Around the world in 50 stats

What consumers in each country are most likely to do, compared to all the others.


[The World Ahead of 2023] Eritrea is the most dangerous player in the Horn of Africa

Five years ago a new political dawn seemed to be breaking on the Horn of Africa. Protests in Ethiopia, the region’s largest and most important country, led to the appointment of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister. A democratic opening ensued. Abiy swiftly made peace with neighbouring Eritrea, Africa’s most secretive and autocratic country.

The Ethiopian leader was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2019 for his efforts. Soon afterwards, change came to Sudan. Protesters toppled Omar al-Bashir in 2019, ending his 30-year-long tyranny. Sudan embarked on a hopeful democratic transition of its own—aided in part by Abiy, who helped negotiate a deal between civilians and the armed forces.

Fast forward to 2023, and the picture is much grimmer. Ethiopia has been mired in civil war for more than two years. Though a peace deal was signed in November, it is shaky—and much of the country remains wracked by conflict. It could yet spread, even across Ethiopia’s borders into neighbouring countries.

Relations with Russia and China complicate matters

In Sudan, the armed forces grabbed power in a coup in 2021 and seem determined not to relinquish it. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan, Sudan’s de facto president, aims to hold elections in July 2023, or possibly earlier. These will satisfy nobody except his patrons in Egypt and the Gulf. Yet they may also aggravate tensions between Mr Burhan and Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, his chief rival. Mr Dagalo, the vice-president, heads a notorious paramilitary unit that Mr Burhan wants to integrate into the national army. Mr Dagalo is resisting, which could spell trouble. The only possible bright spot in the region is Somalia, where the new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has made progress beating back the jihadists of al-Shabab.

At the heart of the region’s recent travails, though, lies Eritrea. In 2020 its veteran dictator, Issaias Afwerki, threw his vast conscript army into Ethiopia’s civil war to aid Abiy in his battle against Tigrayan insurgents. He will not pull them back voluntarily. Issaias considers the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which runs the Tigray region along Eritrea’s southern border, as an existential threat (the Tigrayans regard him with similar hostility). He may try to spoil the peace deal that Abiy has struck with them.

Issaias’s menace goes beyond Tigray. Several thousand Somali troops, sent to Eritrea for secret training by Mr Mohamud’s predecessor, have yet to return home. Issaias appears to want to use them as leverage over Mr Mohamud. Sudan’s leaders fear that if Eritrean forces prevail in Tigray, Issaias may turn his sights on eastern Sudan. Eritrea has a history of supporting Sudanese rebels.

Western countries will be watching Issaias closely in 2023 and may step up economic sanctions. But relations with Russia and China complicate matters. China is Eritrea’s most important foreign financial backer and is extending its control over the country’s crucial mining sector. Russia, which seeks a naval base on the Red Sea, could be sending arms. The Horn’s spoiler-in-chief is unlikely to change its behaviour while it enjoys the backing of such powerful friends.■

Tom Gardner: Africa correspondent, The Economist

This article appeared in the Africa section of the print edition of The World Ahead 2023 under the headline “Spoiler-in-chief”

Lawmakers from Oromia region request Tigray peace deal redo between govt, OLA armed group

ከኦሮሚያ ክልል “ተመርጠው” ፌዴራል ፓርላማ ያሉ ወደ 80 የሚሆኑ የህዝብ ተወካዮች በጋራ ተሰብስበው ከመከሩ በኃላ ወደ አስር የሚሆኑ አንኳር ጉዳዮች ላይ አቋም ይዘው ያንኑ አቋም በጽሁፍ ለጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ጽ/ቤት ገቢ ማድረጋቸውን BBC News Afaan Oromoo ያነጋገረው አንዱ አባል ይፋ አድርጔል። ከእነኝያ ነጥቦች ውስጥ ወሳኞቹ

1• ከአማራ ክልል እየመጡ ወለጋ ውስጥ ኦሮሞን እየገደሉ እና እያፈናቀሉ ባሉት ጽንፈኞች ላይ እርምጃ ይወሰድ። በብዙ ትግል የተገኘው የኦሮሚያ ድንበር ይከበር።

2• በወሎ ኦሮሞ ላይ እየደረሰ ያለው ግድያና እስራት ባስቸኳይ ቆሞ ዘላቂ መፍትሔ ይበጅለት

3• የሰሜኑ ጦርነት በድርድር እንደተፈታ ሁሉ የኦሮሚያም ጦርነት በሰላማዊ መንገድ ይፈታና ህዝቡ የሰላም አየር ይተንፍስ።

4• ፊንፊኔ ውስጥ በራስ ቋንቋ ለመማር/ማስተማር የሚደረገውን ጥረት ለማስተጔጎል የሚደረጉ እንቅስቃሴዋች ይቁሙ።

እነኝህ አራቶቹ ወሳኝ ነጥቦች ናቸው።

He said the security situation of the Wollo Oromos living in the Amhara Region, border demarcation issues, the issue of teaching Afaan Oromoo in Addis Abeba among other things have been included in the letter signed by the MPs.

Addis Abeba – Members of Ethiopian parliament elected from the Oromia region said they have submitted a letter consisting ten points to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and senior leaders of the parliament demanding lasting peace in Oromia region.[…]

Ten Recommended Practices for Managing Preprints in Generalist and Institutional Repositories

Global Macroeconomic Risk, by Country in 2022

Future Risks
With these factors in mind, the chart below looks at the top 10 geopolitical risks looking ahead, according to risk consulting firm Kroll.

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Where price hikes are causing more stress This Christmas

For many, this Christmas will be marked not only by a tentative return to normality as covid-related restrictions have eased up around the world but also by the general increase in prices, which will undoubtedly affect purchases and celebrations this year.

According to an Ipsos study carried out in 12 countries, an average of 85 percent of the surveyed respondents said that they feel excited about the end-of-year celebrations, with a third saying that they are even more excited than last year. But at the same time, that enthusiasm is running counter to the levels of stress respondents feel in light of the current inflation levels. On average, nearly nine in ten respondents said they feel stressed about the impact of rising prices, and 55 percent are more stressed-out than last year.

As our chart shows, stress is most widespread in Romania, where three-quarters (74 percent) of the country’s respondents said that thanks to price increases, they feel more stressed this year about the end-of-year and Christmas celebrations than in 2021. Although the share of people saying they are more stressed this year is still high in the United States, it is somewhat lower at 50 percent, while Brazil has the lowest among the nations analyzed, at 28 percent.

Financial worries will undoubtedly impact what Christmas will look like for many this year. On average, globally, half of those surveyed expect rising costs to have a significant bearing on their holiday shopping and 40 percent say the same for their celebrations.

10 Types of Innovation: The Art of Discovering a Breakthrough Product

It’s inevitable that every company must be out there battling for market share, but you don’t really want to be in a situation where the competition is so stiff that any potential upside is eroded away in the process—―a scenario known as perfect competition in economics.

10 Types of Innovation: The Art of Discovering a Breakthrough Product 💡

From our 2020 archives, read the full article below:

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