Emerging technologies can change the African financial landscape

Africa is the home to 1.2 billion people and what has been described as the world’s largest trade area — the African Continental Free Trade Area. Africa is forging a new path to driving development, and access to financial services will play a significant role in its economic growth. The need to provide improved systems for poverty reduction, if not alleviation, is further accentuated when one considers that 416 million Africans live in extreme poverty, and access to financial services is right at the heart of the solution.

In a review of the impact of financial inclusion on economic growth, the World Bank argues that “such services must be provided responsibly and safely to the consumer, and sustainably to the provider.” Construed appropriately, financial inclusion has the potential to reduce poverty and inequality by helping disadvantaged groups to benefit from opportunities that otherwise would not have been available.

Related: Financial

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IMPROVATE brings together African nations and Israeli tech companies to tackle food security challenges

Tony Blair: This is a huge opportunity to help Africa fulfil its potential as a major source of food, not just for Africans, but for the world

IMPROVATE founder & chair Irina Nevzlin: “During the current time of crisis, leaders need to unite and work together to implement common goals and solve common problems.”

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — IMPROVATE held a first of a kind conference on “food security” with the aim of connecting Israeli technology companies with African nations tackle the continent’s urgent challenge of feeding a rapidly growing population.

Agriculture Ministers of five African nations, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) presented to Israeli technology companies the challenges and problems faced by their countries.

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African cattle bred for toughness tested by climate change

Millennia of strategic breeding, including a hook-up with an Asian cousin centuries ago, have made African cattle resilient to drought, heat waves and disease, according to a genetic analysis released Monday.

Their ability to withstand extreme weather and sickness will be put to the test in coming decades as climate change exacerbates the continent’s extreme weather, researchers reported in the journal Nature Genetics.

Genome sequencing of specimens from 16 breeds of African cattle revealed an “evolutionary jolt” some 900 years ago when indigenous breeds were crossed with a South Asian species, known as Zebu, said Olivier Hanotte, principal scientist at the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and senior author of the study.

The local cattle, called Taurine, had already adapted to endure humid climes plagued by vector-borne diseases such as trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness.

The humped Zebu added traits that allow cattle to survive in hot, dry climates typical

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Study Suggests At-Risk African Heritage Sites Are Often Overlooked | Smart News

Climate change poses a significant threat to cultural and architectural heritage sites around the world—but the majority of relevant research centers solely on the losses faced by wealthier countries. In 2017, for instance, a study found that just one percent of research on climate change’s effects on heritage focused on iconic landmarks in Africa.

A new survey published in the journal Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa strives to addresses this shortage by highlighting at-risk heritage sites and practices across the African continent.

“Without significant intervention some of Africa’s most important heritage will be lost as a result of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change over the coming decades,” write co-authors Joanne Clarke, Elizabeth Edna Wangui, Grace W. Ngaruiya and Nick Brooks for the Conversation. “… The next ten years will be a critical period in which research agendas can be developed that will have a practical application

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