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Investment and Development Finance (309)

On December 15 2015, President Jacob Zuma assented to the controversial Protection of Investment Act when much of the South African public was on a festive holiday break. This piece of legislation is meant to replace the bilateral investment treaties that SA terminated in 2012, resulting in consternation and outcry from the international investment community based in the country.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates that between USD$ 1.6 trillion and USD$ 2.5 trillion is required annually for the period 2015–2030 to bridge the infrastructure-financing gap in developing countries. Some estimates indicate that sub-Saharan Africa alone requires up to USD$ 93 billion annually until 2020 to finance its infrastructure deficit. Multilateral development banks (MDBs) such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank go a long way towards addressing these challenges.
Lesotho is facing challenges in financing its Queen Mamohato Hospital which costs USD$67 million a year and represents half of the country’s meagre health budget.
Ratings agencies will again this week consider South Africa’s sovereign credit rating. Ratings agencies have indicated that South Africa’s economic growth needs to be at least 1%, up from the current rate of between 0.5 – 0.9%, in order to off a downgrade to ‘junk’ status. Last month, Minister Pravin Gordhan made some bold claims about infrastructure spending in his mid-term budget speech.
SAIIA and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) hosted a Policy Dialogue, to revisit the investment climate in Southern Africa, with a particular focus on Tanzania.
As Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presents the mid-term budget this week, one notable absence from his usual team will be second-in-command at the South African Revenue Service, Mr Jonas Makwakwa. His recent suspension has highlighted the importance of amending the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) of 2001. Mr Makwakwa was suspended after an extensive investigation by the Centre revealed a series of transactions which are inconsistent with a permanently-employed person.
The Global Economic Governance (GEG) Africa programme is a policy research and stakeholder engagement programme to strengthen the influence of African coalitions at global economic governance fora such as the G20, BRICS, WTO and World Bank, in order to bring about pro-poor policy outcomes.
The integration of transport networks within Africa has long been a priority for the continent, for reasons of trade and political development. Last week, the dream to connect all major African cities through a high-speed railway network took a critical step forward with the signing of a five-year action plan between the African Union and China.
This week the United States (US) hosted African nations for the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum under the theme: ‘Maximising AGOA now while preparing for the future beyond AGOA'. AGOA, a unilateral development programme offering African countries duty free access for select exports to the US, is set to expire in 2025.
The international investment landscape has been shifting over the past two decades. Governments are increasingly realising the potential for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to achieve not only economic growth, but developmental objectives as well.
As the full extent of the potential for the world to enter into a Great Depression became clearer in 2008, the G20 Finance meeting was elevated to a Leaders 20, a point that had for some years been advocated by former Canadian prime minister, Paul Martin, among others. Its convening confirmed what many had known for some time – that the G7 was no longer able to manage global crises on its own. The G20 represented most of the systemically important economies whose cooperation and coordination were essential to avert a Great Depression.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the University of Pretoria (UP) held a Speaker’s Meeting to be addressed by Dr Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, on 'From Dream to Reality – How Finances Serves the Economy, and How Not.'
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 237, October 2016
A meeting on the SADC Regional Investment Framework is taking place in Johannesburg this week, to look at, amongst other priorities, investment in regional and global value chains. These discussions will take place against the background of slowing global economic growth and a decline in commodity earnings for African countries.
Africa’s infrastructure financing deficit, estimated to be $100 billion a year, remains persistently large. The resulting lack of investment in energy, transport and water infrastructure on the continent presents a significant barrier to economic growth and development.
SAIIA's Western Cape Branch cordially invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Mr Michael Spicer, on 'How did we get to junk? Domestic and International Dimensions'.
Migration and the movement of people have become a multi-dimensional challenge in Africa. In order to investigate this challenge, SAIIA, on behalf of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), has been undertaking a research study focusing on the immigration protocols within the three Regional Economic Communities making up the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). Tanzania, as the proposed host of the TFTA Secretariat, is an ideal place for engaging on these issues. Foreign Direct Investment, and more specifically, how to foster a greater enabling environment for FDI, has also been a key area of focus for SAIIA. As part of ongoing…
On 18 March 2016, SAIIA and the Embassy of Japan cordially hosted two briefings, on 'The New Development Bank and its place in the Development Finance Sector in Africa: Perspectives,' and 'The potential for the development of regional value chains in the Automotive Sector in SADC: Lessons from the ASEAN Experience.'
The 2014 Summit of the BRICS grouping in Fortaleza saw the launch of the New Development Bank, a new international development finance institution. The Bank’s purpose is to: ‘mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development’.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has just presented his first Budget Speech since being reappointed following the unceremonious firing of Minister Nene. The speech follows on the presentation of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma on 11 February 2016. Both speeches marked watershed moments in South Africa’s history as the economy faces some of its worst challenges in post-apartheid history.
On 16 February 2016, SAIIA National Chairman Mr Fred T Phaswana delivered his annual address. What follows is the full text of the speech.
The single most significant thing that President Zuma acknowledged in his ‘State of the Nation Address’ last week was the risk of a credit rating downgrade for South Africa:
The Mining Indaba, hosted annually in Cape Town, has arrived. However, the outlook for commodity prices is arguably the worst it has been since 2008, and China’s bumpy economic landing is not helping.
On 19 January President Jacob Zuma announced the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Investment. This took some in the investment community by surprise, despite the President’s reference in his 2015 State of the Nation Address to the future establishment of a government clearing house for investment.
SAIIA today held a Roundtable Discussion on 'SADC investment policy and regional integration: the views of select SADC countries.'
Volume 22.3 of the South African Journal of International Affairs, now available online, includes a special section entitled ‘Development Banks of the Developing World: Regional Roles, Governance and Sustainability.’      
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