Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020

Stay Smart About Africa

Africa Top10 Business News

Where to Invest in Africa 2020

Invest in Africa 2020

Morocco overtakes South Africa in the RMB investment attractiveness rankings. RMB Global Markets Research is proud to present its ninth edition of Where to Invest in Africa, which analyses 54 African economies according to their investment attractiveness. The latest publication returns to where it all began — focusing on the traditional and alternative sectors driving African countries to reach ever-higher levels of economic growth. This year, Guinea, Mozambique and Djibouti recorded the strongest gains in the rankings, with notable advancements in their operating environments. The rankings are as instructive on the downside, identifying countries that have either stagnated or outright deteriorated in one or more aspects of our methodology. South Africa, Ethiopia and Tanzania are among the more prominent countries to have taken a tumble. A deterioration in the ease of doing business has contributed to their relative underperformance and, in addition, South Africa is enduring a cyclical downturn.


Kenya’s $200m Dam Stopped

Kenya's $200m Dam

The building of a controversial dam in Kenya has been cancelled by President Uhuru Kenyatta after an investigation found that the project was financially and technically unfeasible.The president had asked a team to look into the building of two dams in Elgeyo Marakwet County, in western Kenya, after a corruption scandal broke in July over the awarding of a contract for their construction. The investigation found that no reliable feasibility study had been conducted for Kimwarer Dam, no thought given to the compensation that would need to be given to residents in the area that would be flooded and the technical design was problematic. The second dam – Arror – was found to be economically viable but some changes would have to be made to make it more affordable.


The Tallest Building in Africa Set in Africa’s Richest Square Mile

Sandton Complex
November 15, 2018.The Leonardo building in Sandton.Picture:Freddy Mavunda © Financial Mail

Africa’s tallest building is set to open next month as its developers seek to cash in on security fears and traffic jams by building a high-rise residential and retail complex in the heart of Sandton’s CBD. Designed by Johannesburg’s Co-Arc International Architects, the Leonardo supersedes the Carlton Centre as the tallest building on the continent. The 222m Carlton Centre in the city centre opened in 1972 as a hotel owned by Anglo American and now serves as the headquarters of Transnet. Of Africa’s 10 tallest buildings, four are in Johannesburg, three in Dar es Salaam, two in Nairobi and one in Lagos. Construction of the 314m Pinnacle Tower in Nairobi has stalled.


Great Renaissance Dam Hits another Snag

Great Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia has rejected a proposal by Egypt to operate a $4 billion hydropower dam that Addis is constructing on the Nile, further deepening a dispute between the two nations over the project.  In a press conference in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Sileshi Bekele, minister for water, irrigation and energy described Egypt’s plan including the volume of water it wants the dam to release annually as “inappropriate.” The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, announced in 2011, is designed to be the centrepiece of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, generating more than 6,000 megawatts. The two nations disagree over the annual flow of water that should be guaranteed to Egypt and how to manage flows during droughts. Egypt relies on the Nile for 90% of its fresh water and it wants the GERD’s reservoir to release a higher volume of water than Ethiopia is willing to guarantee, among other disagreements.


Andela’s Next Phase of Growth Means Job Losses


Pan-African tech firm, Andela announced that it is laying off up to 420 junior engineering jobs across its operations in Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya. Approximately 250 junior engineers and staff from its Nigeria and Uganda hubs were affected with another 170 potentially impacted in Kenya, the company said in a press release. The move comes as the company looks to restructure its talent pool to more closely align with global market demand, it added. “As the talent world has evolved, we have as well, and over the past few years it’s become increasingly clear that the world needs what Andela provides: high-quality engineering-as-a-service,” Andela co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Johnson said. Additionally, the company is partnering with Co-Creation HUB in Nigeria, iHub in Kenya, and Innovation Village in Uganda to help connect impacted developers with opportunities in their local ecosystems.


Tips for Investing in Africa’s Hotel Businesses

Africa's Hotel Businesses

A new report from JLL, the world’s largest professional services firm specialising in real estate, has revealed that people seeking to finance a new hotel project in Africa will be much more successful if their hotel is part of a mixed-use development. A driving factor for this trend is that hotels rent their rooms in euros and US dollars rather than in local currency which, from a financing perspective, reduces the risk to the lender and lowers the interest rate paid by the borrower. The research comes a week ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum  Africa’s highest profile gathering of the hospitality and tourism industry, which takes place in Addis Ababa.


10 Renewable Energy Start Ups in Africa

Start Ups in Africa

M-Kopa sells solar home systems to Kenya’s low-income earners by allowing them to pay in installments over the course of a year using mobile money. Mobile Solar Cell Phone kiosk is an alternative solar-powered mobile kiosk that charges phones and connects communities in Rwanda. Established to bring safer lighting solutions to off-grid communities who live in informal settlements and rural areas across South Africa, Shakti Energy is a South African startup that provides an alternative energy solution to thousands of households. iCoal Concept is a Kenyan startup that transforms waste from the charcoal industry and processes it into modern energy. Global Energy Solutions is a Nigerian company that develops renewable power projects and provides solar energy solutions to rural Nigeria.


Somali Women on the Move

Somali Women

Zamzam Yusuf, a grandmother of 29, is breaking barriers by entering the once men-only camel trading industry in Somalia. Of the world’s estimated 35 million camels, Somalia, a country of more than 15 million people, houses more than seven million camels – the highest number per country globally. Livestock is the backbone of the Somali economy with more than 65 percent of the population engaged in some way in the industry, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. But it is extremely rare to see a woman at any of the busy camel markets in the East African country. The milk, often referred to as white gold, also brings in a decent return. In Kismayo, one litre of camel milk is sold for $1 and Zamzam’s herd produces at least 400 litres a day.  In a bid to expand her business, which employs 10 people, Zamzam decided to join forces with two other traders.  In a bid to expand her business, which employs 10 people, Zamzam decided to join forces with two other traders. 


A Made in Senegal Drone

Senegal Drone

Mamadou Wade Diop has been working with drones both in the photography and health sectors for years. But recently, he decided to work with local blacksmiths and construct a drone made entirely in Senegal. He goes by Dr. Drone on social media and is the only person in the Dakar area who can fix broken drones. But recently, he’s taken his knowledge a step further, consulting with drone makers across the world on how to construct one of his own. Though he does a lot of work in the audio-visual sector, renting his services out to news and documentary crews as well as collecting drone footage of various places in Senegal to sell, the purpose of his drone will be in the health sector – a drone that can spread chemicals to prevent mosquito breeding in stagnant water.


Setting Up a Successful Airline

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways must avoid picking a board packed with politically-connected individuals after it is renationalised in order to ensure future success, its chairman said on Tuesday. Chairman Michael Joseph said the requirement for professionals to be put in charge of the airline is being built into draft laws that will guide the renationalisation. “We do not want to create a situation that we had before, where you nationalise the airline and all it becomes is a department of government. The board of directors is loaded by friends of politicians.” Under the model approved by lawmakers, Kenya Airways will become one of four subsidiaries in an Aviation Holding Company.