You are here
Africa Economy Food and Agriculture General 

How to unlock the potential of papyrus wetlands in Africa

Most households in tropical sub-Saharan Africa – over 80% – use some form of biomass, such as charcoal or wood as their primary source of energy, mainly for cooking. They source this biofuel from scrublands, savannahs and forests. Wood is the main source of domestic energy for rural populations while charcoal is the major source in urban areas. But the capacity of biomass to provide the energy requirements of sub-Saharan tropical Africa is declining. This is problematic because the numbers that depend on it are growing as populations increase. By…

Share Button
Read More

Staying politically neutral is more dangerous for companies than you think

President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven Muslim countries has put corporate executives in a bind. Almost from the moment he announced the ban, questions poured in about where those executives stood on the issue. The media have highlighted a cluster of companies that have made public statements against the executive order. For example, Netflix called it “un-American,” while Ford Motor Company said: “We do not support this policy or any other that goes against our values as a company.” But overlooked are the many more companies…

Share Button
Read More
Africa Business Economy Featured General 

Zimbabwe hopes tobacco will revive battered economy

Zimbabwe has opened its 2017 tobacco-selling season with hopes the “golden leaf” will change the economic fortunes of the southern African nation. Officials say the tobacco yield has been increasing after a downward turn in 2000 when the government chased white commercial farmers off their land. Zimbabwean farmers applauded after the 2017 tobacco selling season began Wednesday in Harare at the country’s biggest auction floor. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya saluted the farmers. “Producers of tobacco are indeed our heroes. You are important to this economy. The foreign…

Share Button
Read More
Africa Business Economy Education General 

Why African countries banning imports of fruit and veg is a blunt tool

Zambia’s government has just banned the imports of some farm produce as a way of promoting the growth of the agriculture sector. The Conversation Africa’s Samantha Spooner asked Calestous Juma about the impact this will have on African countries and their agricultural sectors. Which African countries are the biggest importers of fruit and vegetables and how much do they rely on imports to meet local demand? In 2013, the import value of all fruit and vegetable categories for the African region was about $1.2bn. However, the trade tends to be localised…

Share Button
Read More

Are fossil fuel companies telling investors enough about the risks of climate change?

Prior to President Donald Trump taking office, there was a push to require oil and gas companies to inform their investors about the risks of climate change. As governments step up efforts to regulate carbon emissions, the thinking goes, fossil fuel companies’ assets could depreciate in value over time. The Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, was probing how ExxonMobil discloses the impact of that risk on the value of its reserves. And disclosure advocates have been pressing the agency to take more decisive action. Now that Republicans control Congress…

Share Button
Read More
Africa Business Economy General 

What steps is Tunisia taking towards fiscal reforms?

Since the 2011 uprising, Tunisia has been facing many economic and social challenges, prompting the government to initiate a series of reforms on several levels, particularly on the taxation front. Despite the country’s best efforts to making several reforms to the taxation system during the last decade, it has failed to meet local needs and expectations. In May 2013, the Ministry of Finance and Economy, in cooperation with national and international organisations, launched an in-depth fiscal reform programme. The diagnosis of the fiscal system at that time identified the following…

Share Button
Read More
Africa Business Economy General 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

The growing interest and activity in South African venture capital signifies an evolving and expanding opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs as well as the local economy. This is according to Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), who was speaking in light of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) 2017, an event taking place this week in Johannesburg, which identifies new ways of helping founders start and scale new ventures around the world. “South Africa’s venture capital (VC) ecosystem is evolving, with more…

Share Button
Read More
Africa Economy Food and Agriculture General 

Eyes in the sky and on the ground are helping forest conservation in Cameroon

The highland rainforests of South West Cameroon are among the oldest forests on the continent. They comprise the richest flora and fauna in continental tropical Africa. The area is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. The region encompasses high levels of unique, as well as endangered species. These include the Cross River gorilla, Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and forest elephants. But the region is also home to communities who rely on the land for their survival. Most of this unique forest is community land with no formal protected status. The…

Share Button
Read More

Building hotels in Africa: Radisson owner identifies its top cities

“For some of these economies that are in a downturn right now, it is actually the right time to get into the market – at the bottom of the cycle, not the top.” So says Andrew McLachlan, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s senior vice president of business development for Africa and the Indian Ocean. The hotel operator – which owns the brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn – launched its first African hotel (a Radisson Blu in Cape Town) in 2000. It has since expanded to 29 countries on the continent. According…

Share Button
Read More
Africa Business Economy General Technology 

Bringing connectivity to the entire world

In a world where you can make a Skype call to other countries via a watch on your wrist; where it’s possible to create a prosthetic hand by printing it; and where self-driving cars are starting to roam our streets, it seems bizarre that so many of the world’s population have never experienced the internet or been able to make a phone call. We typically see the technological divide as the gap between the developed and the emerging world. With this view, one expects that everyone in the US and…

Share Button
Read More