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Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister, died on 23 March 2015; and on 29 March 2015, the Straits Times published an article titled “The Singapore That Lee Kuan Yew Built” which stated that he “…foretold the transformation of the country from a tiny slum-ridden trading post ...” back in 1959.

On 1 April 2015, another article in the Straits Times, titled “Interactive Map: How Twittersphere Reacted to News of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s Death”, stated that over 1.2 million related tweets were sent in the week preceding his death. Unwittingly, I may have contributed to this statistic.

A Trinidadian Information Technology professional had posted one of my articles “Singapore: Example to the Caribbean in Doing Business” with the comment “Caribbean leaders think they can cut and paste Singapore success story here, they need (sic) address productivity and innovation first”. Read more

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When Nigerian brothers Ngozi and Chijioke Dozie needed to drive interest in their Rwandan coffee business, their home market seemed like a natural fit. –

“Rwanda produces great coffee, but it’s a very small market, it’s 9m people. Most of the best coffees are exported to places like Starbucks. So in order to build the market for our coffee, we started to export coffee to Nigeria,” says Ngozi Dozie.

Although there is a growing café scene in Nigeria, most of the coffee is bought from major global brands, such as Segafreddo or Lavazza. The brothers’ solution was to create their own chain, Neo, which has three locations in Lagos. The company now flies coffee on RwandAir flights four times a week and has also imported Rwanda’s former champion barista to train its staff.

Nigeria’s compelling demographics and economic growth have made it an attractive destination for consumer-facing companies. Major international fast food chains, including KFC and Pizza Hut, have returned to the country over the past two years, hoping to capture a share of the new urban middle class. Read more

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The challenges of this financing are magnified in sub-Saharan Africa, as there is a paucity of projects that meet the high-water mark required by most investment banks. Basic requirements include experienced and credit-worthy sponsors, healthy financial ratios and forecasts, exhaustive technical due diligence, and a stable and cohesive political and legal framework. Development finance institutions (DFIs) are more flexible than investment banks, but African governments are increasingly less willing to accept the more onerous conditions attached to their funding. Read more

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Following on from partnerships and dual listings with a number of African capital markets, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is looking to foster dual listings with the West African regional exchange.

“We are looking to attract and encourage dual listings,” Ibukun Adebayo, co-head of emerging markets at the LSE Group, tells This Is Africa during an event on west African capital markets.

“Listing with the LSE provides profile and extra liquidity in countries promoting dual listings.”

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Smartphones and cars can focus on what each one does best with the arrival of this new dashboard connection technology.

Hyundai has become the first carmaker to ship Google’s new smartphone connection software, starting with 2015 Sonatas that have factory nav. It’s arriving in those cars in three ways: Cars coming to dealers now already have it installed, the 2015 Sonata you currently own can be updated by the dealer right now, and later this summer you can download and install the upgrade yourself. There is no charge for the software in any scenario. Read more

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Microsoft is aiming to connect rural residents in Nanyuki, a market town in Laikipia County in central Kenya, with low-cost wireless Internet. The move aims to deliver affordable Internet service and connectivity to central Kenya as a means of providing service to under-served regions of the country.

According to Microsoft: “The Internet service is made possible by utilising TV White Spaces, the unused portions of wireless spectrum in the frequency bands used for television broadcasting.” Read more

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Drones are a controversial topic when it comes to national security. However cargo drones, with their potential applications for last mile delivery in remote areas and humanitarian emergency situations, are tipped to be an exciting area of innovation for Africa.

But who is behind the push for cargo drones in Africa, why has it got the business world so excited, and how is progress on this embryonic technology panning out?

Cargo drones are small pilotless airplanes designed to transport 20-30kg packages across distances of 80km or perhaps further. The technology could have a revolutionary impact for delivering products to remote, poorly connected communities in much of Africa. Read more

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As the evolution of mobile banking continues to disrupt the financial services sector, the founder and executive chairman of privately held telecoms conglomerate Econet Wireless Group sounded the death knell for traditional transaction banking.

“The transactional side of banking is gone,” Strive Masiyiwa tells This Is Africa on the side of a Clinton Foundation forum in Marrakech, Morocco. Read more

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According to a report via cp-africa.com, Airtel Nigeria has inked an agreement with device manufacturing firm, RLG. The deal will see RLG produce handsets for potential Airtel subscribers.

The regional director of RLG in West and Central Africa, Tosin Ilesanmi, stated that the company will begin to produce handsets, tablets, power banks and other devices at its Ilesa factory. According to Ilesanmi, the company could create up to 10,000 jobs with the venture. Read more

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Ghana’s mobile phone sector is booming. The country’s regulator NCA reported that the country’s mobile phone operators signed up some 400,000 subscribers during February, a sign that the sector is prime for a new round of promotions.

The regulator said that the total number of customers has now reached 31.03 million. Read more