1Nigeria To Complete Major Goldmine
in Osun state, the Segilola Gold Project is Thor’s most advanced high-value
gold project in West Africa. It has an indicated resource of 556,000 ounces, an
inferred resource of 306,000 ounces and a probable reserve of 448,000 ounces
according to data obtained from the firm’s website. Regional infrastructure
lender, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), is also an investor in the gold
project with a $78 million debt-equity financing. Thor is looking to start
operations at the mine by early 2021.
SOURCE: VENTURES AFRICA
2Public-Private Partnerships Are Key To Creating An Enabling Environment For Africa’s Startups
One thing that Africa has no shortage of is entrepreneurs.
However, it is in the creation of an enabling environment – a startup ecosystem
– that will see entrepreneurs make a real impact on the continents economic
growth. Empowering entrepreneurs and startups is essential to drive employment
growth and enable both economic and social development. However, the main
challenge for startups in Africa is accessing financing, specifically
venture funding, that will help them take their business to
scale. Recently the World Economic Forum launched the Africa Growth
Platform, to help Africa’s community of startup enterprises grow and compete in
international markets through policy reforms and an investor
platform. Similarly, the World Bank launched l’Afrique
Excelle to address critical gaps in existing acceleration programs for
francophone African entrepreneurs. Partnerships between the government and
private sectors can achieve real solutions to some of the world’s most
3Kenya’s Agritech Startup Goes Pan-African
The high rate of waste and the lack of effective distribution
are two major problems plaguing the agribusiness value chain across African
countries. A startup tackling both issues has just bagged major funding. Twiga
Foods, the Kenya-based food logistics startup, has raised $23.7 million in a
Series B round led by US investment bank Goldman Sachs. The company also raised
an additional $6 million in debt. The latest funding follows a $10 million
round last November.
Twiga operates a two-fold business-to-business model which sees it connect demand to supply, by allowing retailers to order fresh produce from local farmers through its mobile-based marketplace and then manage supply through its logistics arm, thus reducing waste and improving efficiency. The company currently distributes food to over 8,000 retailers across Kenya. Twiga is now looking to expand into Africa.
SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA
4Zimbabwe Is Getting Another ‘New’ Currency
Zimbabwe’s central bank chief, John Mangudya, says he will introduce a new currency in the next two weeks to address biting liquidity shortages in the economy and regain monetary policy control after years of dollarisation. The as-of-yet-unnamed currency will have denominations of coins and notes with a maximum value of five Zimbabwe dollars ($0.25). The new currency would trade along with the bond notes and the coins and would have the same value as these surrogate currencies.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
5Zambia In Crisis Due To Climate Change
Zambia, along with several of its African neighbors, ranks among the countries most exposed to climate-driven disruption. The worst drought in nearly four decades in the southwest of the country hasn’t just caused crop failures: it also drastically curbed output at hydropower dams on the Zambezi river and tributaries that Zambia relies on for about 80% of its electricity generation. Meanwhile in the northeast, agricultural output has been hit by floods; which also washed away bridges. Zambia may be facing a deficit in food as well as power because of this year’s extreme weather.
6The Dilemma Surrounding One Of Ghana’s Most Valuable Rocks: Bauxite
Below the towering mahogany trees that blanket this lush
mountainside, hidden beneath the brown-red soil, lie millions of tons of very
valuable rock: bauxite. But the Atewa forest reserve is also the source of
three major rivers providing water to 5 million people. Ghana’s leaders
want to mine the bauxite, which they see as the country’s ticket to economic
growth – to uphold what it calls a barter deal with China. China is the top
buyer of minerals and rocks from Africa, pouring tens of billions of dollars
into mining across the continent. Water experts say the environmental cost is
too high resulting in a change of hydrology and ecology with a negative
influence on the millions of people depending on the water source.
SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST
7Kenya Turns To Saudi Investor To Make Turkana Water Drinkable
Authorities in Kenya’s driest region are in talks with a Saudi investor to build a desalination plant, after hopes of finding drinking water from an aquifer were dashed. The Lotikipi aquifer, discovered under the desert of Turkana in 2013, was estimated to hold 200bn cubic meters of water, enough to satisfy the needs of Kenya’s population for the next 70 years. But a government report from 2015 showed that the water from the aquifer was too saline for human consumption, with mineral levels seven times the accepted limit. It is too early to rule out that there is no fresh water in the giant aquifer but a desalination plant is a good option for the short term.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
8VW Eelectric Car Hits The Road In Rwanda
Volkswagen is importing a batch of electric powered Golf models into Rwanda for a local ride-hailing service, establishing a bridgehead in the country that it hopes to expand to other nations as it seeks to increase market share globally. Importing the vehicles into Rwanda, which sells itself to foreign investors on its reliable infrastructure, stability and relative ease of doing business, and where VW already assembles cars, is initially intended to test infrastructure and performance in the region’s climate. Rwanda’s prime minister Edouard Ngirente said he hoped electric car use could expand, noting fuel products were Rwanda’s biggest import last year. VW acknowledged the high price of electric cars would not appeal to most African consumers, but said scaling up production and favourable government policy could help bring prices down.
SOURCE: AFRICA NEWS
9Nairobi Startup Pushes Cleaner Home Cooking Fuel
Catherine Mutua has always used charcoal and gas to cook for her
young family. But, the source of energy she grew up with was becoming too
expensive. She found out that she can also cook with another kind of fuel,
ethanol. “So far it has been very economical, no fume so it is an
in-house solution and faster to use when you are cooking,” Anyango
said. “And it’s easy to control.” According to health experts, fumes from
charcoal and kerosene contribute to respiratory diseases. They also produce
carbon emissions that are heating up Earth’s atmosphere. Ethanol, by contrast,
is made from food sources like sugar or corn, and is considered carbon-neutral.
SOURCE: VOA NEWS
10Why Motorbike Apps Are Scrambling For Africa
Traffic jams are the great waster of time across
Africa. Young men with no jobs got the motorbike taxi industry going – and
now provide a service to millions of people. In some African countries it is
still forbidden, but Rwanda, for example, is now encouraging start-ups to take
up the challenge of helping the government regulate an industry in which most
riders are self-employed. Some estimates suggest sub-Saharan Africa’s
motorbike taxi market could be worth around $80bn (£62bn), and investors
are keenly backing start-ups committed to advancing “Uber-isation”
within the sector. Firms are trying to build up a massive pan-African user
network as quickly as markets will allow. Then, once critical scale is
achieved, they plan to monetise their networks of users by selling them useful
services like identity verification, as well as financial services such as
mobile payments, credit facilities and micro-insurance.
SOURCE: BBC AFRICA