No. 124: 3 Tuesday PM Reads – Power Struggle | Renewables Rescue the Day |Startups for Demographics

  1. Jacqueline Musiitwa shares personal anecdotes on the struggle of working in Lusaka when the power is out. Lights off is a situation Africans across the continent experience, and it impacts education, bottom lines, and general quality of life – for women, especially. Jacqueline points to initiatives like the Power Africa initiative as important in alleviating unreliable power supply across the continent.

  2. Speaking of power, Jake Cusack and other players in the renewable energy space recently shared insights on the possibilities for renewable energy and power provision now that renewable energy costs are competitive with fossil fuels. Some highlights from the piece – global subsidies for coal, oil, and natural gas totaling $550b compared to $120b for renewables; 10k customers in African countries signing up for renewable energy; and global investments in renewable energy growing from $40b in 2004 to $320b in 2011.

  3. Ablorde Ashigbi wrote a really solid analysis of the prospects for venture-backed firms seeking to serve a particular demographic. He uses Walker & Company and its first brand Bevel, a shaving system targeting black men (whenever I get out of Sampson mode and shave my beard, I look forward to using the product) as a case study.

No. 44: My A-Listers For Africa – Business and Policy

For quite some time, I have wanted to distill my sources for information and analysis on business and policy across Africa. I will try to keep this post updated with a list of the people I follow for insights. Some post long-form content. Some stick to Twitter. Here goes:

Razia Khan – Head of Macro Research for Standard Chartered Bank. When big economic events happen on the continent, I automatically go to her Twitter feed to see what she thinks about them.

Chuba Ezekwesili – Has good insights on Nigeria’s economics.

Jason Njoku – One of the more outspoken entrepreneurs on the continent when it comes to making sense of building a business on the continent.

Ory Okolloh Mwangi – Keeps me hip to Kenya’s political environment. Look out for her waving her BS flag.

Chris Becker – Lead Economist at African Alliance. African Alliance always put out helpful intelligence on what’s happening across the continent. Chris will occasionally send out a post from his personal blog.

Eliot Pence – Director at McLarty & Associates. Publishes sharp insights on US-Africa policy.

Aubrey Hruby – Visiting Fellow at The Atlantic Council. She and Jake Bright are coming out with a book this year, I believe, on Africa’s business environment.

Brian Laung Aoeh – Partner at KEC Ventures. Most of his portfolio is US and Israel-focused, but he pays a lot of attention to the technology space in Africa.

Patrice Backer – COO at AFIG Funds. Posts frank insights on business and political events across the continent.

Eric-Vincent Guichard – Founder of Homestrings.com. Whenever foreign direct investment comes up in the news, I go to see what Eric is saying about it.

Bobby Pittman – Founder of Kupanda Capital. Like following his posts because of his background working in the US government and at the African Development Bank and when I’m looking for insights on infrastructure development on the continent.

Rolake Akinkugbe – Runs Energy and Natural Resources desk at FBN Capital. Doesn’t post a lot of content, but does make frequent appearances on CNBC Africa.

Todd Moss – As news of the attempted coup in Gambia emerged, I read it all through the lens of the Golden Hour, Todd’s first novel. In his day job, he runs the Center for Global Development.

Jake Bright – Whitehead Fellow at the Foreign Policy Association. Writes for FT This is Africa, Bloomberg, and Quartz to name a few. He has basically carried the Africa standard at Bloomberg Radio, educating the listening audience on Africa’s bond markets, infrastructure development, technology sector and more. Check out the link to The Next Africa, the book he and Aubrey Hruby have coming out soon.

Ibrahim Saigna – Runs Century Private Investments. He doesn’t publish a lot, but he provides helpful insights on Africa’s finance environment when he does.

Jacqueline Musiitwa – Legal Counsel and Assistant to the President at PTA Bank. She and Ibrahim have collaborated on some good pieces.

Kurt Davis, Jr. – Investment banker at Barclays. Writes sharp insights on a number of industries and the political environment on the continent.

Paul Wallace – Reporter at Bloomberg. Consistently good analysis.

Aly-Khan Satchu – Operates on a 26-hour day. That’s the only way I have been able to make sense of how productive he is.