Dear Quartz Africa Readers,
Sam Bankman-Fried quickly became a persona non grata everywhere, including in Africa. Once hailed as a crypto guru, the collapse of its FTX exchange platform has sent shockwaves around the world, taking billions of investors’ money with it. Although he continues to tweet threads with apologetic connotationAfricans take stock of their own losses.
Crypto Enthusiasts Who Traded Different Coins On FTX-Linked Platforms Have Been Unable To Withdraw Their Investments While Crypto Startups Face Their Own Losses. Nestcoin, Nigerian web3 startup led by former Binance Labs director Yele Bademosi admitted to being affected by the fall of FTX and had to lay off employees. “The events of the past week impacted us, as we held our assets (cash and stablecoins) at FTX. As a business, we need to adjust our plans, rethink our strategy… Unfortunately, this means saying goodbye to some of our very talented Nesters,” Bademosi said.
And while some users in the Bahamas and the United States were able to withdraw their funds before the crisis hit, African traders may never be able to access their money.
Many African central banks – Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Namibia—warned against using and trading crypto, but their citizens continued to trust the platforms in hopes of high returns. Ethiopia recently left ban crypto to regulate it.
“The crypto industry has become vibrant with multiple aspects such as NFTs and metaverse appealing to young crypto audiences. The collapse of FTX will make them cautious about which exchange they are trading in. But exchanges will have to set aside proof of reserves to protect customers. Government regulators will need to accelerate the development of regulatory frameworks to protect consumers,” says Nairobi-based Nairobi author Benjamin Arunda. Understanding Blockchain and a member of the Blockchain Association of Kenya.
—Faustine Ngila, East Africa correspondent
What to look out for in the Quartz Africa member briefing
By the numbers
9: The number of major African stock exchanges, out of the top 10, that posted negative returns in the first half of 2022
$6.5 billion: Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) losses in the first half of 2022
2015 : The year of the last initial public offering (IPO) took place at the NSE
97%: Share of trading accounts in Kenya considered inactive, having not traded for at least 24 months
9.2%: Kenya’s annual inflation rate in September, after rising for the seventh consecutive month to the highest level since June 2017
Learn more about Abacus, a multi-asset class online brokerage in last week’s edition from the Quartz Africa membership file. To receive the Member Brief straight to your inbox (and save 40%), become a member today!
Stories this week
There “African Amazon” say goodbye to Prime. Jumia said the product, which he has been using for three years, is “too early” for Africa. It’s one of at least three departments the company says will end as a new management team focuses on efficiency, reports Alexander Onukwue.
Bill Gates devotes 5% of his fortune to health and agriculture in Africa. Addressing students at the University of Nairobi, the Microsoft co-founder pledged $7 billion to help the continent fight disease and boost agriculture. Faustine Ngila explains why African countries will still need a lot more.
Nigeria’s proposed national airline is facing local resistance. The new Nigeria Air, already four years behind schedule, was due to start operations by December, but a court order against a deal involving Ethiopian Airlines threatens the planned takeoffreports Alexander Onukwue.
What can technology do to avert the global climate change crisis? According Saad Toma—General Manager of IBM Middle East and Africa—Blockchain Technology, AI, and Quantum Computing Have Potential to prevent climatic hazardswrites Faustine Ngila.
The overhaul of the Nigerian currency is moving forward at full speed. Alexander Onukwue explains the implications of Nigeria’s central bank plans to ensure its currency overhaul plan includes residents in rural areas.
A big number
This is the number of years the world has to avoid a climate catastrophe, according to a major document published on the sidelines of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt. At the current rate of global emissions, the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will likely be out of reach in nine years, according to the study. Tim McDonnel reports from Sharm el-Sheikh.
Movie of interest
Last weekend, Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever triumphed over covid-19 production delays and the death of its main actor, Chadwick Bosemanbecoming the second-biggest domestic opening weekend of 2022. The sequel to Black Panther is also the biggest domestic box office opening for November at $180 million, beating 2013’s Hunger Games – Catching Firethe previous month record holder at $158 million.
Adario Strange explains why, even though it’s great news, Disney is still prepare for an economical winter.
Mapping the mobility of Africans in Africa
In a recent Quartz interview, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina discusses his unbridled optimism about the continent, and also why, for Africa to prosper, Africans (and not just African goods ) must be able move around the continent.
The opening of African visas by the numbers
2/3: Proportion of African countries that improved or maintained their Africa visa openness scores between 2016 and 2021
44%: Proportion of African countries in 2021 that offer eVisa to Africans, up from 17% in 2016
$63: Average visa fees for Africans traveling to the continent
$12 to $250: Range of visa fees for Africans visiting other African countries, depending on length of stay
72 hours: Average visa issuance processing time for Africans traveling to Africa
1-10 days: Range of visa processing times for Africans traveling to Africa, for which data was available
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) unveiled a $225 million initiative to invest in early-stage technology companies in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan. Targeted sectors will include climate, health, education, agriculture and e-commerce. IFC’s African technology portfolio already includes Twiga Foods in Kenya, and TradeDepot in Nigeria. This new platform will build on the knowledge base built from previous activity to complete equity and “equity-like” transactions.
Gold: it’s pretty standard
By the numbers
6 grams: Weight of pure gold in an Olympic gold medal
31.103 grams: The equivalent of one troy ounce (ozt) of gold, a measurement used for precious metals
20.37%: Share of world gold reserves in Australia in 2021, more than any other country
8%: Gold prices rally after UK Brexit vote in 2016
18: Carats in a solid gold toilet the Guggenheim Museum offered to loan to the Trump White House
$35 per ounce: Value of gold according to the Bretton Woods system, in force from 1958 to 1971
Find out more in our recent email from the Weekly Gold Obsession.
Other things we liked
African climate activists left Egypt disappointed. CNN’s Ivana Kottasová reports that optimistic lobbyists expect a solid dialogue on climate remedies in Africa, left Egypt feeling disappointed.
Feared ritual dancers in Zimbabwe are trying to reclaim their reputation. For the AP, Farai Mutsaka writes about why dancers are feared and what challenges they face trying to revamp their image.
Six out of ten Nigerians live in poverty. BBC’s Azeezat Olaoluwa reports that according to statistics published by the government, more than 133 million citizens are trapped in multidimensional poverty.
A South African school has started teaching cryptography. Tech Cabal’s Ephraim Modise reports that a Johannesburg-based school, Centennial Schools, has introduces a 10-module course which educates students on how to use crypto and blockchain.
Thousands of people have been displaced in the DRC in a week of armed fighting. Al Jazeera details how the constant battle for the soul of Goma, eastern DRC, between government forces and the M23 rebel group has led to the loss of lives and livelihoods.
Up to $250,000 for women entrepreneurs. Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) is inviting African women to apply for the Entrepreneurship Facilitators Program for Young Women. Proposals will receive between $100,000 and $250,000. (Nov 25)
Get a share of Mozilla’s $250,000 fund. The responsible computing challenge is now open to tertiary institutions and technology hubs in Kenya. Ten scholarships totaling $250,000 are up for grabs. (Jan 17, 2023)
🎵 This brief was made by listening to “Everyone has their chanceby KRYS M (Cameroon).
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Our best wishes for a productive and idea-filled week ahead. Please send your news, comments, suggestions, ideas, risk-free altcoins and gold nuggets to [email protected] You can follow us on Twitter at @qzafrica for updates throughout the day.