2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stages Review

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has seen many goals, with every game having at least one goal so far. Russia the host nation has shown dominance in Group A by defeating Saudi Araba and Egypt, only falling to Uruguay who showed their class in a 3-0 victory. Russia’s defeat didn’t matter though, as both Uruguay and Russia advance to the knockout stages of the tournament, while Saudi Araba and Egypt were knocked out.

The group stages so far have been filled with moments of brilliance, like the tournament form of one Cristiano Ronaldo helping Portugal forge a draw against neighbours Spain, in the battle of the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish footballer Diego Costa, has also shown his class bagging a brace against Portugal and securing the only goal when Spain played the Iranians in the Group B fixtures. The Group ended very predictably though, as both Morocco and Iran were eliminated and Spain and Portugal advancing.

Group C on the other hand is one of the dullest groups, with France going just enough to gain victories over both Australia and Peru. The only interesting thing about this group was the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) coming into play with the awarding of penalties and the time delays it came with. Many football analysts have welcomed VAR but have called for the decisions taken using the system to be shortened. Group C saw France and Demark advanced while Australia and Peru took flights home.

Group D which hold Argentinean star Lionel Messi is another group which has failed to live up to projections, Messi struggling to gain a footing in every match Argentina has played only being able to play at high level against Nigeria. After Argentina’s performers against Iceland (1-1) and losing (0-3) to Croatia many have questioned Messi’s mentality at a national level.

Group D also include Nigeria’s Super Eagles which has been very clawless in their match against Croatia losing 2-0, Croatia not only defeated the Super Eagles they also put 3 goals pass Messi’s Argentina. Nigeria unfortunately became the victim of a desperate Argentina, which eliminated them in the last game of the tournament. Both Nigeria and Iceland were sent home, with Croatia and Argentina advancing.

Tournament favorite Brazil, first game against Switzerland didn’t go accord to plan as the Swiss held on for a 1-1 draw. They did make up for it by finishing 2 goals to zero against Costa Rica in in the second round of Group E fixtures. Brazil predictably won their last game against the Serbians, finishing top of the Group and advancing to the knockout stage. Switzerland did enough to finish second which mean Serbia and Costa Rica were sent packing.
Group F saw Sweden and Mexico advance and former champs Germany and South Korea knocked out. Group F is probably the group with the biggest shock of the tournament so far, when Mexico defeated World Cup holds Germany (0-1) as well as a second shock defeat from South Korea (2-0) in their last game securing their elimination from the World Cup and maintaining the curse of the champions. Many fans have questioned Germans coach Joachim Löw World Cup team selection while he is also considering rising from the post.

Group G housing England and Belgium is one of the more predictable groups, both teams won against Tunisia and Panama, and are set to advance. Both teams on paper look very formidable, and both judging from their first games, look like possible contender for the World Cup Champions title. In the last game however, Belgium edged out England to top the group, while England finished second and Tunisia and Panama return home.

Group H saw the shock defeat of Colombia by Japan (2-1), Japan becoming the first Asian nation to defeat South American opposition at the World Cup. Senegal seemed to be the only African hope in the tournament, but a defeat from Colombia left the Senegalese equal in points with Japan. Unfortunately Senegal become the first team to be eliminated by the FIFA fair play Rule, which states if teams have equal points, equal head to head goals, then the one with the most yellow cards is eliminated.

Players of the Group Stages: Harry Kane
Team of the Group Stages: Belgium

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Ethiopia is ready for a major take-off in finance

Newly-appointed Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has stated that Kenya’s largest financial institution is ready to open its intently-guarded monetary providers sector.

Group Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Commercial Bank Group, Joshua Oigara noted that in 2015, the Ethiopian capital relaxed its coverage towards exterior funding in key industries, to place itself for Africa’s fastest-growing economic system.

“Ethiopia is a very exciting market today and the level of financial inclusion is relatively low,” Oigara, 43, stated on Wednesday in an interview within the capital of neighbouring Kenya, Nairobi. “I see a country that is ready for a major take-off in terms of infrastructure, economy etc.” Oigara said.

According to the Nationwide Financial institution of Ethiopia’s annual report, Ethiopia has 18 business banks serving an estimated 102 million individuals.

Business Financial institution of Ethiopia, one in every of two state-owned lenders, held belongings price 485.7 billion birr ($17.6 billion) and caters to 15.9 million prospects, in response to its website. As compared, KCB’s belongings complete 555.6 billion shillings ($5.5 billion).

Oigara included that: “We are very much confident that between now and the next two years we’ll have an opportunity.”

“Our focus is clients conducting business with Ethiopia from the Eastern Africa region.”

Source: axadletimes


India’s Sterlite, China state Grid and Colombia’s Isa secure a Brazil power license

India’s Sterlite, China’s State Grid, and Colombia’s Isa have all secured licenses to build power transmission lines in Sau Paulo, Brazil.

Other 47 companies, including consortia had registered to bid at the stock exchange B3, which resulted in a competitive auction. The rules of the auction included that the company that offers the most discount in tariffs will clinch the power licenses. Aneel, Brazil’s energy regulator recorded a 55% fall in the minimum tariffs the companies will be permitted to charge.

Indian company Sterlite secured six projects require approximately 3.6 billion Brazilian reais in investment. This comes after the company approached Brazil in the last year. A unit of Colombia’s Isa, Cteep secured two, worth an estimated amount of 880 million reais. China’s state grid received a projected to cost 102 million reais.

Electricity companies known to champion the industry, Portugal’s EDP and Spain’s Iberdrola bided collectively under their joint venture Neoenergia, but lost the bid.

The license includes a 30 year-contract which cover the maintenance, operation of the lines and annual revenues coming from the tariffs charged for the service.

Source: Thomson Reuters 2018

Meeting of SADC Ministers of Energy and Water

This past week, South Africa hosted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers of energy and water at the Sandton Convention Centre. The annual meeting was chaired by the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe and the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Gugile Nkwinti.

The meeting addressed the regional problems of water scarcity, the recent drought impacting most Southern African provinces, the infrastructure problems hindering their development plans and the weaknesses they need to cover. The availability of water and energy in the region is one of the major problems facing SADC countries, affecting economic domestic growth, employment and the livelihoods of SADC citizens.

Which is why SADC has placed water and energy as the highest agenda, the main goals of the meeting is to evaluate progress, implement corrective measures, forging ways to integrate, create seamless and cost effective infrastructure programmes, create cross barrier networks and also have a market development workshop.


Source: citizen.co.za

India to explore nuclear energy source in Moon’s Southern Hemisphere

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set out to explore the southern part of the moon, in search of any hidden mining resources of waste-free nuclear energy, which could be valued at trillions of dollars.

The ISRO is planning to launch a rover in October 2018, to uncover the lunar landscape and dig up the crust for elements like water and helium-3. The lunar project will be called Chandrayaan II, following the success of the Chandrayaan I, which was launched in October 2008 to probe and impact the moon.

The southern parts of the moon are believed to be rich in helium-3, which hypothetically could be used to create waste-free nuclear energy that can meet global demand for the next 250 years. The country that is able to bring that potential energy source from the Moon to Earth, will reap the benefits of possible trillion dollar industry and also lead the procedures and processes of refinement.

The Chandrayaan II launch will not only include a lander with a solar powered rover, but also an orbiter. The rover is expected to canvas a radius of 400 meters in 14 days, will transmit the data collected to the lander, then to the orbiter in space and then to Earth or the ISRO to be analysed .


Source: sputniknews.com

The trade war between US and China will impact other Asian economies

Asian economies will suffer due to the trade war between the United states and China. US president Donald Trump alleges that the World second biggest economy, China has unfair trade practices and has threated to implement new trade tariffs on approximately $450 billion of China’s exports. China swore to counter back.
China’s retaliation means bad news for international trade powerhouses such as Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, who sell goods to China used to manufacture electronics. The electronics are then exported to the U.S. Asian trade relations are fundamental to regional economies.

One dynamo that stands to lose the most is Taiwan, because it exports tech components such as computer chips to China, which is turn is exported to the United States. Asia economist Gareth Leather said if the demand for Chinese smartphones goes down, the Taiwanese computer chip demand will also be impacted.

South Korea, whose top two markets are China and the U.S, shares in two South Korean companies – Samsung electronics and SK Hynix have depreciated in recent weeks. Singapore and Malaysian companies will be impacted as they also export electronic components.

Source: CNNMoney (Hong Kong)

Indian Rupee falls to record low as Global Trade War intensifies.

The Indian National Rupee (INR) on Thursday dropped to a record low of 69.10 rupees per US dollar, breaching the previous low of 68.82 on August 28, 2013.

Economists believe that the fall was as a result of the trade arguments between the US and China.

According to CNNMoney, a growing number of emerging markets are coming under pressure from the same forces. The Argentine peso and Turkish lira are among the hardest hit that have fallen in recent weeks against the US dollar.

The upward trend in oil prices has been threatening to hurt businesses as it may push input costs of the product in the future.

It seems like the situation may worsen further for India, as the US has warned Asian buyers to stop importing crude oil from Iran after November of this year.

The Indian petroleum ministry has cautioned its public and private refiners to be prepared for a severe cut in crude imports from Iran.

India imports around 11% of its oil from Iran, which is cheaper than other countries due to heavy crude and low transportation costs.

Indian Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has however expressed optimism that 10% GDP growth by end of the current financial year is possible, based on the revival of domestic demand and the dynamism of a society that has become aspirational.

Source: CNNMoney




Tsogo Sun: Meeting the challenge of youth unemployment

“Our most grave and most pressing challenge is youth unemployment,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his first State of the Nation Address on 16 February 2018, and added, “It is therefore a matter of great urgency that we draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity.” It is this very issue that has been weighing heavily on Tsogo Sun’s corporate mind and has driven the focus of the group’s national CSI programme for some years.

Youth unemployment has escalated in recent years. Equal Education stated recently that in the third quarter of 2017, 30% of SA’s 10.3 million youths aged 15-24 were not in employment, education, or training.

“This untapped potential is a national tragedy. The number of youths who are neither learning nor engaged in income-generating activities has risen since 1996, from 2 million.”

There is no doubt that this dire situation affects everyone in South Africa, and that a concerted effort on the part of the private sector, local and national government, communities, and civil society to work together to address this reality can have an impact on levels of youth unemployment. While there are myriad ways to get involved in improving education standards, starting from early childhood development through to tertiary education; it’s rare that organisations outside government can make a meaningful contribution to the entire spectrum of educational requirements.

Tsogo Sun’s decision to invest – through funding and staff volunteerism – in career guidance and development in high schools, was based on discussions and input from learners, educators, and principals. Through the years and through our various community-based programmes, the group has worked with young people in secondary schools and engaged with many who are passionate about working, about their futures, and about making something of themselves – but they were equally concerned about how to achieve this. It was also clear that a large number of these young learners would need to join the working world straight after school, but have no idea how to do this, or have an understanding of what it entails.

Based on this, they recognised the need to create a pipeline of career development that starts in Grade 9 when learners have to make their subject choices for Grade 10, and continues through to Grade 12.

Tsogo Sun’s career development and guidance programme was introduced in January 2017 in four high schools: Mosupatsela and Mandisa Shiceka secondary schools in Kagiso, supported by Silverstar Casino,  Johannesburg Secondary School in Homestead Park, supported by Gold Reef City and Itirele Zenzele Comprehensive School in Diepsloot, supported by Montecasino. The programme, developed and run by the Education Agency in collaboration with Tsogo Sun and the schools, impacts close on 3 000 learners.

The programme starts in Grade 9 with online assessments that provide the learners with a comprehensive portfolio on who they are with regards to their interests, skills, and aptitude, and gives them some insight into possible tertiary studies and what subjects they will require, enabling them to make well-advised subject choices for Grade 10. In Grade 10, tertiary options are highlighted, particularly the option of TVET colleges that offer greater chances of successful employment. Workshops are conducted that show the diversity of career options, what different jobs entail, scarce skills, and other information to assist them in making career choices.

In Grade 11, staff at the three Tsogo Sun properties get involved in sharing work experiences and hosting the learners in job-shadowing, and in Grade 12, assistance is given in applying online for bursaries and to tertiary institutions. Work readiness workshops are also conducted for learners who are going directly into the working world.

As the programme continues, Tsogo Sun is engaging with educators and parents with the assistance of the school principals in an effort to ensure that the best outcomes are achieved. Already we are seeing a positive response – and we believe that this three-pronged approach of concerted effort at home, school, and us as the supplier will ensure the programme pays the best dividends possible.

Tsogo Sun 2017 Career Guidance programme in numbers:
• 2 981 learners completed the online assessment
• 2 981 learners attended the portfolio workshop
• 1 643 learners attended the presentation on tertiary options
• 476 Grade 11 learners attended mentor day talks
• 56 Grade 11 learners attended job-shadowing on property
• 25 mentors volunteered their time
• 131 Grade 12 learners attended workshops and did online tertiary applications

Numbers for 2018 to date:
• 2 295 learners completed the online assessment
• 2 295 learners attended the portfolio workshop
• 1 005 learners attended the presentation on tertiary options
• 252 Grade 12 learners attended workshops and did online tertiary applications

By Vusi Dlamini, Tsogo Sun Group HR Director

Brazil president meets US vice president

On Tuesday Brazilian President, Michael Temer met with United States Vice President Mike Pence, where he communicated his concerns over the fate of 46 Brazilian minors in U.S. Pence took heed of the matter and assured President Temer that the U.S. will do everything to ensure that Brazil reigns secure.

The Brazilian president said in a press conference that this issue is intensely sensitive and the U.S. VP needs to give special attention to ensure that minors are returned to their families. The Brazilian official further thanked Pence and said they will continue working together to resolve the matter. Brazil volunteered to fly the minors back to the country as soon as they are released.

Although the U.S. official agreed, he reminded Brazilians that the release of the minors does not take away from fact that the U.S. will continue expelling illegal aliens. “To all the nations of this region, let me say with great respect: Just as the United States respects your borders and your sovereignty, we insist that you respect ours,” said Pence.

The Venezuela humanitarian crisis and the negotiations between the U.S and Brazil in relation to the Alcantara space launch base were also discussed. Pence thanked the Brazilian president for supporting 50 000 Venezuela’s who fled in their country to Brazil. Pence revealed during the press conference that the U.S. will be donating $1 million dollars to Brazil to better aid the Venezuelan refugees.

Source: The Rio Times

BREAKING: Trump-Putin Summit expected to happen in July

The Kremlin and the White House have finally come to a consensus on the Trump-Putin Summit. This comes after US National Security Advisor, John Bolton met with President Putin. The meeting is expected to take place in a neutral setting, after the NATO Summit.

Trump told the media that on the agenda for his meeting with Putin, is the Syrian War and Ukraine.  Both heads of state want to use this meeting to rebuild relations; the US-Russia relationship has been deteriorating for some time now with Anti-Russian rhetoric dominating US media cycles, as well as accusations that Russia interfered with the US election.

Both the US and Russia are major players in the world where global peace and security is concerned.  Both have aligning and conflicting interests when it comes to trade and foreign policy. This discussion becomes very important when considering that global stability and international cohesiveness is actually on the line when these two leaders meet.

Source: bbc.com