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Friday news roundup February 15, 2019

Friday news roundup February 15, 2019

This afternoon, thousands of school children in England are expected to walk out of lessons in protest to the lack of action from global leaders to counter climate change. Following the example set in Sweden last summer by sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, students have been demonstrating in several European countries. Thunberg commented: “I think it’s great that England is joining the school strike in a major way this week. There has been a number of real heroes on school strike, for instance in Scotland and Ireland, for some time now.”

A national strike took place in Belgium on Wednesday over pay and working conditions. The strike action resulted in the cancellation of all flights in and out of the country and severely disrupted public transport. The country’s three main workers’ unions that between them have four million members, out of total population of eleven million people, encouraged their members to stop working. Robert Verteneuil, president of the General Federation of Belgian Labor, said: “What we want is to tell employers, whoever they are, that we’re sick of them putting all the dough that we create in their pockets. It’s time to give some of it back to the workers.”

The African Development Bank’s African Economic Outlook report was published this week. The annual report outlines short and medium-term forecasts on the main socio-economic factors across the continent. The report suggests that there will be 295 million new working-age people by 2030, meaning 12 million jobs will need to be created every year to prevent unemployment rising. The policy implications are outlined: “The rapid growth in Africa’s labor force and widespread poverty make job creation in high-productivity sectors a top priority for policymakers…Over the longer term, it will be vital to strengthen physical infrastructure by reliably providing electricity and other utilities, whose absence inhibits the competitiveness of African firms in global markets.”

Internet security in India is a major problem according to recent research published by consulting firm, Ernst & Young. Over 30% of firms report that careless or untrained employees pose the biggest vulnerability that exposes them to security risks. Massive breaches have been reported in both private and public establishments’ internet firewalls across India. The report finds that 81% of companies do not have sufficient budget to provide appropriate levels of cybersecurity.