Brazil’s newly elected President Bolsonaro reverses controversial statements

Brazil newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro has reversed a number of controversial statements he made during his campaigns for election and after. As soon as Bolsonaro was elected, he pledged to remove the Ministry of Labour and replace with a Ministry of Economy as prepared to announce a new government, by January.  He also pledge to merge the Ministry of Agriculture with Environment.

The newly elected President has since his election reconsidered the statements he made, following a public outrage.

Bolsonaro focused his campaign on combating crime and corruption and that led to him getting elected. However, “his high name recognition was earned by making outrageous remarks disparaging blacks, natives, women, and the LGBT community, and his unpopularity is increased by his calls for intervention by the armed forces and his idolatry for the military, praising infamous characters of the former regime, including Colonel Carlos Alberto Ustra, who had personally tortured Ms. Rousseff and many others with electric shocks and beatings,” writes Patricia Barbeyron, a strategic affairs consultant.

Bolsonaro had to step back statements of scrapping the Paris Environmental Agreement because regional allies warned against the measure.

 

Source: The BRICS Post

President Cyril Ramaphosa takes part in SA-EU Summit

The 7th SA-EU Summit took place yesterday in Brussels, Belgium. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa co-chaired the summit with the President of the European Council, Mr Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker.

The Summit follows President Ramaphosa addressing the European Parliament the day before, SA-EU summit was initiated as part of a signed agreement between South Africa and European Union to further strategic cooperation in terms of regional, African and Global Issues.

This year’s summit will look at ways in which SA-EU relations can be expanded and intensified.  The European Union also pledged to contribute R1.3 Billion to South Africa’s Infrastructure development programme.

The focus points of the summit will be economic, trade, investment, and developing cooperation; looking at challenges faced in climate change, migration and human rights; as well as expanding multilateralism.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

 

DISCOP Joburg 2018

DISCOP Joburg is a market expo taking place 14-16 November 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre. DISCOP markets bring together buyers, sellers and independent producers of film, television and digital content.

The markets will have meetings of delegates seeking to buy and sell content, raise funding for works in progress and invest in projects.

The DISCOP Joburg will also host a BRICS session where a panel will discuss if there “Is a BRICS coproduction model”. This session will examine the opportunities and challenges lying ahead of a coproduction and distribution treaty that would facilitate relationships between the Film and Television professionals from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

DISCOP markets take place three times a year held in strategic regional industry hubs,  (1) Johannesburg (South Africa) with a special focus on Anglophone, Lusophone and Swahili-speaking Africa; (2) Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) with a special focus on Northern Africa and the Middle East; and (3) Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) with a special focus on Francophone Africa.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

AfricaCom 2018

AfricaCom is a conference and exhibition that brings together people involved in the telecommunication and technology throughout Africa, the event which taking place 13-15 November 2018 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre will have 14,000 attendees, 450 speakers and 400 exhibitors.

AfricaCom 2018 is one of the most important events with regards to telecommunications and technology in Africa. It is a global stage were great mind meet, bringing all of Africa together in to one place in order to advance the continent on new technologies, trends, ideas and innovations.

The event will host two large exhibition centres, speakers at the event encompass leaders in their fields from Africa, the event will also show case the latest in Information technology, Artificial intelligence, the incoming 5G network, financial technology, virtual reality and a video forum.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

African Investment Forum

Yesterday saw the Sandton Convention Centre host the start of a 3 day African Investment Forum (AIF), the forum which has closed the streets of Sandton, brought together African politicians and business men with the purpose of linking African investors well as international investors.

The forum lead by the African development bank is hoping to promote economic and social development across the continent. The second goal of the forum is to establish Africa as an investment destination not just a developmental destination. The third goal is promote in both private and public investment.

The forum is also looking at advancing projects with the ability to change the economic situations in the areas where they are implemented, by funding or raising capital for these projects according to africainvestmentforum.com.

The meeting which will hold many panelled discussion on investment, as well as advancing capital, strengthening intercontinental investment, transitioning Africa from aid to development and poverty to prosperity, and creating a sustainable transacting Africa.

Many banking institutions were also represented on the first day of the forum, these include the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Islamic Development Bank and The Trade Finance Bank for Africa just to name a few, the forum will end on Friday 9 November.

By Mokegthi Mtezuka’

International Consumer Electronics Expo #iceesa2018

The International Consumer Electronics Expo South Africa launched yesterday at the Sandton Convention Centre, the expo which will run until Friday is aimed at bringing light to the rapidly changing world due to the advancements in technology.

The fair allows for business people and ordinary people to be learn the new trends that are happening in consumer electronics, so they can adapted to new technologies as well as use them in their operations or daily lives. The expo will also highlight the coming 4th industrial revolution on how humans engage with technology.

The expo will also be showcasing the 5th industrial revolution which is about how technology interacts with human beings and how we can make technology more human like. The fair is a great place to see the latest gadget that will be in retail stores soon, as well as showing off some new innovative ideas.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka’

Cape to Cairo: connecting the African continent

Image: Cape Town
Credit: Travelstart

The motto, “From Cape to Cairo”, has been a popular term of reference about integrating the African continent by making all African countries easily accessible and allowing for the fluid movement of people and goods.

Addressing delegates to an Africa Business Forum in Johannesburg last year, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said: “As the government of South Africa, we categorically stated that the development of infrastructure is an essential and absolutely fundamental catalyst for regional integration, for increased inter-regional trade and for industrialisation in Africa.

Therefore, infrastructure development lies at the very heart of our efforts to promote high levels of inclusive growth and development throughout the continent.”

Davies added that the African continent has an infrastructure deficit that’s estimated at $93 billion per annum for the next 20 years. He highlighted the urgent need for Africa to develop its infrastructure in order to boost the continent’s growth and efficiency, and ensure its competitiveness in the future.

Through its diplomacy and philosophy of ubuntu, South Africa seeks to pursue bilateral co-operation with African countries, as well as trilateral co-operation with international partners, in order to support its development.

Read full article in BRICS Journal print issue 6

The nature of BRICS – Africa relations

The BRICS bloc’s co-operation with Africa has largely been seen through member states’ bilateral relations with African countries to further their own national interests.

Countries such as China and India enjoy significant trade relations with the region, while in comparison, countries like Brazil and Russia have the least footprint in Africa.

Similarly, Africa’s engagement strategy with external powers has taken a unilateral approach, in which countries advance their own national interests – as opposed to a unified approach in which they speak in a common voice.

For example, in the Forum for China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), instead of giving the AU an enhanced role, countries negotiate individually for their needs and interests. Perhaps they would be better placed demonstrating an integrated, cohesive approach.

The relations that some BRICS members have with African countries have played out through the extraction of natural resources. In this regard, African experts and members of the diplomatic community have called for Africans to negotiate better trade deals with external powers.

Read Full Article in BRICS Journal Print Issue 6

 

South Africans are still purchasing Bitcoin

 

Luno South Africa’s biggest Bitcoin wallet and exchange has released new data on a survey it conducted in ten different countries including South Africa and found that almost 70% of South Africans surveyed were familiar with crypto-currencies while a third of those surveyed owned and traded crypto-currencies.   

Luno’s South African manager Marius Reitz has stated that crypto-currencies have the ability to enable easier low cost banking, financial freedom and create a new financial system. With the digitisation of the financial system, crypto-currencies are seen as the key technology that will be at the forefront of the movement toward a new financial revolution.

Crypto-currencies throughout this year though have entered somewhat of a bear market, as well as many calling them a scam or a pyramid scheme, but the technology behind crypto-currencies the distributed ledger is far more recognised as a financial and technological breakthrough.

None the less crypto-currencies are still growing around the world and in South Africa, with more people using them as a storage of wealth, a trading tool purchasing goods and services. More store and retailers also accepting them as money to trade product and services with.

Source: broadband.co.za

African luxury goods market

Despite some of the continent’s biggest economies being in recession this past year, the appetite of consumers for luxury brands remains high.

Recently, multinational financial services firm Deloitte published the fifth edition of its annual report, titled Global Powers of Luxury Goods. The report identifies and examines the world’s largest luxury goods companies.

In its first edition, published in 2014, the report made mention of South Africa and Nigeria showing great promise in this area. Rodger George, Deloitte’s advisory leader for consumer business in Africa, said at the time: “Africa definitely provides a longer-term growth opportunity for luxury brands. 

The shifting appetite and behaviour of consumers in this segment will require luxury goods retailers to develop a sophisticated but uniquely African approach to reach and satisfy the growing demand for luxury goods in this segment.” 

According to that first report, emerging markets accounted for 19% of the global market in luxury goods – and this included Africa.

It also found that while there were risks to growing this sector in emerging markets compared with developed markets, these risks were low, given people’s desire for luxury goods.

Full Article in BRICS Journal Print Issue 6