On Tuesday March 19th, 2019, media reports speculated that the richest woman in Africa, Isabel dos Santos, could potentially get removed as a Board Member of Angola’s Unitel.
According to the speculations, the move could be driven by some core investors’ determination to address the corporate governance issues the company had recently been immersed in.
Even Angola’s oil company Sonangol, which owns 25 percent stake in Unitel SA, had in the past clamoured for a new set of board members to administer the affairs of the company.
“The meeting at Unitel SA, whose chairwoman Isabel dos Santos owns 25 percent, comes after an arbitration court ruled that Brazilian telecommunications company Oi SA was entitled to receive $654 million from other Unitel shareholders because they violated several clauses of the company’s shareholders’ agreement and failed to pay dividends to Oi.
Shareholders with as much as 75 percent of Unitel are likely to vote for the removal of dos Santos, according to Antonio Estote, an independent economist and professor at the Universidade Lusiada de Angola. Besides Oi, the shareholders are state oil company Sonangol and army general Leopoldino do Nascimento, who each hold 25 percent, according to Estote.”
Unitel’s core investors voted on the matter – Yesterday, the telecom company’s main shareholders met in Luanda and surprised speculators by unanimously re-electing Ms Santos as the Chairwoman of the company’s Board of Directors.
She now has another four years to possibly try and make a difference. Note that the woman has a 25 percent stake in the leading Angolan telco.
Isabel dos Santos was fired before – As Nairametrics reported, the billionaire was relieved of her job as the head of Angola’s state oil company, Sonangol, back in 2017. Her firing followed the new Angolan President’s determination to fire Santos and rid the country of the corruption that pervaded the system while her, Jose Eduardo dos Santo, ruled for 37 years.
About Isabel dos Santos – The woman is Africa’s richest woman, according to Forbes Magazine. She made her money from her dealings in the country’s oil and gas sector. Nairametrics recently reported that with her net worth of $2.3 billion, she is the world’s second richest black woman. She is second only to America’s Oprah Winfrey and is followed by Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija.
President Trump dumps plan to force foreign students to leave the US
Trump administration had attempted to order foreign students to depart the country.
U.S President, Donald Trump has put aside a plan that was to order foreign students to leave the country. The Trump administration had attempted to order foreign students to depart the US to their own countries if their classes are to be taught online.
The announcement had triggered an outrage forcing the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and a host of others to sue President Trump over the policy, arguing that “the measure was unlawful and would adversely affect their academic institutions.”
According to details of one of the suit, one aspect of the modified guidelines, which has thus far proven to be quite controversial, requires foreign students to remain in their home countries if their courses are going be taught online. Foreign students who are already in the US were also directed to leave the country if their courses are online-based.
In a twist of events, Allison Burroughs, U.S District Judge in Massachusetts who sat on the suit announced that the US government along with Harvard and MIT came to a settlement after the Ivy League Schools sued over the new policy for foreign students.
The suit alleges that the modifications made to the Students and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) came without warning.
It would be recalled that by March the US government waived the F-1 and M-1 Visas that had a limit on online classes foreign students can take. The policy was reversed on July 6 by President Trump, as it would have affected University preparations for the coming semester.
Harvard alone has about 5000 foreign students, including Nigerians, revising the US immigration guidelines on foreign students would cause disruptions in the coming autumn semester for foreign students.
UPDATE: President Trump has been sued by MIT, Harvard over foreign students ban
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have sued President Donald Trump over a new policy that restricts foreign students, whose courseworks would be taught online, from entering/remaining in the USA.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the suit was filed today in the US District Court in Boston, Massachusetts. The suit alleges that the modifications that were made to the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), came without warning.
The impromptu nature of the modifications, therefore, has left Harvard and MIT with no choice but to think it was “arbitrary and capricious”.
Recall that ICE had on Monday announced the eagerly awaited modifications ahead of foreign students’ return to US campuses for the autumn semester.
One aspect of the modified guidelines, which has thus far proven to be quite controversial, requires foreign students to remain in their home countries if their courses are going be taught online. Foreign students who are already in the US were also directed to leave the country if their courses are online-based.
Harvard University is one of the ivy league American schools that recently announced plans to teach their courseworks entirely online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Harvard’s plan is such that students living on campus and off campus would attend classes online. However, the reviewed SEVP guideline by ICE has disrupted that plan.
CNN International quoted Harvard University President, Larry Bacow, to have said:
“The order came down without notice—its cruelty surpassed only by its recklessness. It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors, and others.
“This comes at a time when the United States has been setting daily records for the number of new infections, with more than 300,000 new cases reported since July 1.”
Similarly, MIT’s president L. Rafael Reif, issued a strongly-worded statement condemning the development. According to him, ICE’s modified SEVP guidelines “disrupts our international students’ lives and jeopardizes their academic and research pursuits.”
He went further to write that MIT’s “international students now have many questions – about their visas, their health, their families and their ability to continue working toward an MIT degree. Unspoken, but unmistakable, is one more question: Am I welcome? At MIT, the answer, unequivocally, is yes.”
Note that this story matters because of its international ramifications. Harvard University alone has about 5,000 foreign students, some of whom are Nigerians. The revised guidelines by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is bound to disrupt these students autumn semester unless the US Government rescinds the directive.
Africa’s GDP could fall by 3.4% in 2020 if COVID-19 continues – AfDB
The bank warns projected GDP losses for 2021 ranges from $27.6 billion to $47 billion.
The African Development Bank (AFDB) published its African Economic Outlook 20202 Supplement on Tuesday and warned that the continent’s GDP would fall by at least 1.7%, and if the coronavirus pandemic continues into the second half of 2020, it could contract up to 3.4%.
“Real GDP in Africa is projected to contract by 1.7% in 2020, dropping by 5.6 percentage points from the January 2020 pre-COVID-19 projection of the virus, if the virus has a substantial impact but of short duration. If it continues beyond the first half of 2020, there would be a deeper GDP contraction in 20202 of 3.4% down by 7.3 percentage points from growth projected before the outbreak of COVID-19,” the bank said.
Access Economic Research Data and the Associated Insights from Nairametrics
AFDB warns that cumulative GDP losses could range between $173.1 billion and $236.7 billion in 2020-2021.
“Africa could suffer GDP losses in 20202 between $145.5 billion (baseline) and $189.7 billion (worst case) from the pre-COVID-19 estimated GDP of $2.59 trillion for 2020”.
The bank warned some losses will be carried over into 2021, as the projected recovery would be partial, and warns projected GDP losses for 2021 ranges from $27.6 billion to $47 billion (worst case).
The bank said countries with poor healthcare systems, oil-exporting nations, tourism-dependent nations and other resource-dependent nations will be the hardest hit.
The bank calls for countries to reopen economies and advised a “phased and incremental approach that carefully evaluates the trade-off between restarting economic activity to quickly and safeguarding the health of the population”.
The Economic Outlook Supplement is a revised projection from an earlier January outlook that projected 3.9% growth from Africa’s largest multilateral bank.