Malusi Gigaba
Malusi Gigaba denies being a pawn of scandal-prone South African President Jacob Zuma. (Courtesy of

After the abrupt firing of popular finance minister Pravin Gordhan, many officials are now hurling assertions that South Africa’s controversial president, Jacob Zuma, purposely elected a new minister shrouded in corruption.

Malusi Gigaba, who took office nearly three weeks ago, is at the head of contentious conversation regarding South Africa’s shaky finances.

With South Africa’s currency sold off, cost of borrowing tremendously down and dropping credit ratings, many officials are wondering about Gigaba’s intentions and whether he will be able to do a competent and honest job.

“I think that these attempts to castigate me, to frame me, paint me in a particular way are quite malicious,” Gigaba told CNBC. “They’ve got absolutely nothing to do with the work that I do.”

When asked if he thinks something underhanded is going on in the government that led to his appointment, Gigaba stated that he did not know and that his loyalty lies with South African constitution, “regardless of who is president.”

Nigerian-American Girl, 13, Accepted Into Duke University Program

At just 13 years of age, Noella Ukpe Roberts of Missouri City, Texas, will join the Duke University Talent Identification Program in October.

The Nigerian-American student is set to take college-level equivalent courses in finance in order to explore marketing, innovation and the effects of the stock market, taxes, mortgages and interest-bearing accounts on daily financial decisions.

“Qualifying for Duke’s Summer Studies is such an amazing opportunity,” Noella said. “I’m hoping to gain skills in finance that will prepare me to own and operate my own animation studio one day.”

Each year, Duke TIP identifies a group of academically talented students in the United States based on exceptional grade-level standardized test scores. Only those who score at or above the 95th percentile qualify to participate in the program and to take the ACT or SAT,  designed for college-bound 11th- and 12th-grade students.

African Countries to Join International Robotic Fair in D.C.

FIRST Global, a nonprofit organization that focuses on STEM studies, is set to host the world’s first international Robot Olympics for high school students this July in D.C.

Nearly 160 nations are slated to participate, with over 40 of the countries from different parts of Africa including Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana and Egypt.

With each nation planning to send one team to represent their home country at this unique global event, participating teams will include representatives from every corner of the world, including rural parts of Latin and South America and the industrialized powerhouses of Europe and Asia.

The event will include participants from all six populated continents with an emphasis on those who have the most to gain from investments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and infrastructure.

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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