Tag Archives: africa

The Finance & Tech Week In Review – 5/27/17


Every Saturday the HBCU Money staff picks ten articles they were intrigued by and think you will enjoy for some weekend reading impacting finance and tech.

Africa’s  urbanization challenge is about housing, jobs & good connections between the two: / World Bank wrld.bg/SAPDU

“U.S. inflation and inflation expectations have surprised to the downside in recent months” / St. Louis Fed bit.ly/2qoUEzE

Is there a link between chess and intelligence? / WEF wef.ch/2qgvq7g

Shorter commutes, vibrant communities, walkable neighborhoods / World Bank wrld.bg/O09w30c2Pnb

What should we be doing to reduce the stress of our employees? / HBR ow.ly/FEsl30c3xAj

The way babies learn to speak is nothing short of breathtaking. / Science News ow.ly/8CNO30c3xwa

Gravitational waves could help us peer into extra dimensions. / NOVA PBS to.pbs.org/2r32y5t

Birth of a black hole witnessed as star vanishes without a bang / New Atlas  newatl.as/2qhICNb

How John Deere developed one of the best GPS locators in the world / NetworkWorld bit.ly/2rUIGzL

Cannabis extract reduces seizures in children with rare form of epilepsy / New Atlas newatl.as/2qYlBMr

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The HBCU Money™ Weekly Market Watch


Our Money Matters /\ September 16, 2016

A weekly snapshot of African American owned public companies and HBCU Money™ tracked African stock exchanges.

NAME TICKER PRICE (GAIN/LOSS %)

African American Publicly Traded Companies

Citizens Bancshares Georgia (CZBS) $7.38 (0.00% UNCH)

M&F Bancorp (MFBP) $3.80 (8.57% UP)

Broadway Financial Corporation (BYFC) $1.55 (11.93% DN)

Radio One (ROIA) $3.13 (4.33% UP)

African ETFs

Global X MSCI Nigeria (NGE) $4.76 (0.21% DN)

Market Vectors Africa (AFK) $20.11 (0.47% DN)

African Stock Exchanges

Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM)  290.37 (1.08% DN)

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)  9 635.48 (0.05% UP)

Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)  1 784.97 (10.52% DN)*

Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE)  131.58 (N/A)

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) 51 8322.55 (0.65% DN)

International Stock Exchanges

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) 10 533.13 (0.66% DN)

London Stock Exchange (LSE)  3 670.86 (0.11% DN)

Tokyo Stock Exchange (TOPIX)  1 311.50 (0.80% UP)

Commodities

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Akon Lighting Africa and the Potential of HBCUs In Africa’s Development


“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ~ African proverb

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My travels to West African countries (Benin, Togo, & Ghana) in a study abroad program in 2006 were the highlight of my graduate education. However, the unfortunate aspect of the trip was that we, as students, weren’t provoked to consider our role in the global economy, specifically Africa. This would have been an opportune time in our intellectual development to challenge us to assess critically how we could become change agents as we encountered the host of social and structural issues of each country. For instance, in each country we visited, we witnessed many residents of the rural towns and villages using kerosene for lighting their homes and businesses. Unbeknown to us, approximately 22 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were living without electricity at the time. There are many opportunities present in rural Africa, and students should be at the center of entrepreneurial conversations, solutions, and building of partnerships.

As an educator, I am concerned that students, and Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) students in particular, are not having transformative conversations and experiences regarding entrepreneurship and using academic knowledge and resources to empower the African Diaspora. This conversation is necessary if we are truly interested in preparing our students to be at the forefront of global issues. HBCUs have the unique opportunity to develop students’ social and economic competencies to meet global needs that they may only be privileged to receive during the course of their higher education.

Many HBCUs have community-based programs such as study abroad programs, service-learning projects, and civic engagement activities that are focused on various African countries, which they do a good job of exposing students to African heritage, language, culture, dance, and ethnic cuisines. This knowledge and cultural exposure should only be the foundation to inculcating entrepreneurial and transformative thinking to students. To the contrary, most of these community-based programs simply focus on students’ exposure and consumption of “authentic” African culture without helping students to facilitate and develop entrepreneurial initiatives that would socially and economically enhance the place they are visiting. Instead, students leave Africa with masks, artwork, mud cloths, statues, and other cultural goods without understanding civic and global engagement that leads to sustainable solutions.

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The most recent community initiative by a hip hop artist, Akon, made me re-evaluate the role HBCU administrators, alumni, students, and entrepreneurs. Akon is well known for his entrance in the hip hop music scene in 2004 with the release of his hit song “Locked Up.” However, Akon’s most impressive work is his current agenda to provide electricity to rural areas of Africa along with his partners Samba Bathily and Thione Niang under the Akon Lighting Africa Foundation. The Akon Lighting Africa Foundation has developed relationships with international banks to provide immediate electricity services to eleven African countries and counting by using available solar energy, which is a readily abundant resource in the continent. So where do HBCUs fit in such a community initiative?

This solar electricity initiative requires a host of skills, knowledge, and expertise in banking, community and global development, technical skills in installation, and knowledge of solar and clean energy. The aforementioned community-based programs offered at many HBCUs should consider developing partnerships with their alumni, community business leaders, and faculty to re-design these programs in order challenge students to design solutions that would benefit underdeveloped and economically marginalized communities. Not only would these communities benefit from such programs, but students would exit their institutional globally aware, marketable for employment, enhanced understanding of civic engagement, and a portfolio of work that demonstrates their skills and knowledge.

HBCUs also have the opportunity to capitalize off of such programming. One, action-oriented community programs would garner international attention and enhance the image of HBCUs worldwide, which would attract diverse students and faculty of the African Disapora. Two, this could attract potential donors like Nigerian billionaire Akilo Dangote and others to contribute to institutional endowments. Three, this is a great method for strengthening the relationship between alumni and their institution, socially and financially. Four, there would be an increase in faculty engaged in government-funded sponsored research. Five, HBCU administrators would have the opportunity to develop beneficial relationships with business leaders and entrepreneurs. And certainly not the last, HBCUs would achieve and extend their mission by truly changing the social and economic profile of the communities and students they serve providing an impetus for connecting the ecosystem of the African Diaspora.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – China’s Second Continent: Building a New Empire in Africa


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An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa—a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people.

A prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and Central Africa, Howard French is uniquely positioned to tell the story of China in Africa. Through meticulous on-the-ground reporting—conducted in Mandarin, French, and Portuguese, among other languages—French crafts a layered investigation of astonishing depth and breadth as he engages not only with policy-shaping moguls and diplomats, but also with the  ordinary men and women navigating the street-level realities of cooperation, prejudice, corruption, and opportunity forged by this seismic geopolitical development. With incisiveness and empathy, French reveals the human face of China’s economic, political, and human presence across the African continent—and in doing so reveals what is at stake for everyone involved.

We meet a broad spectrum of China’s dogged emigrant population, from those singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, commerce, and even environment (a self-made tycoon who harnessed Zambia’s now-booming copper trade; a timber entrepreneur determined to harvest the entirety of Liberia’s old-growth redwoods), to those just barely scraping by (a sibling pair running small businesses despite total illiteracy; a karaoke bar owner–cum–brothel madam), still convinced that Africa affords them better opportunities than their homeland. And we encounter an equally panoramic array of African responses: a citizens’ backlash in Senegal against a “Trojan horse” Chinese construction project (a tower complex to be built over a beloved soccer field, which locals thought would lead to overbearing Chinese pressure on their economy); a Zambian political candidate who, having protested China’s intrusiveness during the previous election and lost, now turns accommodating; the ascendant middle class of an industrial boomtown; African mine workers bitterly condemning their foreign employers, citing inadequate safety precautions and wages a fraction of their immigrant counterparts’.

French’s nuanced portraits reveal the paradigms forming around this new world order, from the all-too-familiar echoes of colonial ambition—exploitation of resources and labor; cut-rate infrastructure projects; dubious treaties—to new frontiers of cultural and economic exchange, where dichotomies of suspicion and trust, assimilation and isolation, idealism and disillusionment are in dynamic flux.

Part intrepid travelogue, part cultural census, part industrial and political exposé, French’s keenly observed account ultimately offers a fresh perspective on the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: why China is making the incursions it is, just how extensive its cultural and economic inroads are, what Africa’s role in the equation is, and just what the ramifications for both parties—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future.

Currencies Of The African Diaspora – Algeria


Algeria’s economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country’s socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the sixth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Strong revenues from hydrocarbon exports have brought Algeria relative macroeconomic stability, with foreign currency reserves approaching $200 billion and a large budget stabilization fund available for tapping. In addition, Algeria’s external debt is extremely low at about 2% of GDP. However, Algeria has struggled to develop non-hydrocarbon industries because of heavy regulation and an emphasis on state-driven growth. The government’s efforts have done little to reduce high youth unemployment rates or to address housing shortages. A wave of economic protests in February and March 2011 prompted the Algerian Government to offer more than $23 billion in public grants and retroactive salary and benefit increases, moves which continue to weigh on public finances. Long-term economic challenges include diversifying the economy away from its reliance on hydrocarbon exports, bolstering the private sector, attracting foreign investment, and providing adequate jobs for younger Algerians.

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Source: Economy overview provided by CIA Factbook