Africa Top10 Business News

1All Female Crew Fly Africa’s Biggest Airline

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines is marking International Women’s Day by operating an all-women flight from Addis Ababa to Oslo. This means airport operations, flight dispatch, load control, ramp operation, on-board logistics, safety and security, catering as well as air-traffic control are to be carried out entirely by women. Ethiopian Airlines is keen to showcase women’s longer-term contribution to the industry and the progress they’ve made in conquering male-dominated professions, like those of pilot and aircraft technician. “Women are an integral part of our success story from the start, and with this dedicated flight we honour and celebrate their indispensable contribution to our aviation group and the broader aviation industry, our country and the continent at large,” says Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GabreMariam.
 

SOURCES: BBC

2Analysts Look at Improvements in Africa’s Mining Sector

Africa’s Mining Sector

The African mining sector has endured a difficult time over the past five years. Commodity prices fell on the back of weaker Chinese demand and investment decisions on both mine projects and the railways needed to support them were delayed. New frontiers, such as iron ore development on the borders of Gabon, Republic of Congo and Cameroon, were worst hit, but even established areas of production suffered. The outlook for 2019 is not one of unadulterated confidence but there are reasons for cautious optimism. Fitch Solutions forecasts that global copper demand will increase from 23.6m tonnes in 2018 to 29.8m tonnes in 2027, an average annual rise of 2.6%. This is well above expected production increases, so prices for Zambian and Congolese copper are likely to rise, increasing the pressure for new mine development.

SOURCES: AFRICAN BUSINESS MAGAZINE

3Upgrading the African Startup Landscape

African Startup Landscape

While innovation has been at the heart of many of the progressive discussions around African development over the last decade, the focus has tended to be centered on the benefits and impact of digital technology as internet penetration rises across the continent. Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) is based in Lagos and is the early home for some of Nigeria’s best-known startups. Earlier this month, it opened a design hub and innovation center in Kigali, Rwanda. The new center aligns with CcHub’s original vision to take advantage of technology’s potential to meet Africa’s challenges in education, health, and governance “while unlocking social and economic value,” says co-founder Bosun Tijani. CcHub’s design lab in Kigali includes a research and development unit made up of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, product engineers, and designers. Unlike its hub in Lagos, where startups are incubated at various stages of growth, the lab is a space for collaboration where solutions for social impact are created.

SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA

4How a Digital Idea Turned Into a Viable Business to Help Smallholder Farmers

Smallholder Farmers

Six years ago while wondering how best to use her engineering skills, Tanzanian ICT entrepreneur Rose Funja decided to enter an innovation competition. Years later she has turned a digital idea into a viable business that helps smallholder farmers across the East African nation access credit. In Tanzania farmers struggle to obtain credit because many do not have bankable assets or a record of performance to offer as collateral. But Funja had an idea to help farmers, particularly women, obtain proof of land ownership that they could use as collateral to access credit. It was a smart solution: using geographical information system (GIS) technology to generate useful information for farmers.

SOURCES: AFRICA.COM

5Do Smart Cities Have a Place in the African Landscape?

African Landscape

Six years ago a major development was announced in South Africa. Billed as a game changer, it was meant to alter the urban footprint of Johannesburg, Africa’s richest city, forever. The Modderfontein New City project was launched and was dubbed as the “New York of Africa”. Early plans showed it was to include 55,000 housing units, 1,468,000 m2 of office space and all the necessary amenities for urban life in the form of a single large-scale urban district. Over the last decade, a variety of developments like Modderfontein, including Eko-Atlantic in Nigeria, New Cairo in Egypt, and Konza Technology City in Kenya, have been touted by both public and private sectors as panaceas for Africa’s urban problems. The thinking is that as the developments are disconnected from the existing urban landscape, they won’t be burdened by crime or informality. However, these projects can take badly needed resources away from the marginalised areas of the city.

SOURCES: THE CITIZEN

6There’s a $700-billion Opportunity for African Countries

$700-billion Opportunity Africa

This can be achieved over the next five years if they can close the gender gap in mobile-phone ownership, according to GSMA, the global mobile-trade body. It bases that estimate on the commercial opportunity for mobile operators and the expected boost to GDPs as more women get phones. Digital commerce will be a big beneficiary, says a new white paper from consulting firm BFA, commissioned by the Mastercard Foundation. The sector—everything from retail e-commerce and the sharing/gig economy to the platform economy and digital trade—is still just 1% of retail commerce in Africa, compared with 14% and above in countries like the United States and China. Growth could have a massive impact on African countries, with their young and increasingly urban populations. But most governments are not ready. “Most African policymakers do not yet have a clear and comprehensive voice on the issues at stake or a national stance toward them,” writes BFA. Egypt is the only African country with any kind of e-commerce policy.

SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA

7Looking into Nairobi’s Gentrification

Nairobi’s Gentrification

Nairobi is unrecognisable from the sleepy town it was at the turn of the century. In the past 12 years land prices have soared more than sixfold in 24 of the city’s 32 suburbs and satellite towns, according to HassConsult, a local real-estate agent. What caused it all is disputed, though some developers whisper that the return of dirty money from the West after the 2008 financial crash fuelled the frenzy. Far more money could be made in Kenyan bricks and mortar than in rich-world stockmarkets. Analysts ask why bother investing in the Nasdaq (returns of 210% since 2007) when an acre in Juja, one of Nairobi’s satellite towns would have fetched an investor 1,428%? Shopping malls, petrol stations and apartment blocks were levelled; bulldozers cut through slums, leaving tens of thousands homeless. All this destruction may seem rather wanton in a poor city. Yet the government-backed body overseeing it, the Nairobi regeneration task-force, insists that the only way to save the Kenyan capital is to wreck bits of it.

SOURCES: THE ECONOMIST

8Grooming a New Generation of Coders

New Generation of Coders

Rwanda has embraced technology and is now preparing its young population for the future by launching a coding academy. The school’s motto “born to code” encourages young people interested in coding to pursue it as a career. The academy focuses on cyber security and software programming, and 30 girls and 30 boys enrolled in the first intake. A statement from the Ministry of Education said, “This model school will graduate its students in a period of 3 years attended by students who are “Born To Code” determined to pursue a life-time coding career at an early age to emerge as global software engineers.” The coding academy targets young Rwandans who just finished secondary school and performed well in Physics, Mathematics and English. The $4.6 billion structure that hosts the coding academy and the Nyabihu Technical and Vocational Education and Training School (VTET) was deliberately built away from the country’s capital, Kigali.

SOURCES: ALL AFRICA

9A New Frontier in South Africa’s Wine Industry

South Africa’s Wine Industry

South Africa’s wine industry is centered around Cape Town. But pioneers far to the northeast are forging a new frontier in unlikely surroundings as changing weather patterns test long-held conventions. Cathedral Peak wine estate’s vines grow in the foothills of the Central Drakensberg, or “Dragon Mountains,” the towering range that forms a natural western boundary for KwaZulu-Natal province. Producing wine here at 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) means turning tradition on its head and nurturing grapes in steamy summer rainfall, rather than the Mediterranean climate and cool, wet winters of the much more celebrated Western Cape.

SOURCES: BLOOMBERG

10Issuing Title Deeds Will Continue to Increase Young Investors Preference for Real Estate

Title Deeds

A survey done last year by Enwealth Financial Services in partnership with Strathmore University revealed that 62.8 per cent of Kenyans opt for land and real estate when it comes to securing future investments. The survey sampled out average Kenyans from the top and middle income earners who are majorly professionals and self-employed people who have savings and are planning to invest. As the year begins, investors continue to look out for the best places to invest in land, however, preference will be given to real estate companies who have been keen on ensuring that clients sign the legal documents involved in land transfer. Signing of legal documents assures clients that they will receive their title deeds at the end of their investment. A title deed empowers individuals to develop their property without any legal constraints.

SOURCES: AFRICA.COM