Online education gaining momentum in China

A recent report from UBS Securities stated that online education is gaining traction in China, with the market scale expected to exceed 714 billion yuan ($104 billion) by 2025.

According to the report, the Chinese online education market will grow markedly from the 29 billion yuan reported last year.

An analyst at iiMedia, Liu Jiehao said government support, technological progress, and an cultural emphasis on education have all contributed to a burgeoning online education market in China.

Most Chinese parents expect their kids to continue learning after the end of the school day.

The UBS report pointed out that about 37% of Chinese parents paid for tuition compared to 70% in places such as Japan and South Korea.

A Chinese online education company, called VIPKid recently raised $500 million in its latest round of financing – the world’s largest fundraising in the online education sector.

The company’s latest data showed it has enrolled more than 60,000 foreign teachers in its network, enabling it to work with 500,000 paid users.

Founder and chief researcher at Learneasy Times Online Education Research Institute,LyuSenlin said; “The financing accelerated the accumulative effect of the country’s online education segment.”

China Daily informed that, in recent years, TAL Education Group and New Oriental Education & Technology Grouphas been China’s top two education players.

The companies are transforming from offline to online and putting great emphasis on online education.

Source: China Daily

New Visa Law for Chinese Tourists in South Africa

Tourism in South Africa has been an important contributor to the South African economy for many years. The tourism sector directly contributed 2,9% to South African gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016. The industry has contributed more jobs than that of the manufacturing sector from 2012 to 2016. BRICS countries have been the biggest contributors towards the growth of the tourism economy in South Africa.

The South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has announced that according to the bilateral agreements signed at the 10th BRICS Summit in South Africa last month where South Africa and China agreed to ease their visa policies, the ministry is introducing new visa policies that will make it easy for Chinese tourist to enter South Africa.

The new visa law will allow Chinese tourists holding a valid passport and a Schengan visa, U.S. visa or Australian visa to enter the country without the need to apply for a separate South African visa. The minister said: “South Africa is working hard to increase its share of China’s huge tourism market and hopes to increase the share tenfold in the next five years.”

BRICS countries have contributed 6.1% towards inbound travelers to South Africa, tourists from China making up the largest portion of that increase.

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

China launches emergency farm inspections following swine fever outbreak

China’s Liaoning province plans to increase inspections at pig farms and markets and strengthen the monitoring of hog transportation. This comes after the first African swine fever case was reported in China.

According to an official from Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Animal Health and Production, the African swine fever outbreak poses a major threat to the hog farming industry in the province and the country.

The provincial government has asked local authorities to launch emergency inspections at all pig farms, hog markets, slaughterhouses and harmless treatment sites in the province.

Citizens are advised to report cases of pig deaths due to unknown reasons, and immune failure among pigs after receiving swine fever vaccines.

The Liaoning province ordered the temporary closure of all live hog markets and slaughterhouses in Shenbei district, where the outbreak was discovered.

The animal health bureau official said hogs and products in Shenyang can only be distributed within the city, while those transported from outside must go through strict quarantine.

The case in Liaoning, the first in East Asia, has fuelled concern about its spread in China, which has the world’s largest pig herd, and possibly to neighbouring countries in Asia.

Japan has suspended imports of heat-treated Chinese pork and tightened quarantine operations at airport and seaports, following the outbreak.

Source: Liaoning Daily

China orders medical institutions to stop using recalled Huahai-made drug

China’s health regulator has advised that all domestic medical institutions must cooperate with authorities and stop using the valsartan blood and heart drug made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd that could pose cancer risks.

Earlier this month, the bulk manufacturer of the drug was recalling the valsartan drug sold in the United States after the European Medicines Agency found that it was tainted with an impurity linked to cancer.

China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said the recalled drug, commonly used to treat patients with high blood pressure, should not be used for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

European regulators have said that the problem likely dates to changes introduced into manufacturing processes at the company in 2012, suggesting that many patients could have been exposed to cancer risk.

Reuters informed that the drug has already been withdrawn in the United States and Europe, and China’s drug regulator confirmed that Huahai had completed the withdrawal in China of the raw materials used to produce the drug.

Shares in Chinese drugmakers have since slumped, with an index tracking major Chinese healthcare firms trading 3% lower on Monday, putting it on track for its third consecutive day of loss.

Source: reuters.com

 

South Africans can visit these 102 countries now without a visa

Henley & Partners, a travel advisor has released an index indicating which countries have the most visa-free or visa-on-arrival access. The data is collected from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), maintain the world’s largest database on travel information.

Visa-free travel is a key tool when it comes to building business ties, generating tourism revenue, help with attaining foreign direct investment and trade partners. Most European countries have long implemented these policies, with Africa now starting to show improvement.

South Africa is one of those African countries setting the benchmark for visa-free travel, moving to 102 countries that a South African passport can take you (visa-free). Unfortunately 33 countries of the 102 are Visa-on-Arrival or Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA).

Africa

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Angola 

Lesotho

Botswana

Malawi

Swaziland

Tanzania

Mauritius
Mozambique    

Tunisia

Zimbabwe

Senegal               

Kenya  

Reunion Island

Namibia

 

Somalia

Benin

Madagascar

St. Helena

Cape Verde Islands        

Mauritania         

Comores Islands              

Togo

Djibouti               

Ethiopia                               

Uganda

Gabon

Zambia

Ghana  

Rwanda               

Guinea-Bissau  

Seychelles

 

Asia

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Singapore           

Macao (SAR China)         

South Korea      

Europe

Malaysia

Hong Kong (SAR China)

Indonesia

Thailand

Philippines         

Cambodia                           

Sri Lanka
Maldives             

Tajikistan            

Nepal

Kyrgyzstan         

Timor-Leste

Laos      

 

 

Caribbean

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Antigua and Barbuda

Dominica

St. Lucia

Bahamas

Dominican Republic

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Barbados

Grenada

Trinidad and Tobago

British Virgin Islands

Haiti

Turks and Caicos Islands

Cayman Islands

St. Kitts and Nevis           

 

Americas

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Argentina

Ecuador

Paraguay

Belize

El Salvador

Peru

Bolivia

Falkland Islands

Uruguay

Brazil

Guatemala

Venezuela

Chile

Nicaragua

Costa Rica

Panama

 

Oceania

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Cook Islands

Vanuatu

Micronesia

Niue

Samoa

Tuvalu
Palau Islands

 

Europe

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Ireland

Kosovo

Russian Federation

 

 

Middle East/Other

Passport Visa-on-Arrival or eTA
Qatar

Israel

Palestinian Territory

 

Armenia

Georgia               

Jordan

Iran

Oman

Turkey

 Source:  businesstech.co.za             

 

Lesotho : The Kingdom in the Sky

Lesotho is an ancient mountainous land filled with minerals, rolling hills and majestic natural formations as old as time. But it is also a nation looking ahead to a bright future, striving to drive forward from a dormant past. 

Known as the Kingdom or the Kingdom in the Sky, Lesotho is home to vistas and mountainous scenery that has to be seen to be believed. The mountains filter Lesotho’s crystal clear water that feeds into numerous rivers and hydrates the country’s abundance of green pastures, providing for its livestock. The mountains also yield Lesotho’s other prolific mineral : diamonds. 

Lesotho is a democratic, sovereign and independent country located within the borders of South Africa. The name Lesotho translates to “the land of the people who speak Sotho”. Formerly a British protectorate until independence in October 1966, the kingdom of Lesotho is one of only three remaining monarchies in Africa. 

Lesotho occupies a unique geographical position. The country is situated centrally within Southern Africa, with access to some of the fastest-growing industrial economic areas in the region, such as South Africa’s Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. 

DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 

The government of Lesotho has adopted a private sector-driven economic-development and an export-led industrial growth strategy. Essential parts of the economy are industries like diamond mining and quarrying, construction, the manufacturing of textiles, garments and footwear, the assembly of electronics and electrical appliances, trout breeding, fishing and food processing. 

TOURISM 

Lesotho offers natural beauty, rugged terrain, rich local culture and traditions, as well as adventurous activities that don’t require a permit, like skiing and snowboarding. Accommodation can be found in all regions of the country – some serenely situated on river banks, some on mountainsides, and some at the highest altitude in Southern Africa, surrounded by beautiful mountains and a peaceful, natural environment. 

source : Best of Lesotho Volume 1

Published by Proudly African

 

WHERE TO CHECK IN 

Maliba Lodge 

The lodge lies within the Ts’ehlanyane National Park in Lesotho. The main lodge features an exclusive lounge and dining room, with private decks, health spa and restaurant. The lodge offers myriad activities for those who need more than just relaxing stay in luxury. There are numerous walking trails in the immediate area, and the national park features rivers running through, a number of waterfalls, rock pools and swimming holes. www.maliba-lodge.com 

 

Blue Mountain Inn 

This is a delightful retreat situated in the town of Teyateyaneng, a short drive from the capital city of Maseru. The hotel offers first-class facilities for holidaymakers and the business community. The hotel is ideally situated for tourists to visit the national heritage site “Kome Caves”, as well as experience traditional weaving in Teyateyaneng. www.bmilesotho.com

 

Semonkong Lodge 

Semonkong Lodge believes in empowering individuals within their local community, using the environment and its conversation as the focal point of their activities, and helping to create long-term sustainable income through tourism for as many people as possible in the community. The lodge is situated close to the to the mighty Maletsunyane Falls, one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Africa at 192 metres. www.semonkonglodge.com 

#FashionFindsWednesday: Ulyana Sergeenko built her antique and vintage empire

From graduating in the Faculty of Philology to becoming Russia’s big deal in the fashion industry.

Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian-based fashion designer, who has worked with many celebrities, including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Natalia Vodianova.

The Ulyana Sergeenko brand was launched in Moscow in April 2011 with a first collection designed for autumn-winter 2011/12.

Her debut collection featured clingy knit tops, quilted skirts, floor-sweeping greatcoats, and enough sable to swaddle the Russian army.

Today, the designer has the Moscow-based company that has ready-to-wear women clothing, bags, jewellery and headpieces.

Sergeenko has always love fashion.

With all the love she is receiving, Sergeenko has built a fashion empire that consists of a a collection of antique and vintage clothes and accessories, ranging from the rare ancient jewellery to Soviet school uniform.

The designer frequently visits flea-markets and vintage boutiques as her way of inventing new styles, whereas all her fabrics and trimmings are bought in France, Italy and Japan.

Sergeenko collaborates with highly-skilled ateliers from Russia, along with numerous craftsmen from former Soviets republics. She did that to help them preserve their precious knowledge in the process.

In her 2018 collection called Haute Couture Spring Summer, she designed gowns with long bell-shaped skirts and puffed sleeves with vivid colours. She said that her collection was inspired by the 40s and 50s styles codes.

 

 

 

 

 

#TravelTuesday: Walking tours to take on South Africa

South Africa in her most natural state is filled with picturesque habitat that beckons one to spend as much time as possible outdoors. For this reason, walking tours are a hit in the major cities like Durban, Cape Town and Joburg. Try these out:

Beset Durban –  is a monthly walk founded by four friends namely Jonas Barausse, Mark Bellingan, Cameron Finnie and Dane Forman. The walk is free and takes place every four to six weeks, the aim of it is to explore the city.

Maboneng Precinct Tour –  The precinct has become a hotspot for travellers who want to experience Johannesburg at grassroots level and to find hidden treasures within the city, as well as a popular hangout spot for locals. The two-hour walk covers art, gallery visits and Kwa Mai-Mai Traditional Healers Market.

 

Cape Town Free Walking Tours – Those who want to explore Cape Town should try these. The organisation offers five walks daily – for free! They showcase Cape Town’s most iconic spots and are 90 minutes long. The Taste of Cape Town, Jewellery and Diamond tour, Bokaap and Historical Tour are some of the offerings.

 

Walking safaris in Marakele National Park – This a 2- 3 hour walk in the wild through the Kruger National Park. The guides lead the group of tourists for wildlife sitings without disturbing them.

Table Mountains Walks – This is believed to be one of the most breathtaking views in the world. Tourists gets to explore the natural beauty of the mountains and learn more about pieces of history while walking. 

 

 

Cape Town Food Tours – Tour for foodies guided on the old town centre, including a visit to the oldest restored townhouse in South Africa. The experience includes indigenous tea-tasting with rusks and of course, wine-tasting. During the Foodies on Foot walking tour, travellers get to sample the flavours of Stellenbosch, from a variety of sweet and savoury handcrafted products to a sit-down lunch.

Source: IOL

 

Through the eyes of African Chef

Exploring food’s soft power with chef and author Nompumelelo Mqwebu

Nompumelelo Mqwebu is an enterprising chef who has travelled the world to hone her skills. Yet her roots remain firmly planted in her homeland of Africa. She has recently released her debut cookbook, Through the Eyes of an African Chef.

Chef Mwqwebu runs Africa Meets Europe Cuisine, a skills-training and hospitality service provider, as well as the Mzansi International Culinary Festival. Before this, Nompumelelo spent 10 years training and mastering her cooking skills around South Africa and the world, including at culinary schools and kitchens in New York, London, Paris, Bremen and Shannary. She has sat on various judging panels, including judging the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Having trained at the prestigious Ballymalloe Cookery School in Ireland, Chef Mqwebu has mastered the art of making yoghurts, butters, preserves and countless more recipes and methodologies that are included in her book. We chatted to Nompumelelo about food as a powerful ingredient in human and foreign relations.

In your years of travels as a chef, have you experienced the “soft power”of food?

Yes, food transmits with it a cultural identity. When people taste your food, they appreciate and embrace your identity and culture. This bonds well in business as well as in social circles. Offering your food means opening your world. Hospitality is incomplete without food. As part of etiquette, people are catered for when they visit. There’s a certain level of respect people afford you, when you display information of who you are.

A chapter in your book is titled “Ukuhamba Kuzala Induna (My Food Travels)”- if you had the opportunity to travel to any of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), where would you go and why?

Brazil- from what I have learnt over the years about Brazil being the largest country in South America and the most diverse, it fascinates me. I would love to try their local dishes and explore the influences of their neighbouring countries, such as Venezuela and Peru. I am interested in gauging if the food I have eaten outside Brazil, which is said to be authentic Brazilian, measures up to the cooking in Brazil. Dig into their indigenous and ingredients and cooking methods to feed me into their cultural identity.

Each of the BRIC countries have a signature drink or dish – what would South Africa’s be?

South Africa is not a one-nation one-dish type of country. We have indigenous ingredients from our diverse cultures that make up this South African nation, reflected by our 11 official languages. From samp with marrow, to dovhi la mukusule, tsama melon, springbok meat with maize meal rice, ting and many more!

What do you think other nations can learn from South Africa food techniques, from growing and harvesting to preparation and preservation?

The art of preserving meat called mukoki (biltong), which has been with us for decades. It has been transformed to the rest of the world, but much of its important history if from the Khoisan hunters, VhaVenda and other South Africa peoples and has been lost along the way. Another example is umqombothi (traditional Zulu beer) – the fermentation is an age-old formula using sorghum that has entered world trends, but which has been part of our daily lives for centuries. Even looking at the “new”nose-to-tail talk – it has always been here, the relationship between Africans and animals. The skin is used rather than thrown away. The skin is used rather than thrown away. The animal is eaten from the premium cuts to tripe. Horns, hooves, tail hair – everything has its use. Food waste is something of a new phenomenon by reviving our methods of old. 

What can be done to ensure South African effectively uses food for national branding purposes?

We must take up our food identity with the national pride it deserves. We need to listen to our visitors. They do not come to our country to taste their food; they are here for our food. They need us to genuinely welcome them by opening our culinary journey in earnest, sharing who we are that reflective of our roots and our food culture. We are a diverse nation, and that should be reflected fully in our cuisine. Embrace the cultures previously left in our culinary history.

What advice would you give South African chefs who are cooking beyond the borders of our country?

Keep it real. Show pride in your roots and our identity, which is brimming with diverse cultures that are yet to explored. Remember to know where you’re going- it’s important to know your history. 

 

 

 

The voice of the Youth: The Future Team

The Future Team is an international community that serves as a meeting place for young people from all around the world. Future Team was an initiative by the participants of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students of different educational and cultural backgrounds. The ideal was suggested by the young Joshua Fraser Dixon from Canada at the Festival.

The Future Team has created a platform both online and through events, where young people can discuss important topics, both global and local problems, initiating surveys for like-minded people and inspiration. The online platforms include pages and interactions on social media and also online blog systems where one can cover topics ranging from business, arts and culture, politics, education, HIV, sport and many more.

These platforms allow the young to express values and discuss these important issues.

Other initiatives by the Future Team include events, including the Web Conference in France earlier this year, the Keel Boat Program (Y2K) in Antigua and also the highlight being the Youth Economic Forum at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, this May.

At the forum, the young participants were given the opportunity to discuss economic and political key issues including those that were discussed within the framework of the main SPIEF business program with international and Russian business leaders, including international experts and scientists. The coming events this year include the Tavrida National Youth Forum in Russia in July and the World Youth and Students Travel Conference in Scotland in September.

The Future Team gives a voice to young people around the world, the platform keeps growing and gaining more weight. To find out more visit their website at www.futureteam.world

(Ntsikelelo Kuse)