ABSA accelerating its cloud adoption

Absa is accelerating its cloud adoption, as the big-four bank evolves into a digitally-empowered business, premised on fifth industrial revolution (5IR) technologies.

During the Absa Cloud Incubator live series last week, Jolande van der Hoek, talent acquisition lead: information technology office at Absa Group, outlined the bank’s cloud strategy.

She noted that accelerating cloud adoption will have a significant impact on Absa’s ability to innovate, offer new value propositions for clients, and enhance the skills of employees to enable them to contribute to the future of work.

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South African travel restrictions eased for 2022

Both Germany and the US have eased some travel restrictions on South Africa, as global concerns around the Omicron variant continue to subside.

In a proclamation issued at the end of December, US president Joe Biden said that health officials had made substantial progress in assessing the Omicron variant since it was first discovered at the end of November.

He added that there is clear evidence that people who have been vaccinated will have significantly more protection against hospitalisation, and death.

In explaining his decision to ease restrictions, Biden said that the variant has now spread to more than 100 countries – making travel restrictions less viable – and that the US has introduced new testing rules for travellers to help make travelling safer.

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South Africa Running Crypto – Bitcoin

South Africa is officially embracing cryptocurrency trade and investment laws, with its financial and capital markets regulators predicting an increase of crypto activity in the country.

That marks a departure from much of the rest of Africa. In many other countries, central banks are directing commercial banks to avoid processing transactions involving trade in crypto assets.

This is despite a surge in trading activity with South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya now among the top markets for trade and investment in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Africa. One report puts Nigeria “as the top peer-to-peer bitcoin trading nation on the continent” with $99 million in trade volumes in the first quarter 2021 while volumes for Kenya and Ghana–in second and third ranking–came in at $34.8 million and $27.4 million respectively. South Africa was fourth with $25.8 million.