News 

Eskom split to minimize risks to South Africa, Ramaphosa says

“Locally referred to as “load-shedding”, the power cuts are an emergency measure to prevent the power system from a total collapse, Eskom says” reports businessinsider.com. Eskom hopes to end the power cuts by the end of the week.Ramaphosa said in parliament that cost-cutting at Eskom would not necessarily entail job cuts. Eskom started cutting power on Sunday and intensified outages on Monday after seven generating units unexpectedly went offline.For ordinary South Africans the cuts mean some mothers are struggling to cook for their children and traffic gridlock in major cities…

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Rise in size of African families may be tied to less schooling

“If overall education rates had stayed constant, 13 million fewer babies would have been born in Africa between 1995 and 2010, the study estimates” writes Jocelyn Kaiser for sciencemag.org. As countries become wealthier and death rates decline, families eventually choose to have fewer children.Since the 1980s, birth rates have been falling each year around the world—even in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the fastest growing population. Source: sciencemag.org

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Crypto News 

Crypto Payment Firm: ‘Volume of Transactions in Africa Has Risen 130 percent in 2018’

“Indeed, Paxful says that this was the most popular payment method for crypto last year in terms of trading volume” writes Connor Blenkinsop for cointelegraph.com. A site enabling consumers to buy Bitcoin using hundreds of different payment methods says demand is thriving despite declining cryptocurrency prices — with Africa being its biggest market.It compares its “global peer-to-peer payment logistics platform” to a hybrid of PayPal and Uber, describing itself as “the People’s Wall Street.” Disclaimer. Source: cointelegraph.com

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Andela Announces $100M Series D Funding led by Al Gore’s Investment Firm to Build Distributed Engineering Teams

“Global talent outsourcing company, Andela has announced the completion of a $100M Series D funding” reports pctechmag.com. Andela’s leading technology enables firms to effectively build and manage distributed engineering teams.With this Series D funding, Andela will accelerate the development of its technology platform to identify, develop and match talent at scale. In 2019, Andela is projected to double in size, hiring another one thousand software developers and investing heavily in data, engineering, and product development. Source: pctechmag.com

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Markets News 

El Sewedy aims to implement seawater desalination projects in Egypt

“Ahmed Elsewedy, chairperson of El Sewedy Electric, said that his company plans to launch seawater desalination projects in Egypt” writes Mohamed Farag for dailynewsegypt.com. Elsewedy noted that his company is currently implementing cables and transmission projects to supply electricity to the New Administrative Capital for over EGP 3bn.He noted that the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is cooperating with El Sewedy Electric to provide the necessary funding for establishing new electricity cables, transmission, and meters projects.The company has allocated some of its investments to implement the projects, according to Elsewedy, however,…

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Crypto News 

South Africa Wants to Regulate Crypto, Mandates Registration

“The paper was jointly developed by multiple major South African agencies including Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), National Treasury (NT), South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the SARB, the central bank of South Africa” writes Arnab Shome for financemagnates.com. The central bank, however, made it clear that it does not consider digital assets as legal tender.Despite the lack of proper infrastructure, African crypto adoption is booming.The central bank is cautious in imposing regulatory rules on the sector as it believes that any mistakes will lead to…

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Laser technology shines light on South African ‘lost city’ of Kweneng

“The existence of Kweneng has been known for decades, but the new laser technology has revealed its true extent” writes Jason Burke for theguardian.com. It was ruled over by kings who regulated trade, waged wars against other similar city states and settled disputes.Archaeologists have found thousands of glass beads, which suggests that it was a thriving trade centre. “The trade networks were very complex and intricate. Source: theguardian.com

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NBE’s syndicated loans share in Africa amounts to 9.7%: Bloomberg

“Bloomberg noted that the volume of syndicated loans which the bank participated in during 2018 reached EGP 74bn, with a market share of 9.7%” writes Daily News Egypt for dailynewsegypt.com. The Bloomberg valuation also put NBE in fifth place in the MENA region for syndicated loans in which the bank acted as the finance agent.The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) was ranked as the best bank in the Egyptian and African banking markets for syndicated loans, in which the bank acted as a finance agent in 2018, according to an…

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US sends troops to Africa over Congo unrest

“Trump cited “violent demonstrations” that may occur in reaction to the elections, and a travel advisory issued by the State Department in mid-December cited violent crime and civil unrest, including violence at protests and armed conflict in certain regions” reports washingtonexaminer.com. The country had long-delayed elections on Dec. 30, but has yet to release the election results. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Crypto News 

South Africa Appoints Working Group to Study Cryptocurrency

“The South African government has established a dedicated regulatory working group to access cryptocurrency and blockchain concepts, as per a report of the local news outlet Business Live” writes Arnab Shome for financemagnates.com. The South African government is also concerned about tax evasion by the crypto traders.As has been the case with other tech innovations, Africa is leading the peer-to-peer financial revolution. Source: financemagnates.com

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