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African Airlines Go on Shopping Spree at Dubai Airshow

African Airlines

Air Senegal signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase eight Airbus A220 aircraft to fly routes to Europe and West Africa from 2021. Under the MoU two aircraft will be delivered a year starting from 2021. The Ghanaian government also signed a provisional order with Boeing for three 787-9 Dreamliners intended to serve a new 90% privately-owned airline in which the state will have a 10% stake. Ghana’s state airline Ghana Airways ceased operations in 2004, and was liquidated in 2005 after it failed keep up with its debt repayments following a government refusal to any more bailout payments. One the first day of the expo, Ethiopian Airlines signed a services deal with Boeing to equip a fleet of existing 787 Dreamliner jets with internet connectivity. Nigeria and West Africa’s largest airline, Air Peace also inked a $212.6 million deal for 3 E195-E2 jets from Embraer, the Brazilian planemaker announced.


How The South African FMCG Space Can Learn From Kenya’s Example


The simplest way of optimising route to market is through pre-sales, which then creates a predictable order and allows for the best delivery routes to be calculated. However, for much of the market in South Africa this is simply not the reality. To service the main market, deliveries are based on a ‘best guess’ as to who will buy what from the van and when, and sales are all cash based. In Kenya things are slightly different. This is due in part to the high penetration of smart and feature phones, which enables practically everyone to access the M-Pesa service. An intelligent route to market solution on top of digital banking can bring route optimisation into a space where this was previously impossible, helping distributors to understand customer requirements, rate of sales, money collected and more.


Launching Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa

Angelique Kidjo

For global music star Angelique Kidjo, the image of her grandmother having to use a closet as a bank is driving her desire to see African women leap the many obstacles to obtaining credit — and respect. The Benin-born singer, one of Africa’s iconic artists is the voice of a new project aimed in part at rewriting laws across the continent that prevent millions of women from becoming a more powerful economic force. Kidjo described what she has seen over decades of travel in Africa during which women in vibrant marketplaces wished they had the means to do more. Every time credit is refused to African women, who invest some 90% of what they earn in educating their children and supporting families and communities as opposed to about 40% for men, it’s a disaster, Kidjo said. “We’re taking up reducing the poverty rate in Africa to the smallest number ever. That’s my passion. That’s why I’m here.”


Uganda Launches its First Mobile Phone Assembly and Manufacturing Plant

Manufacturing Plant

The site in Namanve, east of the capital Kampala, is run by Chinese firm ENGO Holdings and will produce SIMI-branded items. The first phase will see the plant assemble up to 2,000 feature phones (so-called “dumbphones”), 1,500 smartphones and 800 laptops per day. At a later stage it will begin manufacturing. Smartphones will retail at $54 and feature phones at $8. Manufacturing and job creation are growing priorities for Uganda’s government, and a significant amouny of the investment comes from China.


South African Airways Strike Ends

SAA Strike Ends

Gruelling talks between the airline and it’s union-represented workforce have ended favourably for employees, who have successfully managed to secure a significant wage rise – even if it’s not exactly what they asked for as part of their demands. The good news is that normal service is set to resume. From Saturday 23 November, all workers shifted will return to their jobs. SAA expect to have a fully-restored flight schedule in place by Sunday. Almost a thousand jobs are rumoured to be on the line at SAA. Media reports say that postponing these retrenchments is a non-negotiable condition that must be met.


Nigerian-owned Blood and Oxygen Delivery Company Wins Jack Ma’s Award


LifeBank recently got the top prize at the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), organized by the Jack Ma Foundation, for African businesses. LifeBank’s CEO Temie Giwa-Tubosun carted away with the top $250,000 cash prize out of the $1 million worth of prizes available to 10 entrepreneurs. Life Bank is a technology logistics company based in Lagos State. It was set up to tackle the problem of blood shortage in Nigeria. As at January 2017, the company had helped deliver over 2000 pints of blood to patients across the state. In partnership with the Ethiopian government agency tasked with exploring technology, Information Network Security Agency (INSA), the LifeBank team successfully tested drone delivery in Ethiopia last month. The drones were programmed to automatically pick up samples from blood banks and deliver to laboratories or hospitals without any form of human control.


Jumia Closes Shop in Cameroon Ahead of Black Friday

Jumia Cameroon

E-commerce giants Jumia has folded up its operations in Cameroon without prior information but the move confirmed rumours that had been making the rounds for weeks. Cameroon is off its website and applications as of November 18. The move also means the firing of its entire staff despite no official information from its management. The development means Cameroon becomes the third African country in which it has folded up operations. The earlier two being in Gabon and Congo Republic. Its operations spans different regions of Africa from North to East, West and Central Africa. It operated in 14 countries as at April 2019. Its biggest operation was in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria.


How a Nigerian Developer Landed his Dream Job 

Dara Oladosu

Software developer Dara Oladosu met Jack Dorsey, who was on a “listening and learning tour” in Africa with other Twitter executives and met with members of Nigeria’s tech community and business executives. One of their first stops was a meeting with tech publishers where Oladosu’s app, Quoted Replies, a Twitter-based bot that helps users collate quoted replies to tweets was discussed. Oladosu was not on the initial invite list for the event held at TechpointNG but a last minute invitation ensured he got to meet the Twitter bosses. n a video from the event, Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s Product Lead said the team is willing to implement Quoted Replies on Twitter as a feature and would like Oladosu to join the team to work on it. 


In the DRC Selling Insects is More Lucrative than Selling Fruit

DRC Selling Insects

A small pile of grasshoppers fetches the equivalent of $0.60. Gathering them costs nothing but time. Caterpillars are more valuable still. Once they are boiled and salted, a large handful will sell for $1.20—the same price as ten bananas. Households in Kinshasa, the country’s sprawling capital, consume about 300 grams of caterpillars about 80, if they are averagely juicy a week.Throughout November dozens of grasshopper-hunters gather at Goma airport most mornings. It is one of the few buildings in the city with constant electricity, and the lights that mark the runway attract swarms of the bug. People stuff them into plastic bottles to take to market. Buyers season them with salt and eat them with rice or cassava. 


Child Labour in the Spotlight in Zimbabwe


Mukwasine, a sugar plantation largely made up of farmers who resettled under late president Robert Mugabe’s 2000 land reform programme, has seen the practice of child labour grow in recent years. According to a US Department of Labor report published in September 2018, children in Zimbabwe engage in the what they define as the “worst forms” of child labour, including mining and agriculture. The report notes that the deterioration of Zimbabwe’s economy has contributed to an increase in child labour. Lack of access to basic education may also increase the risk. The lucrative sugar business has been rattled by an upsurge in cases, with the government threatening to begin an investigation.


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