1Will Crypto be Endorsed in Africa?
As the use of cryptocurrencies gains momentum, African central banks, gripped by crypto-phobia, are pressing panic buttons, with some taking the easy way out by banning the use and trading in cryptocurrencies in their territories. African Business Magazine explores the root of the fear.
SOURCES: African Business Magazine
2Zimbabwe’s Economic Reforms Hit the Pocket
The country’s markets have been roiled after a tax increase last week triggered panic buying of gasoline and spurred individuals to turn to equities as a refuge against rising prices. The value of bond notes which were introduced two years ago amid a shortage of hard cash in a country that doesn’t have its own formal currency has plummeted.
3Angola’s Scam of Biblical Proportions
WSJ looks at an elaborate $500 Million central bank heist and how it was foiled. Officials in Angola have charged four men in connection with an alleged plot that would have been one of the biggest of its kind. The new president’s anti-corruption effort and the teller’s sharp eye helped recover the bulk of the money.
SOURCES: Washington Post
4Africa Beefs Up its Tech Arsenal
A new Johannesburg tech innovation hub, called Toybox, gives inventors, artists and tinkerers room to work, a community to work with, and business support to get their inventions off the drawing board and into the real world. In exchange for its services, the hub gets a portion of the revenue the inventors end up making. There are similar places operating elsewhere in South Africa as well as Kenya and Rwanda.
5Meet South Africa’s New Finance Minister
Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted Nhlanhla Nene’s resignation as finance minister and appointed Tito Mboweni with immediate effect. Mboweni, 59, headed the South African Reserve Bank for a decade until 2009. The former Reserve Bank governor was the first black man to have his signature on South African bank notes. His biggest achievement at the time was building the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves to almost $40 billion from less than $10 billion.
SOURCES: Business Insider
6Africa’s Youngest Billionaire has been Kidnapped
Tanzanian tycoon Mohammed Dew, 44, was walking into the Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam for his routine gym session during the early hours of Thursday morning when two white men and an unknown number of accomplices in two cars waylaid him and quickly drove away.
SOURCES: CNBC Africa
7Ghana in Murky Chinese Deals
Chinese control is widespread in Ghana’s industrial fishing fleets despite national legislation prohibiting foreign ownership, a new study claims. Operating through “front” Ghanaian companies, over 90% of Ghana’s industrial trawl sector is now linked to Chinese firms, says London-based Environmental Justice Foundation. Some of these deals include hiring purchase agreements, where the license holder pays part of the acquisition price of the vessel upfront and the remaining amount in installments over a period of time.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
8The High Costs of Shipping to Nigeria
Analysis on overseas cargo and freight costs by MoverDB, an online resource for international shipping, shows that the cost of shipping both 20-foot and 40-foot containers to Lagos ports from New York is the most expensive globally. The report covers the shipping costs from New York and Los Angeles to 47 port cities globally. The high costs of shipping to Nigeria do not correlate with distance. For instance, shipping from New York to Nigeria is nearly double the cost of shipping to South Africa even though Nigeria is closer, by nautical miles, to New York compared to South Africa.
SOURCES: Quartz Africa
9How Rwanda’s Ban on Second Hand Clothes has Materialised
The Rwandan government says the decision to tax used clothes was not just about money. It was also about reclaiming dignity. Rwanda is attempting to shed the “dependency” and “third world” labels and wants to become a middle-income country by 2020. But 63 percent of the population still earn less than $1.25 a day.
SOURCES: Al Jazeera
10Big Demand for Affordable Phones in Africa
Egypt’s first smartphone maker is looking to enter the broader African market by the end of 2018 as it seeks to boost exports. Silicon Industries Corporation (SICO), which already exports to the Gulf, aims to start selling phones in Kenya, Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique and Ghana, Sales Director Mahmoud Ali told Reuters.