Indian Elections: Modi claims victory for BJP

After seven weeks long and seven phases the India election which started on 11 April, has finally come to a close. Prime Minister Narendra Modi garnered a landslide victory securing he and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) another term – vote counting is on-going.

According to The guardian, the BJP amassed 290 seats. The BJP is expected to gain almost 300 seats out 542 in congress which is up from their previous result in 2014 of 282 seats.

A new five year term for Modi and an endorsement of his policies means that he has more breathing space and stronger mandate to enact policies unable in his previous term.

Modi also promised to unity India after elections, the second most populous country in the world is not without its divisions.  In terms of foreign policy, Modi will now the tackle the tension with Pakistan and  resolve its issues with the US over Iranian oil and Russia weapons purchases.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

NDB President And Vice-President Of Brazil Meet In Shanghai, Discuss Bank’s Strategy And Operations In Brazil

( Xangai – China, 20/05/2019) Vice-Presidente da República, Hamilton Mourão, durante Encontro com o Presidente e a nova diretoria do Novo Banco de Desenvolvimento (NDB) Foto: Adnilton Farias / VPR

Strengthening the New Development Bank’s strategy and its operations in Brazil was the main focus of discussion between Mr. K.V. Kamath, the NDB President and Gen. Hamilton Mourão, the Vice-President of Brazil during their meeting on 20 May 2019. The meeting was held at the Bank’s office in Shanghai, during the official visit of the Vice-President to the People’s Republic of China.

“The NDB is a 21st century bank, designed to provide the necessary financial support to emerging economies. We welcome the upcoming inauguration of the NDB Americas Regional Office, based in São Paulo, with a branch in Brasília. Such Office will allow the NDB to become more familiar with the Brazilian business culture and regulatory environment, thus contributing to our efforts to foster investment in infrastructure and sustainable development,” said Gen. Hamilton Mourão.

Mr. K.V. Kamath briefed Gen. Hamilton Mourão on the progress of the NDB, including the growth of the Bank’s portfolio of approved projects.

“It’s a privilege to host Gen. Hamilton Mourão in NDB’s Headquarters. The NDB is fully committed to supporting Brazil’s agenda of infrastructure investments as formulated by the Brazilian Government with a greater participation of the private sector, in line with the Bank’s mandate of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development. We are looking forward to opening the Bank’s Americas Regional Office later this year, which will play an important role in project identification and preparation,” said Mr. K.V. Kamath



Mayor Ying meets Brazil vice president

Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong met Brazilian Vice President Antonio Hamilton Martins Mourao and his delegation in Shanghai yesterday.

READ MORE: Brazil’s Vice President’s Visit To China

Enterprises from Brazil and Shanghai should deepen cooperation and expand investment to achieve a win-win situation, Ying said, while welcoming more enterprises from Brazil to participate in the 2nd China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai later this year.

Brazil hopes to join hands with China to push forward cooperation and exchanges, as well as share management experience to realize common development with Shanghai as the city has achieved significant progress in social and economic spheres, Mourao said.

Mourao is on a formal visit to China to attend the 5th meeting of the Sino-Brazil High-level Coordination and Cooperation Committee.

Shanghai Vice Mayor Wu Qing and Gilberto Fonseca Guimaraes de Moura, consul general of Brazil in Shanghai, also attended the meeting.



The US-China Trade War forecasted to get worse

The US-China trade war is “going to get worse before it gets better,” an expert said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump announced that he would increase tariffs on $200 billion in goods from 10% to 25%. China responded by upping the tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods. The relations between the two countries are on a decline – trade talks between the US and China stopped abruptly.

American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, Google revoked Huawei’s operating license for its Android devices, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday – Googles decision is believed not to be separate from the trade war.

READ MORE:Google cuts Huawei’s access to androids licencing


Additional reporting: CNBC

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Brazil’s Vice President’s Visit To China

Hamilton Mourao Photographer: Sergio Lima/Bloomberg

Hamilton Mourao, Brazil’s Vice President is in China, in an attempt to strengthen relations. Mourao arrived in China on Sunday and will be concluding his visit on 24 May.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and CPPCC Chairman Wang Yang are holding high-level political and economic talks with the Brazilian leader. General Mourao has been attending cultural and economic events in China.

Brazil hopes to further strengthen its relationship with China. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is scheduled to visit China later this year.

READ MORE:Brazil’s vice President to visit China next Month

Chinese president Xi will travel to Brazil in November for the BRICS summit.

READ MORE:Brazil confirms date for the 11th BRICS Summit


By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

South Africa’s economic outlook

South Africa’s part took in the 6th National elections – the African National Congress (ANC) won majority in the parliamentary elections, once again. Now the focus has shifted to economic growth, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) forecasted to be 1.2% in 2019 and 1.5% in 2020 by the International Monetary Fund.

Yesterday Statistics South Africa released its quarterly unemployment numbers which indicated that the unemployment rate has increased in the first quarter of 2019 by 0.5% giving South Africa an unemployment rate of 27.6%.

Corruption in South Africa is also another major concern as this has been noted to affect public morale and distrust in politicians and lowering the voter turnout in the 8 May general elections. 

The government will have to work to restore faith in government organization and institution to get private sector buy-in. The high unemployment rate, corruption, and a negative economic outlook are some of the many issues the reelected government and President Cyril Ramaphosa will have to tackle.voters will be watching and how these problems are handled could determine future elections results.

President Ramaphosa before elections underwent a massive investment drive look to get $100 Billion to spark the economy again and create jobs, as well as a job summit which took place last year. Ramaphosa will need time to see if any of these initiatives help South African citizens.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Brazil’s President to speak at a foreign affairs event in Texas

Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro will on 16 May be speaking at a foreign affairs event in Texas, United States – the organizers confirmed, last week Wednesday.

The right-wing leader will address business and civic leaders at an event hosted by the World Affairs Council of America. The World Affairs Council of America is a non-profit international affairs group with more than 90 affiliates around the United States.

This has been viewed by the organizers as an opportunity for members to hear from people who hold positions of significance around the world. They further said that they are looking forward to having the President of the biggest country in the Southern Hemisphere and the fifth largest country in the world speak at the event.

READ MORE: Bolsonaro Administration – economists react with optimism


By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Additional Reporting: Reuters

France makes plea for India, Brazil, Germany and Japan to be included as permanent members of UNSC

France has made a plea for India, Brazil, Germany and Japan to be included as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). According to France his is “absolutely needed” as only a reformed and enlarged UN Security Council will better reflect contemporary realities. The inclusion of these countries is among France’s “strategic” priorities.

 François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in New York and head of France’s UN mission said that “Germany, Japan, India, Brazil and a fair representation of Africa in particular are absolutely needed at the table to get towards a fairer representation of the Security Council. This is for us a matter of priority.”




SA, South Sudan sign oil exploration agreement

Photo: Charlton Doki/IPS/All Africa

South Africa and South Sudan have signed an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) to explore oil in Block B2 of the landlocked East-Central African country.

“The deal – which is strategic for South Africa as an energy consumer will see Block B2 operated by state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), the Ministry of Petroleum and Nilepet, the national oil company of the Republic of South Sudan,” said the Department of Energy on Monday.

Under this agreement, which includes a six-year exploration period, the SFF alongside Nilepet will launch a comprehensive aero gravity survey exploration campaign, seismic acquisition as well as drill wells.

The B2 area includes productive parts of the Muglad Basin and is part of the 120 000 square kilometer Block B which was split into three in 2012.

South Africa’s SFF will also invest in capacity building initiatives, training of South Sudanese citizens, social and community development projects and ensuring local content and the empowerment of women.

“The petroleum resources of Block B2 are vast. For South Sudan to reach its target of bringing back production levels of around 350 000 barrels of oil per day and beyond, we need committed new entrants like the SFF,” said the South Sudanese Minister of Petroleum Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

“South Sudan has great potential, yet our country remains vastly under-explored, and we believe the entry of new players like the SFF will lead to new world-class discoveries very soon given the aggressive exploration program and great petroleum viability of Block B3. This will support South Sudan’s economic revival and improve trade with other African countries,” said Gatkuoth.

Last year, South Africa’s Department of Energy pledged to invest $1 billion into South Sudan’s petroleum industry, with the aim of securing affordable energy supplies for South Africa.

The countries are in talks to set up a 60 000 barrel per day refinery to supply oil products to the local market in South Sudan, as well as to secure exports to Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of SFF, Godfrey Moagi, said the SFF is looking forward to making discoveries in Block B2.

“We believe there are highly significant quantities of oil in Block B2. Our work program and acquisition of new seismic will reveal better information on various structures. We look forward to a few wildcats and appraisal wells in the near future. We are thankful to the Government of South Sudan for this opportunity,” said Moagi.



Brazil and Peru sign declaration of cooperation on energy

Brazil and Peru will intensify cooperation in the energy sector. The Ministers of Mines and Energy of the two countries, Bento Albuquerque (Brazil) and Francisco Atilio Ísmodes (Peru), signed a Declaration of Cooperation in Energy this Tuesday. The document provides mechanisms for exchanges on energy issues and identifies mutual and convergent interests for the two […]