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SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 44, October 2009
In September the World Bank and SAIIA hosted a talk by Dr Devarajan on the implications of the global economic crisis for economic policy in Africa. The open lecture was well attended by academics, members of diplomatic and consular missions to South Africa, the media as well as business representatives.
In 2008, the South African Institute of International Affairs (Western Cape) hosted a talk by Michael Power on 'South Africa and the Global Economic Crisis'. Many of our members expressed the wish for an update. The Western Cape Branch is now pleased to invite you to a public seminar to be addressed by Mr Michael Power Strategist, Investec Asset Management on `In Search of Greener Pastures: The New World of Emerging Markets`
In July SAIIA hosted a number of foreign dignitaries on subjects ranging from Europe-Africa relations, to global nuclear security and trade relations, proving unequivocally that it is at the forefront of debate on some of the most pressing issues affecting the region, the continent and the world.
The South African Institute of International Affairs, the National Treasury and the OECD cordially invites you to the African Economic Outlook 2009 launch: Challenges and opportunities in times of crisis.Venue: National Treasury
Launch of the African Economic Outlook Report SAIIA in partnership with the National Treasury hosted the launch of the African Economic Outlook Report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Pretoria at the end of July.
The air is clearing after the spectacular financial crisis, markets are once again picking up, but will it be business as usual? Modern economic theory has been shaken to its roots, and its core assumptions are undergoing serious revision. What does this mean to Africa?
The current global economic crisis has forced countries to design and implement various economic stimulus packages.  Infrastructure investment programmes are major form these stimulus packages take.  These programmes are intended to offset further economic meltdown by stimulating aggregate demand.  However, doubts exist about the trade-damaging nature of some of these programmes, especially where little is known publicly about their scope or how they are to be implemented.  Furthermore, governments face strong pressure to introduce a domestic-bias into the design and implementation of these programmes. 
It has been over a month now since the unity government in Zimbabwe published proposals to dig the country out of the economic hole it has been languishing in over the best part of the past decade. The plan, named STERP (Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan) has been discussed and endorsed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the fourteen-member organization of countries in the region that was instrumental in facilitating the Global Political Agreement that gave birth to the unity government in Zimbabwe.
The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) released its draft independent power producer (IPP) regulations on January 30 with a harsh deadline of March 2, for public comment. What is interesting is the timing of this release. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) released its consultation paper and draft guidelines on the renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit) in December, conducted extensive public hearings and released its final draft of the Refit policy at the end of March. The question that arises is whether the DME was attempting to complement or thwart Nersa in its Refit policy.
Trade finance (sometimes called short-term credit) is considered as the true lifeline on which the majority of world trade operates today as it can provide fluidity and security to the movement of goods and services.  With around 80 percent of the US$14 trillion in world trade financed by open accounts and 20 percent by way of documentary credits, such as letters of credit (LCs), trade finance is critical to sustaining global trade. 
Zimbabwe is much in the news again with its newly minted unity government. It remains to be seen whether it will cohere and drive a concerted reconstruction process. Within this Zimbabwe's future monetary policy is of enormous importance owing to the country's infamous inflation rate. Three monetary reform scenarios are being discussed: an ordinary or crawling peg to a basket of currencies; ‘Randization' (adopting the Rand); and a currency board, ie a domestic currency with the money base one hundred per cent backed by foreign reserves. The latter two would entail Zimbabwe surrendering monetary policy sovereignty - an issue attracting…
Should and can Zimbabwe adopt the Rand as its currency as a first step towards the recovery of its battered economy? The debate is moot. The media has greeted such a possibility with fanfare, yet very little serious engagement on its implications both for Zimbabwe and South Africa 
Since 1994, South Africa firms have emerged as some of the largest investors in the rest of Africa. Present in a wide range of sectors across the continent, they have been involved in changing not only Africa's cityscapes and societies, but also, significantly, the conduct of business in the region. This volume draws together authors from different parts of the world who are keenly interested in the development of Africa's private sector. Based in part on the research that the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has conducted on the experiences of South African companies in 9 countries across…
SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 14, October 2008
The dramatic events of the past few weeks, starting with one of the world’s most powerful investment banks — Lehman Brothers — going to the wall and insurer AIG teetering on the brink, has left a wounded western financial world licking its wounds and looking anew at its model of global finance.
The article is based on their new report which can be downloaded here. South Africa stands at the cusp of a crucial political transition, the contours of which are slowly becoming clearer.  This is taking place in a domestic context of high unemployment and social agitation driven by high crime levels, whilst economic growth stalls in the midst of global recessionary conditions. Hence economic policy is again the subject of intense debate.  Of greatest concern is maintaining macroeconomic stability - rightly seen as a prerequisite for sustaining economic growth.
The availability, affordability and quality of key infrastructure services like communication, transport, energy, construction, and financial services fundamentally influences a country's trade competitiveness and its concomitant economic growth and human development. Inefficiencies and inadequacies in the supply of these services severely cripple the capacity of countries to produce products and services of sufficient quality and quantity to meet both the needs of domestic operators and export markets. South Africa (SA) is no exception.
Senior Research Associate
eAfrica, August 2005THE governments of Mozambique and South Africa signed a R3 billion, 30-year concession in 1996 for a private consortium, Trans-African Concessions (TRAC), to build and operate the N4 toll road from Witbank, South Africa to Maputo, Mozambique. After the 30 year period, the road reverts to the governments.
eAfrica, August 2005PUBLIC-private partnerships have been hailed as a new way to conduct state business and harness the funding and expertise of the private sector. But a new study shows they fail unless government plans well and fixes its chronic problems of non-transparent politically-manipulated procurement.
eAfrica, August 2005 EXACTLY how should business relate to government? For much of the last half century the relationship has been rocky in Africa. Instead of pulling together to promote national champions, government and business often argue and accuse. Many governments see business as a cash cow or an exploiter to be restrained, regulated and forced to seek political approvals.
eAfrica, Volume 2, February 2004 TANGANDA, the largest tea producer in Zimbabwe and one of the country’s most important exporters, had a pretty good crop last year. Despite low rains, it put Z$ 18 billion in profits on the books.
CHILE’s phenomenal success and its reputation of being the anchor of economic stability in Latin America makes it the best place to launch a business in Latin America.
The African Economic Outlook is a unique tool combining the expertise of the OECD Development Centre and the African Development Bank to understand the economic, social and political developments of African countries. It provides comprehensive and comparable data and analysis of 31 African economies, accounting for 86 per cent of Africa's population and 91 per cent of its economic output. Five editions have already been published and the sixth edition was launched on 13 May 2007 at the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank in Shanghai. The SAIIA launch constitutes the first presentation of the AEO report in Africa.
The African Economic Outlook is a unique tool combining the expertise of the OECD Development Centre and the African Development Bank to understand the economic, social and political developments of African countries. It provides comprehensive and comparable data and analysis of 31 African economies, accounting for 86 per cent of Africa's population and 91 per cent of its economic output. Five editions have already been published and the sixth edition was launched on 13 May 2007 at the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank in Shanghai. The SAIIA launch constitutes the first presentation of the AEO report in Africa.
When the colonies in Africa and Asia became independent from 1945 to 1965, their political leaders were faced with two main challenges.
Does governance matter in attracting firms to invest in Africa? Yes, if investors’ statements are to be taken at face value. Publicly, some investors justify their reluctance to invest on the continent by blaming bad governance. Risk increases and returns diminish if revenues are spent on bribes, they argue. Factually, though, there is another side to the story. An analysis of two annual publications — Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index and the World Bank’s Doing Business report — combined with other data on the top foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in Africa certainly point to a different conclusion: that good…