Stories about Economics & Business from August, 2012
Central African Republic: Less than 3% have Access to Electricity
Louis Philippe Wallot writes in Journal de Bangui [fr]: According to the statistics of the ministry of energy, only 3% of the capital city Bangui has access to electricity and it is even at times less than 1% in some of the provincial cities. This is unacceptable.
Tracking Counterfeit Medicines in the Developing World
Some 700,000 people die annually from fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs alone. The WHO reports that the annual earnings from substandard or counterfeit drugs stand at about USD 200 billion. More important than its economic impact, counterfeit medicines pose a significant global public health problem.
Chinese Weapons Flooding Africa
Deborah Brautigam from China in Africa provided more background information about the importation of Chinese Weapons in African countries and explained the incentive of arms sale is from private sector: As we saw in the notorious Libya case, it appears that Chinese companies with their own balance sheets are “going...
Hungary: Shantytown Destroyed to Help Real Estate Investment
Some 45-50 people have been living in their makeshift shacks in the abandoned woods of District X in Budapest. Some of the residents have built up self-supporting farms, but in June 2012 the local municipality started to move them out, which is not a unique phenomenon in Hungary's capital.
Mexico: Egg Price Hike Causes Speculation
The increasing price of eggs, a staple in Mexico, has caused speculation and malpractices, as well as discontent and suspicion among consumers. The price of a kilo of eggs has almost reached the Mexican daily minimum wage ($ 4.6 USD or € 3.66).
Assessing Quality of Life in African Cities
One study on the quality of life in cities across the world reports that, of the ten least liveable cities, six are situated in Africa. However, another finds that the populations of certain African cities are happier than those of several European counterparts. So what exactly is the reality of quality of life in Africa's cities?
Trinidad & Tobago: Independence & Governance
Afra Raymond uses the recent firing of a junior minister in the Ministry of National Security, Colin Partap, and Trinidad & Tobago's upcoming 50th anniversary of Independence to think about issues of governance, responsibility, and fitness for high office.
Lebanese Tourism Pays the Ultimate Price
Recent political upheavals in the region and kidnappings in Lebanon have made tourists, mainly Gulf nationals, flee the country. Lebanese and Gulf netizens react to the development.
Kyrgyzstan: China Inc. Under Attack
China’s growing economic presence in Kyrgyzstan continues to be a topic for heated discussion in Kyrgyz society. In the country’s regions, this discourse is reflected in acrimonious standoffs between Chinese companies and locals, confrontations the mainstream media often fails to report on.
Bermuda: Learning from London
Respice Finem says that there are valuable lessons to be learned from the London Olympics.
Angolan Tourists Spend Big Bucks in Portugal
'Little by little we see Angolan money starting to dominate businesses and the economic sectors in Portugal.' According to a netizen this is in stark contrast to 70% of Angola's population which 'is barefoot, have empty stomachs, (and) live in a slum.'
Portugal: The Dark Side of the National Dam Program
The dams in the Programa Nacional de Barragens (National Dam Program) will cost the Portuguese government €16 billion, to be spent on construction, subsidies and interest on loans. Together with wind farms, they are going to make Portuguese electricity the most expensive in the world.
Azerbaijan: An Alternative Energy Partner for Europe?
Baku Views, a blog on economic commentary and opinion from Azerbaijan reflects on a recent NY Times column by Paul Krugman on Europe's dependence on Russian energy, noting that with its gas pipelines projects, Azerbaijan could be an alternative, reliable energy partner. In its opening notes, the blog also compares...
Debit Cards in Myanmar
Starting September 2012, Myanmar consumers would be able to use[my] debit cards serviced by the Myanmar Payment Union. Using a credit/debit card as a mode of payment in Myanmar has never been popular though it was once introduced in 2000 but cancelled in 2002.
South Korea: Controversial Launch of Online Music Video Rating
South Korean authorities have launched a new ratings system for music videos posted online. The new bill requires every music video (or promotional video) and even movie trailers to be rated prior to upload. Failure to comply could result in up to two years in prison or a hefty fine.
Cameroon: Contesting Magazine's “Failed States” Report
Francois-Xavier from Cameroon wrote: “Foreign policy in collaboration with the Fund For Peace has issued the eight annual failed states index and a joint photo essay which they titled Postcards from Hell. The report has stirred much controversy and citizens mostly from the countries topping the report have reacted negatively to...
Guyana: Linden Protests Intensify
The protests in Linden, Guyana have intensified with the recent burning of buildings. Netizen commentary suggests that what began last month as a peaceful demonstration about increased electricity rates has broadened into political wrangling, while bringing to the fore serious questions about the power of the police and the military.
Nepal: KFC and Pizza Hut closed in Nepal
Chandan Sapkota informs that the closure of KFC and Pizza Hut in Nepal due to militancy shown by ad-hoc committee of All Nepal Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union-Revolutionary (ANHRWU-R) will have impact in the foreign investment in the country.
Italy: Uncertain Future for Polluting Ilva Steel Plant – and its 12,000 Employees
Europe's biggest steel plant in Taranto, Italy, has been put under judicial seizure: the last chapter of a complex struggle involving high environmental risks and occupational issues. Along with street protests, a broader debate has ensued online.
Russia: Millions of Taxpayer Rubles Earmarked for Facebook “Likes”
Earlier this week, Aleksei Navalny took aim at a pending state tender for advertising services to aid the state-owned broadcasting company The Voice of Russia. The dispute surrounding VoR and its Facebook marketing strategy reveals much about how Russians understand online popularity, particularly their low faith in the very concept.
#DearEgyptAir, Better Service Please
Over the past few years it has become apparent that, if one has a loud enough voice and a big enough audience—not to mention a good sense of humor—social media can serve as a great platform for change. On Wednesday, Egyptians took to Twitter to complain—and joke—about national airline Egypt Air.