How China and Brazil are investing in Africa

After the economic slow-down, inflation and recession – and perhaps, some most pessimistic might say, the eminent down-fall of BRICS, all eyes turn to Africa as the new best thing regarding investments. Brazil and China have already been investing heavily in Africa, but how and where these two countries are investing in the African continent are strikingly different. China has been investing in infrastructural development such as, building highways in Tanzania, financing electricity projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and constructing whole towns in Angola. Most recently, Ethiopia made the headlines as the first African Sub-Saharan…

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WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy

Misinformation via social media played a troubling role in boosting far-right Congressman Jair Bolsonaro to into the Brazilian presidency. Bolsonaro did not win 55 percent of votes thanks to misinformation alone. A powerful desire for political change in Brazil after a yearslong corruption scandal and a court decision compelling the jailed front-runner Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to withdraw from the race both opened the door wide for his win. But Bolsonaro’s candidacy benefited from a powerful and coordinated disinformation campaign intended to discredit his rivals, according to the Brazilian…

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Blockchain-based land registries may help lift the poor out of poverty

Many developing countries don’t have a working system of tracking property rights, and what they do have can be fragile and incomplete. In Haiti, for instance, a large earthquake in 2010 destroyed all the municipal buildings that stored documents confirming many small farmers’ ownership of the land they worked. Even years later, many farmers didn’t have proof that they were landowners. People are still fighting over their land. This sort of problem – caused by natural disasters or not – is widespread, causing financial hardship for families in the developing…

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WhatsApp Business: a powerful weapon for startups in emerging markets

It seems that all dreams came through for WhatsApp users in emerging markets. WhatsApp Business, a stand-alone app different from the usual WhatsApp, was rolled out in a few countries in February 2018. What was WhatsApp really for? Messaging? Well, people in emerging economies countries – specially small and medium businesses – took WhatsApp one step further. About two years ago I wrote the article – “WhatsApp for business: the secret weapon of Brazil” – telling about how Brazilian businesses are using WhatsApp to build a rapport with their customers…

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Why eCommerce in Africa hasn’t caught on and what webshops can do about that

I have attended several tech events where they invite so-called gurus and experts to explain the digital landscape in Africa, but I have never been satisfied with any of their answers as to why e-commerce has not caught on. It turns out the reason why a click on a user’s web browser doesn’t exactly translate into an actual sale is really simple — the shipping and billing information form. It seems to me that most African online shopping stores just Xerox existing templates that have worked in developed economies where the physical…

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A Focus on Ageing in Emerging Markets

The developed nations in the West are often described as ageing and trying to focus on solutions for the challenges that come with it, while emerging nations are characterized as young, energetic and full of opportunity for the youthful population. Rapid advances in wealth, healthcare, nutrition and less physically intensive labour also impacts longevity. More people are living longer in developing countries and this is definitely a reason to celebrate, however this new reality also brings challenges that will need to be addressed. According to Helpage and The World Bank,…

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Rwanda: The Challenges of Social Innovation Delivery in Emerging Markets

Recently, I attended a startup accelerator pitch competition in Kigali where 10 teams pitched business solutions to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges faced by Rwandan youth. The top four teams received funding to further develop their ideas. In a country with a young population – 77% of the population is under 25 – and one of the highest fertility rates in Africa – 4.6 children born to every woman – youth SRH interventions are needed, and a pitch competition that encourages local youth to design these solutions is welcome.…

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The 5 Most Visited Social Media Sites in Uganda

Poor citizens, right?, yes; youth unemployment is over seventy percent and half of the population is below the age of 18 but, more Ugandans ‘afford’ to stream videos on YouTube every single day than read news or gossip as the US based social site floors all local sites in traffic! In fact, overall it is only Google andFacebook that receive more visitors than YouTube in Uganda. The most recent search rankings by Alexa, a global internet traffic monitoring company owned by Amazon shows a glaring difference between what many people…

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How Brazil missed its golden South-South co-operation moment

Guest post by Lídia Cabral, Institute of Development Studies Compared to China or India, Brazil is a relatively small player in development aid. Yet it has managed to make a mark in Africa and globally, especially under the leadership of charismatic Lula da Silva. From 2003 to 2010 Lula led an unprecedented shift in the country’s foreign policy towards the global South. He also helped elevate Brazil to the status of a global player. Back in 2010 the outlook was promising yet cautious. Brazil’s aid programme was dubbed a “global model…

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Ugandan women: rights & achievements against all odds

Guest Post by Agnes N. Bravo Leave alone the well-known Feminine characters like first Lady Janet Museveni; Buganda queen Sylvia Nnaginda Nabagereka, Minister Amelia Kyambadde, and the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga; being a woman in Uganda is a different profession altogether. A Ugandan woman plays a great role in the society. She is a 24 hours watchdog working from sunrise to sunrise. A fragile stature with immeasurable strength. She wakes up in the morning and prepares her homestead, prepares her children and her husband too, then she may proceed…

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