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1Most Affordable and Most Expensive African Cities

Luanda remains the highest-ranking city in Africa, according to Mercer’s 24th Cost of Living survey which ranks cities around the world. In addition, two South African cities, Cape Town and Johannesburg have gone up in their ranking from 199 to 170 and from 191 to 177 respectively. Despite dropping off the top spot on the global list, Luanda, Angola (6) remains the highest-ranking city in Africa. This drop has been primarily because of the downward trend in the housing market and the depreciation of the local currency to the USD, making it more attractive for foreign investments and also cheaper for foreigners to live in.

SOURCES: Africa.com, The Urban Developer

2Is a Chinese-style Model Appropriate for Africa’s Future?

That’s the question former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala posed during an interview with CNBC. In answering this question she made an observation that “In most African countries, it has been shown that state-led growth – pure state-led growth – has really not worked… Some of our governments, when they get into direct provision of jobs and services – that’s where corruption creeps in because it’s not well-handled, the institutions of state are not strong enough, the checks and balances are not strong.” Data from Afrobarometer suggests that political and economic models predicated on one-party rule will eventually struggle to gain legitimacy and traction among African citizens.

SOURCES:  African Business Magazine, CNBC Africa

3This will be Africa’s Biggest Payments and Ad Platform

WhatsApp’s competitive advantage is in emerging markets, where its service almost always works, regardless of internet speed or available bandwidth. Facebook executives expect that the wave of disruption in traditional advertising from Africa will come from small companies more so than from big corporates. And predict that a Whatsapp Business capability will help the company cater for these small entrepreneurs. “If we connect many millions of consumers with many millions of businesses, at some point the businesses will pay us to get in front of more customers.”

SOURCES: Quartz Africa

4African Low-cost Airline Going Down Fast

Fastjet is on the verge of going bust and has warned shareholders its shares will cease trading on Friday unless it can raise more money urgently. The airline, which started operating in 2012 with the backing of easyJet’s founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is in discussions with major shareholders to raise more funds but admitted it had no assurance of a positive outcome. The airline has expanded into South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.

SOURCES:  Guardian, Financial Times

5Tanzanian Youth on Starting his Own Uber

Godwin Gabriel is the founder of Moovn, an app that seeks to capture a piece of the billion-dollar ride-sharing market that he hopes will give Uber a run for its money. He is no stranger to cracking big deals, at 17 he closed the biggest deal in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, by supplying food and beverages to a five-star luxury hotel. He believes the key to any ride-sharing service’s success is taking care of its drivers. To avoid the mistakes made by other ride-sharing apps, he has redesigned his app’s user experience to empathize with the driver, a trick he learned in his early days in the hospitality business.

SOURCES:  FORBES Africa

6McKinsey’s Involvement in South Africa Provides a Lesson for All

Reuters once reported that the Eskom contract is used by Harvard Business School as a case study for students. The case study asks students to imagine they are a McKinsey employee deciding whether to partner with Trillian to win a contract with Eskom, South Africa’s power utility. The New York Times looks at how McKinsey which is one of the world’s largest management consulting firms, and almost certainly the most influential, had earned R1.028 billion for only eight months’ work and involved in what would be one of South Africa’s most talked about corruption scandals called state capture which left the business world shook.

SOURCES:  New York Times, Business Insider

7Making African Science Research Accessible to All

African languages will have a formal role in the scientific research community with the launch of a publication that encourages and accepts research in indigenous languages including Swahili, Akan, Zulu, Igbo and more. AfricArXiv is an online platform that publishes preprints submitted exclusively from African scientists or those whose research is relevant to the continent. The idea for AfricArXiv came from tweets during a science summit in April by co-founders Justin Ahinon of Benin’s National School of Statistics, Planning and Demography and Jo Havemann of Access 2 Perspectives. AfricArXiv targets academics working in varied fields including architecture, physical and health sciences and mathematics.

SOURCES:  Quartz Africa, Scientific American

8Married Duo on Building a Global Brand in Swaziland

Sixteen years later, Black Mamba — a chilli sauce and condiments company in Swaziland —provides a direct income for 40 Swazis and is available in places as diverse as Taiwan and Tennessee. Its business model for a fair-trade and organic label could be the answer for Swaziland’s small-scale farmers. Black Mamba will be applying for a World Free Trade Organization guarantee later this year, its founders talk about the journey of finding “impact investors” who will help them access the capital they need to take things to the next level.

SOURCES:  OZY

9Intra-Africa Trade Pact Yields Results

A joint initiative between the African Export-Import Bank and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa saw the two key players sign a memorandum of understanding for a $1-billion financing programme that would support businesses through capacity building and market-information initiatives. It will also help small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs join regional supply chains, and will provide advisory services and guarantees to South African investors seeking trade and investment opportunities in African Export-Import Bank member countries.

SOURCES:  eNCA

10What Does Arts, Culture and Workforce Development have in Common?

According to a report by the United Nations, they all fit together seamlessly; arts and culture is an unappreciated form of creating sustainable jobs in cities around the world, and especially in Africa.  UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, published a landmark study, Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development which contends that culture is a key resource of sustainable urban development, including job creation and workforce development.

SOURCES:  Africa.com

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