Friday February 05: Business Top 10
1. Too Short To Fly? Just Start Your Own Aviation Company
They say when one door closes, another one opens. For one South African businesswoman, getting more female pilots into the skies is not just her work, it's her passion. Sibongile Sambo wanted to be a flight attendant with South African Airways, but she did not meet the minimum height requirement to become one. So she decided to star her own business, and had to sell her car and use her mother's pension money to set it up. Today, she is the founder of SRS Aviation, Africa's first female aviation company. In 2004, Sambo was commissioned with her first flight for the South African government.
2. All Aboard Africa's First Solar Bus
A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has been driven in public. Kiira Motors' Kayoola prototype electric bus was shown off at a stadium in Uganda's capital, Kampala. One of its two batteries can be charged by solar panels on the roof which increases the vehicle's 80km range. The makers now hope to attract partners to help manufacture the bus for the mass market.
3. 85 Percent Of Jobs In Ethiopia Are At Risk Of Being Automated
This throws a big spanner in the continent’s hopes of manufacturing its way into prosperity. A new study say nearly all jobs in Ethiopia, and more than half of those in Angola, Mauritius, South Africa and Nigeria could be taken over by automation. This is because the majority of jobs in those countries are either low-skilled or in industries highly susceptible to computers and robots, including the continent’s mainstay agriculture. The study, which draws from World Bank research, is authored by US-based bank Citi and the Oxford Martin School, a research and policy arm of the University of Oxford.
Source: Mail & Guardian Africa
4. Sky's The Limit For Africa's Infrastructure Projects
Africa’s current tallest building, the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, was built over 40 years ago – but it could soon lose the title. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has determined that 106 buildings of 200m height or greater were completed around the world in 2015, setting a new record for annual tall building completions. Despite capital intensive infrastructure development progressing fast on the continent, there was no mention of an African skyscraper in the ranking but this doesn’t mean the continent isn’t moving upwards.
Source: New Africa Business News
5. What Is The Electrify Africa Act About?
The bill will provide a framework for a major public-private partnership between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries to help millions of people gain access to reliable electricity. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed said the lack of electricity drives some families in sub-Saharan Africa to use charcoal and other toxic fuels, which cause more deaths than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.
Source: Voice of America
6. Economy 101: What Tanzania Can Teach South Africa
South Africa 'is flirting with recession' after a year of major shocks, but in Tanzania, the future seemingly has never been so rosy. Growth in Africa’s second-largest economy is under pressure following a slump in commodity prices, weakening demand from China and the worst drought in more than a century. The rand has plunged 14 percent against the dollar in the past three months as sentiment worsened and credit-rating companies downgraded the nation’s debt because of growth risks. But in fellow Southern African Development Community member Tanzania, which is similarly reliant on exports of minerals and has strong ties with China, the government is seeing brisk growth, with expectations that the economy will expand 7.2 percent this year, rising from 7 percent in 2015.
Source: Daily News
7. MTN Hire Top U.S. Lawyer To Fight There Fine
Eric Holder has been hired by South African based telecoms giant, MTN Group to assist in the company’s multi-billion dollar lawsuit in Nigeria. Eric Holder is a former U.S. attorney-general and MTN need his expertise pertaining to the $3.9 billion fine slapped on them by the Nigerian Communications Commission. The company failed to disconnect subscribers with unregistered and incomplete SIM cards at its unit in Africa’s biggest economy. They then got into negotiations and the fine was reduced by 25 percent. The Mobile giant then took the matter to court in Lagos and it has until mid-March to reach a settlement. The mobile company has been urged by Nigeria’s communications minister Adebayo Shittu, to drop its lawsuit in order to foster a settlement.
Source: Ventures Africa
8. Africa's Biggest Oil Producers Are In Trouble
The Nigerian and Angolan governments’ decision to approach the World Bank and the African Development Bank for concessionary loans could lead to a devaluation of the countries’ currencies. Both countries desperately require support to help survive the regime of low crude oil prices and strained public finances. The World Bank and other institutions such as the International Monetary Fund have recommended that Nigeria and Angola devalue their currencies which could form part of loan deals. Nigeria is against devaluing the naira, which trades at about 197/$ officially, while Angola’s kwanza is worth 155/$.
Source: Business Day Live
9. 4 Start Ups Leading The Field In Agriculture
Farming is a vital source of food and income for millions across Africa-- but there is still plenty of room for growth. As The World Bank recently reported, food production in sub-Saharan Africa needs to increase by 60 percent over the next 15 years to feed a growing population. But with the challenges to improve production, come new opportunities. Women across the continent are taking matters into their own hands, and kick-starting an enthusiasm for agribusiness among young people. Farming and food have helped them break down gender barriers and reap the fruits of success.
10. Nigeria Recoups Trillions In Looted Funds
Nigeria says it has recovered more than $2 trillion that was looted from the national treasury in the past 12 years. The money was recovered from “criminal groups and public office holders” by the country’s leading anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Authorities said the high rate of economic and financial crimes were possible in Nigeria because not just the financial system broke down under severe mismanagement, but also the justice system, due to the lack of a comprehensive legal framework, weak law enforcement agencies and ill-equipped judiciary, among others.
Source: Mail & Guardian Africa