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Forbes Africa

Forbes Africa June 2020

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Forbes Africa is the drama critic to business in Africa. The magazine helps readers connect the dots, form patterns and see beyond the obvious, giving them a completely different perspective. In doing this, it delivers sharp, in-depth and engaging stories by looking at global and domestic issues from an African prism.

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South Africa
ABN Publishing Pty Ltd (trading as Forbes Africa)
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the new world order

UNDER THE LOCKDOWN, SO FAR, MY 55-DAY hiatus from the humdrum of normal life has helped me learn and unlearn like never before. Besides liberally peppering my sentences with words and terms otherwise not in common parlance (such as N95, PPE, WFH, furloughs, fomites), in my own way, I am trying to come to terms with the invisible opponent that has dealt us and the economy body blows that will take a long time to heal. “We just have to learn to co-exist with the virus; this epidemic could go on without a vaccine for two years,” said internationally-recognized South African scientist Dr Glenda Gray, rather clinically and realistically, in a recent Zoom interview with me. We perhaps have no option but to see ourselves as conscripted soldiers in this fight…

9 min.
rebirth and redefining our purpose: is it time for metamorphosis?

TO MY MIND, AN APT OXYMORON OF THE Covid-19 era is a quote from Vikings on Netflix: “The only thing I don’t know, is that I know that I don’t know.” Stupendous! As we float through the wilderness, the oxymoron resonates so well with the general view that we are “doing well if we are less wrong”. Sounds absurd. Wikipedia defines ‘absurdism’ as “a philosophy that refers to the fundamental nature of conflict in human tendency to find meaning and inherent value in life and inability in the same in a purposeless existence in an irrational universe”. Confusing? Let’s admit that despite the fourth industrial revolution, reliance on big data, algorithms and scientific advancement, we are lost while dealing with Covid-19. Little did I know on March 15 2020 when…

4 min.
jeff bezos to be world’s first ‘trillionaire’?

track to becoming the world’s first trillionaire by 2026. Despite losing $38 billion in 2019 following his divorce settlement to ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos, the billionaire remains the world’s richest man worth $145.4 billion. Bezos’ wealth is increasing after the Covid-19 pandemic caused Amazon’s stock to rise significantly, however, the company has reportedly faced criticism by its workers over working conditions and safety concerns during this period. NEW ROLE TO KEEP FOOD SYSTEMS RUNNING English actor Idris Elba (pictured), the man who played the late South African president Nelson Mandela in the 2013 biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, has been designated a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and has launched an appeal with his wife Sabrina for a $200 million coronavirus relief fund for rural…

1 min.
top 10 predictions for the future

US-based futurist and author Jack Uldrich lists what he thinks will drive the post-Covid-19 world: • Following only a decade after the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008, this Covid-19 recession/ depression will encourage millions to become more ‘conscious’ consumers and more enthusiastic savers. This trend towards frugality will have a profound effect on the economy’s ability to rebound. • The rise of the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ economy. As people begin to relearn how to cook, preserve food, brew, and even cut one another’s hair, many businesses will lose a percentage of customers. • Businesses that try to go back to ‘business as usual’ will lose. • 3D-printing will be transformed as businesses seek to shorten the supply chain. • Robotics will advance because “robots don’t get sick” and won’t infect one another. • Drones will continue to improve as…

19 min.
beyond the lockdown: what big business is doing now

THE VERDANT vineyards of Stellenbosch, a charming wine town in South Africa’s Western Cape province, offer breath-taking, panoramic views of the rolling hills, valleys and mountain ranges fringing them. Only that there are no tourists to marvel at them now – and perhaps will not be for a long time to come. Like good wine, these views will stay but who will savor them? Like every other industry on the planet, South Africa’s wine industry too, which produces some of the finest wines and spirits globally and employs millions in its tourism collaterals, has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Even with the President Cyril Ramaphosa (whose leadership at this time was commended by world leaders and media) easing lockdown restrictions to Level 4 on May 1, liquor and wine sales are prohibited,…

17 min.
covid-19: the ultimate disruptor

IT’S 8PM IN JOHANNESBURG on March 29, the first Sunday of the lockdown in South Africa, and a team from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is hard at work, not in the comfort of their homes, but at an innovation lab, designing the first two prototypes of a face shield. Letlotlo Phohole and Moses Mogotlane, the two members of the team, are working on paper and transparent face shield models, with a Perspex headband, and they are doing all of this at a Transnet-sponsored innovation space hosted at Wits; together in thought, but apart in (social) distance. Their work would use 3D-printers and a laser-cut solution, in coming up with the very first version of a face shield developed by Wits. Reeling from the disastrous effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, just like…