Picture: 123RF/Florian Blümm
Picture: 123RF/Florian Blümm

1. ‘Die taal’ in Argentina

In southern Argentina, Afrikaans is seemingly making a comeback. According to a report by news website Quartz, an Afrikaans-speaking community deep in the Patagonian desert is thriving. Its residents are descendants of the 650 Afrikaners who moved there following the SA War, which the British won in 1902. The people apparently speak both Spanish and Afrikaans, albeit a version of the SA language not heard here since the early 20th century.

2. Smartphone’s limits

The global smartphone market is expected to shrink in 2019. After seemingly endless growth since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the number of smartphones produced will decline 3.3% to 1.41-billion this year. According to market research firm TrendForce, the main reason for the drop is the lack of "breakthrough" features. Without something new to entice them, consumers are expected to be less keen to upgrade their devices. TrendForce warns the decline could be as much as 5% if the outlook for demand worsens and the uncertainty provoked by the trade war between the US and China starts to take its toll.

3. Staying with Taiwan

Swaziland, which last year changed its name to eSwatini, its sticking to its decision to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, despite Beijing’s attempts to win it over. It is the only African country with official links to Taiwan since Burkina Faso switched to China last year. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that Taiwan "must and will be united with China". China does not allow countries to have formal ties with both itself and Taiwan. King Mswati last year signed a new trade agreement with Taiwan, an economic partner since Swazi independence in 1968. The Communist Party of Swaziland says both sides are illegitimate and prop each other up.