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Business and Development

This Inclusive and Engaged Research-Intensive Institution Is the Best University in Africa

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The list of the best universities in Africa is out. According to the latest ranking by Webometrics, the top five institutions in the continent come from one country. Additionally, this country dominates the list of the top ten with only two other countries being represented. 

University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa scoops the first position according to the results published. UCT beat four other universities in the country to scoop this coveted academic recognition. This is because University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria, Stellenbothe sch University, and the University of Kwazulu Natal scooped the second, third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.

“UCT is an inclusive and engaged research-intensive African university that inspires creativity through outstanding achievements in learning, discovery and citizenship”, UCT says on its website.

Cairo University in Egypt came in sixth best on the continent.  Coming next in seventh position was University of Johannesburg and University of the Western Cape in eighth position. The University of Nairobi in Kenya came in the ninth position. In order to sum up the 10 top institutions of higher learning in Africa, South Africa did it again with University of South Africa.

Best University in Africa in Reverse Listing

Proudly coming in last in the continent’s list, Alsalam University in South Sudan is only doing its 10th year in the academic scene. With only 161 members of academic staff, ten faculties and six centers, the university has done its best to avoid the last position in the world. It is no wonder Alsalam University boasts of the best and most proactive center for peace studies and development in the Eastern Africa region. Despite coming last, the institution is still the best university in Africa in its own sense. It is notable that Alsalam was position 1682 in Africa, and 28162 in the world.

Best University in Africa Listing Methodology

Webometrics is credible because it is the largest academic ranking of institutions of higher learning in the world. Since 2004, Cybermetrics Lab (Spanish National Research Council, CSIC), has been examining web presence and impact of all universities every six months. This is through a free, independent, impartial and scientific link analysis exercise. The exercise is done to provide dependable, multidimensional, rationalized and useful data about the performances of institutions of higher learning in the world based on web presence and impact. Being the best institution in Africa or the world is therefore not a simple feat.

“Webometrics uses link analysis for quality evaluation as it is a far more powerful tool than citation analysis or global surveys. … Links not only includes bibliographic citations but also third party’s involvement with university activities,” the organization posits.

Top 10 Best University in Africa List

Harvard University was the best in the world. Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology came second and third respectively. University of Oxford in UK came fourth in order to break the American dominance. It also became the only non-US university in the World’s top 10.

In order to understand Africa’s position, the best university in Africa managed position 272 in the world. Here is the list of the 10 best universities in Africa according to Ranking Web of Universities (2019 Webometrics ranking);

South Africa and Egypt gave the first five top institutions in their respective regions while Kenya joined them in the top ten list. Again, South Africa produced 11 institutions in the top 20, in order to cement its dominance in the higher education arena. Egypt had five while Kenya, Uganda (with Makerere University), Nigeria (with University of Ibadan) and Ghana (with University of Ghana) had one each.

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Business and Development

Tanzania Electric Train Commence Trial In July

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Tanzania electric train

Tanzania is reaching for another economic milestone. The government announced that it was it will be testing its maiden self-funded electric train. The train which will run at 160 km/h will be one of Africa’s fastest high-speed trains. The train will also provide a cheaper means of transport to the citizens.

Further details show that the phase running from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro which has 6 in between stations and stretches 300 kilometers will commence operation in December. The trial trains in phase one will be three passenger trains. However, these trains will conduct daily round trips covering the two cities. Each passenger train will be making a minimum of 9 trips per day.

Difference between Tanzania electric train and regular train

The speed train will make use of concrete sleepers. This allows the railway network to carry as much as 35 tonnes of load per axle and increase its durability. Consequently, the rails should be able to last up to 40 years before any major repairs. However, the train bridge can last up to 100 years.

Speaking at the historic launch of the flash butt welding of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) at Soga, outside Dar es Salaam in Coastal region, Eng. Issac Kamwele, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications said the trial of the speedy electric train will happen in July. However, the trial will only cover a section of the SGR. In comparison to other country’s SGR, Tanzania’s will be fasters. Kenya and South Africa’s SGR can only reach a speed of 120 km/h

The impact this project will have on the economy

Tanzania government is making great strides to boost the economy of the nation. Recently, the government proposed plans to build cable cars for Mount Kilimanjaro. This is projected to double the current 50,000 annual tourists. However, not many think it is a good idea. A few groups think it will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.

ALSO READ: Tanzanian Government Considering Cable Car For Mount Kilimanjaro And Here Is How People Reacted

The $1.9 billion (Tshs 4.3 trillion) project has already created over 26,000 job opportunities. However, the government is optimistic that the second and subsequent phases will create more opportunities once fully functional.  The first railway lines in Tanganyika (previously German East Africa) were built after Zanzibar’s first tramway. The Ethio-Djibouti SGR project is currently the longest and first trans-boundary electric railway in Africa.

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Business and Development

Tanzanian Government Considering Cable Car For Mount Kilimanjaro And Here Is How People Reacted

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In a bid to boost the number of tourists visiting the East African nation, the Tanzanian government is considering putting cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro. Consequently, the government is currently in talks with a Western and Chinese company to actualize this project. Mount Kilimanjaro holds the record as Africa’s tallest mountain.

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According to the deputy minister for tourism, Constantine Kanyasu, the current 50,000 tourists that climb Mount Kilimanjaro could double with a cable car. This is because children and the physically challenged will have a chance to climb the mountain too. However, the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) is carrying out a feasibility study on the possible routes. In a report on Reuters, Kanyasu said,

“We are still doing a feasibility study to see if this project works. There are two companies, one from China and another from a Western country that have shown interest. This won’t be the first time in the world, cable cars are there in Sweden, Italy, [and] the Himalayas.”

Impact of tourism to Tanzania’s economy

Tourism is Tanzania’s major source of foreign exchange earnings. Tanzania witnessed a 7.13% increase in tourism in 2018, particularly those visiting Mount Kilimanjaro. Consequently, Tanzania earned $2.43 billion in 2018. This is a boost from the country’s $2.19 billion earning in 2017. Mount Kilimanjaro is nearly 5,000 meters high and has three volcanic cones. Other tourist attractions in Tanzania are wildlife safaris and beaches.

The Tanzanian government is still reviewing business plans, profits and potential investors. There are lots of options for the routes and the length is yet to be finalized. The tourism mister said the government will also be looking at cost and engineering issues as well as environmental impact assessment.

Not everyone is happy with the idea of Mount Kilimanjaro cable car

Not everyone is in support of the idea of having a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro. Spearheading the anti-cable car idea is the Tanzania Porters’ Organization. Guide groups and porters who accompany tourists up the mountain fear that the building of a cable car will reduce the number of climbers. There are nearly 20,000 porters working between Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Throwing more light to the harm this innovation would cause was the head of Tanzania Porters’ Organization, Lioshiye Mollel. Mollel said,

“One visitor from the U.S. can have a maximum of 15 people behind him, of which 13 are porters, cook and a guide. All these jobs will be affected by a cable car. We are of the view that the mountain should be left as it is.”

On Twitter, @AndyTraenkner said, “I’ve been fortunate to summit that amazing mountain twice, so far. Scarring its natural beauty with a cable car is a crime”

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Kuwait Based NAS Expands It’s Pledged $50 Million Africa Operation Into Mozambique

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GLS-NAS Managers

GLS-NAS Managers

The National Aviation Services (NAS), an aviation services provider based in Kuwait, has added Mozambique to its network. This is part of the company’s initiatives to expand in emerging markets. Starting from July 2019, NAS will start offering cargo and ground handling services in Liberia and Mozambique. NAS together with its local JV partner, GLS, has already started building a cargo terminal in Monrovia, Liberia.

NAS Investments in Africa

The addition of Mozambique and Liberia to its network shows NAS’ commitment in its investments in Africa. The company has stated that it plans to invest 44 million Euros—an equivalent of US$50m—in Africa. The $50m investment in Africa will span a period of three years.  Mozambique is the first on the list of beneficiaries of these investments.

NAS’ activities in Mozambique will include import and export cargo handling. Furthermore, the company will offer storage for shipments passenger and engineering services. Additional services include aircraft maintenance and ramp handling. These services are not restricted to Mozambique’s capital at Maputo Mavalane International. The services will be provided at all airports in Mozambique.

Employment

The new investment will also incorporate investments in human capital. With the increasing demand for air transport in the region, there is a need to recruit more local employees in the sector. NAS has stated that it will recruit and train local employees to ensure secure and quality services. The company estimates that it will hire 1,000 Mozambicans to join their global operations.

Cargo Terminal in Monrovia

Meanwhile, NAS has already broke ground to build a cargo terminal in Liberia. The company has partnered with Global Logistics Services Inc. to build the cargo terminal at Roberts International Airport. The two companies will build a 2,700 square meter cargo terminal. The name of the project is Roberts Air Cargo Center–RACC.

The center will support export supply in Liberia, as well as improve cargo operations to meet international standards. Previous forecasts had indicated that there is a demand for around 3,500 square meters in air freight. Construction of the cargo terminal is set to be completed by April 2020.

According to Peter Malcom King, chairman of GLS-NAS, RACC will be the first of its kind in Liberia. The center will provide the much-needed infrastructure to improve trade barriers, boost Liberia’s position as the hub in the region, and enhance air cargo supply. The freight terminal will feature temperature controlled storage, dangerous goods storage, racking for storage, five loading docks, mail area, and a vault. The Liberia Airport Authority will also develop a separate freighter stand.

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