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The Africans On The Forbes 100 Greatest Living Business Minds List

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To celebrate their centennial, Forbes has amassed what they believe to be the greatest-ever collection of business essayists–100 entrepreneurs, visionaries and prophets of capitalism who have shaped the past century. 

More than a dozen editors met dozens of times over two years. In the end, they opted for doers over theoreticians, disruptive entrepreneurs over those that inherit or CEOs that maintain. They sought people who had either created something with a lasting impact on the world or innovated in a way that transcends their given field.

Africans on Forbes 100 Greatest Living Business Minds List

Of the 100 people who made the cut, two Africans featured and both are from South Africa.

Elon Musk

Musk is the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; a co-founder, a Series A investor, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Inc.; co-chairman of OpenAI; founder and CEO of Neuralink. He was previously co-founder and chairman of SolarCity; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com, which merged with Confinity and took the name PayPal.

As of January 2017, he had an estimated net worth of $10.7 billion, and was ranked as the 3rd-wealthiest person from Africa on our Africa’s Billionaires of 2016 List. As of this writing, his wealth has more than doubled since January, as reported on the Forbes site, to 21.6 billion as of September 20th 2017.

For Forbes he wrote:

“Artificial intelligence will provide many societal benefits, including self-driving cars and improved medical diagnostics. However, with AI we may be summoning the demon and could create an existential risk to humanity. If a digital superintelligence were inadvertently optimized to do something detrimental to humanity, this could have catastrophic consequences. It could be something like directing the AI to get rid of spam, and it concludes the best way to get rid of spam is to get rid of humans. Or a financial program decides the best way to make money is to increase the value of defense stocks by starting a war. We’re the first species capable of self-annihilation, and it’s extremely likely, given enough time. The question: Can we get ahead of it? We need to learn as much as possible and should create a government agency to regulate AI. Ultimately the private sector will have to take the lead in building safe and useful technology that benefits humanity.”

Photos by Martin Schoeller

Patrice Motsepe

Motsepe is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, which has interests in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum. He also sits on several company boards including being the non-executive chairman of Harmony Gold, the 12th largest gold mining company in the world. He is also the deputy chairman of Sanlam, a financial services group in Cape Town. In 2003, he became the owner of football club Mamelodi Sundowns. In 2013, he joined The Giving Pledge, committing to give half his wealth to charitable causes.

As of January 2017, he had an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion, and was ranked with 3 other in 20th position as one of the wealthiest people from Africa on our Africa’s Billionaires of 2016 List. As of this writing, his wealth has grown by more than 50% since January, as reported on the Forbes site, to 1.76 billion as of September 20th 2017.

For Forbes he wrote:

“After I completed my first significant transaction, buying mines that were closed or about to close, with a demotivated workforce of 8,000, who for years had been told, “Guys, you’re not cutting it,” people asked if I was mad. But we ran our business differently and it worked — we paid our workers based on profitability, with bonuses based on aspirational targets that, if achieved, created money for the mine workers, the company and its shareholders alike.”

Photo by Martin Schoeller

The 5 African American Greats

  • Oprah Winfrey (Talk Show Master: Syndication Superstar; Branding Juggernaut; Founder, Oprah Winfrey Network)
  • Berry Gordy, Jr (Record Producer: Founder of Motown Records)
  • Russell Simmons (Hip-Hop Pioneer; Serial Entrepreneur; Yoga Guru)
  • Shonda Rhimes (Televisionary: Hollywood’s Top Showrunner)
  • Sean Combs (Hip-Hop Mogul (Bad Boy); Fashion Mogul (Sean John); Liquor Mogul (Ciroc))

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Business and Development

This Is The Most Attractive Country For Investment In Africa For The Second Time In A Row

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Are you looking for the best country for investment in Africa? Look no further because the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in South Africa has released a new study report.  It shows exactly where you should be thinking about for 2019. However, the study shows that the most attractive country for investment in Africa is not in the south of the continent.

According to this report by RMB, Where to Invest in Africa 2019, the business and investment environments in the continent has improved since 2017. However, the report singles out a few hurdles that continue to hinder more accelerated development in Africa. These issues include frail governance, reduced access to financing services, problems of infrastructure, rampant corruption in some countries as well as political unrests in some places. But generally, Africa, according to the report, has made important milestones that seek to attract and retain both local and foreign investments in the continent.

Investment Attractiveness Index for Most Attractive Investment Destination

The RMB uses an appropriate Investment Attractiveness index in order to make an assessment and rank the country. The index takes a look at the operating circumstances and economic environments of a country to gauge its potential to attract and retain local, international, and foreign investments. And Viola! Just like that and for the second year in a row, Egypt is the most attractive investment destination in Africa for 2019.

As expected, Egypt got a run for its money from the usual archrivals in the continent. Coming in second position from Cairo all the way down to Cape Town, was South Africa. But following closely in third position was Morocco, while Ethiopia and Kenya came in that order to complete the list of the top five most attractive investment destinations in Africa.

Why Is Egypt the Most Attractive Country of Investment in Africa?

The RMB report associates Egypt’s top rank in Africa with very important milestones. In order to have Egypt as the best, the report singles out the following reasons;

  • A diversified economic environment.
  • Escalating consumer market,
  • Growing availability of hard currency.
  • Stability in exchange rates.
  • Stable improvement in business and investment environments, predominantly in investment-related legal reforms.

Additionally, Egypt is the largest beneficiary of direct foreign investment in Africa. It also has the largest consumer market not only in North Africa, but also in the Middle East.

“Egypt’s economic gain keeps on dominating that of South Africa,” the report says “as South Africa’s growth projections and the size of its economy are lower than those of Egypt and this weighed down its investment ranking.”

Top Ten Countries for Investment in Africa

In addition to the top five most attractive investment destinations in the continent, other usual contenders in African development were named. In a consecutive order from fifth to ten position, the countries are as follows;

  1. Egypt
  2. South Africa
  3. Morocco
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Kenya
  6. Rwanda
  7. Tanzania
  8. Nigeria
  9. Ghana
  10. Ivory Coast

Countries with the Easiest Business and Investment Environments

Mauritius

The country that has the easiest business environment is Mauritius. This is followed by Rwanda while Botswana comes in third. In order to complete the best five countries where doing business is the easiest, the list includes South Africa and Seychelles in that order.

In conclusion, Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa are the 2018’s three most dominant countries in Africa in terms of GDP. The combined market in these three countries makes up almost half of the approximated $7 trillion market in Africa. In order to maintain this investment attractiveness, Africa expects to improve individual business operating environments.

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African Ingenuity

Video Games Are Emerging in Africa With Strong African themes

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Video games are becoming a booming industry in Africa thanks to a mushroom of innovators and developers on the continent. Startups are spiraling across the continent coming up with unprecedented games and content with African themes. The gaming industry in Africa is now worth millions of dollars due to relentless efforts of these developers, programmers, scientists, entrepreneurs and other tech gurus.

Madiba Guillaume Olivier had dreams like any other teenager when he was growing up in Cameroon. His most pressing dream was to move to America or even to Europe in order to pursue not “greener pastures” but his zeal for video games. He lived a life of video games because his father owned a video store. Olivier did not sit and wait; rather he went online in order to understand more about game design. However, it was not until when he was doing computer science at the University of Yaoundé that his dream (and that of the continent) started to bear fruit. He partnered with a group of friends to work on a project they dubbed Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan.

Video Games Project and the Prince of Planet Auriona

The project was a 2D flight of the imagination game that featured Enzo and Erine, a Prince and his fiancée. The two were embroiled in a quest to reclaim the lost power after a family member betrayed them in the planet Auriona. The team later improved the game design and used it to dive deeper into the industry. Olivier did not move to US or even Europe. The project led to a natural death of his dreams of moving but gave birth to even better dreams with continent-wide and later worldwide ramifications. Olivier and his team released the official version of the game in 2011 winning the hearts of fans, investors and everything else in between. That is how Africa got Kiro’o Games, the first video game studio to come up with an African-themed mythological video game.

“We started to think about the fact that we can make our own studio here [Africa] and sell games abroad,” Olivier remembers.

Olivier and his team are not the only innovators doing Africa proud in this emerging video game industry. In fact, over the last ten years, many video game developers and startups have sprung up across the continent. There are startups in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tunisia and even in Egypt. Because of growth in funding opportunities and supporting accelerator tech hubs on the continent, Africa is moving beyond the confines that resulted from inadequate infrastructure in some countries. Traditional fintechs in Arica are now normal and nothing to write home about anymore. The continent is expanding beyond what has now become normal tech disruptions in education, health, insurance, agriculture into other areas. Now is the time for the gaming industry.

Other African Themed Video Games

The African narratives, myths, legends, traditions, stories, creativities, mysteries and other mystical societal characteristics are more frightening than Halloween. Or at least to those who understand why it is commemorated in the first place. Tapping into this social heritage and cultural material is a sure success path for the gaming industry. That is why a Moroccan Telcom has invested in a mobile game.

There are other notable gaming innovators doing exciting video games. This boom can be observed with The International Game Developers Association having seven chapters in Africa.

Some innovators in this space include:

  • Ananse: The Origin by Leti Arts in Kenya, is a game based on impressive folklore from Ghana.
  • Celestial Games and Thoopid are also doing Africa proud with magnificent games from the South of the continent.
  • Ebola Strike Force that touches on the story of researchers and scientists yearning to save humankind from the lethal virus is breathtaking.
  • Mzito by Weza Interactive Entertainment in Kenya is a game that takes users on a journey to save the continent. Here, you play as a lion and use ancient spirits to save Africa from ancient corruption. “We wanted to focus on the African theme on because we think it’s time for Africa,” George Ohere, the Weza Interactive CEO said recently.
  • Sambisa Assault is another one that gives game enthusiasts the chance to join the fight against terror movements.
  • The Okada Rider by ChopUp studio in Nigeria that simulates the notorious traffic congestion in the streets of Lagos.
  • Digitalmania has more than 87 magnificent games on Google Play, Facebook, and Apple Store. Sadly, these tech giants do not allow merchant payments in Tunisia. Because of this, the innovator cannot get revenue from their innovations.

The African Video Game Industry by Revenue

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Business and Development

South Africa’s Oliver Tambo International Airport is No Longer Africa’s Largest Airport

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Africa has a new international airport which beats others in size because it is now the largest airport aviation hub on the continent. 22 million passengers can now travel through the airport per year in order to reach their destinations across the globe. The airport has become the leading gateway to Africa, overtaking Dubai. You can now fly directly to Africa without stopping in Dubai through Addis Ababa, the newest aviation hub on the continent.

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport’s newest terminal is now ready for use, overshadows all other airports in Africa. The airport has been under construction since 2005 costing more than US$ 35 million. China continues to show its support to African development by funding this earth-shattering project. Partly because of this, the airport comes with a surprise package for travelers, workers, and other persons. Bole International has now Oliver Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, in South Africa that handles five million fewer people per year.

Ethiopia Leading The Way In Aviation

Ethiopian Airports merged with Ethiopian Airlines Aviation group in 2017. Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremriam told The Reporter that the expanded terminal project was delayed due to various reasons. However, after the merger, work on the project was expedited.  The new terminal has a vast commercial area for duty-free shops, restaurants, and cafes and comes equipped with modern amenities. These include self-check-in kiosks, e-gates, baggage handling technologies, and automated bag drop services. In order to complete the picture, the airport features airtight modern airport security technologies. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently inaugurated the expanded airport in order to mark this historic achievement. 

Biggest International Airport

Additionally, Ethiopian Airlines is planning to become the largest airline group in the continent in the next 15 years. With a 111-strong fleet of aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines is bound to be the best in the continent. Additionally, it has more than tripled its passenger capacity from seven million to 22. It flies to more than 119 international cargo and passenger destinations in the world. The airline truly reflects the African spirit because 61 of these destinations are international airports on the continent.

Ethiopian Airports CEO Tewodros Dawit told The Reporter last year that Ethiopian Airports is planning to bid and take over other airports in Africa with management contract. “A department that works on this project has been established and the required personnel are being trained and assigned to manage the task,” he said. Since then deals have been made to set up aviation centers in Togo. Other partnerships have been made with countries such as Mozambique, Chad and Malawi. 

Top Ten Airports in Africa

Before the opening of Addis Ababa expanded Bole International Airport terminal, the top ten biggest airports in Africa were as follows:

  1. Oliver Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. Cape Town International Airport, Cape Town, South Africa.
  3. King Shaka International Airport, Durban, South Africa.
  4. Cairo International Airport, Cairo, Egypt.
  5. Hurghada International Airport, Hurghada, Egypt.
  6. Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  7. Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca, Morocco.
  8. Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
  9. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya.
  10. Port Elizabeth International Airport, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

AlSO READ: This Country Has the Most Inspiring, Dynamic and High Growth Companies in Africa

Surprise Package for Travelers in Africa’s Newest and Biggest International Airport

The airport provides a surprise package for travelers in form of a brand new five-star luxury hotel. The new Ethiopian Skylight Hotel occupies an area of 40,000 square meters in order to provide a luxurious experience to travelers. In addition to this, the hotel has 373 rooms ready for use. The VIPs are also at home in this hotel because there are 27 executive and presidential suites. To cap it up, the hotel also comes with four restaurants and a banquet and conference lobby that can cater for 2,000 persons at a time.

It gets even better because you will get a visa on arrival in Addis Ababa if you are coming from any country in Africa. Due to the fact that Ethiopia has the best aromatic and sweetest coffee in the world, let us meet at the new Ethiopian Skylight Hotel for a cup or two.

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