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Africas
Transforming the higher education sector in South Africa has a long way to go, although some ground is getting covered. Then there is the even bigger challenge of ensuring access and affordability for all. The coronavirus pandemic has put into sharp focus the indispensability of blended approaches: blended learning and teaching approaches combine online lecturing...
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COMMENT The Covid-19 pandemic put unprecedented stress on students across the country. Campuses that had been hubs of learning for decades were empty. Universities had to find ways to continue while not leaving anyone behind. With thousands of students of diverse backgrounds and means at each institution, this was no easy feat. Administration, staff and...
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A brutal pandemic, anaemic growth, huge job losses and an increasingly austere state have converged to create a sense of perpetual anxiety among millions of South Africans. When it struck, the country was ill-prepared to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Poor service delivery, weak oversight institutions and a depleted fiscus ensured that the state’s social...
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Expanding internet connectivity is not a new issue in Africa. Despite some progress, notably in internet coverage, the growing usage gap (access to the internet, but the inability to use it) has been steadily increasing. In sub-Saharan Africa, it went from 36% in 2014 to 49% in 201, which is twice the global average. This...
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In Africa, there is a race to define a digital currency standard for the emerging digital economy. So far, we have three dogs in this fight, with no case of a pan-African central bank digital currency either live or at pilot stage. Bitcoin, a form of decentralized digital currency with no issuer Facebook’s libra, now...
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In September 2012, Carlos Lopes flew to South Africa to meet Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the veteran Cabinet minister who was about to start her new job in Addis Ababa as chair of the African Union Commission. Lopes, an economist from Guinea-Bissau, was also based in the Ethiopian capital — he had just been appointed as director...
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Pricing is a debating point in the cocoa sector, dominating stakeholder conversations, especially among African cocoa producers. This is a result of the historically low cocoa prices that do not provide a fair income to farmers involved in cocoa production. Despite the announcement of the living income differential (LID) — a wage support programme implemented...
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Outside it has become night. In front of the windows of one of Abuja’s grandest hotels, the pool shines turquoise blue. Finally, the phone rings. It is the hotel’s front desk, announcing a guest. The man who comes into the room, hours late for the scheduled appointment, is named Umaru Potiskum. He is an art...
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COMMENT Africa faces an energy crisis, with a 2019 report estimating that 44% of its 1.35-billion population does not have access to electricity.  This is concerning, especially when one considers that alternative energy sources, such as solar energy, which could be a viable solution for the continent, started gaining global mainstream popularity since 2005.  Despite...
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It’s the best part of Dr Els Vermeulen’s year: three days, up in an Airbus ECI20B, counting southern right whales in South Africa’s coastal waters.    “The views are beautiful,” says the research manager of the whale unit at the University of Pretoria about the annual aerial survey of southern right whales between Nature’s Valley and...
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