Pulse #11 - South Africa's coding curriculum, Nairobi's high-tech city, the push for traditional medicine
The Data Room
Over 40% of global gas discoveries from 2011 to 2018 were in Africa (Mozambique, Egypt, Tanzania, Senegal and Mauritania and South Africa). Whilst gas makes up 5% of Africa's energy mix (the lowest in the world), this might look different in the future - but is heavily dependent on financing available for infrastructure, and policy efforts to displace fossil fuels.
Numbers in the Spotlight
($20bn) of debt is being restructured in Nigeria to help borrowers amid the economic downturn
($1.39bn) is South Africa’s budget to implement a coding and robotics curriculum for school children
($260mn) is the size of Nairobi’s anticipated Railway City project - its largest development since independence
($20mn) is the size of Music star, Mr Eazi's Africa Music Fund to support existing and emerging African musicians
(3mn) is the capacity of Dangote’s new fertilizer plant - the world’s biggest facility
Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities
The Kenyan government has invited tenders for the development of the much-awaited KSh28bn ($260mn), 20 year Nairobi Railway City project - Nairobi’s largest development since independence. The project is expected to create 200,000 employment opportunities, and will include the construction of a high-tech economic zone and affordable housing. The rail project in addition to Kenya’s Bus Rapid Transit system (starting construction next month), are expected to ease congestion in Nairobi - which costs Nairobi more than $210mn a year in lost productivity.
High value skills development and talent repatriation
New analysis reveals that 8 of the top 10 Africa-based startups that received the highest amount of venture capital in Africa last year, were led by foreigners. The analysis raises questions over white privilege in Africa's startup ecosystem, and has re-ignited debates over what constitutes an “African tech startup”, as many are domiciled outside of the Continent. African entrepreneur, Iyinolowa Aboyeji, has pointed to structural issues such as local banks and pension funds not yet embracing venture capital, and notes that with America's deep capital pools, it may make sense for African startups to domicile in USA to increase fundraising success.
The builders of Dangote Group’s fertilizer plant, now under construction in Lagos, have said that it will be ready to start production late this year. Owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, the $2bn plant will have an annual capacity of 3mn tons - making it the world’s biggest fertilizer facility. 60% of SSA’s population are smallholder farmers, but only 23% of GDP comes from agriculture. Fertilizer plays an integral part in the entire agricultural value chain; and eight times more fertilizer is needed for Africa to realise its agriculture potential.