Two years ago, South Sudan became the newest independent nation in the world. It seceded from Sudan, after years of fiscal neglect and a lack of infrastructural development. Even today as a separate entity, the majority of the population is rural as well as poor and the economy is primarily reliant on agriculture. The South Sudanese government has had to relegate prosperity of their new country to the bottom of the priority list, as it fights a war with nomadic tribesmen in the Upper Nile and clashes with Sudanese troops in South Kordofan.
This week, readers are given a chance to see the effects of certain budget cuts and investment initiatives; how did Twitter’s share price drop by US$8b, and should we be trusting market trends? Moving beyond Australian borders, we explore Africa’s rapid urbanisation and China’s new proposal to invest $50 billion in Brazil.
Increasingly, we can read and hear stories about Chinese State-owned Enterprises operating in Africa. China is becoming an important trade partner and investor in African countries; this interest of China is easy to understand. The abundance of various raw materials that can be found in the African continent is highly desired by Chinese industries. China has already overtaken America as the largest net importer of oil, and this hunger for raw materials will only continue to grow.
Rhino hunting has reached record heights in South Africa, prompting the government to address requests for establishing a legal market of Rhino horns to combat poaching.
Rhinos are currently on the ICUN Red List as critically endangered. Conservation society WWF estimated the Black Rhino population has decrease by 95% since the 1980s, from 75,000 to 4,500 in South Africa today. Currently, 80% of Rhinos are found on state owned reserves, their vast size makes them difficult to patrol and prime hunting territory for poachers. The Rhinos are tranquilised, their horns brutally chain-sawed off and left to bleed out through their mutilated heads – a long and excruciating death. More than 440 Rhinos were poached in 2011 – their horns removed for sale predominantly on the Asian and Middle Eastern black markets. The horns, used primarily for ornamental and medicinal purposes, sell for approximately $35,055 US per kilo, making Rhino horns a multi-billion dollar illegal industry on the global market.