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Coronavirus may push 150 million people into extreme poverty: World Bank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank said on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic could push as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2021, wiping out more than three years of progress in poverty reduction.

Releasing its flagship biennial report on poverty and shared prosperity, the multilateral development lender said that an additional 88 million to 115 million people will fall into extreme poverty – defined as living on less than $1.90 a day -in 2020. The report said this could grow to 111 million to 150 million by the end of 2021.

That would mean that 9.1-9.4% of the world’s population would be living under extreme poverty this year, about the same as 2017’s 9.2% and representing the first rise in the extreme poverty percentage in about 20 years.

The 2019 extreme poverty rate was estimated at about 8.4% and had been expected to drop to 7.5% by 2021 before the coronavirus pandemic. The report said that without swift, substantial policy actions, a longstanding goal of cutting the rate to 3% by 2030 looked out of reach.

“The pandemic and global recession may cause over 1.4% of the world’s population to fall into extreme poverty,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement, calling it a “serious setback to development progress and poverty reduction.”

The report found that many of the new extreme poor are in countries that have high poverty rates already, but around 82% of these are in middle-income countries, where the poverty line is defined as income of $3.20 a day for low-middle-income countries and $5.50 a day for upper-middle-income countries.

While extreme poverty has been concentrated in rural areas in the past, the World Bank report found that increasing numbers of urban dwellers have been thrown into extreme poverty as jobs dry up from coronavirus lockdowns and reduced demand.

Sub Saharan Africa has the highest concentration of those living on less than $1.90 a day, and could see an increase of over 50 million people by 2021 compared to pre-coronavirus estimates. About 42% of the region’s population

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Tesla has a shot at producing 500,000 cars this year, African born Elon Musk says in memo

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc TSLA.O has a chance at producing 500,000 cars this year, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told employees, according to an internal email seen by Reuters.

The company’s shares were up 2.5% at $425.67.

Tesla said in January that 2020 vehicle deliveries should comfortably exceed 500,000 units, a forecast the company has left unchanged despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Elon Musk Took Tesla To Hell And Back With The Model 3

“This all comes down to Q4. Please take whatever steps you can think of to improve output (while increasing quality)”, Musk wrote to employees on Wednesday.

Industry blog Tesmanian first reported on the news earlier in the day. (

Last week, Tesla said it delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter, an all-time record for the electric-car maker. The company will have to increase deliveries to nearly 182,000 in the fourth quarter to reach its ambitious year-end target.

Tesla’s delivery push has been supported by its new Shanghai factory, the only plant currently producing vehicles outside California.

The company began delivering Model 3s from its Shanghai factory in December and has said it aims to produce 150,000 Model 3 sedans in the factory this year.

Reuters could not immediately reach Tesla for comment.

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African born Elon Musk’s Tesla, charges up Chinese startups.

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s electric vehicle startups are on the charge again, thanks to Tesla.

The country’s growing fascination with the U.S. pioneer’s sleek designs and cutting-edge technology is giving a string of second-wave home-grown Tesla wannabes the traction to raise more funding, expand production and boost sales.

Chinese EV startups NIO, XPeng Inc, Li Auto and WM Motor have raised more than $8 billion between them this year and now rival Aiways is planning to go public, its co-founder and President Fu Qiang told Reuters.

Speaking ahead of the Beijing auto show which starts on Saturday, Fu said the relative success of U.S. initial public offerings (IPO) by XPeng and Li Auto had helped fuel the company’s ambitions to list.

Since it was founded in 2017 in Shanghai, Aiways has raised “no more than 10 billion yuan” and it will need to secure more funding from some private equity funds and other investors, said Fu, the former head of Volvo Cars China who has also been an executive at Mercedes-Benz, Skoda and FAW-Volkswagen.

“IPO is also in our plans, and we’re planning to push ahead with it,” Fu said, adding that Aiways would most likely be listed within China, declining to elaborate further.

China has been the world’s fastest-growing EV market for years helped by generous state purchase subsidies but the sales boom started to sputter last year as Beijing began cutting back financial support and watering down other pro-EV policies.

Some prominent Chinese EV startups such as Byton and Singulato have struggled and NIO’s future looked in doubt last year. But a surge in Tesla’s market value – and its sales in China – suggest the country’s EV dream is far from over.

“As Tesla stock goes, so goes the fate for electric vehicle startups,” said China auto expert Mike Dunne. “Funds are flowing like a river in spring again. Tesla could end up pulling everyone into the future sooner than expected.”


Tesla’s sales in China in the first eight months of 2020 have nearly tripled from a year ago to

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Severe floods hit 760,000 people in West and Central Africa

NIAMEY (Reuters) – Nigerien student Hachimou Abdou has had to catch a boat to classes since river water swamped his route to university in the capital Niamey – one of about 760,000 people hit by severe flooding in recent weeks in parts of West and Central Africa.

Floods are common during the rainy season, but in recent years climate change, land degradation and poor urban planning have led to more frequent disasters as rapidly-growing cities struggle with heavier-than-normal rainfall.

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Congo Republic and Senegal are among those worst-hit this year, with at least 111 people killed, according to latest figures from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Waters have yet to recede in parts of Niamey since torrential rains in August caused rivers to burst their banks, destroying nearly 32,000 houses and 5,768 hectares of farmland across Niger.

“I have to get to university – either I take a boat or I walk in the water,” Abdou said, before settling into a traditional wooden pirogue to travel up the flooded highway.

Flooding across landlocked Niger alone has so far impacted nearly 333,000 people. Over 188,000 people have been affected in neighbouring Chad, with OCHA warning of potential food shortages due to inundated land.

With further rain expected, particularly in Central Africa, the situation is expected to worsen, said OCHA’s director for West and Central Africa, Julie Belanger.

Communities’ ability to cope with natural disasters has been eroded by instability, food shortages and mass displacement in some areas. Over 25 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in the violence-plagued Sahel area, which includes Niger, Chad and Mali.

“Many of those populations live in flood-prone areas. It’s just a matter of time for them to be at risk of epidemics,” Belanger said, describing how quickly diseases can spread once floods wipe out access to clean water and sanitation.

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African born Elon Musk’s Tesla launches fast electric car charging in Berlin, says more cities to come

BERLIN (Reuters) – Managers at electric carmaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) on Thursday demonstrated new supercharger equipment on a Berlin research campus, saying they were looking at more target cities to attract potential buyers worried about access to charging.Tesla cars are seen at the V3 supercharger equipment during the presentation of the new charge system in the EUREF campus in Berlin, Germany September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

“Now, as part of our commitment to make Tesla ownership easy and convenient for everyone including those without immediate access to home or workplace charging, we are expanding out supercharging network into city centres,” said Jeroen van Tilburg, manager Europe of charging infrastructure at Tesla, the company owned by South African born Elon Musk.

SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk speaks in front of Crew Dragon cleanroom at SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California on October 10, 2019. (Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A company spokesman told reporters Tesla would open at least one more inner-city fast charging site in Germany in 2020, possibly more.

He stressed that Tesla still believed in slow workplace and residential charging as the main way to charge vehicles but wanted to offer a quicker option.

The so-called V3 charger allows Tesla Model 3 cars to charge within five minutes enough to travel 120 kilometres (75 miles).

Older Tesla models would receive relevant software upgrades.

German policymakers aim to boost demand for electric cars to cut emissions.

“We have a lot to make up for in terms of charging infrastructure,” said Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier at the event.

He reiterated pledges to speed the roll-out of public charging points and permits for private charging which had hampered sales in the past.

Latest legislation for a green-led recovery after the coronavirus crisis offers buyers incentives and helps bump up power grids.

Tesla has chosen a site near Berlin for

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Nigerian doctors suspend strike to allow government time to meet demands

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigerian resident doctors on Thursday suspended a strike to allow the government time to meet its demands over pay and working conditions amid the spread of the coronavirus, the head of the doctors’ union said.

The National Association of Resident Doctors resolved to suspend the strike “to give government time to address our demands,” said Aliyu Sokomba, president of the union, in a WhatsApp message to Reuters.

The strike began on Monday, and included 16,000 resident doctors out of a total of 42,000 doctors in the country, including those who worked in COVID-19 treatment centres, he had said earlier this week.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has more than 55,000 confirmed coronavirus infections and more than 1,000 deaths.

Resident doctors are medical school graduates training as specialists. They are pivotal to frontline healthcare in Nigeria as they dominate the emergency wards in its hospitals.

The union last went on strike in June, demanding better benefits and more protective equipment for battling coronavirus. They are still demanding, among other things, life insurance and hazard allowances.

A labour ministry statement earlier this week said the government had spent 20 billion naira ($52.53 million) on hazard allowances for healthcare workers in April, May and June, and had met the bulk of the doctors’ demands.

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CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa on the move

More than 13 years on from its first live broadcast, an interview with President Thabo Mbeki on June 1 2007, CNBC Africa, along with its sister publication Forbes Africa, are on the move. The parent company Africa Business News (ABN) is set to leave its home in Stella Street, Sandton, to move across the road to 155 West Street.

“An important lesson from the pandemic is the future of workspaces. We have carried out an assessment of our future requirements from a business and technology perspective and believe that it is inefficient to make changes at our current location. To achieve our goal of a more methodical workspace, after 13 years of countless memories shared at our offices at Stella Road, we are looking forward to relocating to our new home, 155 West Street, Sandton. We anticipate that the new offices will officially be available for occupation from 01 November 2020 and I look forward to welcoming our guests to our new premises”. Says Roberta Naicker, Managing Director of the ABN


“ABN’s flagship brands, CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa, recently hosted a first-of-its-kind virtual Pan African summit, The Future of Work, which attracted a global audience of more than 2000 attendees, from over 100 countries. The event was simultaneously broadcast live to 16 million households across Sub Sahara Africa. “As we navigate the challenges of a rapidly evolving industry further disrupted by COVID-19, our focus remains on using this crisis as an opportunity to catalyse change by leveraging our strengths for the future, both as a conventional broadcaster and a digital media company. This relocation that is part of our long-term strategic plan, will augment ABN’s efforts to provide a safe and conducive working environment for our staff, and will continue to provide our clients and viewers with unremitting, insightful, engaging and thought provoking content, through innovative digital and broadcasting solutions.” Ms Naicker added.

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Nigeria asks for $1.1 billion advance from Eni, Shell in graft case

MILAN (Reuters) – Nigeria asked a Milan court on Wednesday to order Eni and Royal Dutch Shell to pay $1.092 billion as an immediate advance payment for damages in one of the oil industry’s biggest-ever corruption scandals.

At a hearing into alleged corruption linked to Eni and Shell’s 2011 acquisition of the OPL 245 offshore field, Lucio Lucia, lawyer for the Nigerian government, called for the advance payment ahead of a broader damages package to be set by the court at a later date.

The long-running case revolves around the purchase of the OPL 245 offshore field, some 150 km off the Niger Delta, for about $1.3 billion from Malabu, a company owned by former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete.

Prosecutors allege that about $1.1 billion of that money was siphoned off to politicians and middlemen, half of it to Etete himself.

Shell says the 2011 agreement was a settlement of long-standing litigation, following the previous allocation of the block by the Nigerian government to Shell and Malabu.

In July, prosecutors in the case asked for Eni and Shell to be fined and some of their present and former executives, including Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, to be jailed.

They also requested the confiscation of a total of $1.092 billion from all the defendants in the case, the equivalent of the bribes alleged to have been paid.

On Wednesday, Lucia joined up to the request for seizure of that amount.

Etete, Eni, Shell and the managers accused in the Milan court case, including Descalzi, have all denied any wrongdoing.

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“Africa has lost a decade of growth” – Akinwumi Adesina on COVID-19

African Development Bank President denies allegations of ill-governanceAfrican Development Bank President denies allegations of ill-governance
African Development Bank President denies allegations of ill-governance

A speech by Akinwumi Adesina as he stood for a second term as President of the African Development Bank:

“As we meet today, the world has changed. A global COVID-19 health pandemic has

upended all plans – including travels. Health and safety have become primary for all

decision making. That’s why the Governors of the Bank took the extraordinary decision to

hold the Annual Meetings virtually — for the first time in the history of the Bank.

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. I applaud the Governors of the

Bank for your wisdom, sensitivity and leadership.

The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading fast and causing much havoc and untold

hardships. Lives lost — too many. Jobs lost — unimaginable. Economic losses —too deep

and vast to fathom.

Our collective humanity has never been so challenged — so tested, so vulnerable. Yet

our interdependency, our need for pulling together, uniting and staying focused together,

has never been more important.

For in unity we build strength. Strength to overcome, even the most challenging of


Pulling together has always been the strength of the African Development Bank.

We pulled together right here in Abidjan, where you the shareholders approved the

largest capital increase in the history of the Bank – raising the capital of the Bank by $115


We pulled together, yet again, in Pretoria, South Africa, and gave the African

Development Fund 35% increase in financing – financing so crucial to low income countries

and fragile states.

Fragility is transient, resilience is enduring.

Today as you look at Côte d’Ivoire, you would not remember it also was a fragile state.

Yet, today, based on visionary leadership, sound macroeconomic policies and people centered policies, it has changed dramatically.

Today, like beauty from ashes, the country

ranked among the top 10 fastest

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South Africa’s Nedbank Group CFO Raisibe Morathi resigns

(Reuters) – South Africa’s Nedbank Group said on Tuesday Raisibe Morathi has resigned as the chief financial officer (CFO) and executive director of Nedbank Group and Nedbank boards with effect from Sept. 30.

Mike Davis has been appointed as CFO designate with immediate effect and as the group’s CFO from Oct. 1, the financial services provider said in a statement.

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