As the week closes, we look at the biggest news coming out from around the globe. From dating leave, tax holidays for start ups, progress on electric vehicles and a whole lot more.
Dating leave for female employees
A number of Chinese companies are granting single female employees in their 30s leave to go and find husbands during the Lunar New Year, a celebration that started on 5th February and will end on 19th February 2019. On top of the normal seven days set aside during this time, companies are granting eight extra days. Some call it dating leave while others prefer to call it love leave. It seems the Chinese government is concerned about low birth rates which are attributable to the one child policy which was abolished in 2016. In addition, couples are reluctant to have children due to prohibitive education and housing costs. The Chinese never cease to amaze the world. Their level of innovation is second to none. Perhaps the single males also need this leave so that they can go and meet up with their female counterparts.
Ghana waives tax for start ups
Ghana will offer a tax free first three years for all small and medium start ups. While this will help to grow their businesses, it will also encourage start ups to be properly registered. Tax holidays will also be granted to start ups based on the number of people they employ. Talk of government support and a strong push towards employment creation. Our country may need to follow suit. Many companies are not properly registered for fear of paying taxes. Such incentives may assist us in combating this challenge.
Electric vehicles inevitable
Progress on electric vehicles around the world is happening fast. 25 electric buses started plying the streets of Pune in India on 13th February 2019. The buses which will be used for public transport can travel 200km in one charge. Globally, China and Norway lead the world towards total clean mobility. In 2018, half of all cars sold in Norway were electric. This is due to a number of perks which come with going electric. These include free parking, free vehicle registration and exemption from some taxes. More importantly, half of all the electric cars in the world were sold in China in 2018. China wants 20% of all cars sold by 2025 to be electric or hybrid. This translates to 7 million cars. With Zimbabwe also eyeing its first electric vehicle plant soon, we are certainly not being left behind.
Australia stops coal mine
In a landmark ruling, an Australian court has rejected an application for an open cast coal mine because of its detriment to the environment through greenhouse gas emission and contribution to global warming. This is the first time a new coal mine has been rejected for this reason. Australia is actually the world’s leading coal exporter. However, it continues to experience severe weather conditions due to climate change and January was its hottest month on record. According to the court, the mine will only increase global concentrations of greenhouse gas emission at a time when a rapid and deep decrease is needed urgently. The environment needs to be managed better around the world and this is commendable.
Green Innovations Fund now open
The Green Innovations Fund bankrolled by SNV is a challenge fund targeting young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 years. Successful projects are awarded up to US$5 000 in funding. SMEs, individuals and registered companies and associations are eligible to participate. Applications should be in categories like sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and waste management among others. Zimbabwean start ups suffer due to lack of meaningful funding and this is an opportunity to beat the funding challenges. Applications can be sent through http://www.gihubproject.org/#/