Author: june njoroge

Art market in Africa on the spotlight at the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in New York
  • A steadily rising demand for works from African artists is drawing global audiences at major expos, auctions, and fairs.
  • According to the 2023 Africa Wealth Report, the continent’s fine art market was valued at just over $1.8 billion as of December 2022.
  • Beyond making sales, tech platforms are helping African artists get discovered by global collectors keen on African art.

Africa’s art market has been steadily carving out a niche for itself in the international art scene. The rising prominence of Africa's art was visibly displayed during the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York which ran from May 18th to 21st.

The landmark event has been hailed as the largest iteration since the fair debuted in the art capital in 2015. This was after the historic display of artworks from all corners of the continent. The even also served to connect artists from Africa with…

Read More
Diaspora remittances reviving Kenya's economy
  • Kenya is among the top three countries receiving the most international remittances across sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria and Ghana. Overall, the US, Saudi Arabia and UK account for nearly three-quarters of total annual inflows into Kenya.
  • Kenyans living abroad sent home $357 million in March 2023, a 15.5 percent increase compared to February.
  • As a whole remittances from the African diaspora are estimated at $95.6 billion annually, making it a key foreign exchange earner.     

Diaspora remittances have risen to become Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earner, surpassing the country’s key exports such as tourism, tea, coffee and horticulture. According to Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) data, diaspora remittances rose by 8.34 percent to $4.027 billion in 2022. In the same period under review, tea exports earned the country $1.2 billion, horticulture $901 million, chemicals $521 million, coffee $301 million and petroleum products $77 million. The widening disparity highlights the crucial role …

Read More
Green bonds market in Africa skyrocketing
  • Africa’s green bonds market is growing rapidly as the continent increases issuances to power transition to  green energy.
  • The Green and Resilience Debt Platform (GRDP) has been established to address climate financing gaps in Africa.
  • Countries will now have access to $2B in green debt capital markets via the Platform, thereby bolstering resilience against climate change shocks. 

The green bonds market in Africa is showing strong signs of growth as countries move to tackle climate change. The sector is registering a renewed momentum attracting investments in response to the continent’s vulnerability to climate change crisis. For instance, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) has granted EUR 500,000 to the Green and Resilience Debt Platform (GRDP).

The Fund was established by the UNDP in partnership with UNCDF, European Investment Bank (EIB), Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the European Union’s Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI). The platform is working with various stakeholders to …

Read More
STEM education vital in gender inclusion in Africa.
  • Girls remain grossly underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education courses, especially in tertiary institutions and consequently in related careers.
  • The need to promote STEM education cannot be overemphasized given that over the next two decades, an estimated 20 million young people a year are expected to join the workforce in Africa.
  • Research shows that an average STEM worker earns double the amount of a non-STEM worker and this trend is bound to continue.

Today, Africa joins the rest of the world in marking the 2023 International Girls in ICT Day with the overarching theme being ‘Digital Skills for Life’. The celebration could not have come at a better time as the continent dives deeper into the adoption and full realization of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), in which digital skills are key economic drivers; pertinently in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The International Girls in ICT …

Read More
Global crisis instigates the establishment of measures to cushion African economies.

Into a menacing economic quick sand African economies have been sinking, taking hefty blows from numerous unprecedented challenges birthed by the overarching global crisis. The status quo has instigated a clarion call to cushion them from dipping further beneath the horizon, by casting different viable iron rods, as the ‘one shoe fits all’ approach is not feasible due the dynamic nature of African economies. Inarguably, Africa has not been left unscathed amid the ongoing global ‘polycrisis’, as described in the 2023 World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report, to mean  a cluster of related global risks with compounding effects, such that the overall impact exceeds the sum of each part.

In light of this, on day three of the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, UN Secretary General António Guterres in his speech, stated that at present the world faces “a category five” storm of challenges that need urgent action. These include …

Read More
Space technologies to soar with the construction of Africa's first spaceport

Africa is set to establish a $1B orbital spaceport in the Republic of Djibouti, positioning the continent in the global space race, making the first on African soil. This follows the signing of a partnership deal with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology to build a facility for launching satellites and rockets in the Northern Obock region.

Djibouti's president, Ismael Omar Guelleh, presided over the signing of the preliminary deal, also to be done in partnership with Touchroad International Holdings Group, paving  way for the final agreement; a formal contract signing expected in April or May, following a visit to China by Djibouti experts.

Indeed, it’s a milestone for the continent which has been the only region in the world without a launch site. It's a major project that will boost the economy of this desert nation in the Horn of Africa, and is projected to be built over five years.


Read More
Edtechs role in Africa's education system.

Africa’s Education Technology (Edtech) ecosystem has been growing exponentially, eradicating hurdles that have for aeons plagued the continent’s education sector and in the process, revolutionizing this critical contributor to African economies. However, the pressing question remains, can EdTechs solve Africa’s dire education crisis?

Arguably, quality education is the most significant investment that countries can make for the future of their citizenry. The pivotal need for the adoption and development of hybrid learning solutions in Africa’s digital learning landscape has become a necessity that especially came to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic period, when school academic calendars at all levels were disrupted.

The pandemic became a springboard to a colossal market opportunity for EdTechs to swoop in and seal the deficit via the provision of solutions to propel learning. Edtech startups attracted an influx of funding during this period, spilling over to 2021 but slowed a notch in 2022, raising …

Read More
Nigeria voting for change and economic rebound

Driven by a deep-seated hunger for change in Nigeria, on pins and needles citizens remain, eagerly awaiting the announcement of the country’s next president, which should happen any time from now, following the February 25th  general election. The slow collation and reporting of the votes by Nigeria’s electoral commission, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has only fueled the anxiety, coupled with whispers of electoral interference that the Commission has thwarted.

The three front-runners out of the initial 18 candidates are Peter Obi, Bola Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar. Results from 176,846 polling stations are being counted manually and then relayed electronically to the INEC’s headquarters in Abuja, which then posts them on its website.

As of February 28, Tinubu leads in 25 out of Nigeria's 36 states. Tinubu leads with 36% which translates to 7 million of the valid votes counted, Atiku is close behind with 30% an equivalent of…

Read More
Warehousing sector in Africa to adopt Industrial robots

The age of robots is here and in full throttle Africa is embracing this technology, pertinently in the rapidly evolving warehousing and logistics sector. Industrial robots are set to take over this lucrative field, performing various tasks and automating warehouse and storage processes. The global industrial robots market size is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% to $6.18B in 2023 from $5.39 of 2022. At breakneck speed Africa is drawing deeper into the whirlpool of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR); marked the rapid proliferation of robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) startups in the continent. In light of this, the Uniccon Group based in Nigeria made an indelible mark in November 2022, by building Africa’s first humanoid robot, a 6-foot-tall multilingual human-like robot called Omeife, launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The need for industrial robots in the warehousing and storage market, has been prompted …

Read More
Nigeria's presidential race nears its homestretch as elections draw closer

The elasticity of Africa’s democratic fabric will be tested in 2023, with high-stakes elections slated throughout the year. Across the continent, 24 countries are holding different polls in 2023. From national to local assembly elections, economies are forecast to experience minimal economic growth, to be compounded by effects of the Russian-Ukraine war. To boot, the respective currencies of these nations are forecast to continue depreciating against the dollar, amplifying inflationary pressures in tandem driving up dollar denominated prices of imports. This already has created a daunting ‘dollar doom loop’ quagmire, that has hitherto left a trail of devastation not only among these nations, but across the world, further retrogressing economic activities.

The state of Africa’s democracy was concerning in 2022, due to the resurgence of unconstitutional takeovers by military coups. Burkina Faso experienced two takeovers. There were failed coup attempts in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and the island nation of …

Read More