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Counting the Africa Investment Forum’s Kitty

Africa Investment Forum's

The Africa Investment Forum declared it had secured $40.1 billion in investment – an increase on last year – after days of talking and intense boardroom negotiations at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Hundreds of delegates from scores of countries around the world got together to try to attract billions from foreign investors to boost business and fill a huge infrastructure gap. Organisers and delegates joked that it was like : “speed dating on steroids”. Fifty six deals worth $67.6 billion made it to the boardroom discussions at the forum, a 44% increase on last year, of those, 52 made it to approval. The deals , from 25 countries, secured investor interest worth $40.1 billion – an increase on the $37.1 billion garnered last year in the first forum.


The Risks Involved in the Hotel Sector in Africa

Hotel Sector in Africa

From high-end business hotels in Luanda to sprawling leisure resorts near Victoria Falls, the diversity of properties in the sub-Saharan African hotel industry is growing. A confluence of several factors, including solid economic growth, improved travel links and record tourist arrivals, are driving new investments by global brands. With a record 67m tourists arriving in Africa in 2018, up from 58m in 2016, the continent now ranks as the second fastest growing region for tourists globally. As the number of flights and routes into Africa continues to develop, both leisure and business visitors can be expected to grow and new hotel capacity will be required to accommodate these arrivals.


SAA Grounded for the Weekend

SAA Grounded

South African Airways has extended the cancellation of all domestic and regional flights to Monday, it said, as a majority of its employees went on strike on Friday. The state airline said it was aiming to operate most of its international flights departing from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport from Sunday. It said inbound flights from London, New York, Washington, Munich, Frankfurt and Hong Kong were set to operate from Monday. SAA, which has not turned a profit since 2011 and is without a permanent CEO, says the strike by unions representing more than half of its workforce will cost it 50 million rand ($3.36 million) per day and threatens its survival.


Zimbabwe’s New Money

Zimbabwe's New Money

The effectiveness of the fresh liquidity injection will be tested this weekend when the country will be without its dominant mobile money platform, EcoCash. Demand for cash has been elevated in Zimbabwe despite the over reliance on mobile money, most likely because money supply is low. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Zimbabwean central bank admits that the country’s “broad money supply of 4% is low compared to regional and international levels of 10% to 15%”. The impact of the cash crisis has been best captured by consumers being forced to pay premiums of up to 50% to get their cash from mobile money agents as well as a run-away Zimdollar vs US Dollar parallel market exchange rate currently at 1:20 against 1:15 on the official interbank market. 


Fishy Deals in Namibia

Deals in Namibia

Two Namibian government ministers have resigned and the boss of Iceland’s biggest fishing company has stepped aside amid a spiralling scandal over alleged bribes paid to officials in the southern African country in exchange for trawling rights. Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, the CEO of the Icelandic fishing firm Samherji, and Namibia’s fisheries and justice ministers, Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala, are the first heads to roll following revelations this week of a vast corruption case. Three thousand company documents released by WikiLeaks and investigations by the Icelandic magazine Stundin and the TV show Kveikur showed how Samherji had allegedly paid more than £6.2m since 2012 to ensure access to the fishing quotas, transferring the proceeds from the catches, mainly of horse-mackerel, via a web of offshore firms to a shell company in the Marshall Islands.


Africa’s Role in the Climate Change Fight

Climate Change Fight

African governments need to speed up the implementation of environmental reforms if the continent is to match global efforts to combat climate change, according to a senior United Nations official. “As an African, I’m deeply aware of the existential crisis facing the continent, there’s no time to waste,” said Joyce Msuya, the deputy executive of the UN Environment Program. A significant challenge is the widely divergent capacities of individual countries to implement change, she said. “Making these changes are often very difficult and the fact is that a one-size-fits-all solution is not appropriate.” Msuya called for greater collaboration from “Africa’s global partners” to help make the switch to renewable energy. “The continent is blessed with resources, abundant minerals underground, including coal, and also enough sun to generate clean energy,” she said. “Sadly, the equilibrium between the value of extracting a resource, and the consequences thereof, aren’t in balance, something we’re striving to.”


ECOWAS and Free Trade Tested with Border Closure


Nigeria and neighboring countries Benin and Niger have agreed to set up a joint border patrol force to tackle smuggling between the West African countries. Foreign ministers from the three countries met to discuss smuggling following a decision by regional giant Nigeria, which has Africa’s largest economy and biggest population, to close its land borders to trade until at least Jan. 31, 2020. The delegates also agreed that the ministers of finance and trade from the countries would set up a committee to promote intra-regional trade, and said they would ensure people crossing their borders would display travel documents recognized by the Economic Community of West African States regional bloc.


Celebrating Africa’s New Crop of Entrepreneurs


The Anzisha Prize, in partnership with the African Leadership Academy (ALA) and Mastercard Foundation, has awarded $25 000 to 21-year-old Yannick Kimanuka from the Democratic Republic of Congo for being crowned the winner of the 2019 Anzisha Prize. The KIM’s School Complex, founded by Yannick in 2018, is a nursery and primary school which aims to improve how children perform academically in her community. This year the Anzisha Prize Forum was a half-day curated experience that included workshops on the Anzisha Scenario which gave stakeholders an opportunity to rethink their approach to youth entrepreneurship. On the journey to crowning the winners, the 20 finalists were put through their paces participating in an 11-day boot camp at the ALA campus where they were coached by industry experts on how to run successful businesses. 


The Cost of Living in Libya’s Capital

Living in Libya's Capital

Since forces holding much of the eastern part of the country launched an offensive on Tripoli in early April, more than 120,000 people have been displaced, according to U.N. estimates. A wide buffer zone was created behind the front lines, from which most residents were evacuated. Many flooded into the centre of the city of three million and have remained there as the offensive stalled. The cost of renting a furnished two-bedroom apartment has risen to about $2,140-$2,855 per month from 1,500 dinars before April, said real estate broker Abdulmajid Ben Mansour. Tenants are also being asked to pay six months rent as a deposit, usually in cash. Though a liquidity crisis has eased slightly since last year, salary payments are often long delayed and it can still be hard to withdraw cash from banks.


One-stop Platform for Road Freight Connections in Sub- Saharan Africa


Digital freight forwarder Saloodo! a subsidiary of DHL Global Forwarding, the leading international shippers and transport providers in South Africa, bringing the first digital road freight solution to the region. An efficient road freight network is a key conduit of trade within a geographically wide-spread country such as South Africa but also with 16 landlocked countries within Sub-Saharan Africa. Backed by DHL’s global and regional footprint and expertise, all contractual relationships on the platform are organized via the existing local DHL entity, providing trust and peace of mind to carriers and shippers alike.


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