AP: Obama to Kenya: Reject violence during March election, first vote since 2007 violence – In a YouTube video released on Tuesday, President Obama urges citizens in “his father’s homeland of Kenya to reject intimidation and violence in next month’s national elections.” Kenya goes to the polls on March 4th in the first national election since the 2007 presidential vote that devolved into nationwide violence that killed more than 1,000 people.
NYTimes: Microsoft and Huawei of China to Unite to Sell Low-Cost Windows Smartphone in Africa – Microsoft and Huawei are teaming up to sell a low-cost smartphone called the Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone. The phone will cost $150 and will initially be sold in seven countries. Africa is the world’s fastest-growing region for smartphones, with an “average sales growth of 43 percent a year since 2000.” (Kevin O’Brien)
Guardian: Asian Development Bank will focus on lending to tackle inequality, says head – While the Asian Development Bank has traditionally invested in infrastructure projects, the Bank now wants to shift its focus to education and health in an effort to tackle “the threat posed to social cohesion by rising inequality.” Despite its economic success, east Asia is home to 830 million people living on less than $1.25 a day. Inequality and inclusive growth, “of great concern to policy-makers and development officials, are expected to feature prominently in the next set of development goals.” (Mark Tran)
Bloomberg: South Africa’s Jobless Rate Declines to 24.9 Percent – South Africa’s unemployment rate, the second-highest of more than 60 nations tracked by Bloomberg, fell to 24.9 percent from 25.5 percent in the fourth quarter. The number of people without jobs now rests at 4.5 million. Gross domestic product is expanding at less than half the pace of 7 percent the government predicts is needed to slash the jobless rate to 14 percent by 2020. (Andres Martinez)