1Banks Adapt to the Ever-changing Operating Environment in Africa
The digital banking movement in Africa started with the mobile wallet. There are over 100 million active mobile money users in Africa. The mobile wallet has improved the lives of Africans by facilitating participation and accessibility.
SOURCES: Forbes Africa
2Made in Nigeria Cab Services
Two Nigerian entrepreneurs – Chinedu Azodoh and Adetayo Bamiduro – teamed up in June 2017 to launch MAXOkada, a motorcycle taxi-hailing app. Drawing on their experience in running Metro Africa Express, a logistics startup they founded in 2015, and from the expansion of ride-hailing services like Uber and Taxify into Lagos, they realised that there was a need for a motorbike service to relieve traffic congestion.
SOURCES: African Business Magazine
3Ethiopian Airlines Takes Over Africa’s Skies
Thanks to major political reforms and relaxed visa rules, Ethiopia has emerged as a destination and a transfer hub for long-haul travel to sub-Saharan Africa in 2018. Data from the travel intelligence agency ForwardKeys shows Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport has overtaken Dubai as the leading gateway to the region. As such, travel bookings between Nov. 2018 and Jan. 2019 are set to grow over 40% based on a year-on-year growth—way ahead of other destinations in Africa and a significant jump from the January-October 2018 predicted growth for Ethiopia which stood at just 12.2%.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
4The Cost of Conflicts
The United Nations refugee agency has misspent millions of dollars on Africa’s largest refugee crisis, including paying $320,000 for what became a parking lot at the Ugandan prime minister’s office, an internal inquiry says.The new report by the U.N.’s internal watchdog says about $11 million alone is now being spent on a recount of the South Sudanese who poured into Uganda, to weed out potentially hundreds of thousands of “ghost refugees.”
SOURCES: Washington Post
5Togo Turns Electronic Trash to Treasure
The rising demand for technology has created a market for people who want to buy second-hand electronics at bargain prices. But it is not just demand for these products that is encouraging their arrival. It is also the inadequate recycling available in richer countries. Organisations such as the Basel Action Network are raising concerns that Western countries are simply not handling their own electronic waste effectively, leaving it destined to end up on cargo ships bound for West Africa, among other places.
6Sorting out Nigeria’s Ports
Nigeria has been trying to grab a larger share of the traffic in West African waters. However, despite some improvements, its ports are still considered some of the worst in the world because of delays, corruption and a lack of infrastructure. And that means it’s losing about $2.8bn every year to competitors.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
7Africa’s Marijuana Pioneer
The market for legal marijuana is set to be worth $146bn a year by 2025 with medicinal marijuana set to make up more than two-thirds of that, according to consultants from Grand View Research. As the first mover on the continent, Lesotho aims to capitalise on its green bounty by encouraging international investment not only in cultivation but also processing.
8The UN’s Debt to Africa’s Peacekeeping Missions
There’s a close correlation between the countries that supply the most peacekeepers and the ones to which the U.N. owes the most money. Ethiopia tops both lists — as of October, it was contributing 8,333 soldiers. Rwanda, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Indonesia are all simultaneously among both the 10 largest troop contributors and the 10 nations the U.N. is most indebted to.
9Mines in Guinea due for Upgrades
Societe Miniere de Boke, which mines aluminum raw material bauxite in Guinea has signed agreements with the West African nation to spend $3 billion on a railway, an alumina refinery and the development of new mining areas.
10East Africa’s Low Cost Aviation Trends
The introduction of flights by various budget airlines in the great lakes region has greatly improved travel, boosting trade and tourism, two of the area’s key economic pillars. CNBC Africa looks at the emerging trends in payments in the low cost aviation sector.