The Fastest Broadband in Africa
The latest statistics from OoklaNetIndex show that Rwanda has the fastest broadband Internet in Africa. South Africa is ranked 10th in Africa and 118th in the world, with download speeds of up to 3.31 Mbps.The lat¬est broadband-speed results show that Rwanda currently has download speeds of up to 7.28 Mbps from 3.28 Mbps during mid-2012, emerging 65thin the world. The country is followed by Libya(5.12 Mbps) and Ethiopia (4.82 Mbps). Ghana (4.42 Mbps, down from 5.14 Mbps), which occupied top position in March 2012,dropped to 4th position.Kenya (4.34 Mbps),is 5th in Africa and Morocco (3.51 Mbps) ranks 8th in Africa. According to the report, Hong Kong is ranked number one in the world with 42.08 Mbps. Japan is second with 37.13 Mbps, and Lithuania follows with 36.81 Mbps. Ookla is the global leader in broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications.
Cuba Pipes Production to Create More Jobs
South Africa will export raw materials to Cuba for use in the production of pipes. “This process will create job opportunities in South Africa and, once Cuba has repaid the R70-million, it will be able to access the second tranche,” says Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Rob Davies. This will boost South Africa’s efforts to achieve a bilateral trade tar¬get of R160-million with Cuba in the near future.According to a statement from the dti, Davies met the vice president of the Cuban National Institute of Water Resources, Aymee Aguirre Hernanddez, in Cuba.They discussed a R350-million economic assistance package that South Africa is providing for Cuba. The institute will act on the Cuban government’s behalf and will purchase raw materials from South Africa to manufacture pipes in Cuba. The pipes are destined to be used for expanding Cuba’s water infrastructure, such as drinking water and irrigation pipes.
Card Fraud on the Decrease
Credit card and debit card fraud levels decreased in the first three quarters of 2012. In a statement, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) says credit card losses went down by 18%, while debit card fraud saw a decline of 7%. Says SABRIC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kalyani Pillay: “The downward trend in card fraud losses this year is attributed to the efforts of the banking industry, law enforcement and, most significantly, bank customers who are seemingly responding to the industry’s calls for the practicing of safe banking habits.” On the other hand, credit card fraud is on the increase in the Western Cape region. A rise of 33.5% and 23.9% in credit and debit card fraud, respectively, was recorded in the period under review. The Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal account for 91% of credit card fraud losses nationally in 2012.
New BEE Codes to Affect Small Business
Efforts to broaden the black economic empowerment (BEE) base could have a negative impact on small enterprises – including black-owned businesses – and limit opportunities for growth and jobs.Proposed changes to the broad-based black economic empowerment Codes of Good Practice introduce stringent targets for qualifying small enterprises. Small businesses could drop two places in their BEE ratings if they fail to meet minimum requirements.“This will restrict their opportunities to obtain contracts that could boost their businesses and help drive employment,” says Sandra Burmeister, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Landelahni Recruitment Group. Under the new codes, 100% black-owned businesses are automatically granted level-one BEE status. “It prejudices 51% or higher black-owned and controlled companies, limiting the pool available to bid for government and corporate tenders.” On the positive side, the new codes have increased the revenue threshold for small enterprises to between R10-million and R50-million a year.
Egypt Gets USD4.8-billion IMF Loan
Egypt will receive a much-needed loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a gesture which is widely perceived to be crucial to salvaging that country’s damaged economy af¬ter almost two years of political turbulence. According to the Financial Times, the Minister of Planning, Ashraf al-Araby, says the USD4.8-billion loan will kick-start a 22-month reform programme aimed at “addressing the structural imbalance” in the Egyptian budget. Egypt’s budget deficit for the fiscal year which ended in June 2011 reached an unsustainable 11%, which the government has been funding mainly on the domestic market through bond issuances at interest rates sometimes exceeding 16%.Andreas Bauer, the head of the IMF technical team, says that fiscal reforms to rein in the deficit are a key pillar of the programme. The reform programme is targeted at bringing down the deficit to 8.5% in the fiscal year that will start in July.
The World’s Top 20 Social Brands
If brands won social awards, then National Amusements, Inc., a Viacom company, would own the title of most powerful social business. The index ranking, according toDachis Group, analyses the effectiveness of strategies and tactics organisations employ to engage the market through social channels such as Twitter and Facebook. The rest of the companies are as follows:The Walt Disney Co., News Corp, Zynga, NBC Universal, Google, Nike, Unilever PLC, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the top 10. Microsoft leads the bottom pack and the rest are as follows: Coca-Cola, P&G, Kraft, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Nestlé, Discovery Channel, L’Oreal, Samsung Electronics, and Electronic Arts (EA) in the entertainment and games software sphere.
Cosmetic Products Improve Quality of Life
A new measuring tool, BeautyQol, has been specifically developed to scientifically establish that cosmetic products and good physical appearance can improve quality of life. A new study confirms that cosmetic products and good physical appearance significantly improve QOL. BeautyQol has been tested on 3231 subjects in 13 countries in the world representing 16 languages, including South Africa. The instrument provides one overall QOL score, and five sub scores according to five key dimensions of QOL: social life, self-con¬fidence, mood, energy, and attractiveness. Co-author of the study, Yolaine de Linares, Director of the Department of Social and Innovation Prospective Research, L’Oréal, and moderator of the BeautyQol international scientific committee, says: “This research will allow a growing body of evidence about the value of cosmetic products.” BeautyQol will be adapted to more countries in order to better assess cultural differences in the use of cosmetic products.
Your World in Review
Shadow Banking Industry Worth USD67-trillion
Global regulators are seeking more oversight of financial transactions that fall outside traditional oversight. This comes in the wake of a global shadow industry that grew by about USD6-trillion to USD67-trillion between 2007 and 2011. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) says appropriate monitoring and regulatory frameworks for the industry need to be in place to mitigate the build-up of risks. Shadow banking activities are considered as those that allow banks to carry out business off balance sheets, as well as those which allow investors to bypass lenders and the functions they traditionally fulfill in the market. Among the recommendations put forward by the FSB are that large firms should disclose more information about deals and should publish regular statements detailing how much collateral they have, and what it is used for. Final rules on shadow banking will be submitted at a G20 Summit in Russia in 2013.
Business in Brief