‘Youth are the future, the leaders of tomorrow’, ‘young people must step up’, ‘youth empowerment’. These are common refrains peppering political rhetoric, policies and strategies for Africa’s youth, penned by their respective governments, the African Union, and international development practitioners alike. They have had a runway for a number of years, but absent actual progress towards realising them, they increasingly come across as empty rhetoric, obfuscating the concrete paths to prosperity for a demographic that constitutes the majority population across the continent.
When US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the formation of AUKUS on 16 September, the Australian debate about this new tripartite security initiative quickly took on a familiar form.
China looks to Germany for its influence in Europe, South Africa hopes for continuity, and Russia doesn’t think bilateral relations will improve now
The Reichstag building (1884-1894) seat of the German parliament, in Berlin
On 26 September, much of the world took a deep breath and waited for the results of what had been called the most important German election in a generation. But most German voters seemed to be unaware of the world’s interest. Instead of giving one or the other of the parties on the ballot a clear mandate, voters spread their support among six parties and gave no one a clear victory. Each of the two leading parties claims a mandate to form a government.
The Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan has triggered strong emotions: anger, disappointment, helplessness. Criticisms have been raining down, not only against the merciless holy warriors themselves, but also against their apparently incompetent opponents, the Afghan government and its military, as well as the US administration and NATO.
The logo of China Evergrande Group on the Evergrande Center in Shanghai, China
China’s Evergrande has long been an icon. It is not only a real estate developer, but a conglomerate that has embarked in many different ventures, including the production of electric vehicles.
Unfortunately, reaching such a huge size has come at the prize of huge leverage. Leverage is the use of debt in order to undertake an investment or project. At the same time, leverage will also multiply the potential downside risk in case the investment does not pan out. Evergrande was ‘highly leveraged,’ meaning that it has more debt than equity.