7th Anniversary of THE TIMES OF AFRICA

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The Building Boom

Infrastructure is more vital and potentially transformational in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nature at its Best

Welcome to South Africa, a country so rich in beauty that we want to share them all with you.

Face of African Fashion

It's an exhilarating time for investors to invest in the African fashion Industry.

Unearthing Opportunities

Digging deep the mines for favourable results.

Cultivating Future

The road to diminish poverty and undernourishment in Africa.

Monday, 20 February 2017

UN, partners urge DR Congo’s political actors to work on political impasse

The United Nations and the regional partner organisations while expressing concern over the ongoing governmental situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo have urged political actors to implement the December 31, 2016 agreement on the timeframe of elections.
As per the December 31 agreement, the ruling Joseph-Kabila government and the opposition party had agreed upon holding fresh presidential elections by the end of 2017.
However, the incumbent government has put the elections on hold stating that the process is too expensive and will cost them about $1.8 billion.
“The four partner organizations note that six weeks after agreeing on the modalities of a transition period leading to the holding of peaceful and credible elections by December 2017, the parties are yet to conclude discussions on the effective implementation of the agreement,” according to the statement.The UN, the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) recently released a joint statement warning that the situation “has the potential to undermine the political goodwill” that led to the signing of the agreement in December.
DR Congo, which is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest nation, has a history of turmoil when it comes to the transfer of political powers. Joseph Kabila has been serving as the President of DR Congo since his father got assassinated in the year 2001.

Art Museum Zeitz MoCAA to open in Cape Town in September

Zeitz MoCAA, the first major contemporary art museum will unleash three inaugural exhibitions when it opens in Cape Town on September 22 this year.
Three artists from Africa will take the centre-stage at the opening ceremony. They include Swaziland-born South Africa-based artist Nandipha Mntambo, known for her sculptures of the female form made from natural materials such as cowhide, Zimbabwean artist and activist Kudzanai Chiurai, famous for his works on war, abuses of power, reconstruction and solidarity and Angolan artist Edson Chagas, who had won the Golden Lion prize for the best national pavilion.
Mark Coetzee, the executive director and chief curator of Zeitz MoCAA said, “We are committed to creating a platform for many different voices from across Africa and to support cutting-edge practice across the continent.” He further commented that the three shows will take place alongside another 11 displays which are yet to be announced. In total, the museum will comprise 80 galleries over nine floors.

African Internet Giant Naspers launches ShowMax in Poland

Spreading its wings in the European market after making a mark in video streaming in Africa, media giant Naspers is launching its streaming service in Poland through ShowMax subsidiary.
Speaking about the decision to expand ShowMax, the Chief Executive Officer John Kotsaftis said, “This is a big deal for us, especially coming just 18 months after we launched ShowMax. With more than seven million people paying for online video in Poland and an overall population of more than 38 million, this is an exciting market.”
“The key to success, however, is catering for local needs. To deliver on this and be close to the market, we chose to set up operations in Warsaw, headed up by a respected Polish pay-TV and internet TV pioneer. This team is aggressively developing a strong portfolio of local content including commissioning original productions. 

Continued int’l attention necessary in Central African Republic

A top United Nations peacekeeping official told the Security Council that despite the improving security conditions in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, persistent international attention is required in certain parts of the country.
Clashes between the Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique and the Union pour la paix en Centrafrique groups in the country’s central region were particularly perturbing as they had assumed ethnic overtones, said HervĂ© Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping in his briefing to the 15-member Council.
The aforementioned groups were outside the fence of an ongoing dialogue established by the country’s President Faustin Archange Touadera, while the other armed groups were making progress in areas such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, he added.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Soybean-A wonder crop

Soybeans, which are also known as soya beans, are a species of legume that have acclaimed itself to be one of the most extensively consumed foods in the world. They are extremely beneficial for human health, and are easy to cultivate as well. Soybeans have emerged to be so wildly important and have gained intense popularity in recent past because of its constant rise in demand of soy foods, including soy milk and textured vegetable protein. The high protein content makes it a rich protein source for vegetarians, and the wide variety of soy products have created a revolution with a vast new market.
One of the primary reason for it being widely cultivated is because it contains more protein per acre of land than any other crop. They grow up to 2 meters in height and is a green, low-lying plant. Soybean is the only vegetable food that contains all eight essential amino acids. The soy protein is so universally useful that this small, unassuming bean has become globally significant. In addition to it, soybeans further are packed with some other essential nutrients which in turn makes them extremely popular for health concerned people, along with vegan and vegetarians across the globe.
Soybeans are processed into various soy products namely soy flour, soy milk, cottage cheese like tofu, fermented products like tempeh and miso. Most of the plant based proteins are considered as incomplete because of the lack of one or the other essential amino acids. The level of amino acids in soybean is higher than any other bean.

Soya offers excellent business opportunities in Africa. Soya beans provide the best solution not only for income generation, but as well for reducing malnutrition, reducing hunger and poverty in Africa.
Soya offers excellent business opportunities in Africa. Soya beans provide the best solution not only for income generation, but as well for reducing malnutrition, reducing hunger and poverty in Africa. It is often called the miracle crop. More and more number of people are turning towards soy beans because it is cheap and equivalent to animal protein. Africa is both a net importer of soybean and processed soy products, and also has the capability to produce substantial volumes of soybean. Although major soybean producing and processing countries are able to achieve low unit costs of production, emerging information on the sector suggests that local production is not necessarily at a significant price disadvantage versus imports. As a result, soybean represents a very tangible opportunity to capture an already present import substitution opportunity, as well as address generally highly price elastic markets in Sub-Saharan Africa for meat or protein in general.
The story of Mr Nehemiah Odhiambo, a farmer in Migori County is really an inspirational one. He was among the first farmers in the county to adopt this new crop. With soya, the current harvest makes the best seed crop and has 99 per cent chances of germinating well, he explains. At first, he was seared to give up the traditional sugarcane crop farming and adopting a new crop. It wasn’t easy for him to take this decision, but he took the risk and he doesn’t regret it. With soybean crop, he has been earning good income now. According to the facts, being a new crop among Kenyan farmers, Kenya produces about 300,000 tonnes of soybeans yearly. Half of the production comes from Migori County, which produces 156,000 tonnes.
In the recent years, South Africa has made remarkable investments in the soybean crushing capacity. These investments resulted in the increase of crushing capacity of approximately 2.2 million
Soybean has gained popularity amongst the African consumer because of the edge which it provides over the other protein sources. Investors and entrepreneurs round the globe are developing keen interest in investing in soybean cultivation in Africa. The tremendous scope it provides doesn’t only restrict the soybean production, but also to its counterparts such as tofu, soy milk, soy flour and miso. With an investment as low as USD 10,000 one could yield high monetary benefits by establishing a soy processing plant of your own. There are ample number of companies which are manufacturing soy processing machines. One could get soy milk, soy flour, tofu, miso and tempeh machines.
In the recent years, South Africa has made remarkable investments in the soybean crushing capacity. These investments resulted in the increase of crushing capacity of approximately 2.2 million tons plus. Significant growth in oilcake and oil demand have been driven, to a large extent, by increasing demand for animal feed, which in turn has been stimulated by increase in the demand for high protein food, more specifically within the growing middle class. Soybean is produced throughout the country, but significant production takes place in the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces. Setting up the soy processing plants in such African countries would certainly provide lucrative returns. The constant increase in the demand of soy products has been recorded in the African continent.
More and more number of investors are buying agricultural land to cultivate this miraculous crop. People have also established soy processing plants to cater to the increasing demand and consumption of soy products. This offers an opportunity which won’t make you regret.