Movemeback Pulse

Actionable African insight delivered to you on pulse


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

3,000,000 tons
(3mn) is the capacity of Dangote’s new fertilizer plant - the world’s biggest facility

810,008 cases
of COVID-19 confirmed in Africa (as of last week)
On The Continent This Week
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

South Africa will launch a new coding and robotics curriculum for Grades R-9. The curriculum to strengthen digital skills among children aged 5-15 years has a budget of R23bn ($1.4bn). South Africa may present a useful case study for the Continent, as despite the widespread recognition of the importance of these skills in the future of work (in addition to the benefits to children’s creativity) for a Continent where 60% of the population are under age 25, very few education systems in Africa have adapted to this reality. 

Intra-continental connectivity, collaboration & trade

The East African Community (EAC) is rolling out an electronic cargo tracking system that includes an inventory of drivers’ COVID-19 tests results, to ease the movement of goods. EAC intra-Community trade represents only 20% of total trade (compared to 70% in Europe), due to factors including poor infrastructure, complex administrative procedures, and a lack of interconnectivity between the various modes of transport. This system will enable more fluid regional trade at a time when Africa is seeking to rely on the local market to increase economic opportunities. Case in point is Uganda, which is now importing more from within Africa, than from outside.

Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms

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.

Access to financial services and products

Nigeria’s central bank wants the nation’s lenders to restructure almost two-thirds of all loans to help borrowers cope with the economic fallout from COVID-19; over 40% of bank credit in Nigeria ($20bn) is already being reorganised. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is also looking to support its SMEs by regulating loan interest rates for digital lenders. However, with Safaricom's near-monopoly in Kenya’s telecom and mobile money markets, should the CBK also be looking at regulating the telcos?

Exporting culture & identity

Music artist, Mr. Eazi, has created a $20mn Africa Music Fund to support existing and emerging African musicians to expand and distribute their content. Africa’s youth population makes it ripe for investment in the music industry - however, only 1.1% of total African start-up investment ($22mn) went to entertainment companies in 2019. Amidst the current multi-dollar race from international players to tap into Africa’s music streaming market, Eazi wants to help create a music industry where African artists retain ownership of their content and intellectual property.

End-to-end value chain capture

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.

Scaleable energy access

The UK's $1.5bn in loans and guarantees to Mozambique’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project has raised criticism from environmentalists - claiming it contradicts the UK’s mission as hosts of the 2021 UN climate change summit. The share of gas in Africa's energy mix is projected to rise from 5% in 2019 to 25% by 2040, due to recent major discoveries. With Africa contributing 2-3% to global CO2 emissions, but being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, some sustainable development experts argue that gas has a pivotal role to play in Africa’s transition to clean energy.

Baseline healthcare & disease protection

The WHO and Africa CDC have launched an expert advisory committee to provide independent advice on the use of African traditional medicine for COVID-19. It comes as researchers from Nigeria said that the herbal drink launched by Madagascar’s President in April does not cure the virus. With the BMJ previously noting that traditional medicine could make significant contributions to the attainment of universal health coverage in Africa, might traditional remedies play a part in Africa’s future medical COVID response?

Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership

Egypt has launched Africa’s (and the Middle East’s) first national public-private collaboration model for gender pay equality (‘Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator’), to allow governments and businesses to take decisive action to close economic gender gaps. Previous estimates were that Egypt’s GDP could jump 32% by achieving gender equality. Across Africa, annual GDP could rise by $316bn from 2020-2025 through gender equality, as only 33% of the Continent's GDP is generated by women.

Effective internal and regional security, and foreign policy

Sudan's former president, Omar al-Bashir, goes on trial for his role in the 1989 military coup that propelled him into power. Al-Bashir was ousted amid a popular uprising last year, and stands accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Sub-Saharan Africa saw more coups (27) that decade than in history. It marks the first time in the modern history of the Arab world that the architect of a coup goes on trial, and is considered by some as a safeguard to Sudanese democracy.

Upgrade Your Life

Our selection of online courses, tools and offers to help you build your professional and personal repertoire.

  1. The new invisible workforce
  2. The power of saying less
  3. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Identify the patterns undermining your confidence
  4. Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?
  5. Diploma in Psychology of Everyday Life
  6. PCAP programming essentials in Python
  7. Teaching the art of great documentation from Google for Developers
  8. Virtual tour of the African Bush Elephant exhibition - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  9. How to sleep well and wake up full of energy
History Class

Civil rights leader and long-time US congressman John Lewis, on the fight for civil rights and freedom (February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020)

Hosni Mubarak: the rise and fall of the Egyptian dictator - Ousted during the 2011 Arab spring, dies at age 91


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