Jollof Rice Nigeria's National Dish

Original article published at TasteAtlas.

Jollof rice is Nigeria’s national dish that is believed to be the origin of the popular Cajun dish known as jambalaya. The other name for the dish is benachin, meaning one pot in the native language of the Wolof people who created it.

Although it is a Nigerian dish with Senegalese origins, it can be found all over West Africa with some variations in the ingredients, but the main principle stays the same – rice is cooked in a rich tomato sauce so that it soaks in all the flavors. The most common ingredients found in jollof rice include rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, salt, and pepper.

On top of that, any kind of meat, vegetable, fish or spice can be added. It is important to have a delicious sauce, so in addition to tomatoes, there are also ingredients such as coconut milk, nutmeg, partminger (African basil leaf) and sometimes even Roiboos tea used in the sauce.

Source: Read Full Article

Gunfire, blasts heard as survivors of attack in Kenya flee

NAIROBI (REUTERS) – Renewed gunfire and blasts were heard early on Wednesday (Jan 16) morning as authorities evacuated around 50 survivors of a militant attack on an upscale hotel and business complex in the Kenya capital of Nairobi, a first responder said.

Those saved included a pregnant woman, the first responder said, and the daughter of a former lawmaker. Ex-MP Boni Khalwale tweeted that she had been saved more than 12 hours after Somali Islamists began their attack.

Gunmen had blasted their way into the complex on Tuesday, killing at least 15 people and sending workers diving under desks to escape an attack claimed by Somalia-based Islamist group al Shabaab.

By 1 am local time (6am Singapore time), 15 bodies had arrived at Chiromo Mortuary and more were expected, an attendant told Reuters.

Identification papers indicated that 11 were Kenyan, one was American and one was British, he said. The other two were not carrying documents.

A US State Department official confirmed one of the victims was American.

“We can confirm that a US citizen was killed in the attack,” the official said without giving further details.

Kenya’s Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i had said at 11 pm that all buildings at the scene had been secured and scores of people evacuated. But he did not comment on the attackers’ whereabouts and said security forces were still “mopping up”.

Nairobi is a major hub for expatriates and the compound targeted contained offices of various international companies, in an echo of a deadly 2013 assault on a Nairobi shopping centre in the same neighbourhood.

“The main door of the hotel was blown open and there was a human arm in the street severed from the shoulder,” said Serge Medic, the Swiss owner of a security company who ran to the scene to help when he heard of the attack from his taxi driver.

A medic, who was armed, entered the building with a policeman and two soldiers, he said, but they came under fire and retreated. An unexploded grenade lay in the lobby, he said.

“One man said he saw two armed men with scarves on their head and bandoliers of bullets,” Medic told Reuters, as gunfire echoed in the background.

Kenya has often been targeted by al Shabaab, who killed 67 people at the Westgate shopping centre in 2013 and nearly 150 students at Garissa University in 2015. Al Shabaab says its attacks are revenge for Kenyan troops stationed inside Somalia, which has been riven by civil war since 1991.

Earlier in the day, office workers had streamed from the complex, some jumping from windows. Security forces continued to escort small groups to safety into the evening, with some hustled into armoured vehicles amid sporadic gunfire.

Foreign security advisers at the site scrambled to make sure their clients were safe.

GUNFIRE AND EXPLOSIONS

Kenyan police chief Joseph Boinnet said the attack began around 3 p.m. with an explosion targeting cars outside a bank followed by a detonation from a suicide bomber in the hotel lobby. As he spoke, a Reuters reporter on the scene reported heavy gunfire, then an explosion shortly afterwards.

Surveillance video showed three attackers dressed in black running across the parking lot at 3:30 pm shortly followed by a fourth. At least two of the men were wearing green scarves in the close-up footage. One appeared to be wearing a green belt with grenades on it.

Two Kenyans in their early 30s working with governance consultants Adam Smith International were among the dead, a family member said. Both had young families, she said.

A Spanish national was among the injured, a Spanish diplomat told Reuters.

The US Embassy had offered assistance, a State Department official said, adding all American diplomats were safe.

A woman shot in the leg was carried out of the complex, and several men emerged covered in blood. Some office workers climbed out of windows. Many told Reuters they had to leave colleagues behind, still huddled under their desks.

“There’s a grenade in the bathroom,” one officer yelled as police rushed out from one building.

Geoffrey Otieno, who works at a beauty salon in the complex, said he heard a loud bang from something thrown inside the building, then saw shattered glass.

“We hid until we were rescued,” he said.

Meanwhile, Simon Crump, an Australian who works for an international firm in the complex, barricaded himself inside a spare room with two other people. They waited there for about 2-1/2 hours for help to arrive, their minds racing.

“You’re hiding under a desk trying to figure out what’s going on, and you just don’t know, as there’s so much misinformation,” he said.

When soldiers finally reached the group, they instructed them to put their phones away and put their hands in the air as they made their way to safety.

INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES

Al Shabaab, which wants to overthrow the weak, United Nations-backed Somali government and impose strict Islamic law, quickly said it was responsible.

“We are behind the attack in Nairobi. The operation is going on,” Abdiasis Abu Musab, the group’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters by telephone in Somalia.

According to its website, 14 Riverside is home to local offices of international companies including Colgate Palmolive , Reckitt Benckiser, Pernod Ricard, Dow Chemical and SAP, as well as the dusitD2 hotel, part of Thai group Dusit Thani.

Kenya is a base for hundreds of diplomats, aid workers, businessmen and others operating around East Africa.

The Australian Embassy is across the road from the compound.

“I just started hearing gunshots, and then started seeing people running away raising their hands up and some were entering the bank to hide for their lives,” a woman working in a bank in the complex said, adding she heard two explosions.

Kenyan television featured appeals for blood from local hospitals and showed police cordoning off the route to ensure vehicles could move quickly. Red Cross ambulances ferried victims away.

Kenyan troops, concentrated in southern Somalia, originally entered the country to try to create a buffer zone along the shared border. They now form part of an African Union peacekeeping force.

The attack took place as a Kenyan court prepares to sentence four men accused of aiding the Westgate mall attack.

Source: Read Full Article

Operations At Nairobi Hotel Attack Make Progress In Containing The Situation

Inspector general of police Joseph Boinnet said ongoing operations to respond to a attack at the at Dusit Hotel has made progress in containing the situation and that six out of seven floors of the hotel have been secured.

He said the attacks happened in a coordinated fashion where three vehicles were targeted and a suicide bombing in the foyer of the hotel caused some guests to suffer severe injuries.

A Kenyan police officer who was among the first responders at the at Dusit Hotel attack says he saw bodies but ‘no time to count the dead’.

An AFP photographer has seen more than one dead person the news agency tweeted.

Meanwhile, some Kenyan hospitals are appealing for blood donations as the number of people wounded in the attack remains unknown.

Although Uber Kenya has halted trip requests in the vicinity, it is offering free rides to hospitals where blood donations are being done.

Night has fallen and it is not immediately clear whether attackers are still active in the complex and how many people might be trapped or hiding inside.

The Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab is claiming responsibility for the attack on an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi and says its members are still fighting inside.

Police say they have detonated a car they said had explosives inside and officers have moved away from other vehicles they suspect of having explosives. An unexploded grenade was also seen in a hallway at the complex.

As a car bomb smolders outside the gate, sporadic gunfire can be heard coming from the complex.

The al-Qaeda-linked group issued the claim via its radio arm, Andalus.

Police are aware that armed attackers could still be in the building but Kenyan security forces are in the process of “flushing” them out, Boinnet said.

He did not confirm any deaths and did not say how many were wounded.

There were initial reports of possibly two blasts and heavy gunfire.

Witnesses and police at the scene are calling it a terror attack.

Kenya’s national police are on scene to engage the attackers.

The blast from the complex in Nairobi, which includes a large hotel known as DusitD2, banks and offices and house international companies, was heard from AFP’s offices some five kilometres away.

Simon Crump, who works at one of the offices, said workers had barricaded themselves inside their offices after “several” explosions.

“We have no idea what is happening. Gunshots are coming from multiple directions,” he told AFP, adding that the people were terrified.

Several vehicles are burning and people are being rushed and carried from the scene. Police are in the process of confirming nature and types of injuries.

Police spokesperson Charles Owino earlier said that “we have sent officers to the scene, including from the anti-terrorism unit, but so far we have no more information”.

An AFP reporter on the scene said the gunmen and security forces were exchanging gunfire.

“There was a bomb, there is a lot of gunfire,” whispered another man working at the compound, asking not to be named.

“All police teams have been dispatched to the scene where the incident is. As at now we are treating it as anything, including the highest attack,” police spokesperson Charles Owino said by phone.

“All police teams including anti-terror officers are at the scene,” he said.

Ambulances, security forces and firefighters have rushed to the scene, sirens wailing. A large group of women have been hurried out by security forces, one woman still in hair curlers, another was on a stretcher.

“It is terrible. What I have seen is terrible. I have seen a human as I ran out and there is what looks like minced meat all over,” said one a man who said he ran from the scene, Charles Njenga. He did not give details.

“I have been hiding. My colleagues were running everywhere,” said another man, breathing heavily, who did not give an Associated Press video journalist his name. He said he hid in an office. “I didn’t see an attacker. Yeah, it was a terrorist attack. I think so.”

A witness, Robert Murire, said he saw at least two bodies at the scene, along with attackers wearing green and wrapped in ammunition.

Counselling and other trauma services are being provided.

What appears to be plainclothes security forces are seen inching their way toward the scene, guns in hand while helicopters could be heard. Other people appear to be taking cover behind fountains and other features in the lush outdoor complex.

An armored vehicle has arrived at the ongoing attack with police and army at the scene. Plainclothes police are going from shop to shop to clear out trapped civilians who are running away from the complex.

As a car bomb smolders outside the gate, sporadic gunfire can be heard coming from the complex.

Al-Shabab has vowed retribution against Kenya for sending troops to Somalia since 2011. The al-Qaeda-linked group has killed hundreds of people in Kenya, which has been targeted more than any other of the six countries providing troops to an African Union force in Somalia.

The attack immediately reminds many Kenyans of the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013, when al-Shabab extremists burst into the luxury shopping center, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people dead.

Nairobi, help assist victims of the tragic Westlands attack by donating blood today! Enter the code NBODONATE & get 2 free Uber rides to the following hospitals: Avenue, M.P. Shah, Aga Khan and Kenyatta Hospitals. Find out more: https://t.co/o0tKTfEBvD #UberCOMMUNITY pic.twitter.com/MBk2Z4i22n

— Uber Kenya (@uber_kenya) January 15, 2019

Press Statement by Inspector General @JBoinnet https://t.co/aXfJ2ELoun

— National Police Service-Kenya (@NPSOfficial_KE) January 15, 2019

News24

Source: Read Full Article

Global Warming: Severe Consequences for Africa

Record global greenhouse gas emissions are putting the world on a path toward unacceptable warming, with serious implications for development prospects in Africa. “Limiting warming to 1.5° C is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics, but doing so would require unprecedented changes,” said Jim Skea, cochair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III.

But IPCC, the world’s foremost authority for assessing the science of climate change, says it is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5° C—if, and only if, there are “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities.” For sub-Saharan Africa, which has experienced more frequent and more intense climate extremes over the past decades, the ramifications of the world’s warming by more than 1.5° C would be profound.

Temperature increases in the region are projected to be higher than the global mean temperature increase; regions in Africa within 15 degrees of the equator are projected to experience an increase in hot nights as well as longer and more frequent heat waves.

The odds are long but not impossible, says the IPCC. And the benefits of limiting climate change to 1.5° C are enormous, with the report detailing the difference in the consequences between a 1.5° C increase and a 2° C increase. Every bit of additional warming adds greater risks for Africa in the form of greater droughts, more heat waves and more potential crop failures.

Recognizing the increasing threat of climate change, many countries came together in 2015 to adopt the historic Paris Agreement, committing themselves to limiting climate change to well below 2° C. Some 184 countries have formally joined the agreement, including almost every African nation, with only Angola, Eritrea and South Sudan yet to join. The agreement entered into force in November 2016.

In December 2018, countries met in Katowice, Poland, for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—known as COP24—to finalise the rules for implementation of the agreement’s work programme. As part of the Paris Agreement, countries made national commitments to take steps to reduce emissions and build resilience. The treaty also called for increased financial support from developed countries to assist the climate action efforts of developing countries.

But even at the time that the Paris Agreement was adopted, it was recognized that the commitments on the table would not be enough. Even if the countries did everything they promised, global temperatures would rise by 3° C this century. According to the IPCC, projections show that the western Sahel region will experience the strongest drying, with a significant increase in the maximum length of dry spells. The IPCC expects Central Africa to see a decrease in the length of wet spells and a slight increase in heavy rainfall.

West Africa has been identified as a climate-change hotspot, with climate change likely to lessen crop yields and production, with resultant impacts on food security. Southern Africa will also be affected. The western part of Southern Africa is set to become drier, with increasing drought frequency and number of heat waves toward the end of the 21st century.

A warming world will have implications for precipitation. At 1.5° C, less rain would fall over the Limpopo basin and areas of the Zambezi basin in Zambia, as well as parts of Western Cape in South Africa. But at 2° C, Southern Africa is projected to face a decrease in precipitation of about 20% and increases in the number of consecutive dry days in Namibia, Botswana, northern Zimbabwe and southern Zambia. This will cause reductions in the volume of the Zambezi basin projected at 5% to 10%.

If the global mean temperature reaches 2° C of global warming, it will cause significant changes in the occurrence and intensity of temperature extremes in all sub-Saharan regions. West and Central Africa will see particularly large increases in the number of hot days at both 1.5° C and 2° C. Over Southern Africa, temperatures are expected to rise faster at 2° C, and areas of the southwestern region, especially in South Africa and parts of Namibia and Botswana, are expected to experience the greatest increases in temperature.

Perhaps no region in the world has been affected as much as the Sahel, which is experiencing rapid population growth, estimated at 2.8% per year, in an environment of shrinking natural resources, including land and water resources.

Inga Rhonda King, President of the UN Economic and Social Council, a UN principal organ that coordinates the economic and social work of UN agencies, told a special meeting at the UN that the region is also one of the most environmentally degraded in the world, with temperature increases projected to be 1.5 times higher than in the rest of the world.

Largely dependent on rain-fed agriculture, the Sahel is regularly hit by droughts and floods, with enormous consequences to people’s food security. As a result of armed conflict, violence and military operations, some 4.9 million people have been displaced this year, a threefold increase in less than three years, while 24 million people require humanitarian assistance throughout the region.

Climate change is already considered a threat multiplier, exacerbating existing problems, including conflicts. Ibrahim Thiaw, special adviser of the UN Secretary-General for the Sahel, says the Sahel region is particularly vulnerable to climate change, with 300 million people affected.

Drought, desertification and scarcity of resources have led to heightened conflicts between crop farmers and cattle herders, and weak governance has led to social breakdowns, says Mr. Thiaw. The shrinking of Lake Chad is leading to economic marginalization and providing a breeding ground for recruitment by terrorist groups as social values and moral authority evaporate.

*Africa Renewal, which is published by the United Nations, reports on and examines the many different aspects of the UN’s involvement in Africa, especially within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It works closely with the many UN agencies and offices dealing with African issues, including the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa.

Original article published at IPS by Dan Shepard

Dan Shepard is a UN public information officer specializing in sustainability issues–including SDGs, biodiversity & climate change.

Source: Read Full Article

DRC Farmers in “Schools Without Walls” Learn to Increase Harvest

It was almost four years ago in 2015 that members of Farmer’s Frame of Idiofa (FFI), a farmers group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), produced a mere eight tonnes of sweet potatoes on two hectares of land. But the main reason for the low yield had not necessarily been a climate-related one, but an educational one.

“Thanks to the knowledge about agricultural techniques learnt from Farmer Field School, FFI has produced 30 tonnes of sweet potato in 2017 from a field of two hectares,” says Albert Kukotisa, chairman of FFI, from Kikwit, Kwilu province in southwest DRC.

FFI’s group of farmers are just some of those across the country who are learning new farming techniques thanks to the Farmer Field School (FFS) – an initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

The field schools are not necessarily a new concept. According to a survey they were first introduced in 1989 in Indonesia where schools were developed to hope farmers deal with pesticide-induced problems.

And while they are also not new to the DRC, they are proving an effective way to educate and assist farmers.

Lazard Milambo, an FAO expert says that the new element to the FFS is that farmers are introduced to “new ideas with guided exercises without imposition and stimulating discussions by farmers.” He says the involvement of farmers themselves in the training process is also new.

With the FFS, however, farmers are not just told about new techniques and research, they are able to implement it also. Each week, a group of 20 to 25 farmers meet in local field and under the guidance of a trained facilitator they implement new farming techniques. Facilitators have various backgrounds and can include extension workers, employees from NGOs or previously-trained farmers.

“In groups of five they observe and compare two plots over the course of an entire cropping season. One plot follows local conventional methods while the other is used to experiment with what could be considered best practices. The plot of land belongs to a member of the group,” Patience Kutanga, an expert, agricultural engineer and one of the trained facilitators, explains.

Didier Kulenfuka, an agriculture expert adds that “small farmers experiment with and observe key elements of the agro-ecosystem by measuring plant development, taking samples of insects, weeds and diseased plants, and constructing simple cage experiments or comparing characteristics of different soils. At the end of the weekly meeting they present their findings in a plenary session, followed by discussion and planning for the coming weeks.”

According to a World Bank report, “DRC farmers are particularly poor and isolated, therefore vulnerable to climate impacts and other external shocks…”

In a country with 80 million hectares of arable land, “there are more than 50 millions of farmers in the country with land. Most of them are smallholders,” Milambo says.

And according to the same World Bank report the government is, however, committed to a green revolution, pledging to reduce rural poverty by 2020 through agricultural production systems. The government allocated 8 percent of its 2016 budget to agriculture.

But Kikwit, the capital and largest city of Kwilu province, and home to some 186,000 people, has only one university with an agronomic faculty.

Farmers and smallholders instead rely on the advice and knowledge of agricultural extension officers. And now, as Milambo points out, about two million smallholder farmers are working across the country with some 20,000 FFSs.

Françoise Kangala, a 47-year-old farmer of Kongo Central (formerly Bas-Congo) province explains that he learned a lot from the course, including how to identify the best field for planting his crop and how to choose top seeds. His increased knowledge showed in the increased harvest.

“So, my family has harvested 20 tonnes of maniocs [Cassava], Obama variety for a field of one hectare. In 2014 it wasn’t the case. The same land produced only 7 tonnes. Observations about results between old practices and the new is among the innovations of the approach.’’

For John Masamba, a smallholder farmer from Goma, North Kivu province, east of DRC, it’s necessary to popularise this system around the DRC “because it’s a school without walls.” He said he appreciated learning through practice.

“Together, farmers swap experiences. With the knowledge from FFS and using resilient seeds, I have produced [in 2018] 19 tonnes of maize from one a field of one hectare, compared to 7 tonnes in 2016,’’ he says.

Going forward this increased production by smallholder farmers will be crucial to the country’s food security. Smallholding farming contributes — around 60 percent — to the country’s food security, according to Milambo.

Original article at IPS by Badylon Kawanda Bakiman

Source: Read Full Article

Africa Top10 News

1Zimbabweans Up in Arms

Protesters in Zimbabwe barricaded the main roads into major cities on Monday to protest a fuel price rise. Over the weekend, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a more than 100% rise in the price of petrol and diesel, in a move to improve supplies as the country struggles with its worst fuel shortages in a decade.

SOURCES: Al Jazeera, Business Day Live

2What Africa’s Oldest Liberation Movement can Offer South Africans

The launch of the ruling African National Congress’ election manifesto over the weekend highlighted several aspects of South African society. The party, still, has the biggest network of people on the ground. After a careful reading of the entire document, analysts say what stands above the rest: this is a document designed to help the ANC continue claiming the middle ground, a bet that South Africa will continue choosing long-term sanity over short-term populist rhetoric.

SOURCES: Daily Maverick

3The Latest from the DRC

The southern African regional body Sadc has called for a unity government in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the disputed presidential election. Sadc’s intervention has been welcomed by some as a wise proposal to avoid further bloodshed. But others see it as another weak and dangerous compromise that undermines African democracy, and emboldens autocrats

SOURCES: BBC

4Zambia and Zimbabwe Offer Land to African Union for First SADC Multi-Billion Dollar Wakanda One Village Project

Zimbabwe and Zambia have offered 2,000 and 132 hectares of land respectively around the Victoria Falls area── which borders the two countries── for the construction of the Wakanda One Village. The project will serve as the first of the project in the Southern African region and will comprise a 100-bed teaching hospital, a university and technical college, primary and secondary schools, day-care centres, three five-star hotels, game lodge, pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, agricultural farms and parks.

SOURCES: Africa.com

5Lamin Sanneh, Scholar of Islam and Christianity Dies

The author or editor of more than 20 books and more than 200 articles, Dr. Sanneh focused most recently on the history of Islam in Africa; one of his last books, “Beyond Jihad: The Pacifist Tradition in West African Islam” (2016), explored Islam’s spread in the region and argued that it had been adopted because of peaceful traditions and not, as previous historians had said, primarily because of military conquest. Lamin Sanneh, who was born into poverty in a tiny river town in Gambia and became a world-renowned scholar of Christianity and Islam, providing key insights into how each religion took hold in West Africa.

SOURCES: New York Times

6Red Tape and Overpriced Services Drive Business Away from one of Africa’s Largest Harbours

Landlocked Chad and the Central African Republic have dispatched senior customs officials to Cameroon to look into allegations of corruption in the Atlantic Coast port of Douala. Douala is the nearest ocean gateway for Chad and CAR, but importers and exporters say they are fed up and want to relocate to Cotonou in Benin.

SOURCES: VOA

7Is 2019 the Year for New Leadership across Africa?

Across the continent, the election and the post-poll power struggle pitting two opposition leaders against each other has been closely watched as almost everywhere else on the continent politics has reached a turning point. This year there will be more than 20 elections in Africa – from Algeria on the Mediterranean to the economic powerhouse of Nigeria in the west and in South Africa, on the continent’s southern tip.

SOURCES: The Guardian

8Fintech Startups Received the most Investment in Africa in 2018

WeeTracker’s report shows that across 93 deals, fintech accounted for 40% of total funding raised and also accounted for five of the top ten largest deals. WeeTracker’s analysis includes companies that received investment for expansion or deployment in Africa, regardless of where they are headquartered.

SOURCES: Quartz Africa

9[PODCAST] Introducing Car Free Days in Nairobi

Terrible vehicle traffic makes Kenya’s capital city Nairobi one of the most congested in the world. It also brings air pollution which comes with serious health effects, including premature deaths and asthma.

SOURCES: The Conversation

10Young Mauritians Bring back Chinatown’s Vibrancy

Jean-Paul Lam is a fourth generation Chinese Mauritian and founder of the New Chinatown Foundation. The members believe that if they can spark a revival in Chinatown, the community will thrive once again and entice other young people back to Mauritius. A volunteer patrol group was organized to walk the streets at night to keep the area safe from a spate of recent night-time crimes.

SOURCES: CNN

Source: Read Full Article

Africa Top10 Business News

1What the DRC’s Election Means for its Economy

The prospective change of administration may spur optimism among mining investors including Glencore Plc and Barrick Gold Corp. that they can reverse elements of a fiercely disputed new industry code that raised royalties and added taxes. The African country is the world’s main supplier of battery ingredient cobalt and a key source of minerals from copper to tantalum. That means miners, analysts and users of the metals — which range from carmakers to mobile-phone companies.

SOURCES: Bloomberg

2Waste Management is a Growing Problem across Africa

Experts argue that as Africa’s urban growth mushroomed by 3.55% per annum over the last two decades – a trend expected to continue well into the future – the problem  of waste management has only become more acute and Africa’s waste generation is expected to reach 244m tonnes per year by 2025. Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to become the largest area of total waste generation in the world on current trends.

SOURCES: African Business Magazine

3How Africa Might be Hit by a Chinese Slowdown

With Chinese investment in some African nations worth more than some of those states’ own domestic spending, analysts fear the prospect of weaker investment in future and fading demand for commodity exports.

SOURCES: The Guardian

4Growth of Satellite Towns Gives Young Professionals an Opportunity to Own an Affordable Home

The development of satellite towns has been unstoppable due to the rise in demand to settle close to urban areas by investors who would rather commute to their places of work from their own homes than rent in the CBDs for a long time. Nairobi, for example, is the 97th most expensive home-rental city in the world after renowned destinations like Bangkok and Cairo according to Bloomberg World Airbnb cost Index.

SOURCES: Africa.com

5Crises Facing Libya’s Non-oil Industry

When Libya’s Trucks and Buses Company, the country’s sole automobile manufacturer, reopened in May 2017; many saw this as a sign of hope with the encouragement of the UN-backed government of national accord. But while it once turned out 5,000 vehicles a year, it now completes only 8 a month with demand mostly coming from Libyan state institutions.

SOURCES: Reuters

6Getting around Africa’s Megacities

Could Dar es Salaam’s experiment with Africa’s first ‘gold standard’ bus rapid transit system offer an alternative to a future dependent on private cars? Unlike many cities on the continent, Dar es Salaam isn’t trying to build a metro. It has chosen a less sexy but cheaper and more achievable route: the bus.

SOURCES: The Guardian

7Can a Crop Crisis be Averted in Zimbabwe?

Farmers are urging authorities to undertake cloud seeding to ease an early-season drought that’s hurting crops and destroying cattle pastures. For decades farmers have been using seeded clouds with silver iodide, which can thicken them to encourage rain by cooling water droplets and making them heavier, however, the science is disputed by some meteorologists.

SOURCES: Business Day Live

8Understanding Nigeria’s New Minimum Wage

President Muhammadu Buhari said that the salaries of workers earning above the new minimum wage will be renegotiated. He said it was important to properly prepare the minds of those involved so that they will not be taken unawares when the time comes.

SOURCES: Vanguard

9Ghana’s Contribution to Plastic Waste Can Be Reduced with the Right Investment

Nelson Boateng, Chief Executive Director of Nelplast Ghana limited, began moulding and creating pavement blocks from plastic in 2015. The company uses 70 percent sand and 30 percent plastic to manufacture the pavement blocks, but the ratio of the two materials changes depending on the kind of pavement project.

SOURCES: Africa.com

10Cashing In on South African Men’s Grooming Habits

South Africa has been slow to catch the “metrosexual” wave, but a growing middle class and the spread of fashion trends on social media has seen global companies such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal target more products at African men. Salon chains are opening men-only parlours to sell these products and to meet the demand for everything from manicures to eyebrow threading. Sorbet Man was launched as a spinoff from a women’s salon brand three years ago and now has 20 franchise stores. It expects turnover to rise 50 percent this year.

SOURCES: CNBC Africa

Source: Read Full Article

Can A Crop Crisis Be Averted In Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe’s farmers are urging authorities to undertake cloud seeding to ease an early-season drought that’s hurting crops and destroying cattle pastures.

The four-week dry spell has caused some farmers to delay planting summer crops, which include the country’s staple corn, while those that sowed earlier have seen plants withering in the absence of rain. Zimbabwe has, for decades, seeded clouds with silver iodide, which can thicken them to encourage rain by cooling water droplets and making them heavier. However, the science is disputed by some meteorologists.

“We expected a drought, but didn’t think it would be this serious, this early,” said Wonder Chabikwa, the president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union. While it’s too early to estimate the effects on harvests, the government should start cloud seeding to “save the situation”, he said.

Zimbabwe has endured intermittent food shortages since the government began an often-violent programme that seized most white-owned, large-scale farms from 2000. The situation has been exacerbated by periodic droughts. Today, the country is a net importer of crops such as soy, used as animal feed, and, often, corn.

Zimbabwe’s meteorological department expects “normal to below normal rainfall” between December and March, it said in an e-mailed response to questions. Traditionally, rain falls between late November and early April.

While parts of the country could expect heavy rain in January, it is mostly moving in from from the south, the department said. Zimbabwe relies mainly on the inter-tropical convergence zone weather phenomenon, which brings rain down from the equator.

While the start to the season has been poor, especially for crops such as corn and soy, farmers may be able to re-plant with short-season varieties and salvage harvests if rain arrives from the north, farmer groups said. They’ve advised their members to sell older livestock and concentrate on feeding young animals because of diminished grazing area.

“We used to plant in mid-November; nowadays we plant in mid-December because the rains come later,” said Shereni Shiri, a small-scale farmer in Zimbabwe’s northern Guruve district. “But planting in January? It’s foolish to think you’ll reap a good crop because by the time you come to harvest, the days will be shorter with less sun.”

BusinessLive

Source: Read Full Article

DR Congo runner up to challenge poll result

The defeated opposition candidate in DR Congo’s presidential election has vowed to challenge the result in court.

Martin Fayulu told the BBC the people of the nation deserved to know the truth of the election, which he said had led to a “coup”.

Another opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, was declared the winner amid accusations of a power-sharing deal with the outgoing president.

Several deaths and injuries have been reported in the wake of the results.

The election was to choose a successor to Joseph Kabila, who has been in office for 18 years.

The result if confirmed would create the first orderly transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

The influential Catholic Church, which posted 40,000 election observers, said the result did not match its findings.

What has Mr Fayulu said?

Speaking to the BBC’s Africa editor, Fergal Keane, Mr Fayulu said he would challenge the declared result in the constitutional court.

“I will do whatever is possible for me to do to get the truth because the Congolese want change,” he said.

Mr Fayulu admitted such a challenge would have little chance of success as the court was “composed of Kabila’s people” but he said he did not want to give his opponents any chance to say he had not followed the law.

“Felix Tshisekedi has been nominated by Mr Kabila to perpetrate the Kabila regime. Because today the boss is Kabila,” Mr Fayulu said.

“Mr Kabila cannot stay and make an arrangement with someone who will not have any power… Mr Tshisekedi knows himself that he did not win.”

Mr Fayulu said he feared there would be violence if the electoral commission did not give the true figures “polling station by polling station” and that it was the right of all Congolese to demonstrate according to the law.

Has there been any violence?

Thousands of supporters of Mr Tshisekedi took to the streets to celebrate but those who backed Mr Fayulu also came out in protest.

Violent scenes were reported in Kikwit, where at least two policemen and two civilians were said to have been killed.

There were reports of several hundred students protesting against the result and being dispersed by tear gas in the town of Mbandaka.

Protests were also reported in Kisangani but the south, where Mr Tshisekedi has broad support, was mainly in celebration.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged all sides “to refrain from violence” and widespread unrest has not yet been reported.

What was the result of the election?

According to the National Electoral Commission (Ceni), Mr Tshisekedi received 38.5% of the vote in the 30 December election.

The full results were:

Turnout was reported to be 48%.

How has the result been received?

Mr Tshisekedi hailed his victory, vowing to be “the president of all DR Congolese”.

His spokesman, Louis d’Or Ngalamulume, said there was “never any deal” with Mr Kabila.

Mr Kabila’s ruling party, whose candidate came a distant third, has not yet contested the result, although it did not rule out doing so.

Abroad, the response was a mix of appealing for calm and calling for clarification.

The African Union leader, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said any dispute should be “resolved peacefully, by turning to the relevant laws”.

The US hailed the “courageous” Congolese voters and called for a “clarification of questions which have been raised regarding the electoral count”.

The EU appealed for all parties to abstain from violence.

France did challenge the declared result, saying it was” not consistent with the true results”.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: “On the face of it, Mr Fayulu was the leader coming out of these elections.”

Why DR Congo matters:

Source: Read Full Article

CX Strategy according to Multichoice, Hollard, African Bank, FNB, ABSA, Comair, Uber and many more

Corinium Global Intelligence announced that it will be hosting an all-encompassing event, Customer 360 Africa 2019, that will cover all aspects of the entire customer experience journey. It has recruited a wide range of industry leaders set to share their experience and knowledge with attending delegates.

The event will bring together 45+ passionate customer centric professionals over three days of interactive knowledge sharing. Attending delegates will be privy to over 30 case studies, 6 panel discussions and 3 Keynote speakers. These sessions will cover topics such as; how does one prepare for the customer centric revolution, what does the role of CCO look like in SA, GDPR & POPIA’s impact on delivering exceptional customer experience, how does one define the value of insights, unlocking the power of CX through employee engagement, the importance of Voice of the Employee, how data and AI are used to optimise customer experience, UX and the online frictionless experience and much more.

Companies already participating include; MultiChoice, Hollard Insurance, African Bank, FNB Wealth & Investments, ABSA, Comair, Uber, Old Mutual, Alexander Forbes, Pepsi Co., Wesbank, King Price Insurance, Kenya Airways, AIG SA, Sasol, Ubank, Nedbank, University of the Witwatersrand, Joshua Knight, Edcon, Discovery Health, Telesure, Direct Axis, SA Taxi, Orin Hanrahan, Airports Company of South Africa, Momentum Digital, Netflorist, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Hippo.co.za.

The event also features a separately bookable

Dinner Workshop that will cover AI, IoT, Analytics, Blockchain and Cloud and the role they play in creating a human-centred customer experience. There will also be a pre event masterclass day with two separately bookable workshops on Customer Journey Mapping and Design Thinking.

About Customer 360 Africa 2019

This event is for everyone who is involved in the customer journey. This event will investigate ways in which organisations are currently succeeding within their entire customer experience through the presentation of actual case studies. This will provide you with a 360 degree view of your client and assist you with everything from deciding what to implement, implementation all the way through measurement. It will assist you to future proof your business in today’s competitive CX battleground… For more information, please visit http://www.customer360africa.com

About Corinium Global Intelligence

Corinium is the world’s largest community designed to inspire and support the emerging C-Suite executives focused on Data, Analytics, Customer and Digital Innovation. We’re excited by the incredible pace of innovation and disruption in today’s digital landscape. That’s why we produce conferences, private events and timely content that connect you to what’s next and help you to lead your company into this new paradigm. For more information, please visit: https://www.coriniumintelligence.com/

Source: Read Full Article