How China and Brazil are investing in Africa

After the economic slow-down, inflation and recession – and perhaps, some most pessimistic might say, the eminent down-fall of BRICS, all eyes turn to Africa as the new best thing regarding investments. Brazil and China have already been investing heavily in Africa, but how and where these two countries are investing in the African continent are strikingly different. China has been investing in infrastructural development such as, building highways in Tanzania, financing electricity projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and constructing whole towns in Angola. Most recently, Ethiopia made the headlines as the first African Sub-Saharan…

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How urban farmers are revitalizing deprived areas of Brazil

São Paulo is a megalopolis with around 19 million inhabitants. Unsurprisingly, the city struggles to cope with the urban mobility issues caused by 7 million cars and poor public transport infrastructure. The real estate speculation made the city grow astronomically fast, without the necessary diligence towards urban planning; there are only a few parks and the lack of contact with nature and green areas is very apparent. Very few have caught onto urban agriculture. Even with its many problems there are hardly any initiatives, a handful at best are dotted around…

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How women became the top entrepreneurs in Brazil’s slums

In one of my previous posts about the Brazil slums – Favela Rising – I talked about how resourceful someone has to be in the favelas (slums). That is exactly what I meant by the entrepreneurial spirit. But, what does it take for someone to be an entrepreneur in the most deprived parts of the country? According to a study from Data Popular in partnership with CUFA (Central Unica das Favelas), found that 29% of favela residents said the main reason to become an entrepreneur was the possibility to be…

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WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy

Misinformation via social media played a troubling role in boosting far-right Congressman Jair Bolsonaro to into the Brazilian presidency. Bolsonaro did not win 55 percent of votes thanks to misinformation alone. A powerful desire for political change in Brazil after a yearslong corruption scandal and a court decision compelling the jailed front-runner Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to withdraw from the race both opened the door wide for his win. But Bolsonaro’s candidacy benefited from a powerful and coordinated disinformation campaign intended to discredit his rivals, according to the Brazilian…

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Solar Energy in Social Housing, a Discarded Solution in Brazil

The social housing complexes of Morada do Salitre and Praia do Rodeadouro (main photo), with solar panels on their rooftops, make up a village of 1,000 families on the outskirts of the city of Juazeiro, in the Brazilian state of Bahia. A solar energy project, which has been suspended, created jobs for local residents to plant trees and clean the streets.  JUAZEIRO, Northeastern Brazil  – “Our main challenge is to get the project back on track,” agreed the administrators of two affordable housing complexes, where a small solar power plant was…

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The Chinese Century: Is China-Brazil relationship a proxy of a new global governance?

Nature hates the vacuum, so do superpowers. Therefore, the geopolitical space allowed by the United States is seemingly being filled by China [1]. For instance, the Asian giant became Brazil’s most important trade partner in 2009 and Chinese investment in Brazil began around 2010 [2] as part of a state-led directive to increase China’s food and energy security through overseas acquisitions. Brazil plays an important role locally given the country´s economic weight and regional influence; therefore, a partnership with China changes the regional geopolitical landscape. The increase of interest in…

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Circular economy: How a Brazilian cosmetics company is reviving the Amazon forest

Leading Brazilian cosmetics company Natura launched its ‘Amazon Program’ in 2011 aiming at achieving an inclusive business model. The Ekos Ucuuba product line is one example. Combining its bio-intelligence and community knowledge, Natura extracts seed oil from ucuuba trees, which are threatened with extinction, as the core product ingredient. Social Challenges: The increased exploitation of timber and other natural materials in the Amazon Forest over the last 30 years has led this region to face the threat of biodiversity losses which in turn affect greater climate issues. Also, local labours…

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Brazilian e-commerce is booming! Is your online shop ready for “samba”?

If you work with international e-commerce, you must have heard that Brazil is the next online powerhouse. The current growth in the number of smartphones has opened up a world of e-possibilities to millions of Brazilians, from all income levels. There are already more than 48 million unique online buyers yearly, which represents a quarter of Brazil’s population. However, there is room for more, and the sector is indeed growing! Although e-commerce in Brazil is still responsible for only 3% of all retail in the country, it is presenting persistent…

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Why Brazil’s tourism still is under-performing

Brazil is a huge country, one of the biggest of the world. Its seaside measures over 7,400 km and two worldwide famous cities are located there: Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. On the top of that, Brazil recently hosted two of the biggest events in the world: the Football World Cup and the Olympic Games. However even boasting some impressive figures, locations and events, Brazil still receives very few foreigner tourists. According to Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism, this number was 6.6 mi in 2016. Meanwhile, over 80 mi tourists went to France in…

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