Sub-Saharan Africa’s middle class set to boom

first_img21 August 2014While Africa’s middle class may be smaller than the oft-reported figure of 300-million, it is growing at a strong rate – and the broad-based income growth is likely to encourage more companies to invest in the region, according to a report released by Standard Bank this week.There are 15-million middle-class households in 11 of sub-Saharan Africa’s top economies this year, up from 4.6-million in 2000 and 2.4-million in 1990, the report states. This represents an increase of 230% over 14 years.The report, titled “Understanding Africa’s middle class”, found that the combined GDPs of the 11 measured economies – Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – had grown tenfold since 2000.DiscrepanciesIncome discrepancies, however, are vast among the 11 economies, with almost 86% of the 110-million households falling within the low-income band. This is expected to fall to around 75% by 2030.“While the scale of Africa’s middle-class ascent has, we believe, been somewhat exaggerated in line with the at times breathless ‘Africa Rising’ narrative, there is still plenty of scope for measured optimism regarding the size of the middle class in several key Sub-Saharan Africa economies,” said Simon Freemantle, an economist at Standard Bank.The study used the Living Standards Measure (LSM), a South African methodology based on a wider range of analysis than income alone. Under the LSM, households with an annual consumption of under US$5 500 are classified in the low-income band, while households that consume between $5 500 and $42 000 a year are classified as lower-middle, middle, and upper-middle classes.OptimismFreemantle said there was cause for optimism among investors as the results suggest even greater scope for future growth. The number of middle-class households in the sub-Saharan African countries is likely to increase significantly in the next 15 years.“Including lower-middle-class households, the overall number swells to over 40-million households by 2030, from around 15-million today,” the report says.The 11 countries covered by the report account for half Africa’s total GDP (75% if South Africa is excluded) and half its population.The figure of 300-million middle-class Africans – one-third of Africa’s people – comes from a study by the African Development Bank in 2011, which defined “middle class” as earning between $4 and $20 a day.“Such individuals would still be exceptionally vulnerable to various economic shocks, and prone to lose their middle-income status,” Freemantle said.‘Consumer potential’The report found there was “an undeniable swelling” of Africa’s middle class, irrespective of which methodology was used.“Reliable and proven data should if anything spur more interest in the continent’s consumer potential by adding depth to what was previously conjecture,” said Freemantle.As a caution, the report states: “Though there has been a meaningful individual lift in income, it is clear that a substantial majority of individuals in most countries we looked at still live on or below the poverty line (measured as those with a daily income of USD2 or less).”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

5 Graph Databases to Consider

first_imgTags:#Architecture#cloud Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… klint finley Related Posts Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Of the major categories of NoSQL databases – document-oriented databases, key-value stores and graph databases – we’ve given the least attention to graph databases on this blog. That’s a shame, because as many have pointed out it may become the most significant category.Graph databases apply graph theory to the storage of information about the relationships between entries. The relationships between people in social networks is the most obvious example. The relationships between items and attributes in recommendation engines is another. Yes, it has been noted by many that it’s ironic that relational databases aren’t good for storing relationship data. Adam Wiggins from Heroku has a lucid explanation of why that is here. Short version: among other things, relationship queries in RDBSes can be complex, slow and unpredictable. Since graph databases are designed for this sort of thing, the queries are more reliable.Google has its own graph computing system called Pregel (you can find the paper on the subject here), but there are several commercial and open source graph databases available. Let’s look at a few.Neo4jThis is one of the most popular databases in the category, and one of the only open source options. It’s the product of the company Neo Technologies, which recently moved the community edition of Neo4j from the AGPL license to the GPL license (see our coverage here). However, its enterprise edition is still proprietary AGPL. Neo4j is ACID compliant. It’s Java based but has bindings for other languages, including Ruby and Python.Neo Technologies cites several customers, though none of them are household names.Here’s a fun illustration of how relationship data in graph databases works, from an InfoQ article by Neo Technologies COO Peter Neubauer: How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud FlockDBFlockDB was created by Twitter for relationship related analytics. Twitter’s Kevin Weil talked about the creation of the database, along with Twitter’s use of other NoSQL databses, at Strange Loop last year. You can find our coverage here.There is no stable release of FlockDB, and there’s some controversy as to whether it can be truly referred to as a graph database. In a DevWebPro article Michael Marr wrote:This lead MyNoSQL blogger Alex Popescu to write: “Without traversals it is only a persisted graph. But not a graph database.”The biggest difference between FlockDB and other graph databases like Neo4j and OrientDB is graph traversal. Twitter’s model has no need for traversing the social graph. Instead, Twitter is only concerned about the direct edges (relationships) on a given node (account). For example, Twitter doesn’t want to know who follows a person you follow. Instead, it is only interested in the people you follow. By trimming off graph traversal functions, FlockDB is able to allocate resources elsewhere.However, because it’s in use at one of the largest sites in the world, and because it may be simpler than other graph DBs, it’s worth a look.AllegroGraphAllegroGraph is a graph database built around the W3C spec for the Resource Description Framework. It’s designed for handling Linked Data and the Semantic Web, subjects we’ve written about often. It supports SPARQL, RDFS++, and Prolog.AllegroGraph is a proprietary product of Franz Inc., which markets a number of Semantic Web products – including its flagship set of LISP-based development tools. The company claims Pfizer, Ford, Kodak, NASA and the Department of Defense among its AllegroGraph customers.GraphDBGraphDB is graph database built in .NET by the German company sones. sones was founded in 2007 and received a new round of funding earlier this year, said to be a “couple million” Euros. The community edition is available under an APL 2 license, while the enterprise edition is commercial and proprietary. It’s available as a cloud-service through Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure.InfiniteGraphInfiniteGraph is a proprietary graph database from Objectivity, the company behind the object database of the same name. Its goal is to create a graph database with “virtually unlimited scalability.”According to Gavin Clarke at The Register: “InfiniteGraph map is already being used by the CIA and Department of Defense running on top of the existing Objectivity/DB database and analysis engine.”OthersThere are many more graph databases, including OrientDB, InfoGrid and HypergraphDB. Ravel is working on an open source implementation of Pregel. Microsoft is getting into the game with the Microsoft Reasearch project Trinity.You can find more by looking at the Wikipedia entry for graph databases or NoSQLpedia.last_img read more

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Prime Lens

first_imgThere are a ton of benefits to shooting with a prime lens. Here are the top 5.To anyone in the photography or filmmaking world, prime lenses give you the biggest bang for your buck. There are many benefits to shooting with primes over shooting with kit lenses. In the following round up created by CameraRec Toby you’ll learn the top 5 reasons why you should own a prime lens. In short, the top 5 reasons are:1. BokehPronounced “Boh-Kuh” not “Bow-Kay”.Prime lenses tend to have wider apertures than their kit lens counterparts. This creates a shallower depth of field and more background blur. When objects in the background blur out to form large orbs it’s called bokeh. For photographers and filmmakers, bokeh is a quick way to make your images look more interesting to the viewer. If you want a more detailed explanation of how apertures relate to background blur check out our posts on apertures, f-stops, and t-stops.2. Light GatheringBetter light gathering allows you to shoot in lower light.Another great benefit of having a larger aperture is prime lenses have greater light gathering power than their kit lens counterparts. For a photographer this is huge because it allows you to shoot at a much faster shutter speed to minimize camera shake. This isn’t to be confused with image stabilization, but it is a cheap alternative. In the video, Toby explains that compared to the average kit lens a cheap prime can have 3.33x more light gathering power.3. QualityBecause kit lenses have many moving parts, but still need to be affordable, they are often very cheap and break easily. Prime lenses on the other hand tend to be more durable than kit lenses.4. ValueThe Canon 50mm 1.8 is around $100 brand new.As artists, we need to save money wherever we can and prime lenses are a great place to do just that. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on an expensive zoom lens, try buying a nice prime set instead. You will get all the benefits of the expensive zoom lens at a much lower cost.5. SizePrime lenses tend to be much smaller than zoom lenses making them easier to carry and shoot with. Now this is admittedly not a huge problem but when you have limited space in your camera bag every inch counts.This video was first shared on CameraRec Toby‘s Youtube Channel. Thanks for sharing Toby!If you are interested in learning how to turn a $20 prime lens into a cine lens check out our post on creating custom cine lenses.Any other benefits to shooting with prime lenses? Share in the comments below.last_img read more