India, China to surpass US as world’s biggest economy

China and India will surpass the US as the world’s biggest economy by 2030, this according to UK based financial services giant, Standard Chartered Plc. According to the UK company, in their annual ranking of the world’s largest economies, the United States will fall to a ranking of third place.

There Britain, France, and Italy also are to fall out of the world’s top economies – they will be overtaken by Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and Egypt which are predicted to enjoy meteoric rises. Emerging markets are predicted to take over the global market.

According to Standard Chartered, “countries share the world’s GDP should eventually converge with the share of the world’s population; driven by the convergence of per-capita GDP between advanced and emerging economies.”

The company measured both Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rates.

“The financial firm is projecting that India’s rate of economic growth will accelerate to 7.8% by 2020s – China’s economic growth will slow down adjusting to a steady 5.0% growth by 2030,” reports CCN.


Source: CCN

Mega City Projects In The Brics Regions

 The narrative on the progress of catalytic projects (Megatropolis) in the regional blocs of the BRICS is exciting and reflects extremes of sophistication and complex challenges. The cause and effect of the dawn of these megacities have similar stories behind them.

As social housing is a non-profit sector, it is necessary to think beyond the public-private model and develop a third option, where the local community is the driver, and housing is not considered as a commodity. It is when you mix the typology with industrialization that the model produces a return for investment to which increases palatability.

Public and private sectors have to pro-actively support and participate in community-led housing programs which should synchronize with poverty reduction, livelihoods, facilities, equity, and security.

The BRICS have diverse expenditure and allocation for urbanization underpinned by spatial information and city administration. The largest most tech-savvy with high cash spend per capita is China, Russia, South Africa, India then Brazil. China is aiming to build a Mega City larger than Britain with 100 million dwellers.

Last year, more than 340 billion yuan – US$48 billion was invested in Jing-Jin-Ji’s (Beijing, Tianjing, and Hebei) five pillar industries of education, health, transport, ecology and human resources (NBC News, 2014). This has set the benchmark of how typically a country can build symbols most representing them. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzen are each considered windows representing national profile to a fair extent.

In the most extensive resettlement project of Russia’s Khrushchevka housing regime, 10% of Moscow is to be replaced with a new housing model for a 1.6million Mixed Housing Typology (Rockefeller Foundation, 2017). Moscow is tackling several huge urban development projects which started with a 120bn roubels – $1.8bn of road rehabilitation.
In totality, the Putin administration will spend close to 3tn-roubles ($455bn) for revitalisation and megatropolis projects.

The contemporary transformation tool has an important role in promoting a sensible debate for the BRICS on new paradigms and economic growth taking place globally. The urban global tipping point is yet to be reached as 60% of the world’s population is currently un-urbanised (FIG, 2010).
South Africa’s programme is set to reach R800bn – $53bn by 2022 through the Presidential Infrastructure Commission, with Gauteng taking a larger share of the portion. India is prepared for a 7 mega city projects by 2030, of which the New Delhi city will receive an estimated 9.3 million people (Jain A.K, 2016). The government of India has launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for building 20 million houses by 2022.

The programme is found in the draft National Urban Rental Housing Policy (NURHP) 2015. Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai are anchors of the megatropolis to be joined by Hyderabad and Ahmedabad by 2030. It was difficult to attain the value of the megaprojects, but an estimated $45bn is earmarked till 2022.

Brazil’s Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV) is a major social housing programme launched in 2009 by Hon Lula da Silva to build 1 million homes in order to address low-income housing shortage amid rocketing costs – the downturn saw a $551mn mega project canned in 2017. The revolution is styled “My House My Life” and has up to date delivered 2 million houses.

This growth has of course an impact on social, economic and ecological systems. The opportunity available for the coalition is to nature the growth in a sustainable manner, both professional and political managers should act proactively towards modern spatial management.

Accountability, co-responsibility, precaution and dialogue between academics and practitioners, as well as collective decision making is key to addressing climate, energy and environmental sustainability. Energy in particular has been a topical issue due to inadequacies and illegal connections as common phenomena in all of the BRICS.

The positive is BRICS countries have shown demand for the collection, integration, management and sharing of information and the relevant education; experience sharing and development of best practices. This appetite is driven by multidisciplinary factors in society which in turn are magnified by rapid urbanisation and the conditions of the world’s megatropolis. Buenos Aires has invested in spatial data access on a public website – reporting on city administration, planning, disaster management and land tenure specific to address BRICS topics.

Although it must be recognised that citizen participation in information gathering suggests certain risks like the concern for privacy; suspicion of governmental intrusion and loss of public support; the issue of quality of data collected by non professionals and the need for quality analysis; the danger of miss-use of citizen-provided information by repressive governments; and the question of the capacity of governmental agencies to monitor, evaluate, and interpret the volumes of data collected in certain urban sensing systems is critical.

The key factor for success will be utilizing information technology to support growth as resources are necessary for the efficient use and economy of material, time and money.


Source: Engineering news (Colin Mashikinya)

The South African Young Entrepreneurship Challenges, the chronicle of young innovators

Starting a business in a South Africa can be challenging. Young South Africans faced with a lack lust economy and low job prospects are turning to their innovations to create a future for themselves.

Starting a business in South Africa can be challenging  –  young entrepreneurs are met number of challenges, from navigating red tape to acquiring financing.

According to Bizmag, 50% of all start-up businesses in South Africa fail within 24 months of operations due to inability and inexperience of their owners.

We spoke to Abel Mukwevho a member of Entreprovate PTY Ltd – a group of innovators who created the “Hamelin Rat Trap”. Mukwevho said that they believe that their product can have meaningful impact on the economic and boost public health.

“The Challenges we faced in getting this far was mostly access to markets,” Mukwevho said. Penetrating the pest control market was not easy and the market is not open to innovation. With no business guidance, the group had to learn from failure.

The idea was birthed out of need, Johannesburg townships are usually faced with rat infestations. The young innovators used the internet for research and established a sucessful concept, which was able to produce sucessful results.

They believe that their innovation could be a game changer for of communities as rats put a huge burden on public health. They can also impede localised or self-farming in informal settlements and townships, says Mukweveho.

Small businesses in South Africa can help lift the countries economic burdens through job creation.


By: Mokgethi Mtezuka

South African Minister invites investments from India businesses

South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Regina Mhaule invited Indian business to invest in SA. Mhaule who was speaking at the Raisana Dialogue which concluded yesterday, at India’s capital, New Delhi. The Minister acknowledged the contribution of Indian companies in the economic development of South Africa. “India has richly contributed to the nations economic development for generations,” said Mhaule.

“ As the people of South Africa sought to overthrow the shackles of oppression brought to bear upon us, India.. was one of the most principled supporters of the struggle against apartheid and racial discrimination,” she said.

Mhaule further reflected on South Africa-India relations – the arrival of the first Indians 150 years ago “richly contributed to the nation’s diversity and economic development for generations”. The relations have grown from strength to strength, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s invitation to be a chief guest India’s Republic Day celebrations later this month, further strengthened the relations.



Source: Times of India

Consumer Electronics Show underway in Las Vegas

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off on Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada Showcasing the newest and latest technology and electronic devices that will hit the market in 2019.

The event will house more 4,500 exhibiting companies including manufacturers, developers, and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, and technology delivery systems.

The event is expecting around 180 thousand attendees’ from 150 countries and will offer more than 250 conference sessions from the 9-11 January. CES 2019 is organized by Consumer Technology Association (CTA) which has pledged $10 million towards the advancement of women, people of color and other underrepresented entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Some of the new technology on show included the latest automated tech for homes like robot chefs and other smart household appliances.

There were also almost 1200 different start-up companies debuting new products as well as demonstrations of the potential of 5G technology and its implications once active in commercial society.


President sanctions law creating endowment funds

President Jair Bolsonaro sanctioned a law on Monday (January 7) that allows the creation of endowment funds, as a way to encourage private donations to projects of public interest. With the decision, the areas of education, science, technology, research and innovation, culture, health, environment, social assistance, and the sport will be strengthened.

In practice, all money donated by individuals and private companies, along with the income received from their investment, will be passed on to institutions and projects of public interest, increasing the sustainability of important public policies.

Made up of private donations, endowment funds invest the money in the financial market to generate continuous revenue for public projects. These investments are based on good practices and clear rules, with guaranteed transparency. The proceeds of the investment in the financial market, plus the donations themselves, guarantee the execution of the projects.

The law sanctioned by the president explains how these funds will be created, managed and monitored. It also determines the rules for investments and the use of the funds for the maintenance and execution of projects and public policies.

The sanction converts into law Provisional Measure 851/18. The text has been sanctioned with five vetoes and creates a regulatory framework for the raising of private funding for endowment funds.



Vladimir Norov takes office as Secretary General of SCO

Former Uzbekistan Foreign Affairs Minister, Vladimir Norov has taken his position as the new Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Norov officially took office on January 1, 2019, in a three-year term ending in 2021.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a permanent intergovernmental international organization founded in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Today SCO has expanded to include India and Pakistan. 

The main goal of SCO is to strengthen mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states.

Vladimir Norov was voted in as the new Secretary General at the Qingdao summit in June 2018. Norov also previously the Director of the Institute of Strategic and Interregional Studies in Uzbekistan, from the 2006-2010 Norov worked as the Uzbek Foreign Minister.


5 South African books to add to your 2019 reading list

The resurrection of Winnie Mandela

The Ressurection of Winnie Mandela is a book published in November 2018 by acclaimed author, Sisonke Msimang. She is a South African writer whose work is focused on race, gender, and democracy. About the book, non-fiction examining the life of South Africa’s most controversial political character – Winnie an anti-apartheid campaigner and former spouse of Nelson Mandela whose death ignited a reclaim of her legacy as a powerful, extraordinary woman, politician, and anti-apartheid activist.

“ In telling Ma Winnie’s story, Sisonke Msimang demonstrates the vital link between reclaiming lives of one complex woman and activism aimed at restoring the dignity of all women. ”  – The Reading List

I remember Mandela

I remember Mandela is a book foreword of the widow of South African Former President Nelson Mandela and edited by Vimla Naidoo and Sahm Venter. The creation of the book was inspired by former staff members of Nelson Mandela. Graca met the staff members to thank them for their service after the passing of Mr. Mandela and while listening to their stories got encouraged. The book features warm, poignant and humorous memories – “ a behind the scenes with one of the most revered and beloved political figures the world has seen.”

To survive and to succeed: from farm boy to businessman

A story of sheer determination and triumph with commendations by Thabo Mbeki, Dali Mpofu, and Kgalema Motlanthe. A story of a successful businessman who was kicked out of his farm home together with his siblings at a young age. Mkhuseli Khusta Jack was at a tender age of 6 homeless, sleeping in old buildings but desperate for an education. He finally got admitted to a school, grew to be involved in politics and got arrested a couple of times in the 1980s. Assisted in establishing political organizations in the Eastern Cape. He was arrested and tortured for his political involvements – involved in South Africa’s democracy negotiations but chose education over politics, Jack went on to study further.

Miss Behave

Upon encountering historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote, ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’, Malebo Sephodi knew that she was tired of everyone else having a say on who and what she should be. Appropriating this quote, Malebo boldly renounces societal expectations placed on her as a black woman and shares her journey towards misbehavior. According to Malebo, it is the norm for a black woman to live in a society that prescribes what it means to be a well-behaved woman.

Born in Chains: The Diary of an angry “Born free”

A book by Clinton Chauke, who presents chronicles of his life, from his birth in the dawn of South Africa’s democratic regime, 1994. The author tells the story of his life from Mandela’s Presidency to the current Ramaphosa administration. The term ‘Bornfree’ in South Africa is a name given to anyone born in the birth of democracy – Chauke denies being a born free. The central message of the book according to Chauke is to “reject the born free label, which many love to romanticize forgetting its implications.”

“The book is a humorous, fast-paced, witty and courageous take of family relations, displacement, religion, culture, education, forced internal immigration and ethnic stereotyping.”   – Johannesburg review of books




By: Kgothatso Nkanyane



India-Japan plan to advance 2+2 dialogue

India and Japan have both agreed to move deeper forward with their cooperation and advance their countries relations. This comes after the 10th round of dialogue between the two nations in which the government reaffirmed the importance of their cooperation.

Some of the agreements in the advancement of 2+2 dialogue are the uses of each other’s military bases for logistical support. Both countries have also called for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Japan is also looking to further ties with countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.

India and Japan will also further promote bilateral security and defense cooperation, Japan is hoping for the early realization of the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries within this year and dialogues on space and cyber cooperation.



Bolsonaro Administration – economists react with optimism

Economic agents reacted with optimism on the first day of President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration. The positive signs of the new management in relation to measures to control public spending and the political movements that may favor the adoption of important reforms, such as the Pension Reform, caused an energetic reaction from the market. The Ibovespa (the benchmark index of the São Paulo Stock Exchange) surpassed the mark of 91,000 points on Wednesday (January 3rd), a historical high.

Economists heard by the Brazilian Government portal assessed that the initial statements by Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and the government team buoyed the financial market, mainly because they reinforced the need for Pension Reform and the adoption of the concessions program. They also said that the political environment is initially favorable to the approval of economic measures by the National Congress.

“There was excitement in the markets because the government endorsed the economic message he defended during the election campaign, that it will adopt an austere stance on spending controls and the issue of concessions. That had a positive impact,” said Austin Ratings chief economist Alex Agostini.

“There is also a positive expectation that the Bolsonaro administration and its economic team can succeed in approving pension reform in the first half of the year,” he said. “The markets have been encouraged by signaling to the government itself that it is on the right track,” he said.


Although pension reform is a controversial issue, analysts have gauged Bolsonaro’s popular support, which may have positive effects on the adoption of the economic agenda. “We say receptiveness not only in the statements by Paulo Guedes [Minister of the Economy], but also from a set of news, such as the possibility of privatizing Eletrobras,” explained Silvio Campos Neto, an economist at Tendências Consultoria.