Tag Archives: Quartz

Blockchain could help Africa’s commodity markets, says Ideanomics CEO Bruno Wu — Quartz Africa

Corruption, mismanagement and opaque business practices have for decades defined Africa’s commodity markets.

A Chinese billionaire says deploying new technologies might be the solution that could help African nations trade their minerals and natural resources more efficiently and profitably. Bruno Wu, chairman and co-CEO of technology company Ideanomics (formerly Seven Stars Cloud Group), says blockchain and artificial intelligence could create efficient systems that would help in pricing, selling, and ensuring accountability. Digitizing asset production and distribution would also allow for an opportunity to leapfrog, he adds, allowing the continent to lead just as it has with mobile money worldwide.

“Having a better tomorrow for Africa is about having a more transparent future. And…

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Quartz Names Top 30 African Innovators

Quartz Names Top 30 African Innovators

Africa’s most pressing problems are all under siege. Innovators are not sleeping.

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African brands show sustainable fashion at New York Fashion Week — Quartz Africa

At New York Fashion Week this month, clothing made from cotton grown and handwoven in Burkina Faso and cut and sewn in Ghana featured on the ramp in a victory lap for sustainable fashion.

With their Spring/Summer collection, Studio 189 showcased a lesson in ethical fashion that Africa could teach the world. Young designers across the continent are adapting traditional techniques and locally-sourced materials to create garments that are both green and fair—two traits that are becoming more fashionable among global consumers.

Africa’s fashion industry, however, remains a very local affair. Most African brands are small operations, with no production capacity to supply large orders. Scaling up is hard, given electricity shortages and other manufacturing glitches that come with producing in a…

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Migrants opt for Spain over Italy — Quartz Africa

Migrants looking to cross from Africa into Europe by sea are having to change tack.

With Italy’s new right-wing government focused on stopping illegal migration, migrants have began looking to Spain instead. Analysis of data from Frontex, Europe’s border and coast guard agency, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by the Pew Research Center shows, so far this year, migrant arrivals in Spain through the Western Mediterranean route have surpassed arrivals in Italy for the first time since 2009, when data was first collected.

Given that many migrants apply to local authorities in Europe for asylum, these numbers, collated by Frontex and other organizations, are “considered the best estimate for the total number of Mediterranean arrivals into Europe,” Pew Research Center…

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In Africa, genetics helped identify three major ivory cartels — Quartz

When law enforcement agents in African countries uncover a hidden port container of elephant tusks, it’s only partially satisfying.

On the one hand, they’ve found an illegal shipment in the 1% to 2% of containers they can inspect, and they can likely find at least one person involved in the crime. On the other, the shipment has left them with more questions than answers: They have no idea where these elephant tusks came from, or who is the criminal mastermind behind the network of individuals working to illegally sell ivory, often in Vietnam or the Middle East. Without knowing where to increase park ranger supervision or whom to target for investigations, it’s highly likely that the poaching will continue and endangered African elephant populations will dwindle.

But that’s where science…

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Islamic finance in Africa grows in Mali, Ivory Coast, Togo — Quartz Africa

Islamic finance is rapidly growing across Africa, with investors, governments, and financial institutions increasingly leveraging its potential for both financing and development.

Since 2014, $2.3 billion in sukuk, or Sharia-compliant bonds, have been issued in the continent, notes a briefing from ratings and financial agency Moody’s. There has also been an increase in the number of licensed Islamic financial institutions, rising to over 80 in the last five years. As more governments introduce plans to mainstream Islamic financing, conventional banks in Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, and beyond are also setting up departments or “windows” to cater for clients seeking services in this sector.

Islamic finance is based on profit-sharing and prohibits the collection and payment of interest, or usury….

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