5 interesting facts from Africa this week

Below are 5 interesting facts on Africa I picked up –

a) The massive Boom in Chinese products is slowing down, albeit slightly.

Reasons stem from i) the ease of importing Chinese goods into Africa, which is the reason for many to get into the business resulting in cut throat competition, ii) Weakening African currencies, which have made some of the products less affordable.

Interestingly, the proverb – Give a man a fish and he’ll have food for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll have food for a lifetime – is slowly gaining force in Africa. There are entrepreneurs importing Chinese machinery into Africa, for use in local manufacturing bases.

b) Cobalt is seeing massive increases in prices this year

Cobalt is an important ingredient in Lithium ion batteries and batteries for Electric cars, and as demand for these batteries pick up, so does the demand for Cobalt. It was up 60% this year.

The region in the world which accounts for 60% of Cobalt reserves in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).

c) Cities in Africa are Urbanizing without Globalization

For a lot of cities in Africa, they are just centers of consumption, not centers of growth. They exist for the few rich to reside in and consume. The growth in population is largely from the poor masses who migrate to live of the scraps. So you find a well developed restaurant and bar scene, but lack of other infrastructure.

d) Recycled dirty water from river Nile is saving thousands of lives in North Uganda

Over 50,000 South Sudanese live at Rhino Camp near Arua. One of the main challenges here is water. The IFRC has resorted to trucked treated water. The water is pumped from the Nile into floatation tanks, and treated with Aluminium Sulphate and Chlorine. A fleet of 30 tankers then ferry the water to the camp.

e) China is depleting fish reserves off West Africa

China accounts for 30% of fish consumption globally, and their reserves off the waters in China have depleted. The Chinese government is subsidizing fishing off international waters. The Chinese have the largest fishing fleet of 2600 and even fuel is subsidized. The target currently in the waters off West Africa.

This is resulting is a much reduced supply of fish to the countries in West Africa, but they cannot do much as China is critically involved in the infrastructure development of the country.

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