The global population of displaced persons reaches an unprecedented 66 million. International investors are returning to the emerging economies on hopes of a global economic upswing. And what do most Egyptian men do to women on Egypt’s streets?
Nearly 67 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes.
That’s according to the latest report from the United Nations’ Refugee Agency, and it’s on the front page of South African tabloid the Sowetan.
The report says that one in every 113 people around the world has been forcibly displaced and needs protection. The UN says that 65.6 million people have been displaced due to war’ violence and persecution – describing that figure as an “unprecedented high”.
Syria alone has 12-million displaced people – the highest number in the world.
Last year South Africa came under the spotlight of the UN High Commission for Refugees for rejecting more asylum applications than any other country globally.
Investors return to emerging markets
There’s good news on the investment horizon for the Brics nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
According to South African financial paper BusinessDay, increased confidence among emerging-market investors has pushed monthly cash inflows and stock prices to nearly two-year highs.
BusinessDay says investors are betting that a pickup in the global economy will fuel demand for the five nations’ commodity exports, drive an expansion of middle-class consumption and help them shore up fiscal accounts.
India’s efforts to streamline regulations, Brazil’s economic rebound, stabilising prices for Russian oil exports and China’s stronger currency are among the positive factors cited in the report.
Rand plunges on Reserve Bank proposal
Less positive is the top story in BusinessDay, which reports that the rand yesterday went into a tailspin following an “astounding” move by South Africa’s Public Protector.
The ombudsman Busisiwe Mkhwebane yesterday called for a change to the Reserve Bank’s constitutional status.
She wants the main task of the South African central bank to be changed from protecting the value of the rand to a focus on the protection of “citizens’ socio-economic wellbeing”.
The recommendation is contained in Mkhwebane’s report into the government’s failure to recover apartheid-era funds.
Says BusinessDay, tampering with the mandate of the central bank is viewed extremely negatively by investors and credit ratings agencies, being seen as a threat to investment security.
The announcement saw the South African currency quickly loose more than two percent against the dollar.
Call for calm between Djibouti and Eritrea
The African Union has urged Djibouti and Eritrea to remain calm and exercise restraint after Djibouti accused its neighbour of occupying disputed territory along their border following the withdrawal of Qatari peacekeepers, the East African reports.
Late last week Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said Eritrean troops had seized Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Island, areas the neighbours contest.
Qatari peacekeepers were previously deployed along the frontier. Doha announced earlier this month that it had pulled its contingent out, days after the two east African countries sided with Saudi Arabia and its allies in their standoff with Qatar.
In a statement, the African Union Commission’s chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat appealed for calm.
The United Nations Security Council discussed the situation yesterday and called on the two sides to resolve the dispute peacefully.
Sudanese president visits Saudi Arabia
The Sudanese president has arrived in Saudi Arabia.
The Sudan Tribune reports that Omer al-Bashir will hold talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The report says the Sudanese president will support mediation efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis.
The Khartoum-based Al-Tayyar newspaper quotes unnamed sources as saying the two leaders will also discuss Riyadh’s efforts to lift the US sanctions on Sudan, as well as Sudan’s participation in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that Doha is supporting terrorist groups.
Sudan is among the Arab states that refused to take sides in the resulting diplomatic crisis. Khartoum has strong ties with Doha and good relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Majority of Egyptian men harass women
Sixty-four percent of men admit to harassing women in Egypt’s streets, according to a report by Promundo, a Brazilian organization that campaigns for gender equality, according to the front page of this morning’s Egypt Independent.
Up to 64 percent of the men interviewed admitted to harassing women on the street in Egypt, ranging from ogling to stalking and rape, and 60 percent of surveyed women said they had experienced it.
When asked why they did so, the vast majority of men – up to 90 percent – said it was for fun, with most blaming the women for dressing “provocatively”.