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Forbes Africa

Forbes Africa February - March 2021

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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)
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
2021, please be kinder

THE ANNUS HORRIBILIS THAT WAS 2020, the year of the mask, is not behind us, yet. For global economies, mostly, there is a sentence the world uses on Zoom every day that could be applied to describe their predicament – ‘You are on mute’. When can we unmute, unmask, unwind? While a virulent pest proved to be a business-breaker, it was also one of the greatest accelerators in history for new ideas and future-proof pivots, as the intrepid survived, unflinching, guns blazing, with overhauled or original enterprise. Despite the antipathy and aversion to a year that scarred mankind and blighted growth, the battle-hardened did not give up, and not just in the hallowed hallways of capitalism. The warriors in the cold Covid wards of Africa soldier on in blue scrubs, their only arsenal is…

6 min.
the journey to sustainability and having a broader impact

A SUBLIME REALITY OF being human is that we all have divergent points of view; we may arrive at the same destination but many of us like taking the scenic route since we prefer learning from our own experiences and sometimes, mistakes. However, the world has unwittingly united around one truth; that we live in uncertain times and even the wisest won’t harbor a guess at what 2021 holds in store. Using the oxymoron ‘cautiously optimistic’ is fashionable but personifies cluelessness. Talking about truths, I reflected a great deal on the words of the Dalai Lama as he described the four noble truths in his book, The Middle Way, which is “faith grounded in reason”. I had received a personal copy from His Holiness in 2018 and have referred to…

9 min.
strictly south african

STRICTLY COME DANCING ON THE BBC IS arguably one of the biggest shows in the United Kingdom. And 2020 saw, for the first time since the ballroom and Latin dancing show started in 2004, back-to-back wins for a South African contestant. Pretoria-born Oti Mabuse took home the Glitter Ball trophy for the second time in December 2020 making her the first professional on the show to win a back-to-back title. What made the win more significant was the dancer was paired with 56-year-old English comedian, actor, and musician, Bill Bailey, the oldest-ever winner Strictly has seen in its 18 seasons. A win that everyone said could not happen in week one of the competition. “You don’t know this but in the UK they take a vote,” Mabuse trills from her home in…

2 min.
covid’s effects on african classrooms

The UNICEF released a report in November last year titled COVID-19: A Catastrophe for Children in Sub-Saharan Africa, stating that prolonged school closures due to Covid-19 have presented multiple problems in the sub-Saharan African region. There is now a higher rate of teenage pregnancy, poor nutrition, and permanent dropouts from school. Furthermore, the report read: “School closures have caused the number of children and adolescents not going to school to rise from around 100 million before the pandemic to 350 million.” A classroom report of different countries: NIGERIA Despite the fact that Nigeria is battling with the second wave of the pandemic, learners returned to school on January 18 this year. However, the House of Representatives asked the government to postpone the reopening by three months, due to the increasing number of Covid-19…

8 min.
virus,vaccine and viability

THERE WAS PERSONAL DILIGENCE IN conducting the research for this story, as this writer too tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of December, in South Africa, a country that recorded a million coronavirus infections that same week. Following the story and the world’s quest for an effective cure, this article now focuses on the concomitant issue of vaccine distribution across Africa even as the continent grapples with a deadly second wave of the pandemic. Different countries have taken different approaches to securing their supply of vaccines. In North Africa, for example, Morocco has secured over 65 million doses, some of which has come from China’s Sinopharm and Britain’s AstraZeneca and Oxford supplies. The country aims to have at least 80% of its population vaccinated with this supply. South Africa, having joined the…

4 min.
heartbeat of the global economy?

“We’re talking about a continent with a consumer market as large as China but with a superior mineral and natural resources concentration.” AFRICA’S TRADE RELATIONSHIPS HAVE BEEN irreversibly affected by three events – the Covid-19 pandemic and two important trade agreements. At midnight on 31 January 2020, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) officially came into force. The decision – Brexit – made by 52% of the British population resulted in the EU losing its second-largest economy and the Union Jack isolating itself in terms of trade, effectively quarantining in its own home. But for Africa, the move holds opportunities. Untapped export potential to the UK is large as is untapped UK export to Africa; the latter is worth more than $8 billion. Yet, it is…