The Message from South Africa

The Message from South Africa

In a piece by a South African professor, he challenged the Finance Minister of South Africa, Malusi Gigaba, to look into Nigeria for ideas. Yours truly was mentioned as one of the innovators he can get inspiration as he works to redesign the economy of the nation.

SA’s finance minister is at a crucial crossroads. He can decide to preside over a failing economy, which is dying not only because of state capture by powerful private interests, but also because it hasn’t been able to alter those structural conditions that have made it so dramatically unequal in the first place.


I would introduce Gigaba to my colleague Ndubuisi Ekekwe, who has developed digital sensors that analyse soil data to help farmers apply the right fertiliser and optimally irrigate their farmlands. Across Nigeria, the process is already improving productivity by using analytics to facilitate data-driven farming practices for small-scale farmers.

I will be traveling to South Africa this Thursday and will be working there for eight days. I like South Africa; it has been nice to my business for years.  My Intel FPGA (formerly Altera) business which my company is one of the two partners to Intel Corp in Continental Africa has gotten 90% of its revenue from South Africa.

Of course, every part of Africa has something we can all learn from one another to develop the continent. Nigeria has more to learn from South Africa especially in education and public health. Our focus should be developing and strengthening institutions in the continent. Mr Minister, hope you got the introduction! Lol.

Meanwhile, pricing-innovation is shaking the world. From Fortune Newsletter.

Reliance Communications, once the biggest mobile operator in India, is skidding towards bankruptcy after Anil Ambani’s business was hollowed out by competition from his own brother at Reliance Jio. The company posted a fourth straight quarterly loss and missed payments on various debentures Monday, including non-convertible ones. RCom’s latest plan to cut debt by selling infrastructure and real estate to Brookfield came to nothing

Reliance Jio has crashed the prices of data in India. This shows that anyone with money can move customers. What has happened in India could be a big lesson in Nigeria: if you can buy 9Mobile and have deep pockets, you can acquire customers because brand loyalty is minimal. People with move for deals. That #1 carrier in India, few years ago, is now possibly going bankrupt tells you the power of having money to wage price wars. But this one is unfortunate: an elder brother’s company is destroying the value of his young brother’s empire.


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