Category Archives: P

AFRICAN AIRLINES SUFFER REVENUE LOSS DUE TO HIGH FUEL COSTS

By Paul Ndiho

Air transport across Africa is critical in facilitating business, international trade, and tourism. In 2022, most regional airlines were expecting their revenue to increase. Still, those hopes appear to be shrinking as airlines are halting international and domestic flights due to the high cost of fuel.

The international air transport association says the aviation industry is struggling due to the high fuel cost – and African airlines are no exception.  South African Airways HAS NOT been profitable.  The airline has lost billions of dollars in the last seven years.  The troubled air carrier announced Tuesday that it was canceling 14 flights affecting over three-thousand passengers.  The Airports Company of South Africa says it is working to rectify the fuel shortage at the Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.  The airport receives its fuel supply via rail, and the rail system has sustained significant damage due to recent flooding — and it has just over three days of fuel left.  Several Nigerian airlines are halting domestic flights until further notice due to rising fuel costs.  A scarcity of fuel since March has caused some African airlines to cancel and delay operations.  Global jet fuel prices have soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a surge in the crude oil market, hitting airlines and passengers with steep increases.  Airline passengers in Nigeria pay for fares in the naira, which has weakened sharply due to devaluations.  Suppliers are paying for fuel in U.S. dollars, a scarce currency in Nigeria.   Nigeria’s aviation ministry says it is concerned about the difficulties and the spiraling airfares due to jet fuel costs.  Still, it appealed to the airlines to consider the effects of a shutdown on travelers at home and abroad.  Kenya Airways expects to see a 20 percent rise in revenue this year after being revived two years ago.  But, Uganda airlines is not profitable — and it’s heavily subsidized.   Air Tanzania has bounced back; purchasing a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner package valued at $224 million is costly to maintain and could cost Tanzanian taxpayers millions of dollars.  Rwandair, the state-owned flagship carrier of Rwanda, operates domestic and international flights – and may be too optimistic with its financial expectations and is running on

losses.

JUMIA LAUNCHES 2022 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

Jumia, dubbed Amazon of Africa, operates in eleven African countries; it started with the belief that technology has the potential to transform everyday life in Africa.

Over the years, Jumia has grown exponentially, employing over 4,000 employees. From Lagos, Nigeria, I am joined via Skype by Juliet Anammah, Jumia’s Chief sustainability officer, to discuss a sustainable report released earlier today.

NIGERIA BLAST KILLS MORE THAN 110

Burnt bodies litter the ground after an explosion at an illegal Nigerian oil refinery in a forest at Abaezi Ohaji-Egbema, between the southern oil states of Rivers and Imo, some 30 km away from the Imo state capital Owerri. Emergency services say the death toll has risen to 110 as more people die from injuries. Paul Ndiho has more.

TRANSFORM HOME THEATER AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON OR VOICE COMMAND.

Are you one of those people that are very passionate about the Audio Video entertainment system in a home? Well, Audio Visual Connect -Automation Solutions, a new startup, could be your ultimate solution for a luxury home. They offer intelligent automation that allows you to transform every space at the push of a button or single voice command.
I spoke to Lungile Ntuli – Bobo Founder and Chief Operations Officer of Audio Visual Connect |Automation Solutions in Johannesburg, South Africa.

C.A. R. ADOPTS BITCOIN AS A LEGAL CURRENCY

According to the UN, the Central African Republic has adopted bitcoin as its official currency alongside the CFA franc. In addition, the presidency announced that it is legalizing the use of cryptocurrencies, claiming it is the first country to do so in Africa. Africa 54 technology correspondent Paul Ndiho has more.

MOBILE CHARGING SOLUTIONS IN UGANDA

How do you charge a cell phone or mobile device when you don’t have electricity at home or are entirely off the grid? In Uganda, Charge Ko Technologies is an energy startup driving the mobile device charging revolution by providing portable charging solutions. Could these innovations be a game-changer?
For more insight, I spoke to Geoffrey Mutabazi, CEO and Co-founder of Charge Ko, based in Kampala, Uganda.

KENYAN PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI DIES AT 90

BY PAUL NDIHO

Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has died. President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Friday. Kibaki, who served as Kenya’s third president from 2003 to 2013, has died aged 90.

Former president Mwai Kibaki, who served as Kenya’s third president from 2003 to 2013, died at age 90. Kibaki is credited with reviving Kenya’s then-ailing economy. Still, his tenure was marred by deadly violence that erupted following his disputed re-election by his opponent, Raila Odinga, in December 2007.

Thousands of people were killed in months of ethnic  violence before an agreement was reached with the help of outsiders.

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a mourning period to honor Kibaki, during which flags will be flown at half-mast. Kibaki ushered in economic reforms and a new constitution for Kenya but some say he failed to deliver on promises to stamp out.

 A British-educated economist, Kibaki’s characteristic calm demeanor concealed political shrewdness that finally propelled him to the presidency, after four decades as a lawmaker, government minister, and vice president to his predecessor, Daniel Arap Moi.

 His landslide win in 2002 upset Moi’s handpicked successor, the current president Uhuru Kenyatta. In a wheelchair and a leg cast after a car crash, Kibaki promised his ecstatic inauguration to crowd a clean break from Moi’s autocratic quarter-century rule. However, the honeymoon did not last long, and cracks soon appeared in NARC, an alliance of parties opposed to Moi.

 He served as finance minister for 13 years under both Kenyatta and Moi and as Moi’s vice president for some of that time. Kibaki was among Kenya’s richest men, overseeing vast landholdings and business interests.

A UGANDAN FILMMAKER TO PRODUCE A FILM FOR DISNEY

BY: PAUL NDIHO

A Ugandan filmmaker is making his mark on the world stage and changing the narrative. He’s one of 14 filmmakers from six countries across the continent picked to create an anthology of short films for Disney

Raymond Malinga, 32-year-old, founded his company, Creatures Animation Studios, in 2015 after studying animation and visual effects in Malaysia. He had an ambitious plan to become the next Taylor Perry and tell the African story. 

“The narrative in Africa has been you switch on the news right now, and I bet it’s something bad about Africa. But, there are like these small glimmers where people come up and say, ‘hey, that guy has invented an app, this guy has done this right,’ and I think we contribute to that conversation. So, what it means for us as the directors and for me is an opportunity to contribute to that conversation and, not only that, to take it further. Because the way I view it is that this is just a platform, but there is no reason why an African studio or an African individual cannot rise above Disney, cannot become bigger than them; I don’t see any reason why.”

His team operates out of a makeshift innovation village built from repurposed shipping containers in the capital Kampala. Their big break came in 2017 when they produced “A Kalabanda Ate My Homework.”

It was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival and won best animation film at the African International Film Festival.

That led to the current project – Disney’s “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire.”

For Malinga, it’s a chance to provide African consumers with characters like themselves.

“When you start showing people themselves on screen, right? They can fall in love; they can get angry, they can advocate for change, they can be the hero, they can go to space; you start getting a new breed and crop of kids who start saying, ‘Why can’t I go to space too because I saw the other guy going to space.'”

‘Kizazi Moto’ premiers on Disney Plus later this year, but Malinga says he sees it as a platform for tremendous success.

“Of course, we lacked the money, you know, and it was quite difficult, but I have a mindset which is that you have to start from somewhere, and as long as I can prove that I can make one thousand shillings or one dollar, it just means that I can scale that and that and that’s just my perspective.”

After all, he says, there’s no reason why an African studio or individual cannot rise above Disney. And perhaps, every dream is valid.

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