Quartz Africa Weekly Brief: Facebook arrives, so does Lupita; wind energy’s impact

At an Independence Day celebration, a Sidi dance troupe gets ready to perform.
At an Independence Day celebration, a Sidi dance troupe gets ready to perform.
Image: Luke Duggleby
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Chart of the week: Chinese & Indian co’s are pricing local African firms out of World Bank-backed projects

Research by Brookings Institute shows local African firms are not able to compete with Chinese and Indian firms when World Bank contracts come up for tender. East Asian firms won 42% of the bids.

How do you bring electricity to 620 million people?

It would costs trillions of dollars to get everyone on the continent on a traditional grid so is decentralization the way to go?

Nigeria’s Buhari hasn’t yet been able to lessen Boko Haram’s deadly impact

President Buhari campaigned earlier this year on being the answer to ridding the nation of the Islamic terrorists. In Buhari’s first month, the data shows he hasn’t made a difference yet.

Harassmap wants to make Egypt’s streets safer for women

The app, created by local developers, takes advantage of the Ushahidi platform to help victims of harassment to alert authorities of the incident’s location says Farid Y. Farid.

Facebook is already popular in Africa now it needs to build a mobile ad market here

The social networking giant is opening its first office on the continent in Johannesburg and has appointed an Ogilvy & Mather ad veteran to head operations for the continent.

A down day in the markets hurt the world’s richest people—but not this Nigerian billionaire

How Africa’s wealthiest person, Aliko Dangote, was one of the few billionaires on the planet to grow his wealth last week in the face of the Greece uncertainty.

What can be done to make sure that wind energy and Africa’s vultures co-exist

A look at the Lesotho/South Africa example of how a dwindling species is threatened by important new wind energy structures.

In South Africa it’s now easier to play with drones than to make money with them

Sibusiso Tshabalala notes regulations in South Africa make it easier than ever to use a drone in the country. But if  you have a commercial use–then the paperwork is onerous

Liberia fears a new Ebola epidemic after a second case is discovered

A teenager died the week before then a second case was found. Unsurprisingly, the west African country has been put on edge.

Lupita Nyong’o is using her international stardom to save elephants in Kenya

The Oscar-winning star returned home to much acclaim–and a tiny bit of disdain in some social media circles, writes Ariel Zirulnick. But Lupita’s much-needed work with the elephants has received universal praise.

South Africans haven’t been this reluctant to spend since the start of the millennium

The last time South Africans were this uncertain about their country’s future was in the post-Mandela transition in 2000 when there was a jobs crisis, not too dissimilar to today’s high unemployment.

Nigeria’s phone companies spend an extra $100m a year on fuel to keep their networks running

Nigeria’s market leader MTN says it spends $40 million a year on diesel fuel just to keep all its network’s base stations running 24 hours a day implying all the major networks are spending around $100 million a year, says Yomi Kazeem

Kenya is building Africa’s biggest wind energy farm to generate a fifth of its power

The $690 million Lake Turkana Wind Power Project project is planned to the most efficient wind energy farm ever built writes Tinashe Mushakavanhu

Other things we liked: 

Meet the fast disappearing community of Indians and Pakistanis of African origin (main photo)

A photo story of India’s centuries-old African-origin community, the Sidis.

“The origins of the Sidis have been lost over time, and because of cultural assimilation. Nobody knows exactly which part of Africa they might have come from.”

Getting vaccines to people who need them is the most important issue in global health

It turns out the logistics of vaccine delivery is the most challenging aspect of getting the world vaccinated from preventable communicable diseases.

Is ‘China in Africa’ something to fear?

In this Washington Post interview writer and author Howard French posits that many are asking the wrong questions about the China in Africa debate–particularly in the United States

This week, keep an eye on:

South Sudan: Thursday, July 9 marks the first anniversary of its independence. The government plans to unveil the first coins for its currency.