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Musings From Abroad

It’s Official! Forbes declares Elon Musk world’s richest person, now worth $219bn after acquiring Twitter shares

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Billionaire Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, is now the richest man on earth with a net worth of $219 billion, according to the latest Forbes Billionaires List released on Wednesday.

With the net worth of the world’s wealthiest people slipping to $12.7tn due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Covid-19 and volatile stock markets caused wealth erosion, leading to 329 billionaires dropping out of the Forbes’ 2022 rich list, Musk’s recent acquisition of 73.4 million shares of Twitter, worth about $3 billion, making him the largest shareholder in the social media company, has shot him up the world billionaire list.

According to Forbes in its annual report, the present world billionaire listing of 2,668, is an all time-down from 2,755 last year.

Using stock prices and exchange rates from March 11 to calculate the net worth of the world’s richest people, it said it was not surprising that 329 people fell off the list.

“In all, 329 people fell off the billionaires list this year – the most since the 2009 financial crisis,” Forbes said in the report.

Musk, who has been appointed to Twitter’s board with his purchase of 9.2 percent stake in the microblogging platform, topped the Forbes list for the first time with a net worth of $219 billion, according to the report.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, fell to number two for the first time in four years due to a 3 percent drop in Amazon stock and increased charitable giving, which wiped $6bn from his net worth, the Forbes report said.

French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, who added $8bn to his fortune over the past year, remains the world’s third-richest person and rounding out the top five are Bill Gates and Warren Buffett with personal fortunes of $129bn and $118bn, respectively.

There were 236 newcomers added to the billionaire ranks this year, including pop star Rihanna, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and venture capitalist Josh Kushner.

Though this is the first time Musk will be making the top of the Forbes’ list, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index had named him the world’s richest person at the end of 2021 with a personal fortune of $273.5bn.

These are the top 10 richest people in 2022, and their net worth

1. Elon Musk: $219bn

2. Jeff Bezos: $171bn

3. Bernard Arnault: $158bn

4. Bill Gates: $129bn

5. Warren Buffett: $118bn

6. Larry Page: $111bn

7. Sergey Brin: $107bn

8. Larry Ellison: $106bn

9. Steve Ballmer: $91.4bn

10. Mukesh Ambani: $90.7bn

Musings From Abroad

US wants Africa to isolate Russia but won’t force its decision – Secretary Blinken

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Despite having seek support from the continent’s 54 countries in efforts to isolate Russia over its Ukraine invasion, the United States says it will not dictate Africa’s choices.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Monday, while presenting a new strategy document for sub-Saharan Africa at the University of Pretoria in South Africa’s capital.

The presentation is part of a continental tour that will also take him to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

“Too often, African nations have been treated as instruments of other nations’ progress, rather than the authors of their own,” said Blinken. “They have been told to pick a side in great power contests that feel far removed from daily struggles of their people.”

The strategy document stressed the threats posed by China and Russia to the United States’ interest in this increasingly important region.

Africa has been at the centre of the Russian/Ukraine war, with the two European countries being power houses in the supply of grains and other staple, the war has lunched in an era of high food cost in developing countries, largely African countries.

The continent has had a contingent of international guest lately. Recall  that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel recently visited. Ukraine also announced that its Foreign minister will soon be visiting in a yet to be announced that.

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Musings From Abroad

Ukraine foreign minister to tour African states. Here’s why

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Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday revealed that its foreign minister will make a tour of African states this autumn.

The president’s office quoted Zelenskiy as saying at an online news conference for African media.

“I can’t do it now because of the war. I planned before the war, and I am sure that after the war I will do it,” The presidency said.

Africa has been at the centre of the Russian/Ukraine war, with the two European countries being power houses in the supply of grains and other staple, the war has lunched in an era of high food cost in developing countries, largely African countries.

The Ukrainian foreign minister’s visit will be the fourth in the series of strategic diplomatic visits to the continent in recent month by international leaders.

News broke on Monday that The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blnken, is scheduled to tour Africa at a later date this month. That is shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavlov and French President Emmanuel Macron’s travel to three west African states where the European Union pledged to make Africa its focal point.

Despite the geographical distance, there are important ties between Ukraine and Africa, including more than 8,000 Moroccans and 4,000 Nigerians studying in Ukraine and over $4 billion in exports from Ukraine to Africa.

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