Anniversary of The Six Day War

The 5th of June marked the anniversary The Six Day War when Israel annexed Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Thousands of protestors marched against Israeli occupations to mark the day since the announcement by US President Donald Trump that the US embassy in Tel Aviv will be move to Jerusalem. The Israeli-Gaza border has seen day on day protests, which has been met with violence by Israel, shooting unarmed protestors  and reporters who get to close to the border.

During the 6 Day War Israel, which was a fraction in size than what it is today, launched a surprise attack on its Arab neighbors: Syria, Egypt and Jordan, Seizing land that it continues to claim as its own today. The United Nations has repeatedly stated that this land is illegally occupied. Because of the mass divisions within the Middle East, Israel has had no real threat or reason to give back this occupied land.

Israel for years has portrayed itself as the victim and said it was just defending itself from terrorist or countries that have threatened to destroy it. But with the level of protests, how long can Israel keep the moral high ground, how long before other countries and the UN make Israel accountable for its actions.

Source: sputniknews

China’s investment to help the country’s universities become first class institution.

China is currently on a venture to offer more resources which will help improve systems of several sectors, such as manufacturing, technology and higher education to produce quality talent.

China plans to invest around 110 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) by 2020, to help the country’s top 42 universities become first-class institutions, while creating 137 universities with first-class standing in specific fields.

Minister of Science and Technology, Wang Zhigang said China has heated up with new development path focused on creating high-quality talent and technologies to lead industrial and economic growth.

The Minister added that there are several challenges for the country’s scientific and technological innovations, which affects the ability to solve key problems in core technologies.

The challenges include a lack of research direction in frontier sciences; a lack of mechanisms to organise innovation resources from companies and the public sector; and a lack of globally influential industrial standards set by China.

Wang said that the government needs to provide a consistent and lasting strategic plan, as well as policy and legal services for science workers.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, and 60th anniversary of the China Association of Science and Technology.

The country is devoted to advancing technology which will help reform China’s manufacturing industries and improve people’s livelihoods. This will give rise to the 4th industrial revolution, which includes artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, cloud computing, clean energy, biology and medicine.

Founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma said it is crucial to pay attention and invest in fundamental science and its applications.

He added that artificial intelligence, the internet of things and blockchains are the three technologies that will change the world in the next two decades.

“Profits for future companies will not come from their size and scale but their ability to innovate on fundamental levels,” he said.

Source: chinadaily.com

 

Insights from SPIEF 2018

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is currently underway in Russia. SPIEF a unique event in the world of business and economics and has been running since 1997. As of 2006, it has been held under the auspices of the President of the Russian Federation.

Over the last 20 years, the Forum has become a leading global platform for members of the business community to meet and discuss the key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world as a whole.

The #NewDevelopmentBank’s President K. V. Kamath speaking at #SPIEF2018 on the bank’s lending processes and lessons learnt along the way.


Also on the panel was Ekaterina Trofimova, Chief Executive Officer of Analytical Credit Rating Agency (ACRA) and Slauzy Zodwa tu, Chairperson of the SA Business Council sub-committee on Agriculture and Agribusiness

Yaroslav Lissovolik is the Chief Economist for the Eurasian Development Bank, Dr Jiakang is the Vice President of China Cosco Shipping Corporation Limited. Sergey Katyrin is the President of The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

WCW: Remarkable African women in Politics & Economics

The last few years has seen a slow but steady shift of political and economic power. We’ve highlighted these five phenomenal African women who are making strides in their respective designations. 

  1. Trudi Makhaya (South Africa) – Economist, entrepreneur and writer who was recently appointed to be South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic advisor. Makhaya’s duties include coordinating the work of investment envoys as they travel the world in a bid to attract at least $100-billion (R1.2-trillion) in new foreign direct investment to the economy over the next five years.
  2. Bience Gawanas (Namibia) – was recently appointed by the United Unions Secretary General António Guterres as a new female Special Advisor on Africa. Gawandas who is currently the Special Advisor to Namibia’s Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has also served as Special Advisor on health, social affairs and poverty in Namibia and is known as a champion of women’s health and rights on the continent.
  3. NneNne Iwuji-Ewe (Mozambique) – She became the United Kingdom’s first female ambassador. She spent 16 years in the British Foreign Office and will take up her role as British high commissioner to Mozambique, taking over from Joanna Kuenssberg.
  4. Bogolo Kenewendi (Botswana) – She is the youngest minister in Botswana’s parliament. She first joined parliament in 2016 as an elected MP by former president Ian Khama, and she is now the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry. Her appointment has received a lot of praise as most political positions are given to older people.
  5. Obiageli Ezekwesili (Nigeria) – is Senior Economic Advisor to the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative. She was a co-founder of Transparency International, serving as one of the pioneer directors of the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin, Germany.

 

Remembering Ahmed Kathrada

Today marks the first anniversary of the death of South African politician and anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Mohamed ‘Kathy’ Kathrada.

He died on 28 March 2018 at the age of 87, after suffering from complications of a Cerebral Embolism and was buried the next day in Johannesburg in accordance with Islamic rituals.


Kathrada spend most of his life involved in the struggle against Apartheid and other injustices.
Here are the few highlights of his life:

1. He was only 12 years old when he joined the Young Communist League of South Africa. At the age of 17 in 1946, he decided to drop out o school and work full time in the offices of Transvaal Passive Resistance Council.

2. Kathrada became the youngest of the Rivonia Trialists, alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki. The trial continued for four years, from 1957 until March 1961.


3. In 1952, he helped organise the Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws, and ended up being charged and sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.

4. At the ANC’s first legal conference in South Africa‚ Kathrada was elected onto its National Executive Committee.

5. In 1994 Kathrada was elected to Parliament and served as then President Mandela’s Parliamentary Counsellor.

Kathrada also holds a Bachelor of Arts and he was voted 46th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.

Sources : Mail & Guardian, www. Sahistory.org.za

China Names Yi Gang as Its First New Central Bank Chief in 15 Years

China has appointed Yi Gang as the new head of People’s Bank of China.

The position was run by Zhou Xiaochuan for more than a decade, who is now set to retire at the age of 70.

He steered the institution through global financial crisis during his 15-year term.

The new leadership is said to come at a time of heightened awareness of the risks facing the economy, from a broader trade-war with the U.S. to a long-feared financial blow-up.

The appointment of Gang falls part of the country’s new economic team as President Xi Jinping kicks off his second term.

Sources : www.cnbs.com

The worlds honour Madiba’s legacy #Mandela100

This year marks an historical highlight for South Africa and people around the globe who come together to celebrate the father of the nation, the late Mr Nelson Mandela.

The celebration focuses on Mandela’s legacy, who would have turned 100 years old this July.
Tata Madiba, as he was known, became respected as a symbol of the struggle against Apartheid and all forms of racism; the icon and the hero of African liberation.

After spending 27 year in Robben Island prison, he become the first black President of South Africa.

Every year, the world celebrates his birthday by spending 67 minutes to help others who are in need. The idea shows that each person has the power to change the world.

former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s death. Madiba – as he is more fondly known – died in his Houghton home on December 5 2013 at the age of 95.

Even though South Africa was invited to make out part of BRICS  only in 2010 (long after Madiba’s reign as President), it is evident that the country’s individual relationships with fellow BRICS countries has been long in existence.

We take a look at some of Madiba’s visits to Brazil, Russia, India and China:

1. In 2001 Madiba met with the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at an awards ceremony that took place at the Presidential palace in New Delhi. At the ceremony, he was awarded the International Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation from Indian President K. R. Narayanan. Image: AFP Photo (via DNA India)

Nelson Mandela with former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee

2. Nelson Mandela with Vital Nolasco during the plenary meeting of the Palácio 9 de Julho, in São Paulo, Brazil on August 2, 1991 where he delivered a speech to representatives of dozens of black, popular and union entities from all regions of Brazil.  Image: Black Women of Brazil 

mandela-in-brazil

 

3. Mandela greets Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, former President of the Russian Federation in Moscow, Russia on April 29, 1999. Image: The Age

mandela-in-russia

4. Mandela’s visit to China as South African president in May 1999. He was the first national leader of an African country to visit China.
nelson-mandela-in-china

Celebrating a Global Phenomena: Women

According to Wikipedia, the first observance of a Women’s Day was held on 28 February 1909 in New York, but following the the 1910 International Woman’s Conference, 8 March later became the suggested day to celebrate. It later became a national holiday in Russia after women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917. Initially, only the socialist movement and communist countries celebrated the day until it was adopted by the United Nations in 1975.

Among the many remarkable women globally, we’ve picked out five from the BRICS member countries to celebrate today:

Dilma Rousseff (Brazil)
This political powerhouse first joined politics as a student in the late 1960s. In January 2011, she become Brazil’s first female president, making her one of the world’s most powerful women.

Anna Akhmatova (Russia)
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was born on 23 June 1889 in Odessa, Ukraine and died 5 March 1966 in Domodedovo, Russia. Anna was one of the most significant Russian poets of the 20th century. Some of her published material includes ‘You Will Hear Thunder’ and ‘The Complete Poems of Akhmatova’.

Kalpana Chawla (India)
Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. She passed away in the infamous Columbia disaster in 2003 when the space shuttle disintegrated over Texas while re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, ahead of the scheduled time set out to conclude its 28th mission.

Isabel Ge Mahe (China)
Isabel Ge Mahe is Vice President and Managing Director of Greater China, Apple. In September 2017 she ranked 12th on Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list. Isabel earned Bachelor and Master of Electrical Engineering degrees from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and holds an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Nunu Ntshingila (South Africa)
Head of Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila, served numerous years in corporate before being joining Ogilvy & Mather South Africa, one of the continent’s largest agencies as Chairman. She is currently the head of Facebook for Africa and was inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame in 2016.

The ARC of the New Development Bank opens its doors

Yesterday marked an important day on the BRICS calender.  It was the official launch of the African Regional Center (ARC) of the New Development Bank (NDB) in Sandton, Johannesburg. The event was dubbed as a milestone in the country’s history – one that has been on the BRICS agenda for a long time.

Dignitaries in attendance included President Jacob Zuma, Mr Kamath, the President of the New Development Bank,  Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Programme Director,  Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.

In an effort to cut costs and to boost strategic alignment and collaboration between South Africa and the NDB, SA’s Director-General of the National Treasury Dondo Mogajane has been appointed as the director of the NDB representing the country.

Below is an extract from the President, Mr Jacob Zuma’s address:

The launch of the Africa Regional Centre of the New Development Bank is a historic occasion as it marks the strengthening of the BRICS formation and also underlines the BRICS commitment to the development of the African continent and emerging markets.
 
This is a critical milestone not only for South Africa, but for the African continent as a whole. We  are thus celebrating it as a shared achievement.
 
The idea of establishing a new Bank with a new mission and orientation was first discussed in Durban in 2013, when we had the honour of hosting the BRICS forum.
 
We later agreed to establish a centre in Africa to take care of the important developmental needs of this continent.
 
The launch of the Africa Regional Centre is testament to our commitment that BRICS and the New Development Bank should benefit not only BRICS countries, but should also benefit the whole of Africa and the developing world as a whole.
 
This is therefore truly a proud moment which points to a brighter future for the people of our continent and the developing world in general.

Notable achievement in this regard includes the signing the founding agreement of the New Development Bank, which paved the way for the opening of the Bank’s head office in Shanghai, China. The issuance of the first set of loans – amounting to 1,5 billion dollars (approximately 20 billion rands) in total – to fund renewable energy projects in member countries is a significant step forward.
 
The Bank’s very first green bond issuance in the Chinese capital market, mobilising about 450 million dollars in the process is also noteworthy.
 
And most recently, the approval of a general strategy that will guide the Bank’s operations in the next five years demonstrates that we are on the right path.

Indian Prime Minister Modi launches the country’s longest bridge

The 9.15 km long Dhola-Sadiya bridge launched today by India Prime Minister, Narendra Modi,  will shorten the distance between Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 KM and reduce travel time from between the two places from six hours to just one hour.
At the launch of India’s longest bridge, Modi said Dhola-Sadiya bridge opens the door for economic development in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country.
He said the enhanced connectivity between the North-East and other parts of the country continues to be a priority for his government and good connectivity in the North-East would also link the region with the economy of South-East Asia.
The bridge has been named after renowned Indian musician and poet Bhupen Hazarika who died in 2011.
Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari revealed there were also highways and inland waterways projects currently being implemented in the North Eastern states.
He said there were major highway of about 3000 kms projects  in the eight North Eastern states under construction.
The occasion also marked three year anniversary of Modi’s rule in the country.