The Global Economic Governance (GEG) Africa programme is a policy research and stakeholder engagement programme to strengthen the influence of pro-poor African coalitions at global economic governance fora.
Well-designed, maintained and operated infrastructure is crucial in addressing Africa’s socio-economic development, growing population and rising urbanisation levels. According to 2017 data from the International Energy Agency, as many as 600 million people in Africa (approximately 60% of the continent’s total population) have no access to energy.
Having been one of the largest investors in Africa, South Africa has provided an entry point for investors outside of the continent, playing a dominant role in aiding investment across other African countries, promoting and providing economic growth, skills, capital and trade across the continent.
“Business is down”, this is Lillian’s rather dejected response as I browse through her curios store on a side street of Mombasa’s old town. It’s true, the streets are largely deserted, but I do see something I didn’t expect – there are quite a few small groups of tourists who seem to be local Kenyans, or at least from the region, as I hear bargaining in Swahili.
As a complement to our previous blog in which we looked at a range of policy instruments to support the enabling-market approach to digital policy formation, this blog delves into some of the instruments that developing countries can use when adopting a more interventionist policy approach – the ultimate goal being ‘digital catch-up’.
In our previous blog, we looked at the two broad policy approaches that developing countries could adopt to enhance their digital preparedness: an enabling approach and a digital catch-up approach. Linked to these two approaches are various policy instruments that can be used to steer the policy implementation process.
Embracing digitalisation is not an option for countries. The digital era has arrived and its effects will increasingly be felt as time goes by. Whether the developing world will be able to grasp the unfolding opportunities and not be overwhelmed by the challenges will depend on the policies that countries formulate and the diligence with which they implement them. Left to its own devices, the digital economy will simply widen the digital divide and exacerbate countries’ economic problems.
In August 2016, SADC member states signed an agreement to mobilise approximately $1 billion in seed funding to create the SADC Regional Development Fund, with infrastructure development being one of the fund’s four key categories of finance.
While the RDF has the potential to make the SADC region more self-sufficient when it comes to its infrastructure development plans and initiatives, we have seen how a number of obstacles might complicate the full operationalisation of the Fund. Governments must move beyond talk if they are to realise their vision of a more economically agile and trade-friendly region.
This week, South Africa is hosting the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group for the bloc’s 10th annual Summit. South Africa will again this year champion key African priorities alongside its own. For African countries, infrastructure development and industrialisation will remain key areas of strategic cooperation with the BRICS.
The rise of e-commerce presents considerable opportunities and challenges for international trade, but with stalemate at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), global trade governance looks set to fall behind this growth. As ever more trade occurs through the production, distribution, marketing, sale and delivery of goods and services by electronic means, this blog post reflects on where next for e-commerce in Africa.
As Argentina takes over the G20 Presidency this month, it is becoming clearer that it will continue the focus on sustainability. Fostering the transformation of the global economy towards sustainability is one of the commitments made by the G20 towards implementing Agenda 2030, a focus of the last two G20 Presidencies. Integrating Global Value Chains (GVCs) are a critical part of achieving sustainability, especially through the incorporation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
As the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference kicks off in Buenos Aires, the GEG Africa programme has undertaken an extensive study on key issues for South Africa and other African negotiators to consider at the three-day meeting.
As South Africa’s Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba prepares for his inaugural Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on 25 October, one issue will weigh heavily on his mind: how to increase government expenditure to further stimulate growth at a time when the government’s fiscal environment remains heavily constrained.
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.
In the final quarter of 2016 South Africa participated in two critical global economic governance summits as the lone continental representative: the 11th G20 summit hosted by China and the 8th BRICS summit hosted by India.
Hot on the heels of the recent G20 Summit in China, the 8th BRICS Summit will be held on 15-16 October 2016 in Goa, India. When South Africa hosted the Summit in 2013, it emphasised that BRICS needed to be relevant to Africa’s development priorities. The ambitious intentions stated in the BRICS Summit Declarations and Action Plans need to translate into actions that deliver tangible outcomes. Therefore, what can the African continent expect to derive from this year’s BRICS Summit?
The 11th G-20 Summit in Hangzhou, China closed earlier this week, focusing on the 'New' Industrial Revolution and technological changes, such as big data, robotics, and cloud computing. Innovation has been China’s key area of interest throughout their G-20 Presidency, dedicating many discussions to how new industries could invigorate the global economy.
On 4-5 September, 2016, G-20 leaders will meet in Hangzhou, China. Global macroeconomic and financial developments traditionally dominate the agenda. The global economy remains mired in the economic doldrums, so this year there will be plenty to discuss. Brexit is likely to add further spice.
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.