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Investment and Development Finance (330)

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.’      
Chinese economic activities in Africa have gained increased visibility in parallel to the recent acceleration of Sino-African relations. But, as two case studies in a new paper illustrate, Chinese operations in Africa are not homogenous and engage with their respective host environments in dynamic ways.
On Tuesday, 27 October 2015, the IMF launched its Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa at an event co-hosted by SAIIA and the Wits School for Economics and Business Sciences (SEBS). A gloomy picture was painted of the current economic woes facing the region, the sub-title of the report Dealing with the Gathering Clouds aptly summarising its overall message.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the University of the Witwatersrand's School of Economics and Business Science (SEBS), and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) held a presentation on 'The IMF's Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa: Dealing with the gathering clouds.'
21 October 2015 started out as the day that business and economic analysts were expected to reflect closely on the state of the South African economy. Instead it ended up reminiscent of a scene that sci-fi aficionados could describe as stormtroopers defending the Galactic Empire against a small, unarmed rebel alliance. 
The city of Erenhot sits on the Mongolian border, five hours of desolate steppe tundra away from the nearest major Chinese city. In 1992, the town had a population of 8000, and was best known for its bizarre 80-foot archway of kissing sauropods, which bridges across a usually empty freeway.
Sorting out a trade dispute can be a tricky thing. Nations may want to advance their economic interests but are reluctant to upset relations with another country over a dispute with a private investor. Though there is the mechanism of state-to-state arbitration, it has divided opinions among scholars who have described it either as a dangerous development 'that threatens to infringe upon investors’ rights and to re-politicize investor-state disputes' or 'an important step towards a new third era of the investment treaty system in which the rights and claims of both investors and treaty parties are recognised and valued.'
South Africa is a country of contradictions. Depending on one's circles and political or moral convictions one always gets something fascinating. If it's not Nkandla, its Ramaphosa flying on a Gupta plane.