The South African government should consider other options to raise revenue instead of the proposed increase in VAT.
South Africa’s left wing trade unions may have found an unlikely ally in their objection to the proposed VAT hike. The OECD says there are other options South Africa could consider to raise revenue.
An oil worker stands on the deck of a tanker at Bonga off-shore oil field outside Lagos. Africa’s extractive industries are committed to local content but universities aren’t producing the right kind of graduates.
Huge investments have been made to develop Africa’s extractive industry. The challenge now is to forge collaboration between the industry and institutions of higher education to build a skills base.
The National Bank of Austria, the most recent example of central bank nationalisation.
The continued ownership of shares in central banks by private investors may be a superfluous relic but it enhances governance and adds to the transparency and accountability of central banks.
A South African farmer from Piketberg 100km outside Cape Town inspects the dry soil in his field of sewn wheat. It is cheaper to import the crop than to grow it commercially.
South Africa’s agricultural industry has struggled over the past 20 years due to the country’s rush to liberalise the sector while other countries continued to support their farmers.
The poor and the middle class will be the hardest hit if the South African government increases the value-added tax.
The South African government should weigh its decision carefully whether to increase value added tax (VAT) as indirect taxes fall most heavily on the poor and the middle class.
Nigeria’s plans for a new modern city need to be boosted so that they deliver a metropolis like the Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.
Rather than just becoming a financial venture, the Eko Atlantic experiment can be carried further at no extra cost to become the hub to transform good governance in Nigeria and West Africa.
During his upcoming visit to Washington, Muhammadu Buhari should soak up as much as he can about how to manage difficult economic conditions.
Muhammadu Buhari could learn some useful lessons from Barack Obama when they meet in Washington, particularly on how to get an economy back on its feet.
Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and IMF head Christine Lagarde.
Greece can learn a lot from Africa’s 1980s and 1990s experience of living with structural adjustment (austerity). The damage has been long-lasting – not only on economies, but also directly on people.
The rise of the BRICS countries is a case of political life imitating economic art.
The global recognition of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – has not only led to their greater global political influence, but also reinforced their regional leadership.
Ben Affleck championed the piece of legislation requiring companies reporting to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose their use of ‘conflict minerals’ originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Celebrities help make causes known to larger audiences and can be effective in obtaining pledges from policymakers. Yet their simplified advocacy messages can lead to ineffective or harmful policies.
South Africa, which has a shortage of energy, has three options for greater energy efficiency.
Shifting South Africa’s economy from energy intensive sectors to those with lower energy consumption will take more time, and even more funding. But the impact will be more permanent and sustainable.
Trade among African countries is the lowest globally as barriers to the easy movement of goods across borders remain.
Sub-Saharan African countries have the lowest trade among themselves compared with other regions. This is why there has been a major focus on reducing red tape and other non-tariff trade barriers
Not all of the post-independence period in Africa has been an economic failure.
Africa’s growth failure happened because of a combination of external economic shocks and a less-than-perfect policy response, from both international donors and national economic policymakers.
Asymmetries in the regulation of global trade in goods and services as well as finance have serious implications for Africa.
Efforts to address Africa’s developmental challenges are hampered by features of the global governance architecture that undermine national policy and international cooperation.
Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations in the Bavarian Alps for a summit in June. Time is ripe for a courageous shift in global leadership.
The world needs an alliance of leading well-being economies, a WE7, to lead it in the 21st century. It would be the first step towards a global network committed to a sustainable future for the planet.
Money is much more than just bank notes and coins issued by central banks.
The misguided belief that banks create money out of nothing has generated public anger with organisations and individuals calling for an overhaul of the system and an end to money creation by banks.
Mozambique has improved access to education, but it has to do more to meet the high expectations of its young and rapidly growing population.
Reuters/Grant Lee Neuenbur
Agriculture, which employs about 80% of the working population, and political stability are key to Mozambique’s rapid economic and social progress.
The challenge for new African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina is to ensure that it develops its own Africa-relevant solutions to the continent’s problems.
As the African Development Bank Group changes leadership, Africa’s multilateral financier must chart a new course, including raising the contribution and voice of Africans in the institution.
The production of indicators, such as the World Economic Forum’s ranking of economies on competitiveness, is a political process.
Reuters/Victor Ruiz Garcia
Governance indicators have become essential for policy formation and political decision-making, helping us make sense of the messy social world, manage and govern it.
Zambia’s success in building its food processing sector depends on tapping into procurement strategies of retail chains such as Shoprite.
Zambia’s drive to build its industrial capabilities has made steady progress. But it runs up against the history of economies that are dominated by mineral resources and landlocked countries.
Since its launch in 2011, South Africa’s renewable energy programme has brought a diversity of new players and sources of investment to the country.
South Africa has won global recognition for its renewable energy programme, but will it succeed in balancing the demands of financial and commercial soundness, and the transformation agenda?
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby in the The Great Gatsby. Jay’s story has been used by economists to explain the combination of unequal distribution of income and less economic mobility.
Evidence on the ability, or lack thereof, of children to rise above the economic status of their parents shines light on the continued persistence of inequality, including in South Africa.
Remittance recipients whose priority is the socioeconomic improvements of their lives were found to be less engaged with democratic processes.
Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Remittances may hinder the development of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. A lot depends on whether recipients value rights and freedom much more than improving their standard of living.
Multiple approaches to alleviating poverty help cater for different contexts and groups of people.
There is no one perfect package for alleviating poverty, but there is agreement on what the elements should be. Combination and sequence of interventions varies, depending on context and beneficiaries.
New African economic history is challenging earlier wisdom by showing, for example, that railways have had profound effects, both positive and negative on African societies.
African economic history has had a renaissance and its most valuable contribution has been to show that Africans have not always been poor, nor are current poverty levels an inevitable destiny.