Over the past few years there has been increased mention of an ‘African century’. Much of the renewed optimism for the continent has been based on Africa’s average growth rate of over 5% during the 2000s. Admittedly many African countries are experiencing accelerated growth from a low base, but there are other positive signs that may auger well for Africa’s future generations
While basic illiteracy covers people who cannot read or write at all, functionally illiterate people can read and write simple sentences with a limited vocabulary, but cannot read or write well enough to deal with the everyday requirements of life. More than 21% of adult Americans have been found to be functionally illiterate.
Type ‘self-help book’ into Google search and 640,000,000 results pop up. Compare that to that timeless classic, the Bible, which garners 407,000,000 results, or the Quran at 206,000,000 results. With the major difference that you pay for the ‘wisdoms’ espoused in self-help books as opposed to Bibles and other religious tomes which are often distributed free of charge.
The 21st century has retained its fair share of cultural tyranny, exacerbated by the integrated and fast moving global economy on the one hand, and the vast disparities in access to information and education on the other hand. Culture as a benevolent factor in societal cohesion and stability has in many cases been usurped as a handy tool to further repression and economic rapaciousness.
Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are a group of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table that share many similar properties. As science progressed new applications for REEs were discovered, to such an extent that they have become some of the most common ingredients in modern technology. Today, REEs are vital to two of the world’s fastest growing industries: clean energy and high technology.
Over the past thirty odd years there has been a rapid acceleration of convergence in the global media industry. In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. By 2011 the same 90% was owned by 6 conglomerates. A trend that is reflected in most countries around the world. Today Naspers is the dominant force in almost every aspect of the South African media industry.