Addis Ababa, Ethiopia                                                                                         @mulugetaayene   

QUOTE OF THE WEEK                                                      Friday, November 11th, 2016

“It was the first time in a while that I had been so enlivened, inspired and challenged by a role I was considering” - Lupita Nyong’o

Oscar winning Kenyan actress, on being moved to tears after reading the first ten pages of Disney's Queen of Katwe script. Based on the true story of a Ugandan girl from the slums of Katwe, who overcomes obstacles to become an international chess champion. Queen of Katwe will be screened at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival this weekend. And yes, we're definitely looking forward to seeing more positive African stories emerge from Hollywood!


Dow Jones Africa Titans 50 Index: 492.61 (0.35%)      


Winners: Egypt EGX30 +4.52% ; SA FTSE/JSE All Share +1.01%; Kenya NSE 20 Share +0.25%.

Losers: Tanzania All Share -0.74%; BRVM Composite Index -0.59%; Ghana Composite Index -0.54%.

Source: Africa Business App


             Source: GSMA Intelligence



1.World markets tumble after Trump's victory


Is it over yet?... In case you haven't heard, Donald Trump is the next president of the United States. Not even pollsters (or prophets) could have seen this one coming. If there's one thing financial markets hate, it's uncertainty. Wall Street panicked on Wednesday and at one point, the Dow dropped nearly 900 points. No wahala. After investors' shock wore off, the markets eventually recovered. South Africa's rand also took a hard hit, falling 5.5% against the dollar and leading the fall among global currencies. 

What this means for African business... Let's rewind. Back in 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton. The AGOA gives 39 African countries duty-free access to the US market. It was done to encourage exports and boost African business. With Trump in the White House, trade agreements like AGOA could be in jeopardy. 

The Bottom line... Change is inevitable. As the world becomes more conservative and US foreign policies change, it might get harder to find hoodies made in Lesotho at Walmart stores in America. On another note, now that Trump is president, we wonder if Samuel L. Jackson will move to South Africa?


2. Is Africa really rising? 


Myth or reality... Recently, there's been some debate on whether the continent is rising, reeling or tilting? People are confused because although Africa is home to 6 of the world's fastest growing economies, this growth seems to have run out of steam. A new McKinsey report listed Ethiopia as Africa's fastest growing economy from 2010-2015. DR Congo was second. Wait, what?

The real winners... Ivory Coast. According to the IMF, Ivory Coast is Africa's fastest growing economy in 2016. The country has a phenomenal growth rate of 8.5%. Just to put things into perspective, the average growth rate in sub-Saharan Africa is only 3%. So how do they do it? By investing heavily in agriculture, urban development, mining and energy sectors. And not being dependent on oil. Now we know why Ivory Coast overtook India in May, to become the world's biggest exporter of cashew nuts and cocoa.

The Bottom Line... Africa is complex. True, the "Africa Rising" narrative hasn't lived up to expectations (yet). But maybe we should start asking better questions. Instead of wondering if the continent is lagging or levitating, let's rise to the occassion and figure out how to get our economies off the ground.


3. Kenya's flower industry blossoms


Business is blooming...If you live in Europe and you've ever bought a bouquet of roses, there's a good chance they were grown in Kenya. This East African country, which happens to be the third largest exporter of flowers in the world, accounts for 38% of all flower sales in Europe. According to Kenya's statistics office, earnings from horticulture exports rose 20% to $766 million, in the first nine months of 2016. Export volumes have also gone up to 96,788 tons due to lower fuel prices. That's alot of flowers.

Flower Power... In 2015, Kenya's flower industry contributed 1.45% to the national economy. The industry also employed 100,000 people directly and 500,000 indirectly. What's Kenya's competitive advantage? Sunny climate, easy access to fresh water supplies like Lake Naivasha, fertile soil, a skilled labour force, geographic proximity to Europe and good transport links. These six main factors allow Kenya to grow high quality flowers year-round, without the need for expensive greenhouses.

The Bottom line... Roses are red. Violets are blue. It pays to grow your own flowers too. 


ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT                                               

SafeMotos Co-founders: Peter & Nash      (Photos: Tom Maguire)
SafeMotos is a tech start-up that's changing the game for the motorcycle taxi industry in Kigali, Rwanda. The Uber-style app is designed to make motorcycle taxis more efficient and less dangerous. Road accidents are the second biggest killer in Africa (after HIV/AIDS). In fact 80% of all road accidents in Kigali involve motorcycle taxis. Across Africa, motorbike taxis aka motos in Rwanda, boda bodas in Uganda, bendskins in Cameroon, okadas in Nigeria or zemidjans in Benin, are a popular method of transport.

SafeMotos was founded in 2014 by a business savvy Canadian, Barret Nash and his Kenyan roommate who dreams in code, Peter Kariuki. The smart phone app connects customers to drivers by focusing on safety and using data to determine a driver's accident risk. So how exactly does it work? They gather accelerometer, GPS and gyroscope data from drivers' smart phone chips. They then feed this data into a risk model algorithm that sorts drivers on a safety scale of 1-5, based on driving behaviour. Finally the drivers are monitored by the SafeMotos app, which tracks their speed and routes using GPS data. To make it easy for drivers to find their pick-ups, the founders mapped thousands of landmarks in Kigali and linked them to GPS coordinates.

The company's business model involves customers paying a premium fee to be picked up by safer moto drivers and profit sharing with these drivers. Every time a customer pays for a ride by mobile money or cash, SafeMotos collects a 13% commission. Here are five questions answered by co-founder Nash, that provide insight into the process of being an entrepreneur:

1. What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome starting this business? How did you manage to do it?

When you are trying to build something new, the biggest challenge is to handle complaints. One single complaint can outweigh 100 appreciative comments. We always make sure that people get the best service we can provide. 

2. How did you finance your start-up?

We took part in the Irish startup accelerator Carma Axlr8r in Cork, Ireland. The venture capital fund they run committed an amount of follow-on funding, and we use them as our lead investor. We have since raised $130,000 from the accelerator and other angel investors.

3. What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Facebook has been an incredible source of marketing for us just in terms of the brand awareness you can get for very little investment. Every week, for less than $30 we can hit about 60,000 unique viewers in Rwanda, which is just unparalleled.

 4. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.

This was the first time I personally used SafeMotos in a real setting. One morning I opened my application and I indicated where I wanted to be picked up from. I watched the driver come down my street and he arrived at my gate. I thought: ‘My God, this thing can work!’

5. What is the No. 1 piece of advice you'd give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Do and act. The key to being an entrepreneur is not to overthink it. You can fail, but fail fast. Don't be afraid of mistakes. Also, don't let the possible come at the expense of the perfect.

Original Interview conducted by: How we made it in Africa and Akilah Net

BAOBAB FACT                                                

Cape Town is Africa's most Insta-famous tourist destination, with over 4 million pictures posted on Instagram.

Submitted by Gloria Mwidya (Cape Town, South Africa)
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Wishing you a super productive work day. Please send any news, comments, chess boards and Cape Town selfies to Remember "Wisdom is like a Baobab treeNo one person can embrace it...but a (digital) tribe can" - African Proverb.  

Till next time!


PS: Asante, Imela, Mia, Siyabonga and Thank you so much for subscribing :)

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