how people transact by removing the barrier of having bank accounts and risk of putting bank details online.”