Africa In Focus

Africa In Focus: "The mainstream thinking now is that Africa is different and we could get it right if we want. The choice is fully ours, and it is now time for us to define what we want."

African Development Bank (AFDB) President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka.

Friday, 30 November 2012

iROKOtv Celebrates A Year As Nollywood Goes Global

image001.pngDubbed by media commentators as the “Netflix of Africa”,Africa’s largest online platform for streaming movie,  iROKOtv, is celebrating its first year on the 1st December 2012. To celebrate its birthday, lovers of all things Nollywood can watch movies, for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 Over the year,  iROKOtv has invested in building the world's largest library of Nollywood movies over the past year, owning licences to more than 5,000 titles. 

As a brand of of iROKO Partners, iROKOtv is Africa’s largest, legitimate distributor of Nigerian film and music entertainment with key partnerships with the likes of Facebook. It is also YouTube’s largest African partner.
Launched on 1st December 2011 by Jason Njoku, Founder and CEO of iROKO Partners, which also counts the popular online music platform iROKING among its suite, iROKOtv has grown rapidly over the past year, recording over 800,000 registered users in just eight months, who are tuning in from over 178 countries across the world. Since launch, iROKOtv has recorded almost 50 million plays.

 Jason Njoku said “We’ve had an awesome first year at iROKOtv and we’ve got great plans in the pipeline for 2013, including adding more films to our library and growing our global audience. Our first year has seen us bring Nollywood to the Diaspora, whose thirst for movies seems unquenchable. Our biggest markets are in the West, dominated by the US and UK. However, in 2013, we will be focussing our attention back on Africa and figuring out ways we can bring this awesome content to new audiences.

"Our business is incredibly simple; African stories, by Africans, for Africans and we hope to continue this mantra for many more birthdays".

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan recently said of the Nollywood industry, “these are the people who market this country positively in African countries and even outside Africa and even in the Carribean, where they appreciate Nigeria because of Nollywood.” iROKOtv has played a crucial in role in bringing Nollywood to the global audience and, following an investment by US hedge fund and Facebook investor Tiger Global, iROKO Partners was able to open offices in New York and London, two of its largest markets.

Aside from transforming the way Africans and the Diaspora access Nollywood, iROKOtv is also changing the Nollywood industry for its producers by opening up a new revenue stream for them. Prior to iROKOtv, producers would find their movies online but received no payment for this and lost out on thousands of dollars. Now, they work with iROKOtv to licence their movies and stream their content online legally.

In April 2012 Tiger Global, a New York-based private equity and hedge fund run by an early investor in Facebook and Zynga, led two $4 million rounds of investment into iROKO Partners, in one of the largest ever fundraisings into a West African tech firm.

The funding will continue to be used to build iROKOtv’s library and to continue working directly with Nollywood production houses to buy the higher prices for the online licenses to Nollywood films which enables them to better monetize their content and to reinvest in making more, higher quality productions.

iROKO Partners is expected to increase its viewers to over 250 million in 2012 across its brands iROKOtv, iROKING (the “Spotify of Africa”), Nollywood Love and iROKtv, Africa’s answer to “E!”.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

LG Electronics Launches Anti-mosquito "Air Conditioner"

LG Electronics, a global leader in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, unveiled its newly advanced residential air conditioner (RAC) which utilizes ultrasonic wave technology to repel mosquitoes.

LG’s “Anti-Mosquito” air conditioner has been shown in tests conducted in a Peet Grady chamber to deter on average 64 percent of malaria-transmitting female Anopheles mosquitoes within 24 hours and 82 percent overall. Aside from offering greater peace of mind, the Anti-Mosquito air conditioner also comes with all the advantages of LG’s AC technologies, delivering powerful cooling and superb reliability even under extreme operating temperatures.

“In Nigeria, as well as in a number of other African countries, malaria continues to be a prevalent threat,” said Jun-hwa Jeong, General Manager of Air Conditioning and Energy Solutions at LG Electronics. “LG takes great pride in tailoring products and technologies to the specific needs of consumers. By matching technologies directly to these region-specific challenges, we can create real solutions that will help bring about profound and meaningful changes to consumers. The Anti-Mosquito air conditioner is a great example of our commitment to improving both health security and the quality of life in Africa by applying technological innovations in intelligent ways.”

Designed specifically for areas with unreliable power supplies, the technology in the Super Automatic Voltage Switcher (Super AVS) is another example of a tailored solution for the African market. In Nigeria and other West African countries, the sun is hotter, dust build-up tends to be a greater problem and the electricity supply is unpredictable. LG’s Super AVS guards against power blackouts and surges which play havoc on electronic devices and protects the compressor from being damaged by current fluctuations. LG’s Tropical Compressor is designed to operate reliably in hotter climates and the company’s unique Plasmaster air filtering technology removes harmful substances and bacteria from the air.

“In terms of economic development, the entire African continent has enormous potential and we’re hopeful that LG’s technologies will help people unlock that potential,” said Mohammed Fouani, Managing Director of Fouani Nigeria Ltd. “LG has sought to move well beyond its role as a technology provider and has put into place a number of initiatives to combat poverty and promote community-building.”

LG is currently collaborating with a number of international organizations in efforts to fight disease, protect the environment and reduce poverty on the African continent. In cooperation with the International Vaccine Institute, LG helped to develop and administer a vaccine for cholera in Ethiopia. Fifteen LG Hope Schools in Kenya provide students with the opportunity to learn and enjoy healthy, nutritious food. In association with the UN World Food Program, LG also spearheaded a donation campaign in Ethiopia, raising more than USD 340,000. The money was then used to provide meals to more than three million Ethiopians.

# Press Release

Monday, 26 November 2012

Youth Travel Brand, Topdeck, Launches Its 2013/14 Africa Brochure

Leading youth travel brand Topdeck has launched its 2013/14 Africa brochure featuring 17 trips which include wildlife spotting in the Maasai Mara, gorilla trekking in Uganda and climbing the world’s tallest sand dunes in Namibia.
A 5% early payment option applies to all trips, which range from seven to 58 days, when booked and paid in full six months in advance.
They include the new Rivers Lakes & Mountains which travels from Johannesburg to Nairobi with highlights including a Kruger National Park safari, a cruise in Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls and optional gorilla and chimp treks from NZ$4299* per person + US$1120 local payment for the 44-day itinerary. The 36-day itinerary travels from Livingstone to Nairobi from NZ$3539* + US$970 local payment.
Topdeck has also introduced the 56-day Grand African Adventure travelling from Cape Town to Nairobi from NZ$4936* + US$1620 local payment which includes Namib Naukluft Park, a night in Cheetah Park, a safari in Etosha National Park, a cultural walk in the Kalahari, Victoria Falls and Lake Malawi.
An additional US$560 permit applies to both itineraries for those wishing to take part in gorilla and chimp trekking excursions.
Other trips include the 22-day Zanzibar, Victoria Falls & Kruger which features three nights on the magical ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar from NZ$2209* + US$610 local payment.
All trips feature small group sizes of no more than 24 people (average of 16) and travel overland in safari trucks which include lockers, power points and a freezer. Accommodation is a combination of hotels, hostels and campsites staying in two-person dome tents with thick foam mattresses. Most meals are included in each trip.
Other discounts are available on Topdeck’s Africa program including a 5% past passenger saving.
For more information: visit

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Note Worthy Facts On the 2012 Forbes Africa Richest List!

Apart from being Africa’s richest man, Kano-born business tycoon, Aliko Dangote was rated 76th Forbes world’s richest billionaire.
Notable newcomers include the list’s first two women: top designer and oil magnate (Agbami oil field), Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria; and Isabel dos Santos of Angola, an entrepreneur, investor and daughter of that country’s president. Other notable newcomers are: South Africa’s Desmond Sacco and Koos Bekker. Sacco made his billions thanks to his shares in mining concern Assore, which he chairs while Bekker turned media group Naspers into a true multinational firm, taking neither a salary nor a bonus along the way.
Africa’s economic giant, South Africa  is home to 12 of Africa’s 40 richest, followed by Nigeria, with 11. Egypt comes next, with eight members on the Forbes list, and Morocco with five.
The wealthiest hail from eight countries – up from six last year.
 The two new countries represented are Angola (Isabel dos Santos) and Tanzania (Said Salim Bakhresa).
Thirty-two fortunes are self-made; 19 people have net worth higher than a year ago, while 10 have fortunes that dropped in value.
The average age is 63 – up from an average of 61 last year.
The minimum net worth required to make the list of richest Africans was $400 million, up from $250 million in 2011.
4 of the 40 draw their net worth from oil. Ten, by contrast, have diversified fortunes, either through ownership of a conglomerate (like Egypt’s Mansours) or ownership of assets in diverse realms, like Kenya’s Naushad Merali. Six built their wealth in the financial industry.

Rank                     Name                              Net worth ($ mil)             Age

1     Aliko Dangote                                          $12,000                        55
2    Nicky Oppenheimer & family               $6,400                          67
Johann Rupert & family
Nassef Sawiris
Mike Adenuga
Christoffel Wiese
Othman Benjelloun
Patrice Motsepe
Naguib Sawiris
Mohamed Mansour
Onsi Sawiris
Miloud Chaabi
Yasseen Mansour
Youssef Mansour
Desmond Sacco
Anas Sefrioui
Stephen Saad
Sudhir Ruparelia
Jim Ovia
Shafik Gabr
Abdulsamad Rabiu
Cyril Ramaphosa
Lauritz (Laurie) Dippenaar
Folorunsho Alakija
Theophilus Danjuma
Oba Otudeko
Raymond Ackerman
Mohammed Indimi
Samih Sawiris
Said Salim Bakhresa
Isabel dos Santos
Moulay Hafid Elalamy
O.B. Lulu-Briggs
Alami Lazraq
Gerrit Thomas (GT) Ferreira
Koos Bekker
Sani Bello
Jannie Mouton
Naushad Merali
Hakeem Belo-Osagie

Courtesy: Forbes