Thursday, June 18, 2015

Zimbabwe, Armed Forces & Inflation.

Zimbabwe, Armed Forces & Inflation
By Donna Welles. 18,6. 2015.

     Zimbabwe enjoys high literacy rates and a dynamic music and comedy scene. It has colonial roots in the United Kingdom; Cecil Rhodes harvested diamonds there. In modern times, the People's Republic of China has invested in Zimbabwe's energy sector. Allow us to examine this South African nation from two perspectives, that of its armed forces and that of its currency.
     Fifteen nations in Sub-Saharan Africa employ more than 25,000 Armed Forces Personnel. Zimbabwe is one of three South African nations included in this group. Angola employs 117,000 troops, South Africa employs 77,150 troops, and Zimbabwe employs 50,800 as of 2013. Notably, eight of the fifteen are located in East Africa. This includes two of the top three, Eritrea and South Sudan. Eritrea employs 201,750 troops and South Sudan employs 185,000. Sudan, located in North Africa, has Sub-Saharan Africa's largest Armed Forces pool at 264,300.
     Zimbabwe's currency today is what has attracted the global media. From 2000-2014, Sub-Saharan nations with the most radical deviation from the $USD are Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Malawi, and Guinea. Zimbabwe's inflation rating is inestimable, while the other four are tangible figures. Democratic Republic of Congo has deviated from the $USD by 4,138%, Angola by 879%, Malawi by 673%, and Guinea by 301%.
     Nigeria, Africa's largest nation, deviated from the $USD during the same timeframe by 56%. Nations who utilize the Central African Franc as well as the West African Franc deviated from the $USD by -31%. In the global context, Japan's Yen deviated from the $USD by -2% while the Euro by -31%.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Food Shortages in Venezuela, In Context.

Food Shortages in Venezuela, In Context. 

     Food shortages in Venezuela were reported this week and consumers are said to be faced with limited options when buying groceries or consumer durables.
     Oil production has risen in order to account for the drop in oil prices, and as such measures have been taken to increase capacity in Venezuela's distribution network. Russia has interceded with liquid as well as human capital.
     Leopoldo Lopez, a Harvard-educated political reformer, began a hunger strike and called for Venezuelans across the country to march peacefully through the streets. On May 31, several thousand people successfully turned out to protest the internment of political prisoners.
     Venezuela's economy has shifted away from the $USD in recent decades. Although its GDP and population have grown roughly alongside that of other South American countries, its currency has devalued by almost 800%. In 2000, the exchange rate of Bolivars:USD was .7:1. In 2013, the ratio climbed to 6:1.
     Venezuela is a member of OPEC and it is South America's fifth biggest economy.

[Food Shortages in Venezuela, In Context. 4,6. 2015. Welles.]