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  • Until the 2000s, Africa seemed completely doomed. But since the beginning of the new century, Africans have tripled their income. Countries like Ethiopia are growing at a 10% growth rate year after year. We are starting to see how African companies are expanding internationally. For example, Ethiopian airlines or M-PESA, a mobile phone payment platform.  Nevertheless Africa is far from being a prosperous region. They need to take the next step. And what is that? Well, that would be industrialization. In this context is where the African Continental Free Trade Area has been signed. This is a free trade area that includes most of the African nations. We’re talking about 52 countries who have signed it. In fact, only Benin, Nigeria and Eritrea have refused to enter the so called AfCFTA or just CFTA. So now the question is… Can this treaty change things… or is it just a bunch of nice words? Can a free trade agreement really improve lives in Africa? And, why doesn’t Nigeria, the country with the largest African economy, want to sign it? Today we are going to answer all of these questions.

  • Donald Trump thinks Iran is behind the attacks against the oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. There is a real risk for America to start a war with Iran. In fact, if it hasn’t happened yet is because of a last minute decision taken by Donald Trump. Basically, the Strait of Hormuz is the most important enclave in the oil trade worldwide. 1 out of 5 oil barrels that are produced on the planet depart from here. This Strait is shared by three different nations: United Arab Emirates, Oman and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the latest weeks, somebody has been putting limpet mines on some oil tankers. This poses an enormous threat to the World’s economy: if 20% of the oil tankers worldwide cannot sail safely… how are we going to get those barrels from the Middle East? White House blames Iran for this. According to their theory, this might be a retaliation after the nuclear sanctions imposed by Donald Trump. This is why the tensions between America, Saudi Arabia and Iran are at their highest point. The questions now are… does it make sense that Iran is attacking oil tankers in this region? What is happening in Iran? How important the Strait of Hormuz is? And the most important of all… is there a real risk of war against Iran? We will answer to all of these questions on this video.

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  • Have you ever heard of Uzbekistan? Would you know where to place it on a map? Could you name its capital?  If you answered all three questions correctly, congratulations! You’re an expert in international geography. If not, don’t worry, it’s normal, Uzbekistan is as remote as it is unknown.  Lately, however, things are starting to change. Uzbekistan has gone from having one of the most terrifying dictatorships in the world under Islam Karimov to opening its doors to the world. In this video we’ll tell you a story you won’t want to miss.

  • Alstom and Siemens are two big high-speed train manufacturers that wanted to create a merger in order to form the second largest company on the industry—at an international level. Nevertheless, European Union, led by Margrether Vestager (EU commissioner for competition) have vetoed this merger. Why? This example showcases two antagonist visions for capitalism: German capitalism vs French capitalism. At the first glance, it might seem that these two countries have very similar political and economical systems. Both have free market economies with a generous welfare state. However, their economic doctrines are pretty different from one another. France bets on their national champions and nurtures them in order to expand internationally. Germany, instead, stands for free competition. This is where one of the biggest economic dilemmas of our time comes into play… Should we favour larger companies or should we guarantee free competition? This is the crossroad where Europe was in order to decide what to do with the Alstom-Siemens merger. But… are Germany and France so different? Why do we say Alstom-Siemens story is so paradigmatic? Does Europe really need national behemoths in order to face competition from China? In this video we will answer to all of this questions.

  • You might Narenda Modi, Indian PM, but he rules the World’s biggest democracy. More than 600 million people have casted their votes in the latest Indian elections: this is twice the total population of America. And who did they voted for? Well, you might be surprised but the country of yoga, non-violence and spirituality is also the country were the far-right wing has won the elections… again.  Narendra Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has a taste for nationalism that makes Donald Trump look like a Hollywood liberal. They combine their anti immigration rhetoric with an extreme religiosity. BJP wants a Hinduist India, and their biggest enemies are the Muslims, who make the largest religious minority in the country. 200 million Indian Muslims are suffering the continuous harassment of fanatic groups, including the cow vigilantes while the government looks the other way. And what does the sacred cows have to do with all of this? Why is India turning far-right? In this video we will answer to all of those questions.

  • Nuclear power is like a hamburger… you said you wouldn’t have it anymore, but, at the end of the day… you can’t resist the temptation! The same goes for nuclear power. We all use it even if it’s just a little  controversial.   If you’ve been following VisualPolitik for a long time, you already know that China has been building nuclear power plants like there was no tomorrow. Well… in Europe they have the opposite trend.

  • Pakistan and India are diehard enemies since the day both countries were founded. This mutual hate is specially worrisome if we take to account that both nations have the nuclear bomb. This is why, when New Delhi and Islamabad had growing tensions in the latest months, the whole World was watching. Chances were there could be a nuclear war. The reason why India and Pakistan hate each other so much is one region: Kashmir. Both countries want to control it. Since two decades ago, India has martial law over the Kashmir citizens. Pakistan, on the other hand, would have been allegedly supporting terrorist groups that attack Kashmir lands often. But why both India and Pakistan have nukes? What are nuclear doctrines all about? Could there really be an war between this two countries? Can we say the Indian presidential elections had some influence on this issue? We will answer to all of this questions on this video.

  • With an initial exchange rate of USD 1.1789, the euro was born on January 1st of 1999. It began to operate as an electronic currency, used in financial markets and for cashless payments.  However, it wouldn’t be until three years later, that is the beginning of 2002, when the Euro coins and notes that we all know today began to circulate.  Since then, 20 years have passed, a time in which the new European currency has gone through both good and bad times. It's time to ask us some questions: What assessment can we make of the 20 years that the euro has been part of most Europeans’ daily lives? What challenges does it face? What happens with the arrival of Blockchain and cybercrime?  Well, thanks to the support and sponsorship of the European Central Bank, some of VisualPolitik’s team members traveled to Frankfurt to seek answers to these questions and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the European currency.

  • Can you imagine a far-right wing party and a populist left wing platform joining forces to make a government? This is what happened in Italy. OK, it is true, “The League’ (formerly called ‘Northern League”) is not a classical far-right party. The same goes with the 5 stars Movement, which is not liberal on the Ocasio Cortez sense. Then again, we can say that the government coalition in Italy is, pretty much, something like ‘the odd couple’. The Eurozone crisis, the corruption and the disenchantment with the political elite has led to an odd situation in Italy, where the main political parties (Democratic Party, the centre-left, and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, the centre-right) had lost the voters’ trust. The extremes have become the new mainstream. But the question is… Could Italy serve as a cautionary tale for other countries? Can we see other odd couple governments in other countries? How did this happen? In this video, we will tell you everything you need to know about Italian government.

  • The rivalry between China and the United States is peaking: the trade war, the struggle for dominance of the Pacific, for the control of Africa and the new silk route. and, now, this clashis reaching one of the great pillars of the North American economy: the dominance of the US dollar.  Even though China is already the second world power, the second largest economy and the largest exporter in the world, its currency, the Yuan doesn’t really have any global clout. But now Beijing wants to change that situation and make the Yuan a global reference currency.  To do this, they want to promote what is already known as the Petroyuan, they want oil to be largely commercialized in Yuan. How? What would this change entail? What intentions does the Chinese government have and what does it want to do with the Yuan? Is the dominance of the dollar really in danger? We’ll discuss these and other questions in this video. 

  • With seven and a half million inhabitants and more than 1,200 skyscrapers, Hong Kong has been the great benchmark of almost the entire Asian continent in recent decades.  However, now everything is changing. Hong Kong faces many economic and political problems. Cities such as Shenzhen have already surpassed Hong Kong’s GDP and according to surveys, half of Hong Kong's younger population want to live elsewhere. What is happening in Hong Kong? Is this territory on the verge of a crisis or, as some argue, is it about to see its best years yet? We’ll tell you all about it in this video. 

  • South Korea has been one of the greatest economic success stories s in history. In little more than three decades, South Korea went from being a third world country to becoming one of the richest countries on the planet.  However, the truth is that the South Korean economy is going through a slump and many experts are already talking about an exhausted model. In 2017, Moon Jae-in won the elections with a promise: to reform the country's economic model.  In this video we’ll tell you what is happening in South Korea, how things are going, the surprising policies with which President Moon Jae-in wants to revolutionize South Korea and the role that its neighbor, North Korea, will play. 

  • The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump has declared a state of national emergency in order to carry out one of his great campaign promises: to build a huge wall along the entire border between the United States and Mexico, a wall that is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars.  But why is this wall so controversial? Why oppose him? Is it really going to make the United States a safer place, as Donald Trump promises? In this video, we’ll answer these and other questions so you can better understand what is happening and what consequences the Donald Trump Wall may have. 

  •  China is facing an existential threat and therefore it needs to expand the military. This is why they created what has been called the String of Pearls strategy. This is a set of ports that can double as military bases that would go from the South China Sea to Africa. And, in another video, we told you about what we like to call sugar daddy diplomacy.  But still, there is something important China is missing for their military expansion: technology. And, catching up with the West in this field is not easy. And again, Xi Jimping is showing his lateral thinking on this issue… How? We’ll tell you in this video.  China is facing an existential threat and therefore it needs to expand the military. This is why they created what has been called the String of Pearls strategy. This is a set of ports that can double as military bases that would go from the South China Sea to Africa. And, in another video, we told you about what we like to call sugar daddy diplomacy.  But still, there is something important China is missing for their military expansion: technology. And, catching up with the West in this field is not easy. And again, Xi Jimping is showing his lateral thinking on this issue… How? We’ll tell you in this video.  

  •  During decades, Beirut was short of the New York City of the Arab World. Lebanon was called the Switzerland of the Middle East. We are talking of a small country where, for many years, both Sunni and Shia Muslims coexisted with Christians in peace and harmony. Lebanon was a model for the whole Arab world. The country with the biggest liberties, the most open and tolerant where everybody could make business.  But now things have changed radically. Lebanon is now a failed state that often appears on the news for really, really, bad reasons. In this video, we will tell you the story of how Prince Salman, from Saudi Arabia, kidnapped the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri. Yes, this happened. And yes, we will tell you all the details here. 

  •  The space race is back. Companies like SpaceX or Virgin Galactic have given a new push to the space exploration. But there is more than this: outside of Earth there are lots of natural resources to be exploited. Some asteroids are nothing but flying piles of minerals, water or even natural gas. Both Japan and America have already sent proves to the space in order to retrieve some samples of materials. But… what legislation would cover the space mining industry? What would happen if two companies have a corporate conflict on an asteroid? So far, the country with the most advance legislation on this matter is… Luxembourg! This small country has already a cluster of space mining companies. They are completely determined to lead this brand new industry… but how does this legislation work? Can Luxembourg become a space mining empire? We will answer all of this questions on this video.
     

  • Congo has more than 80 million inhabitants living within a territory the size of Western Europe and is one of the poorest and most violent countries on Earth. Most of the population of Congo lives on less than a dollar a day. Starvation is common. And guerrilla warfare is so typical in this country that it’s no longer newsworthy. 

  • Recently, we’ve published a lot of videos about Venezuela and the horrific political situation that this country is experiencing. However, we thought we should make a general review of a fundamental issue:  Who are Nicolás Maduro’s main allies? Who are the players that continue, despite everything, to support this regime, and why? What interests do they have?  Well, we’ll try to answer these questions in this video. We’ll introduce you to Nicolas Maduro’s key supporters and, more importantly, what they expect to get in return  from Venezuela. 

  • Religion and politics always go together in the Middle East: the birthplace of Islam. In countries like Saudi Arabia, the whole political system is inspired by Islam. In neighbouring countries like Qatar or United Arab Emirates (where Abu Dhabi or Dubai are), there is more tolerance for other religions but, still, things like converting from Islam to Christianity are a crime. Nevertheless, this area of the planet is where the fastest-growing catholic population is. This is why, Pope Francis has made the first papal visit in history to Abu Dhabi. He celebrated a mass with more than 180,000 attendees.  What has changed in the Middle East? Why did they let the leader of Catholicism enter the country to celebrate such a big event? And what does the Vatican want to get here? In this video we will answer to all of those questions. 

  • Eight months after the historic Singapore summit, the president of the United States, Donald Trump and the North Korea leader, Kim Jong-Un, saw each other again. This time in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.  Expectations for this summit indicated that, this time, a concrete agreement would be reached with deadlines, goals and objectives. However, that didn’t happen.  The media have claimed that the summit was a complete failure, but on VisualPolitik  we believe that there are reasons to believe this isn’t entirely correct.