However, the couple explained that they have been unable to bring their eldest children into the country as UK family reunion rules do not allow parents to apply for asylum for children who are above the age of 18. The Alwadis have not seen their 19-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter for nine months, with their son living in a refugee camp in Calais and their daughter in Turkey.

Alwadi family

Amal Alwadi with her children before they were separated during the Syrian conflict. Her eldest son and daughter are now in Calais and Turkey, while Amal is in the UKBritish Red Cross

IMF: Egypt overtakes SA as Africa’s second largest economy

Christie Viljoen

South Africa has been known as the continent’s second-largest economy since Nigeria rebased its gross domestic product (GDP) data in early 2014. However, the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) released in mid-April provided more sobering GDP statistics for South Africa. Not only did the multilateral organisation suggest that the South African economy would grow by a mere 0.6% this year, but also that the country is now only the third-largest economy on the continent behind Nigeria and new silver medalist Egypt.

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Nigeria’s rebasing exercise some two years ago revealed that the oil-dependent economy was almost twice as big as previously thought. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) ensured greater measurement of the informal sector, the inclusion of 46 industries from a previous 33, as well as methodological changes to measuring service sector activity with the rebasing. Backward adjustments to GDP indicated that Nigerian GDP in US dollar terms surpassed its South African equivalent in 2011. By the end of 2015, Nigeria’s GDP was measured at $490 billion compared to South Africa’s estimate of $313 billion.