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   Strategies & Market TrendsAfrica and its Issues- Why Have We Ignored Africa?

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From: Glenn Petersen6/18/2018 9:53:18 PM
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Bancor launches blockchain platform in Kenya to enable community currencies

Chris O'Brien @obrien
June 18, 2018 7:00 AM

Above: Bancor
Image Credit: Bancor

Cryptocurrency platform Bancor announced today that it will launch a new blockchain service in Kenya as part of a financial system designed to help alleviate poverty.

The service will facilitate the creation of “community currencies” to boost local commerce and peer-to-peer collaboration. A community currency is a kind of alternative financial system that a group can use to encourage the creation and purchase of goods and services within a certain geographic region.

While some communities actually create physical money for such systems, the Bancor system will let Kenyan communities use tokens on a blockchain.

“We have seen the crypto world generate roughly $400 billion for new currencies, and we believe the same mechanics can be applied to help communities create wealth on a local level through the use of blockchain-based community currencies that fill regional trade gaps, enable basic income and food security, and promote thriving local and interconnected global markets,” Bancor cofounder Galia Benartzi said in a statement.

Above: Bancor system in Kenya
Image Credit: Bancor

The company says the system will help track the exchange rate value for such local currencies and will allow outsiders to purchase tokens to support community development and increase the overall value of the tokens.

The company is also working with local nonprofit Grassroots Economics, which has been helping communities develop such currencies. Bancor has hired the nonprofit’s founder, Will Ruddick, to oversee the project. Ruddick was once arrested by the Kenyan government for his efforts, but he now works with the government to develop community currencies.

Bancor, based in Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ of Zug, said it will seed creation of the currencies using some of the $153 million it raised last year in its own token sale.

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From: S. maltophilia6/29/2018 5:15:45 PM
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This site has become active again after being somewhat dormant, for anyone following this part of the world:

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To: S. maltophilia who wrote (1214)9/3/2018 12:44:58 PM
From: Stephen O
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this is worth a read

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From: TimF10/18/2018 12:20:24 PM
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From: TimF12/11/2018 8:36:51 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1226
The Good News From Africa
The continent is mostly at peace — and is reaping the economic, political and social benefits.
By Tyler Cowen
November 27, 2018, 2:30 AM EST

There’s a general feeling of optimism about Africa these days. And the good news, which runs deeper than rapidly improving health and quality-of-life indicators, deserves a closer look.

Perhaps most significant, a relatively high proportion of sub-Saharan Africa is at peace today. It is more stable and less prone to conflict, relative to previous decades. Violence in the Congo region and Rwanda, for instance, killed millions in the 1990s. There is nothing comparable going on today. This general move toward greater peace has been detailed in a recent report from the Institute for Security Studies.

This peace will also pay a demographic dividend, as the aging of Africa’s population, and the marrying off of many of its young males, will decrease the potential for conflict. Older, more settled populations are less likely to go to war.

The costs of war are far more numerous than death. War can cause malnutrition, long-term damage to infrastructure, polarization and ruined politics, and the traumatization of entire populations. So the likely ongoing diminution of war in sub-Saharan Africa should bring many collateral benefits, boosting an overall positive dynamic. Not only have Ethiopia and Eritrea stopped fighting, for example, but they have also resumed open trade and travel, to the benefit of both countries.

As long as peace holds, African nations should be able to continue to import new technologies from the rest of the world, and of course develop some of their own. That will lead to a virtuous circle of greater education, higher productivity, and more contentment with living standards, reinforcing the basic dynamic toward peace.

A second dynamic is harder to measure or prove, but is also likely positive: greater national unity. It is a longstanding concern that the colonial powers drew African national borders that did not sufficiently correspond to the underlying ethnic and linguistic groups. That in turn boosted the probability of conflict and instability by making many nation-states prone to bickering over the nature of the regime. Furthermore, the colonial powers made this problem worse by instituting “divide and conquer” strategies in their territories. The Belgian rulers drew people’s attention to the underlying ethnic divisions — such as Tutsis and Hutus — in what is now Rwanda, for example, and the British did something comparable in Nigeria.

One source of gain is simply that the colonial era is receding ever further into the past. In the meantime, a wide array of media outlets have helped to further African notions of national unity and cultural coherence. Soccer and other athletic teams compete on the world stage, and African players competing in Europe are portrayed as representatives of their nations, not particular ethnic groups. Commercial brands and celebrities help define national identities. Exposure to international media, most of all through smart phones and the internet, cements the notion that these regions are indeed perceived as nations by the outside world and that such designations are likely to stick. Mobile phones have knit together different African regions, and ethnic groups, in closer economic ties.

The notion of a nation as an “ imagined community,” to use a term from political scientist Benedict Anderson, is under accelerating construction in many parts of Africa. Cultures and cultural expectations are adapting to current borders, even given earlier injustices, thereby contributing to falling rates of violence and conflict.

Unfortunately, Africa is exposed to a lot of “ fake news,” perhaps more than Americans are. The good news, if you would call it that, is that Africans seem to be relatively skeptical of social media as a news source, and they put a relatively high degree of trust in international media.

Better yet is that most Africans say that the internet has improved their politics and economics. For instance, 64 percent of Nigerians reported in 2017 that the increasing reach of the internet was good for Nigerian politics. That number compares to just 43 percent in 2014, and positive impressions of a similar nature are common throughout Africa. For all the talk about social media creating divisions (such as in Myanmar), the net effect of modern technology seems to be greater unity, including with respect to national borders.

Many serious problems remain with respect to national identity — in places such as the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Cameroon — so a celebration would be premature. But, to pose a simple question, if you were asked to trade the Africa of the 1970s or ’90s for the Africa of today, the right answer would be pretty obvious. There has been so much net progress on the ground. The simple truth is that today’s Africa is still underrated.

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From: Glenn Petersen2/22/2019 5:04:15 PM
2 Recommendations   of 1226
Abiy Ahmed in a nutshell

by Tyler Cowen
Marginal Revolution
February 22, 2019 at 12:46 am

He is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia:

In that time, he has overseen the swiftest political liberalisation in Ethiopia’s more than 2,000-year history. He has made peace with Eritrea; freed 60,000 political prisoners, including every journalist previously detained; unbanned opposition groups once deemed terrorist organisations; and appointed women to half his cabinet. He has pledged free elections in 2020 and made a prominent opposition activist head of the electoral commission. In a country where government spies were ubiquitous, people feel free to express opinions that a year ago would have had them clapped in jail.

Here is more from David Pilling and Lionel Barber at the FT. Don’t forget that until the ascent of Abiy Ahmed, the internet was basically shut down for most of the country.

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From: TimF3/21/2019 4:58:35 PM
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Economic Freedom: How Botswana Turned Things Around

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To: TimF who wrote (1219)3/21/2019 5:10:01 PM
From: TimF
1 Recommendation   of 1226
Which Countries are TAKING OFF in AFRICA? - VisualPolitik EN

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From: Glenn Petersen4/12/2019 8:04:42 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1226
Jumia, founded in 2012, is the first African unicorn to go public.

The 'Amazon of Africa' soars more than 75% on its first day of trading
  • The largest e-commerce operator in Africa, Jumia Technologies, surged more than 75% on its first day of trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
  • Jumia Technologies has created a platform to make it easier for sellers and buyers to do business in places where traditional retail can be difficult for consumers to access, CEO Sacha Poignonnec tells CNBC.
  • Some of Jumia's biggest customers are Apple, HP and Huawei.
Maggie Fitzgerald | @mkmfitzgerald
Published 6 Hours Ago Updated 3 Hours Ago

Richard Drew | AP
Jumia co-CEO Sacha Poignonnec, left, applauds as Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah, center, rings a ceremonial bell when the company's stock begins trading, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, April 12, 2019.

The largest e-commerce operator in Africa, Jumia Technologies, ended the day with its stock up more than 75.6% on its first day of trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

The stock ended the day trading at $25.46 per share, above the opening price of $14.50. It has a market cap of about $3.9 billion.

"The Amazon of Africa" has 4 million active customers as of the fourth quarter of 2018, the company said in its S-1 filing. Jumia operates in 14 African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Egypt.

Jumia, founded in 2012, is the first African unicorn to go public.

As of December 2018, the company has accumulated losses of nearly $1 billion. Similar to Amazon, its initial shareholders will have to be patient on the path to profitability.

Jumia's platform lets customers buy a smartphone, a pair of shoes or a load of groceries. Its logistics segment lets you book travel and hotels, and the fast-pay segment lets you pay your bills or order a pizza.

The difficulty for e-commerce in Africa is for the sellers because of the inefficient infrastructure of the continent, Jumia CEO Sacha Poignonnec told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Friday.

"Its provides a lot of inclusion for consumers who have not necessarily the right access to retail," Poignonnec said.

Poignonnec also said there's a big opportunity in Africa because so many people haven't yet experienced online shopping.

"When we ask the people who have never used online shopping yet, the No. 1 reason that comes out is, 'I don't know how to shop online,'" said Poignonnec. "That tells you it's not about infrastructure, it's about consumers getting used to it."

Jumia, headquartered in Germany, works with local entrepreneurs and logistics companies to deliver the products. Half the packages are going into the major cities, and half into the secondary cities and rural areas.

Some of Jumia's biggest customers are Apple, HP and Huawei.

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From: TimF6/2/2019 9:43:33 PM
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World’s very first malaria vaccine to go to 360,000 African kids

Unfortunately its seems to be effective only about 40 percent of the time.

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