Africa Top10 Business News

Forbes Africa Announces 30 Under 30 list for 2019

Forbes Africa 30 Under 30

Forbes Africa has released its fifth edition of its 30 under 30 list, honouring some of the continent’s most accomplished young artists, entrepreneurs and tech stars. The popular magazine, this year, has released the names of 120 young African game-changers, all under the age of 30, in each of the four sectors – business, technology, creatives and sport. This is an increase from 90 people from the previous year.


Court Blocks Construction of Kenya’s First Coal Plant

Kenya's First Coal Plant

A Kenyan court has halted construction of the country’s first coal-fired power station on environmental grounds in a blow for the $2bn project’s Chinese backers and the green credentials of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The fossil-fuel project—the first of its kind in East Africa—has outraged activists, who say clean renewable sources are becoming ever cheaper and note that Kenya already derives much of its energy from hydro and thermal. Although the government sees the $2 billion Chinese financed project a sure way to promote economic growth, create jobs and secure an energy source for the future, Kenyans condemn the move. Environmentalists filed a challenge to the license in October 2016, highlighting climate change, health concerns, and a lack of nationwide public input about the project.  


South Africa’s CEO Bloodbath


The past few years have seen arguably the biggest exodus and purge of leaders from the country’s top companies and SOEs in recent history, with more heads expected to roll in future. Some are justifiably walking the plank, due to egregious performance in one way or another. Others have become the ‘fall-guy’ for unhappy shareholders, or are departing voluntarily after recognising the ship they are captaining is un-steerable.  Beyond the clear crisis playing out in SA boardrooms, this development also underscores the need for senior leaders being offered plum positions to first do their own due diligence on a company and role, as failure to do so can lead to unforeseen and sometimes undeserved reputational harm, an expert warns. “The environment has changed dramatically, and even the most enthusiastic and able of leaders have had to contend with insurmountable externalities that may impact their ability to be successful in their roles,” says Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, leadership strategist and founder of Jack Hammer. Leading SA’s top companies and parastatals has become an almost Sisyphean endeavour, Goodman-Bhyat notes


How Jumia Claimed Africa

Jumia Africa

Jumia, Africa’s largest online retailer, was founded in 2012 by Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, who were both former employees of the American worldwide management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Jumia offers customers the ability to buy products online, like phones and shoes, as well as groceries, flights, food delivery, and offers bill paying and cellular data plans. The company sought to build an online shopping experience, among other digital products, that could work well with Africa’s sometimes ineffective infrastructure. According to Chinese state-run news organization China Daily, Alibaba serviced 4.2 million African customers through its AliExpress services since it entered the continent. Jumia serviced 4.3 million users and 81 thousand active sellers in the 14 countries it services since it started. Amazon is available in 11 countries on the African continent, but neither Amazon nor Alibaba have had the benefit of getting their start in African countries. Jumia, for example, offers unique features like allowing customers to pay for items upon delivery.


Sub-Saharan Africa’s Advertising Spend, 0.47% of Global Investments

Sub-Saharan Africa’s Advertising

Africa is the continent with the youngest and fastest growing population in the world, with some of the fastest growing economies in the world, but it is still not attracting significant advertising investments. Sub-Saharan Africa hosts 17% of the world’s population, but represents only 2% of the world’s gross domestic product. In terms of advertising investment it represents only 0, 47% of global investments. This is mainly because Africa is made up of many different countries with many different cultures and languages, unstable rules and regulatory environments, and a historic lack of data to help understand the marketplace.


Kenya Signs Milestone Crude Processing Deal With Oil Firms

Kenya Crude Processing Deal

The Kenyan government has signed agreements with oil major Total, Tullow Oil < and Africa Oil Corp to develop a 60,000-80,000 barrels per day crude processing facility for oil discovered in the country’s northwest. Tullow and Africa Oil first discovered crude oil in the Lokichar basin in 2012, which Tullow Oil estimates contains an estimated 560 million barrels in proven and probable reserves. Tullow has said this would translate to 60,000 to 100,000 barrels per day of gross production. In addition to the processing facility, a crude oil export pipeline from Lokichar to Lamu on Kenya’s coast was also part of the deal.  Tuesday’s deal is a major milestone on the way to a final investment decision on Kenya’s first oil project, which Tullow aims to reach by the end of the year. It expects first full-scale oil production in 2022.


Is Africa Cybercrime-Savvy?

Africa Cybercrime

In more developed economies there’s been an increase in attacks from ‘hacktivists’ who use the dark arts of cyber to embarrass, advocate or protest. According to cyber analytics firm Kaspersky Lab, there are 13,842 cyber attacks daily in South Africa. That equates to more than 570 attacks every hour. Bank fraud, particularly the use of malware on mobile phones, has also increased dramatically, says the South African Banking Risk Information Centre. They compete by offering so-called offensive tools, explains Neil Walsh, head of cybersecurity and fraud at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. These are computer networks and mobile phones that are turned into listening devices. It opens opportunities to meddle in elections, steal data or seek ransom funds from targets that may include governments, utility providers, the military, manufacturing and commercial players. African leaders cannot bury their heads in the sand and paint this as a developed country problem. Cyber awareness must become part of every aspect of life from doing business to alleviating poverty and providing security.


2019 Investment Attractiveness Rankings for Africa

2019 Investment Africa

Rand Merchant Bank has released the eighth edition of its Where to invest in Africa report, which analyzes 53 African economies according to their investment attractiveness. The theme of this year’s report is infrastructure, one of the most important aspects of doing business on the continent. Egypt appears to be the most attractive investment market.


South Africa Stuck in Longest Business-Cycle Slump Since 1945

SA Business-Cycle Slump

The economy entered the 67th month of a weakening cycle in June, according to the Reserve Bank’s Quarterly Bulletin released Thursday in the capital, Pretoria. That’s after gross domestic product contracted the most in a decade in the three months through March. Africa’s most-industrialized economy went through a recession in 2018 and it shrank again in the first quarter of this year as the nation suffered the worst power outages since 2008. The Reserve Bank forecasts the economy, which hasn’t expanded at more than 2% since 2013, will only achieve 1% growth this year. The central bank monitors about 200 indicators representing economic processes such as production, sales, employment and prices to determine the direction of the trend.


Uber Aiming for Expansion in Fast-Growing West African Markets

Uber West African

Global ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc is in talks with regulators over plans to expand into two West African countries and provide a boat service in Nigerian megacity Lagos, a company executive said on Thursday. Uber, which said it has 36,000 active drivers in sub-Saharan Africa, operates in a number of countries in East and South Africa but is largely absent from West Africa, aside from Nigeria and Ghana. The firm has identified the region as a target for potential expansion, said Chief Business Officer Brooks Entwistle. He said the company was in talks with regulators in Ivory Coast and Senegal regarding the possible launch of services. Uber faces stiff competition in African cities from Estonian ride-hailing firm Bolt, which until early 2019 was called Taxify. Bolt has grabbed business largely by taking a smaller cut from drivers using its app.


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