By Fredrick Lee

  • 20% of Fortune 500 companies have diversity officers

  • More-diverse corporations outperform less-diverse competitors by 35%

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Diversity and inclusion is a profitable avenue for corporations not to ignore.  However, recent bad press from corporations like Gucci and Prada raise questions about their commitment to diversity. Many chief diversity officers lack leadership support, resources and training. Perhaps this makes promoting diversity a harder commitment and sets these executives up for failure.

Why This Matters:  Only 20% of Fortune 500 companies employ chief diversity officers. In many cases corporate leaders listed diversity at the bottom of the top eight business strategies for their corporations. It’s easy to see why more than half of surveyed chief diversity officers in a 2018 McKinsey study, feels there is little or no support from corporate leaders for their work.

African Unicorn Jumia Heads to Wall Street

By CultureBanx Team

  • Jumia set to IPO on the NYSE

  • The e-commerce platform raised about $770M and is valued at $1.2B

African e-commerce platform Jumia filed with the SEC to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering. The tech unicorn has grown quickly but is burning through an equally high amount of cash in its quest to become the Amazon (AMZN +1.55%) and Alibaba (BABA +0.34%) of Africa.

Why This Matters: Some analysts think listing Jumia shares on the NYSE makes sense, but investor appetite is questionable considering the company's persistent financial losses in its core markets. Jumia has raised about $770 million from investors and is valued at $1.2 billion. However, at the end of 2018 the e-commerce firm loss $977 million.

The NBA Shoots Its Shot at Africa With A New League

By CultureBanx Team

  • The Basketball Africa League will begin to play next year in January 2020

  • 13 players who were born in Africa play in the NBA

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The NBA announced the coming of a pro league team in Africa in partnership with FIBA, the governing body of the sport called the Basketball Africa League. Even our forever President Barack Obama is using his affection for basketball to help the sport in the continent of Africa. The Basketball Africa League is set to be a 12-team league and will begin to play next year in January 2020.

Why This Matters: On opening night NBA rosters this season included 13 players who were born in Africa and the league hopes to cultivate even more talent in the region. In order to set up various teams qualification tournaments will be held later this year. Contenders from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia are expected to be among those taking part. Each club can only have a maximum of two teams in the league.

Cannabis Craze Pressures Metal Mining in Africa

By CultureBanx Team

  • Cannabis investors are siphoning away capital from African mining companies

  • The top 3 listed cannabis companies have a combined market value of $30B

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A boom in cannabis investment along with Canada’s legalization of the product is siphoning capital away from mining companies in Africa. Other jurisdictions are following suit or liberalizing their laws on medical or health use, creating an industry that has lured a breed of high-risk, high-return investors.

Why This Matters: In Africa cannabis companies are setting up projects in Lesotho, while other countries, including Zimbabwe and South Africa, plan to issue licenses. The rise of cannabis comes at a time when investors were already turning away from mining. The mining companies operating in Africa are already viewed by many investors as a particularly risky bet and have been doubly hit, according to Reuters.

Andela Bags $100 Million for Connecting African Software Developers

By CultureBanx Team

  • In its series D round Andela raised $100M

  • Andela receives anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000 per developer

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African outsourcing startup Andela has just received a major injection of capital on its quest to continue connecting developers on the continent with tech companies around the world. They have raised $100 million and puts the valuation of the company at somewhere between $600 million and $700 million.

Why This Matters: If you’re wondering, what exactly does Andela do? They train developers across Africa for contract work with U.S. employers. Andela now operates in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, and has about 1,100 developers on staff working for more than 200 companies, nearly 90% of which are located in the U.S.

FinTech Adding $150 Billion Boost to Africa’s GDP

By CultureBanx Team

  • Africa’s current GDP stands at about $1.6T

  • 21% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have a mobile money account

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Sub-Saharan Africa is getting ready to experience a major level up thanks to its burgeoning fintech sector. Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD), a development-finance organization found that the continent’s economic output in fintech will add $150 billion by 2022 to its gross domestic product (GDP).

Why This Matters: Africa’s mobile first economy plays a big role in why the fintech space is going to have such a huge impact on their overall GDP, which according to the International Monetary Fund currently stands at about $1.6 trillion.  The World Bank’s Global Findex Data found that roughly 21% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have a mobile money account. Since 2014, the amount of people with these accounts has nearly doubled and is the highest of any region in the world.  

Airbnb Becoming a Mainstay in Africa

By CultureBanx Team

  • Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique are among Airbnb’s 8 fastest growing markets globally

  • African Airbnb hosts have earned over $400 million in income since 2008

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Airbnb is booming in several African countries as the company makes the shift from novelty accommodation to a mainstream tourist option. Since launching on the continent, the travel startup has garnered more than 130,000 listings which have seen over 3.5 million guest arrivals. Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique are all among Airbnb’s eight fastest growing markets globally.

Why This Matters: Airbnb’s growth on the continent is also depicted through the seven countries that all recorded more than a 100% increase in guest arrivals over the past year. South Africa’s Cape Town is Airbnb’s top market but Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique have seen the most increase in guests arrivals of 213%, 141% and 136% respectively.

Egypt’s Private Sector Receives $1 Billion Cash Injection

By CultureBanx Team

  • The World Bank and Egypt signed a $1B private sector agreement

  • Economic reforms in Egypt have helped increase growth to 5.3% in 2018

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The World Bank and Egypt signed a $1 billion agreement to spur the country’s private sector. By supporting small businesses, the country’s largest source of jobs, Egypt’s government hopes to bring about sustainable economic reform from this second phase of support.

Why This Matters: Egypt’s economy is weighed down by a legacy of heavy bureaucracy and a lack of transparency which deters investors. However, this funding is intended to support the next phase of the country’s reform program and finance the government’s economic development program, “Egypt Takes Off”.

Disney’s Cultural Appropriation Quest For “Hakuna Matata”

By CultureBanx Team

  • Disney’s Hakuna Matata trademark was granted in 2003

  • The Lion King is the highest-grossing entertainment property in history at $8.1B

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The mouse house has received a lot of backlash after trademarking the Swahili phrase “Hakuna Matata” which was made popular in its Lion King animated film. More than 138,000 people have signed an online petition asking Disney (DIS +3.08%) to drop the trademark and stop this pursuit for commercial ownership of the phrase. Does their brand benefit from having the phrase trademarked or does it get damaged from bad publicity?

Why This Matters: Disney’s exploitation of African culture is on full display with this burgeoning trademark issue. The Swahili phrase is commonplace in several African nations which loosely translates to “no problem,” is being robbed by corporate America.