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

Mnuchin: China -US trade talks were constructive

US negotiators attended a working dinner in China on Thursday night. The group led by Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing 

Mnuchin said in a tweet on Friday that the talks were “constructive”. He further said that he looks forward to welcoming China’s Vice Premier to continue the discussions in Washington, next week. 

There is optimism for progress around the US-China talks – Asian stocks rose on Friday. 

US President, Donald J Trump on March 2018 signed a memorandum under section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, instructing the US Trade Representative to apply tariffs of $50 billion on Chinese goods. 

 

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

 

Brazil defends solidarity in the face of the Venezuelan crisis

Brazil Vice-President Hamilton Mourão

Vice-President Hamilton Mourão has called for the mobilization of the countries of the continent around a sense of “inter-American solidarity” that is sensitive to the crisis that deeply affects the Venezuelan people. The statement was made this Monday (February 25), in Colombian capital Bogotá in a speech during a meeting of the Lima Group. The Brazilian delegation also features Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo and members of other areas of the federal government.

For Mourão, neighboring countries cannot show complacency in the face of a regime that “disrespects, oppresses and spurs its own people”. “Continental friendship for Venezuela must be expressed through vigorous mobilization of fraternal countries in favor of the Venezuelan people, who cannot bear the weight of the sanctions that must be imposed legally and legitimately on the regime and its leaders,” said the vice president.

Formed in 2017 by the chancellors of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, the Lima Group has as its main task to discuss the situation in Venezuela and propose alternatives for the return of democracy to the South American country.

Elections
According to Mourão, Brazil “firmly believes” that it is possible to bring Venezuela back to democratic life without the adoption of extreme measures. “Today, given the region’s political and strategic status, our task is no longer just to lead a peace and security initiative in the Americas, but rather to offer a happy example of joint, balanced, prudent and consistent action as the inspiration to overcome the crisis in Venezuela,” he said.

In his address, Mourão also called for the holding of new elections in Venezuela, organized by the country’s sovereign National Assembly and supervised by the Organization of American States (OAS). The Vice-President concluded his speech by highlighting Brazil’s commitment to peace in the hemisphere.

ISSUED BY BRAZIL GOVERNMENT

Minister Sisulu to host her French counterpart in Pretoria

On Thursday, 28 February 2019 The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, will co-chair the Eighth Session of the South Africa-France Forum for Political Dialogue (FPD) with the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, in Pretoria.

This is the first time that the Forum will be led at Ministerial level following the decision taken during former President Jacob Zuma’s State Visit to France in 2016 to elevate the Forum from Directors-General to Ministerial level, so as to award the growing relationship between the two nations greater political impetus.

The two Ministers will sign a number of agreements and host a joint press briefing at the conclusion of the FPD. The meeting take place at DIRCO Conference Centre, OR Tambo Building, Pretoria

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

 

Clash at the Venezuela-Brazil and the Venezuela-Colombian border

There were protest and clashes on both Brazilian and Colombian borders with Venezuela the borders have become a focal point as US humanitarian aid is halted from entering into Venezuela. Border Security forces clashed with Juan Guaidó supporters of who promised to bring in aid despite the blockade.

According to vox.com from Friday to Saturday violent clashes on the Venezuela-Brazil border resulted in four people being killed, and a reported 100 injured in both border protest. As stronger calls for Venezuela President Nicoles Maduro to step down and more pressure mounting, as reports of 3 security forces deserting during the clashes on the Colombian border.

It is expected that the US will put more pressure on President Maduro and his government. US Vice President Mike Pence will announce a clear plan of action the US will take on Venezuela.

US President Trump has repeatedly said all options are on the table with regards to Venezuela.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

President Ramaphosa to attend the 32nd AU Summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa will be leading the South African delegation to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 32nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) later today.

The four-day summit, which starts on Friday, will be held under the theme: “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and International Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa”.The theme presents an opportunity to reflect on and address the root causes of forced displacement in Africa, the Presidency said on Friday.

The summit is also expected to deliberate on the institutional reform and financing of the continental body; peace and security on the continent and developments related to the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The Presidency said South Africa intends to submit its Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area during the summit.

Negotiations for a new cooperation agreement between the African, Caribbean, and Pacific developing countries and the European Union Post-2020 will also feature on the meeting’s agenda.

AU leaders will also elect the Chairperson of the AU for 2020 – a position that will rotate to the Southern Region.
There will also be the election of five members of the AU Peace and Security Council; the appointment of one member of the AU Commission on International Law; and of one member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

Important meetings preceding the heads of state meetings are the 28th Forum of Heads of State Participating in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the meeting of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSC) and the meeting of the Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee of the AU Development Agency/NEPAD.

A meeting of the African Union High-Level Committee of Heads of State and Government on Libya will be convened for the Sunday. President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by a delegation of ministers. 

 

 

– SAnews.gov.za

India’s luxury car market a challenge for car makers in 2018

The Indian luxury car market saw some challenges with Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Porsche all see a significant decline in sales in 2018. The car sales in the developed nation saw a more positive performance with the launch of new models unlike in India.

According to autocarindia.com some of the factors impacting the low growth in sales were high import cost, weakening rupee as well as a liquidity crunch affecting demand. The forecast for 2019 is expected to remain the same but are optimistic that things could change as the year progresses.

Though it’s is not all negative moneycontrol.com reported that Lamborghini saw an increase of 60% in sales for the Indian market this year, which could show a possible upturn in sales for 2019.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

5 Top Russian Tourist Attractions [PICTURES]

Olkhon Island

Image source: Quakka.travel

Olkhon is the fourth-largest lake-bound island in the world. It is by far the largest island in Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia, with an area of 730 km². Structurally, it acts as the southwestern margin of Academician Ridge. The island measures 71.5 km in length and 20.8 km in width.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Image Source: Pinterest

The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is a church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia and is one of the most popular symbols of the country. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the r Pokrovsky Cathedral.

Saint Petersburg


St. Petersburg is a Russian port city on the Baltic Sea. It was the imperial capital for 2 centuries, having been founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, subject of the city’s iconic “Bronze Horseman” statue. It remains Russia’s cultural center, with venues such as the Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet, and the State Russian Museum showcasing Russian art, from Orthodox icon paintings to Kandinsky works.

Kul Sharif Mosque

Image source: Islam.ru

Located in Kazan Kremlin, was reputed to be – at the time of its construction – one of the largest mosques in Russia, and in Europe outside of Istanbul. Originally, the mosque was built in the Kazan Kremlin in the 16th century. It was named after Kul Sharif, a religious scholar who served there. Kul Sharif died with his numerous students while defending Kazan from Russian forces in 1552. It is believed that the building featured minarets, both in the form of cupolas and tents. Its design was traditional for Volga Bulgaria, although elements of early Renaissance and Ottoman architecture could have been used as well. In 1552, during the Siege of Kazan, it was destroyed by Ivan the Terrible.

Ulan-Ude

Image Source: Booking.com

ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia, and one of the most prominent historical cities of Russia. Here, as if in a clew of yarn, the strands of Asia and Europe, roots of Russian and Mongolian peoples, historical monuments and modern buildings have firmly intertwined.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane 

 

 

South Africa to host mining investment roundtable

South Africa is to host a mining investment roundtable. Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Rob Davis is expected to address mining investment roundtable on the sidelines of the African Mining Indaba, next week in Cape Town. Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe and the General Manager of Research at Brand South Africa, Petrus de Kock are also to address the investment roundtable.  

The Mining Indaba will be held under theme ” Championing Africa’s Sustainable Economic Development, ” from 4 February to 7. According to African News Agency, more than 750 investors and dealmakers are expected to be among the estimated 7,000 delegates expected to gather in Cape Town from across the globe.

Held on the margins of the 25th investing African Mining Indaba, the South African roundtable will be under the theme “theme Invest in South African Mining”.Canada, the United States, India, China, and Russia are among the countries invited to the roundtable as prospective investors.

 

 

 

Source: African News Agency

Meet our issue 7 guest editor – Aurélie Adam Soule Zoumarou

Aurélie Adam Soule Zoumarou is knowledgeable and skilled Telecommunications and ICTs professional who built up an experience in the ICT industry (SFR France, Accenture France, ARCEP Benin, GSMA Afrique).

She returned to Benin in 2008 and devoted her time and work at the Regulator’s Office ARCEP BENIN, where her responsibilities included: but not limited to; radio-communications and radio frequencies management.

In addition to all these, she played an active role in the participation of Benin and Africa in the 2015 ITU World Conference in 2015. Past challenges have led to earning a legitimate place in the team in charge of the GSMA’s involvement with Governments, Regulators and Regional Organizations in the African region.


She obtained a Master’s degree with a focus on Telecoms and ICT Engineering from Telecom Sud Paris and also holds a Certificate in Management of Public Policies and Leadership from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public affairs of Syracuse University (New York).


She has enrolled in a Ph.D program in Information Science and Communication at Ecole Doctorale Montaigne – Humanités de l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne in France since August 2017 and has been working on the thesis: “Analysis of Public Policies and the advent of Telecommunication Networks and ICTs Services in rural Africa”.


In October 2017, the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency Patrice Talon appointed her as state Minister in charge of Digital Economy and Communications with the motive of: ​Making Benin a digital services platform provider for West Africa, in order to accelerate growth and achieve social inclusion.​


Mrs Zoumarou is also BRICS Journal’s guest editor for our new print issue 7, she provides insightful knowledge as to why it is crucial for Africans to play a leading role in the second machine age, and the proactive steps Benin has taken to secure the future of its citizens.