Cape Town, South Africa                                                                        @herman.strydom   

QUOTE OF THE WEEK                                                     Sunday, December 4th, 2016

"I threw away the (green) card, and I have relocated, and I'm back to where I have always been." - Wole Soyinka

Nobel Prize-winning author, on moving back to his homeland Nigeria, and fulfilling his vow to give up his permanent US residency (after Trump's victory).



1. Zimbabwe launches new bond notes 

Show me the money... Zimbabwe has starting printing its own cash money. This is the first time a new domestic currency has been introduced, since the Zimbabwean dollar was scrapped in 2009. The country's Reserve Bank issued $10 million worth of bond notes on Monday. The bond note is equivalent to one US dollar (Zim's main currency) and has no value outside of Zimbabwe.

The curious case of dissapearing currency... Chronic shortages of US dollars have caused Zimbabwe's economy to descend into a tailspin. With banks running out of cash and people queuing for hours just to withdraw money, the government hopes the new bond notes will alleviate the cash crises. But are freshly minted bank notes really the solution to Zimbabwe's problems?

The Bottom Line... Not everyone is happy. Back in 2008, inflation rates reached a mind boggling 231,000,000% and an egg cost 50 billion Zim dollars! At the moment, Zimbabweans remain sceptical about the new "zombie currency" and fear of hyperinflation is rampant.


2. Nigeria and Libya exempt from OPEC deal

What deal?... On Thursday, The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries signed a historic deal to remove 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, starting in January 2017. An oversupply of oil has led to lower prices and this is the first time in eight years that OPEC has agreed to cut oil production. After the deal was announced, the cost of crude oil shot up to $51 per barrel, marking the highest level in a year of stagnation. 

The battle of the barrels ... Not everyone was invited to the deal signing party. Rival countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran took the biggest cut to their oil output, while Nigeria and Libya were excluded from the deal. Lowering production is out of the question for these two OPEC members, because "Libya is in a dangerous economic situation" and Nigeria is experiencing "production challenges due to the vandalisation of oil and gas infrastructure." 

The Bottom line... Oil prices may go up. Good news for countries like Nigeria and Libya, whose economies are struggling right now. Bad news for your wallet at the pump and the daily commute to work.


3. Seventeen African startups attend Slush


The center of innovation is shifting... Move over Silicon Valley, Slush 2016 is here. What began as a humble student-led meeting in Helsinki, Finland has evolved into an annual startup gathering of over 17,500 attendees. Slush kicked off this weekend, with an exciting marathon of startup pitches and speakers.

Tech talent gets a boost... Seventeen African startups were selected to participate in the Slush Global Impact Accelerator program. The accelerator connected entrepreneurs from emerging markets with top investors, executives and media from around the world. Senegal and Zambia were represented by three startups each. Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia were represented by two startups each. And Nigeria, Kenya and Tunisia were represented by one startup each. The founders went through an intense business boot-camp and had one-on-one meetings with investors.

The Bottom line... If necessity is the mother of invention, then Africa should be a wellspring of innovation. According to GSMA, the number of technology hubs across Africa has more than doubled since last year, from 117 in 2015 to 314 in 2016. As Africa's youthful population becomes more tech savvy, we look forward to seeing more thriving start-up communities pop up on the continent.


AFRICAN MARKETS                                           

Major Regional Exchanges
Winners: Nigeria: 25,265.08 (+0.09%), Egypt: 11,548.15 (+0.83%)
Kenya: 3,250.62 (+0.11%), Dow Jones Africa Titans 50: 486.70 (+.21%)
Losers: South Africa: 49,927 (-0.56%)

BAOBAB FACT                                                

By the year 2040, Africa will have the world’s largest labor force, ahead of India and China (according to PwC).

Submitted by Adama S. (Banjul, Gambia)
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Our best wishes for a relaxed weekend. Please send any news, comments, captivating photos, celebrity green cards and Zimbabwean trillion dollar notes to Remember, rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.

Till next time!


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

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