Pulse #14 - Sudan bans nut exports, DRC’s mega hydro-power plant, Russia’s expansion into Africa, Africa Code Week,
The Data Room
Visa openness indicators show that African countries have become increasingly open to visitors from across The Continent - with Seychelles and Benin leading the way. Africans need visas to travel to less than half of other African countries. Moving forward, championing greater visa openness across Africa will help to capitalise on the gains to be realised from the launch of AfCFTA, the Single African Air Transport Market and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons.
Numbers in the Spotlight
($14bn) is the cost of constructing the Inga III mega hydro-electric power plant in DRC
($1bn) is the cost of the new Egypt Grand Museum, that will hold the treasures of ancient king, Tutankhamun
($205mn) worth of peanuts were produced by Sudan in 2019, and will no longer be exported
($100mn) is the size of the fund being launched to provide 1mn Community Health Workers in Africa with PPE
($13mn) in monthly cash transfers to poor households in Kenya affected by Covid-19, will end in October
Ride-hailing companies in Lagos will face expensive regulations from August 2020, which are expected to batter both local and foreign e-hailing startups. It comes months after a ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) in Lagos forced operators like MAX and Gokada to cease operations. A lack of government protection policies has been argued as a cause of indigenous ride-hailing companies failing to thrive, vs. foreign VC backed entrants who have been able to afford large customer acquisition promotions. Meanwhile, lack of government support, and interest groups advocating traditional transport models have also seen African-engineered bus-hailing companies such as SWVL and Little Shuttle banned from Kenyan roads in recent months.
Benin is restoring slave monuments and renovating its history museum in the coastal town of Ouidah, to preserve the history of the slave trade for future African generations. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, around 12.5mn Africans were forced onto ships (although the exact number will never be known). Similarly, the $1bn Grand Egyptian Museum (due to open in 2021 after almost 20 years of construction) to showcase the treasures of Tutankhamun, will both preserve and invite the world into Egypt’s rich millennia-old history. While museums are crucial to the preservation of Africa’s past and the attraction of worldwide visitors, many African museums remain semi-derelict, and are under-utilised by Africans themselves.
Essential infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities
Nigerian mobility company, MAX, launched its electric motorcycles, with aims to mass-produce thousands over the next 12-18 months. With an estimated 100mn motorcycles in Africa by 2030, electric vehicles will play a critical role in reducing carbon emissions; however questions remain about who will build the infrastructure to support it. Lessons can perhaps be learnt from Uganda, where Africa’s first electric bus plant (owned by state-owned Kiira Motors Corp), that will have the capacity to manufacture 5,000 vehicles per year from July 2021, is being met with increased industrialisation – bringing new roads, power lines and water service to a rural area.
Proportional representation in politics, business and community leadership