Only 16 percent of Africa’s population of over a billion is online. But as Internet and mobile phone connectivity grows rapidly, the continent wants to join forces with Asian powerhouses to change its digital landscape.
A new Pacific islands forum will seek to challenge the dominance of Australia and New Zealand in a regional body. The new grouping’s approach is being billed the ‘Pacific Way’, and also the ‘green and blue’ way for its commitment to environmentally sustainable oceans as well as land.
The play opens with a man and his mother waiting impatiently at the dining table in the family home. A woman rushes in after a busy day at the office with takeaway dinner packets, followed by her son and daughter who walk in expecting their mother to serve them a meal.
With a population of over 1.2 million people spread across 14 government districts, the suburbs of western Sydney have long been perceived as the impoverished “other half” of Australia’s economic, financial and political hub, serving as a de facto port of entry for incoming migrant workers.
Australia’s largest textile workers’ union and activist groups are up in arms that the country’s leading retail chains, who source most of their fashion labels from Bangladesh, are refusing to sign a legally binding accord that will help to improve labour and safety standards in Bangladeshi garment factories.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s comments about foreigners taking Australian jobs in a speech made last week in Rooty Hill, the working-class heartland of Sydney’s western suburbs, has brought issues of immigration, asylum and race back into election campaigning.
The first workers strike in 26 years in this affluent Southeast Asian city-state has triggered some soul-searching about the treatment of migrant labour and the low wages they are paid.
With a population of five million crammed on a landmass of just 715 square kilometres, the tiny republic of Singapore has been forced to expand upwards, building high-rise residential complexes to house the country’s many inhabitants.
Malaysia is gearing up for a general election in six months and as the campaigns enter the crucial voter-courting phase many observers are wondering if the political ‘tsunami’, which severely weakened the ruling National Front coalition (BN) at the 2008 polls, might be repeated.
How to get Singaporeans to have more babies has become a major part of the debate about this country’s future, and the government is encouraging people to speak out on the issue.
Singapore was recently ranked as the world’s richest country. But there is much scepticism about such rankings among average citizens here.
The rapid currents moving the centre of economic influence towards an emerging global order headquartered in Asia were evident at the PanIIT’s 2012 annual conference of alumni of the highly prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), which took place in Singapore over the Easter weekend.
A routine announcement by the government of this city-state entitling foreign, female domestic workers to a day off each week has sent their affluent employers into a tizzy.
When a group of about 100 mostly Bangladeshi migrant workers went on strike at a construction site over unpaid wages this month, it created ripples in this affluent and orderly island republic.