Author: june njoroge

Technology Trends to shape Africa in 2023

The African technology landscape is speedily evolving pertinently defying history in its swift adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies (4IR), given that the continent was marginalized during the previous three industrial revolutions. Several countries in the continent have already established their Centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), with the most recent being Rwanda in mid-2022; as it pursues an economic model founded on technology akin to the the Asian Tigers’ pertinently Singapore.

Some technology trends that will shape Africa in 2023 include:

  • Metaverse

The Metaverse will be among the key technologies that will continue to shape Africa’s tech scene. The Metaverse refers to a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment, together with other users. Businesses and individuals are predicted to continue exploring this digital environment and consider how they can leverage on its opportunities, to create immersive and efficient experiences to consumers. This…

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The rapid snowballing of Africa’s rare earths metal production is set to become the world’s alternative source in 2023 and beyond, as global demand surges and world powers seek to wean off their dependence on China amid a new geopolitical multipolar world order. Africa’s vast reserves of rare earth metals have come under the radar of world powers fueled by the devastation emanating from the climate change crisis and calls for a drastic reduction in the growth and operations of extractive industries.

Furthermore, the race to net-zero emissions compounded by increased climate-induced natural disasters has intensified the green energy transition, instigating another scramble for Africa’s resources rare earth metals are at the heart of the race to green energy as well as providing opportunities for massive economic growth by injecting much-needed revenues to finance core socio-economic objectives in the continent.

Rare earth elements (REEs) refers to a group of 17…

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Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOS) in the country are looking to tap into the opportunities availed by the nascent Hustler Fund, having been identified as a key vehicle to disburse loans from the Kshs 50B kitty to Kenyans. Inaugurated by President William Ruto, the Hustler Fund is set to launch phase two of the Program in February which will position SACCOS as pivotal players in the initiative.

SACCOS regulated by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) will be able to access between Kshs 10 to 100 million. In a consultative meeting with Co-operatives’ leadership under the Co-operative Alliance of Kenya (CAK), Co-operatives CS Simon Chelugui noted that the Co-operative movement is at the core of Ruto’s administration who sees the movement as instrumental in scaling economic growth.

The CS highlighted that SACCOS play a critical role in inculcating and mobilizing a savings culture among the large swathes of Kenyan …

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The carbon credits market is gaining momentum as one of the lifeline sectors in a depressed global economy. African nations have been exploring this novel market as one way to offset their bulging debts and raise loans by selling carbon credits, thereby unlocking billions for climate finance and economic development in the continent.

Climate change has had disastrous consequences especially for African countries but seemingly, nature now has the potential of providing developing nations with an economic boost.

Most African economies have been hanging on by a thread, in the wake of the myriad existential challenges that have bombarded the continent in the recent past. From climate induced natural disasters, food insecurity, political instability, civil unrest to heavy indebtedness as the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war.

As the deleterious effects continue to reverberate across the continent, inflation rates have gone through the roof in many nations …

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Africa has stumbled headlong into what has been called the ‘perfect storm’’. From the heavy burden of debt servicing, the instability created by election cycles, geopolitics and war as well as the lingering threat of food insecurity caused by conflict and adverse weather conditions. Seemingly, the proverbial pandora’s box of horrors has been let ajar and the evils through different manifestations are ravaging the continent from all corners. However, as the Greek myth holds, only one thing is said to have been left in the box after it was shut; hope. Amid all the daunting troubles Africa is facing, hope for a better and prosperous Africa is the fuel to help the continent weather these ominous challenges.

We explore some of these existential challenges and some plausible solutions thereof.

Political Instability in Africa

Africa is no stranger to political instability and civil unrest which has stagnated most economies and impeded…

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Africa’s blue economy is set to flourish and gain a whole new prominence in 2023, with increased investments lining up to exploit this lucrative but undervalued sector.

One of the major announcements that has signalled an increased interest in the blue economy came out of the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in November 2022. The World Bank announced a Mangrove Blue Carbon Pilot Program, an initiative meant to catalyze financing and provide operational response to developmental challenges in coastal-marine areas of the African continent.

Dubbed the Blue Economy for Resilient Africa Program (BE4RAP), the initiative seeks to respond to the challenge coastal countries face in managing their marine resources, to spur economic growth and reduce poverty, while adapting to the effects of climate change. The program is set to convene a “Focus on Africa Blue Marketplace” in 2023.

Building on the …

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The world is on the cusp of a new geopolitical order, embracing multipolarity and swiftly effacing the long-standing unipolar world that has for decades on end, placed  the U.S on a pedestal as the sole dominant superpower. In the recent past this hegemonic position has been challenged by emerging global powers, led by China, Russia, Germany, U.K, South Korea, France, Japan, UAE, and several others. These countries have grown in power, asserting an independent and to some degree collective influential role, in global economic affairs and security development, thereby ushering in a new multipolar world order.

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 when almost all of the communist governments of the Eastern bloc were overthrown, heralded the formal dissolution of the USSR in 1991.This marked the end of the Cold War that began shortly after World War II in 1945.  This was a period of geopolitical tension between…

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In full throttle the world is diving deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).  Resultantly, among the new wave of technologies marking this new era is the adoption of digital currencies such as a CBDC. This relatively nascent era of economic disruption has birthed a need for digital currencies and we might very well be in the twilight years of using the traditional fiat currency. In his book, “The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currencies and Finance” economist Eswar Prasad, predicts that the era of cash is drawing to an end and that of central bank digital currencies and other forms of digital cash has begun. Indeed the future of money is evolving and already several countries across the globe are particularly piloting the Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

In Africa, albeit slow, the concept of CBDC's adoption is gaining momentum with several nations in the…

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Most African economies have been staring into an economic abyss, besieged by a plethora of daunting challenges that have left many teetering on the edge of a precipice. A glance into Africa’s economic crystal ball for 2023 depicts a mixed bag of fortunes, with some economies set to flourish like a green bay tree, some will find themselves staring down the barrel of a recession whilst others will remain in the doldrums.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach 3.7 percent in 2023.  Slowing global growth, higher external borrowing costs and weaker domestic currencies, are now the dominant factors weighing on Africa’s economies next year. In reiteration, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) predicts that African economies will face turbulent times in 2023, as a range of internal and external shocks undermine growth prospects and threaten stability, but most of countries will…

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African countries have been at a crossroads of whether to continue adopting the green energy transition in full throttle, or tap into the myriad economic opportunities, presented by the Russian-Ukraine war.

African gas has gained prominence in the global energy market pertinently from Europe, as it seeks to wean itself off Russian gas, through its ‘REPowerEU Plan’. The Plan is targeted at saving energy, producing clean energy and diversifying energy supplies. Hence, oil and gas producing countries in Africa, have been rushing to cash in on this ‘dash for gas.’

Oil and natural gas-producing countries in Africa like Mozambique, Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, Cameroon, DRC, Angola, Namibia, Algeria, Ghana, Gabon, Mozambique and Equatorial Guinea among others; have an invaluable window of opportunity, to contribute largely to the global energy landscape. These nations have been facing the dilemma of whether to give in to pressure from the West, to switch from fossil…

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