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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.


A round-up of recent careers, business and other news from the UK, Africa and around the world.

A round-up of recent news from the UK, Africa and around the world.

One in Three UK Students Say University is Poor Value

Nearly as many United Kingdom students (34%) now think they are receiving poor value as good value (35%) from their higher education. Declining perceptions of value are evident among students from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but the biggest decline is in Scotland, according to the 2017 Student Academic Experience Survey, published by the Higher Education Academy, or HEA, and the Higher Education Policy Institute, or HEPI. There is also evidence that perceptions of teaching quality are rising, with year-on-year increases in students’ perceptions of the characteristics of their teaching staff. Over 14,000 full-time undergraduates took part in the survey this year. Compared to last year, a higher proportion of students think: Course goals are explained clearly (up from 63% to 65%); Teaching staff motivate students to do their best work (from 51% to 54%); and Staff help students explore their own areas of interest (from 33% to 37%). The survey includes the most detailed and widely-used data on student wellbeing, and confirms student wellbeing is lower than for the rest of the population. For example, only one in five students (19%) report low anxiety, compared to twice as many (41%) people in the population as a whole. The survey explains the relative underperformance of students from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in detail. For example, White students tend to feel more positive about teaching staff characteristics than students of other ethnicities, and Asian students are less likely to feel they are learning 'a lot' than White students (59% versus 66%).

Morland Scholarships for African Writers Seeking Applications

The Miles Morland Foundation is awarding a number of Morland Writing Scholarships to produce the first draft of a completed book. The Scholarships are open to anyone writing in the English language who was born in Africa or both of whose parents were born in Africa. Scholars writing fiction will receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over the course of twelve months. At the discretion of the Foundation, Scholars writing non-fiction may receive a grant of up to £27,000, paid over a period  of up to eighteen months. At the end of each month scholars must send the Foundation 10,000 new words that they will have written over the course of the month. Scholars are also asked to donate to the MMF 20% of whatever they subsequently receive from what they write during the period of their Scholarship. This includes revenues as a result of film rights, serialisations or other ancillary revenues arising from the book written during the Scholarship period. These funds will be used to support other promising writers. The 20% return obligation should be considered a debt of honour rather than a legally binding obligation. To qualify for the Scholarship a candidate must submit an excerpt from a piece of work of between 2,000 – 5,000 words written in English that has been published and offered for sale. This will be evaluated by a panel of readers and judges set up by the MMF. The work submitted will be judged purely on literary merit. It is not the purpose of the Scholarships to support academic or scientific research, or works of special interest such as religious or political writings. Submissions or proposals of this nature do not qualify. If the first draft of the book is completed before the year is up, payments will continue while the Scholar edits and refines their work. The Foundation welcomes both fiction and non-fiction proposals. We are aware that non-fiction Scholars may need extra time for research, so the Foundation may exercise its discretion to offer non-fiction writers a longer Scholarship period of up to 18 months.

One in 10 UK Employers Admits to Paying Women Less than Men

One in 10 UK employers admit to paying women less than men for jobs of the same level, a new YouGov survey has revealed. The survey, carried out on behalf of the charity Young Women’s Trust, suggests that gender pay differentials span all levels of employment, with female apprentices paid, on average, 21 per cent less than their male counterparts – leaving them £2,000 a year worse-off. The media spotlight is currently fixed on the issue of the so-called ‘gender pay gap’ highlighting a huge difference between men and women carrying out similar duties, and in the number of men in more highly paid roles than women. However, nearly half (44 per cent) of the 800 HR decision-makers questioned in the YouGov survey said publishing pay gaps would not make a difference to pay, while a fifth said equal pay will never be achieved. The findings also revealed that, despite there often being an air of secrecy around the discussion of pay, 10 per cent of respondents in the private sector and 13 per cent in the public sector said they were aware of women being paid less in their workplace. Since the gender pay gap reporting window for organisations with more than 250 employees opened in April, only 38 employers have published their results.

Flight of EU Academics Spurs Fears of Brexit Brain Drain

More than 1,300 academics from the European Union have left British universities in the past year, prompting concerns of a Brexit brain drain, writes Michael Savage for the Guardian. There has been a 30% rise in departures of EU staff in just two years, according to data released by dozens of universities under the Freedom of Information Act. Among those universities most affected were Cambridge, which lost 184 staff in the past year, up 35% on 2014-15, and Edinburgh, which lost 96 EU staff, up from 62 in 2014-15. However, the figures do not take into account new staff arriving from the EU. The 64 universities that offered a figure for the past year said that 1,393 EU staff were leaving. While many will leave as part of natural turnover, it has prompted concerns that the government’s refusal to guarantee the rights of EU nationals is having an adverse effect on their ability to retain staff.

One in Four UK Workers Struggling with Employee Wellbeing

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of UK people think their employer is failing to take employee wellbeing seriously, research published today has found. A survey by professional services firm PwC of 2,000 UK workers also discovered that more than a third (34 per cent) are struggling with a health and wellbeing issue, the most common being anxiety, depression and stress. Although almost two in five (39 per cent) of those surveyed had either taken time off work or cut back on their responsibilities because of their health, the same proportion said they felt uncomfortable discussing their problems with their employer. Four out of five (83 per cent) workers also said their productivity levels were strongly linked to their wellbeing. More than half (54 per cent) of those surveyed by PwC said their employer did not offer any health perks, such as subsidised gym membership, health screenings or counselling. In a survey published in May by insurer Aviva, two out of five (43 per cent) employees said their boss valued business performance more than their health. Research published in February by fellow insurer Legal & General revealed that fewer than one in 10 employees would feel comfortable discussing mental health problems with their manager, despite 78 per cent of employers thinking their staff would be happy to have these conversations. And according to a study released in March by charity Mind, a quarter (26 per cent) of staff with mental health issues thought work was the main cause.

Fathers Struggle Silently with ‘Work/Life Balance’

A global study of 250,000 participants has found that men are struggling to juggle work and family life just as much as women, but feel less able to talk about the issue. The research, by the University of Georgia, revealed that the majority of working fathers are plagued by the stress of balancing their work and home lives, but fear they will suffer negative career repercussions or threats to their masculinity if they try to discuss it. Lead researcher Kristen Shockley described the findings as “contrary” to the public perception of women struggling more with balancing their professional and personal lives. Part of the problem could be that it is considered more socially acceptable for women to discuss work-life balances, the study suggested, because they are still typically perceived to be children’s primary caregivers.

UK Employers Criticised for ‘Tick box’ Approach to Recruitment

UK businesses have failed to update their recruitment processes to reflect the modern jobs market, despite increased investment in services such as screening, a new report has found. The number of standard and enhanced background checks carried out between April 2014 and January 2016 increased by 80 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, according to new data from Complete Background Screening (CBS). But it warned that many organisations were simply using screening as a compliance measure, rather than as part of genuine investment in recruitment. The report coincides with the release of a white paper about the lack of feedback in recruitment. Featuring input from leading HR and employment groups – including the CIPD, Business in the Community (BITC) and the Association of Graduate Recruiters – the paper has been submitted to the Department for Work and Pensions. Charlie Taylor, chief executive of graduate careers app Debut and founder of the Fight for Feedback campaign, said consistent feedback was “crucial” to motivating jobseekers, improving the recruitment process and boosting the labour market. Earlier this year, a survey of 1,000 18 to 23-year-olds by Debut found that 83 per cent of jobseekers who attended a face-to-face interview did not received feedback from the employer, despite 77 per cent believing it should be a legal requirement.

IFC Launches Consumer Education Campaign on Mobile Services in Tanzania

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a consumer education campaign to raise awareness about interoperable mobile money services that help to promote financial inclusion in Tanzania. In 2014, Tanzania’s four major mobile phone operators—Vodacom, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel—reached an interoperability agreement to allow their customers to interact with each other. Through the interoperability agreement customers can make payments from the mobile money account of one provider to the mobile money account of another provider. This makes Tanzania one of the first countries in the world with an industry-agreed interoperable market for mobile financial services. IFC, with the support of the Bank of Tanzania, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Financial Sector Deepening Trust, facilitated the industry-led discussions that have led to agreement between the four operators, and continues to work with key actors in the market in Tanzania to deepen and strengthen financial inclusion. An IFC report, “Achieving Interoperability in Mobile Financial Services: Tanzania Case Study,” identified limited awareness of interoperability, coupled with competitive pressures and lack of trust among operators as key barriers to growth in the sector. The marketing campaign, which aims to reach one million individuals, will be rolled out over six months to September 2017. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

Germany to Fund New East African Regional ICT Centre of Excellence

The government of Germany is set to deepen higher education cooperation with East Africa by funding the establishment of a centre of excellence in information and communication technology or ICT in the region to deliver a specialised Masters programme in embedded and mobile systems. The centre, to be formed through a partnership between the German Society for International Cooperation, the German Academic Exchange Service, or DAAD, and the Inter-University Council for East Africa, or IUCEA, will see a university or a consortium of universities selected to host the centre, and training students from across the region. News of the ICT centre of excellence comes as plans to establish the Eastern African-German University of Applied Sciences accelerate ahead of elections in both Germany and Kenya later this year. The university, to be set up under a bilateral arrangement between Kenya and Germany, will offer programmes under the German applied sciences model, to students from the wider Eastern African region. The latest ICT centre of excellence project will be funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to the tune of €1.38 million (US$1.54 million) and learning is expected to commence from September 2018. Under the initiative an East African university or consortium of universities will be competitively appointed to host the centre and partner with a German university or consortium of universities, for the purposes of capacity development, academic exchange and curriculum development. The primary goal of the project is for universities in East Africa to offer programmes and services that meet the requirements of private and public sectors as well as of civil society for a digital transformation in the region. The centre will also establish synergies with other centres of excellence in the region such as the ACE II initiative of the World Bank. DAAD will be the German partner for the university partnership and the masters degree programme, while the implementation partner on the East African side is the IUCEA. Up to 40 students will be enrolled per cohort with a special emphasis on women. Graduates with a first academic degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as professionals working in academia, industry or the public sector, are the target. Teaching and technical staff seconded to the centre will receive specially tailored training to enable them to execute their duties, helping in technology transfer. According to IUCEA, the masters programme will be established as a bilateral cooperation within the framework of DAAD’s Africa Strategy and will complement the existing DAAD-funded African Centres of Excellence (ACE) programme. Scholarships and research grants will also be provided to students under the project which will run from October 2017 to December 2020.

New Portal Aims to Turn Mauritanian Brain Drain into Brain Gain

An academic diaspora portal has been launched in Mauritania in a bid to address the loss of local scholars and expertise in a country marked by serious brain drain. The portal aims to translate the Mauritanian brain drain into brain gain and brain circulation by accessing the knowledge held by Mauritanian experts from all fields and utilising such knowledge in the interests of the country and its higher education system. To achieve this, it will mobilise the Mauritania academic diaspora to support teaching as well as scientific and technological research in national universities and strengthen the linkages between Mauritanian academics in the diaspora and local higher education institutions. Mauritania ranked 103 and 129 out of 138 countries in its capacity to retain and attract talent respectively, according to the 2017 Africa Competitiveness Report, titled “Addressing Africa’s Demographic Dividend”. The portal, which seeks to build partnerships with local universities and Mauritanian scholars and their universities abroad, was launched in cooperation with the UN Migration Agency, or IOM, according to a local news report. Developed with funding from the IOM Development Fund, the portal is in line with IOM’s diaspora mobilisation strategy that centres on the 3E’s for action: Enable, engage and empower transnational communities as agents for development. The portal will be managed and updated by officials of the Ministry of Higher Education in Mauritania and seeks to strengthen relationships and enhance cooperation between the foreign higher education institutions where Mauritanian academics are based and local universities. The portal will provide virtual and physical fora and accelerate access to resources that foster partnerships and knowledge sharing between the academic diaspora and national higher education institutions and associated research centres. This diaspora portal will set up a database of academic Mauritanian nationals abroad and facilitate the mobilisation of their skills, knowledge and expertise through the actual return of skilled diaspora members on a short- or long-term basis. Transfer of knowledge can also take place ‘virtually’ through online support. The portal will be accessible for the project known as Connecting Diaspora for Development, a Netherlands-based initiative which connects diaspora experts with their countries of origin and supports the development of targeted sectors, including education, by strengthening the capacity of key institutions through the engagement of Mauritania's diaspora communities in the Netherlands.

REDAVIA Opens New Office in Ghana

REDAVIA, a global market leader of cost-effective rental solar power for businesses and communities, has opened its first office and legal entity in Accra, the capital of Ghana, to accommodate its growth plans and leverage West Africa’s manifold business opportunities. The office opening marks the second milestone following the seven-year contract with the Regional Maritime University in Ghana (RMU) in 2017. REDAVIA’s decision to establish an office and hire a local team in Ghana is based on its vision and three-pronged strategy for a long-term involvement in the country. Firstly, REDAVIA ensures pre-financing of entire solar farms to make it both affordable and predictable for customers through monthly lease payments. Secondly, it delivers German-engineered technology at the heart of its containerized, easy to deploy solar farms. REDAVIA, through its Academy, ensures an ongoing knowledge transfer around renewable solar power to Ghanaian students and professionals with the aim to equip current and future generations with all relevant know-how.

Africa to Launch Single Market for Air Transport in 2018

Africa plans to have a single air transport market by 2018, according to the African Union (AU). Over 40 countries are expected to be signatories by then. So far, 20 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to the African single air market. The single air transport market is one of the goals of AU’s Agenda 2063, aiming to connect Africa through aviation and other transport infrastructure to achieve integration and boost intra-Africa trade. The single air transport market also aims to boost African nations’ tourism, economic growth and economic development. According to Euroavia International, a firm specializing in consulting services for airports and aviation industry, air transport in Africa is on average twice as expensive as the world average. Since 1980s, an African Open Skies vision has been there, culminating in the adoption of the Yamoussoukro Decision of African Heads of States of November 14, 1999. Between 2004 and 2014, an increasing business and tourism sector and growing middle class, the market share of African airlines has dropped dramatically despite sustained economic growth on the continent. The loss of market share by African airlines has been estimated by the AU to have been from 60% to below 2%.

$27 Million World Bank Grant to Cape Verde Will Support Transport Sector

The World Bank has approved an additional loan of $27 million for Cape Verde to finance reforms launched since 2013 in its transport sector, the country’s government recently announced. According to the government, the reforms project aims, not only at improving the nation’s road network, but the performances of companies operating in the transport industry as well. Out of the additional facility, $17 million will be spent to renovate and maintain roads while $3 million will be dedicated to emergency works. $1 million will be invested in institutional strengthening and project management, while road security and inter-Island transport strategy will respectively capture $1 million and $3 million.

Djibouti Opens Key Port Project at Lake Assal

Djibouti has opened the Port of Ghoubet as a key terminal for the export of salt from the world-famous Lake Assal. The US$64 million facilities, which took two years to complete, will be able to accommodate ships up to 100,000 dwt, with the potential capacity to export over 5 million tonnes of salt throughout the world. Located 40 kilometres south of the Gulf of Ghoubet, the new port is the second to be launched in the north of the country, following the launch of the Port of Tadjourah, a facility dedicated to the export of potash. Both projects are part of the government’s efforts to develop critical infrastructure in the north, including the redevelopment of regional highways. Djibouti sits at the centre of world trade routes, connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe and has become the gateway to one of the fastest growing regions of the world, with 30,000 ships transiting the port each year. The project at Lake Assal is the latest in a comprehensive network of multi-modal infrastructure, which includes both specialist ports and larger multipurpose facilities. Other parts of this infrastructure network include the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway – a new 752km track linking Ethiopia’s capital with the Port of Djibouti – as well as a Liquefied Natural Gas facility, an oil terminal, two brand new airports, and new highways. Together they will dramatically expand Djibouti’s ability to serve as a platform and trade hub for the region. Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) is the governmental body overseeing ports in the country. The organization also oversees the national free trade zones, serving as a liaison between the companies working therein and other government agencies.

Kenyans Losing Trust in Banking Systems

Public trust in the Kenyan banking system is still in doubt, with 51 per cent of depositors showing total distrust in their banks, Kenya Banking Association report has revealed. According to the study conducted early this year, 11 per cent of depositors said that they totally distrust their banks while 40 per cent revealed that they somewhat distrust their banks. Another 48 per cent of them expressed trust, with the remaining one per cent saying that they were not sure. This survey reflects views of Consumers Downtown Association, a consumer protection lobby that insist banks are robbing consumers through hidden credit charges and exorbitant transaction fees. However, financial inclusion trend in the country is positive. According to the study, 42.3 per cent of Kenyans can access banking services compared to a paltry 15 per cent in 2006. The number of deposit accounts have increased from 1 million in 2006 to 35.1 million recorded in 2015. The traditional banking system is losing ground to the new age banking platforms like mobile banking which are cost effective and efficient. Safaricom’s M-Pesa for instance reported to have reached 26 million users in the country, transacting Sh184 billion by May this year, up from Sh 83 million in 2006. Apart from other mobile money platforms in the country like Airtel and Telecom money, the country has witnessed the birth of lending and saving applications like Tala and Branch. However, the KBA report shows that 90 per cent of consumers are not planning to change their banks, although the majority want faster services, lower transaction fees, enhanced data security and mobile money platforms.

Record Increase in Mobile Banking in Ghana

A record number of Ghanaians are saving money using mobile phones as lenders push products to lure deposits using technology that is cheaper than building branches. Deposits with mobile-money providers jumped 25 percent to 1.57 billion cedis ($360 million) this year through April. That compares with 19.6 million cedis in 2012, when the Bank of Ghana began compiling the data. Lenders including Fidelity Bank Ltd. and AFB Ghana Plc this year began offering savings products to mobile-phone users, while Ecobank Ghana Ltd. in 2016 allowed customers to buy government Treasury bills over their devices. The value of transactions over mobile phones reached 11.5 billion cedis during April, after measuring 9.6 billion cedis during January and only 594 million cedis for all of 2012, according to the regulator’s data. The percentage of Ghanaians using financial services outside of banks increased to 22 percent in 2015 compared with 7 percent in 2010, PwC said in its 2016 Ghana Banking Survey, citing World Bank data. Only 36 percent of the population had a bank account in 2015, compared with 34 percent five years earlier, the report showed. By April last year Ghana had about 36.4 million mobile-voice subscribers, exceeding the population of 27.8 million, according to PwC.

Sub-Saharan Africa to Surpass half a Billion Mobile Subscribers

More than half a billion people across Sub-Saharan Africa will be subscribed to a mobile service by the end of a decade, according to a new GSMA study, ‘The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2017’. The report forecasts that the number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will grow from 420 million (43 per cent of the population) at the end of 2016 to 535 million (50 per cent of the population) in 2020, making it the fastest growing region in the world over the same period. The report also highlights the Sub-Saharan Africa mobile ecosystem’s growing contribution to regional GDP, jobs, innovation and socio-economic development. Sub-Saharan Africa will be a key engine of subscriber growth for the world’s mobile industry over the next few years and subscriber growth is expected to be concentrated in large, underpenetrated markets such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, which together will account for half of the 115 million new subscribers expected in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. Growth will also focus on currently under-represented segments such as the under-16 age group, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of the population in many countries, and women, who are currently 17 per cent less likely to have a mobile phone subscription than their male counterparts. Mobile is also a vital tool in delivering digital and financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa. Around 270 million people in the region now access the internet through mobile devices, while the number of registered mobile money accounts has reached 280 million. Mobile operators and others are also leveraging the ubiquity of mobile networks across the region to deliver services that are working towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in areas such as energy, water and sanitation, healthcare, and education. Mobile technologies and services generated $110 billion of economic value in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, equivalent to 7.7 per cent of regional GDP– a figure expected to grow to $142 billion (8.6 per cent of GDP) by 2020. The mobile ecosystem also directly and indirectly supported approximately 3.5 million jobs in the region last year, and made a $13 billion contribution to the public sector in the form of taxation.

Africa to Launch Single Air Transport Market in 2018

Africa plans to have a single air transport market by 2018 , David Kajange, the Head of the Transport and Tourism Division at the African Union (AU) has announced. Over 40 countries are expected to be signatories by then. So far, 20 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to the African single air market. The single air transport market is one of the goals of AU’s Agenda 2063, aiming to connect Africa through aviation and other transport infrastructure to achieve integration and boost intra-Africa trade. The single air transport market also aims to boost African nations’ tourism, economic growth and economic development. Africa became the most expensive air transport market in the world because of individual nations’ policies and regulations that hinder air connectivity, according to the AU and, according to Euroavia International, a firm specializing in consulting services for airports and aviation industry, air transport in Africa is on average twice as expensive as the world average. Between 2004 and 2014, an increasing business and tourism sector and growing middle class, the market share of African airlines has dropped dramatically despite sustained economic growth on the continent. The loss of market share by African airlines has been estimated by the AU to have been from 60% to below 2%.

South African Business School Commits Record R4.6 Million Towards 2018 Scholarships

In a bid to ensure greater access to its programmes in 2018, the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has made significant funding available to support students who lack financial means. Students can now apply for funding at the same time as they apply for a place on the programme. Previously they had to wait until they’d been accepted before applying for funding. Calls for free tertiary education for poor South Africans are gaining momentum and institutions need to do everything they can to make their degrees more accessible to poorer students said Associate Professor Mills Soko, head of the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB). This year, it has made a record R4.6 million in funding available for scholarships for the 2018 academic year – which translates to roughly 20 full-time MBA scholarships or 40 part-time scholarships, and is encouraging historically disadvantaged South Africans and African citizens to apply. This is the first time that the GSB has run a targeted campaign to promote scholarships at the school, which is in line with its objective of increasing student diversity. For more information and to apply please visit www.gsb.uct.ac.za/scholarships. Scholarship applications close on October 31, 2017.

Stanford Launches Educational Opportunities to Empower Youth and Entrepreneurs in Southern Africa

Stanford Graduate School of Business has announced a USD $3 million, three-year partnership with De Beers Group to empower young, budding entrepreneurs and owners of established businesses in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa through two new educational programs launching in 2018. Stanford is expanding two of its successful programs to Southern Africa: the Seed Transformation Program of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, known as Stanford Seed, and the Stanford Go-to-Market program for accelerating business ventures to market. The Seed Transformation Program is a one-year program of intensive sessions on topics such as leadership, strategy, business ethics, accounting, marketing, and value chain innovations. Skilled facilitators assist participants in applying classroom insights, developing leadership teams, and formulating a detailed plan for organizational transformation and growth. The Stanford Go-to-Market Program is an intensive, one-week entrepreneurship bootcamp, taught by Stanford GSB faculty, held in cities around the globe. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and small-group discussions, the program helps budding entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to commercialize their business ideas and accelerate their route to market. While Botswana will host the first Stanford Go-to-Market program in Africa, the bootcamp may expand to include participants from other Southern African countries once fully established. Applications for the Stanford Go-to-Market program in Botswana will be accepted this fall and the cohort will convene in March 2018. The Seed Transformation Program launched in West Africa in 2013 and expanded to East Africa in 2016, and will open a third location in India. Faculty, staff, and coaches have trained more than 500 business leaders with the goal of promoting prosperity in these regions. Both programs will be headquartered at the Botswana Innovation Hub, a science and technology park in Gaborone, Botswana.

A.P. Moller Holding Launches New Infrastructure Fund with a Focus on Africa

A.P. Moller Holding has together with PKA, PensionDanmark and Lægernes Pension launched a new infrastructure fund with a focus on Africa. The fund has received commitments of USD 550 million from anchor investors. The new fund will focus on investments in infrastructure in Africa to support sustainable economic growth in the region while delivering an attractive return to its investors. The fund will be managed by A.P. Moller Capital, which is an affiliate of A.P. Moller Holding and all the partners all have extensive industrial and investment experience combined with a substantial network in Africa. The fund has a duration of 10 years and has an initial target of 10 to 15 investments in total. Following first commitments, the fund will be open for additional institutional investors for the next 12 months. The ambition is to raise USD 1bn in commitments.

African Women Use Mobile Internet More Heavily than Men

A study undertaken by global software company Opera and digital reading non-profit Worldreader has found that women in Africa use mobile internet to empower and entertain themselves. Opera ran a survey of 1,500 women and men aged 14 to 44 in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa in May 2017 to learn more about their web browsing habits on their mobile phones. The poll results were later combined with Worldreader insights on the mobile reading habits of 50,000 Worldreader app users in the three countries above. The combined study revealed that women in these three African countries are as tech savvy as men when it comes to browsing the internet using their mobile phones. Women are using their browsers as often as men, with the majority of female survey respondents in Kenya and Nigeria (60%) stating that they access their mobile browsers more than eight times a day to do various internet activities.

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