Business

Africa, time to get back to basics

As a point of departure, it is important to acknowledge that we know a lot about the challenges confronting the African continent today. Equally, we know more about the world today. It is in this context that a call for rethinking Africa’s political economy is made. Such a rethink is timely because the world economy…

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Pravin needs to chide government

Pravin Gordhan’s call on South Africa to resolve its “labour-relations challenges” is timely, if not overdue. His appeal for “concerted action by organised labour, business, civic leaders and the government” although inclusive, is however, unlikely to yield any fruits. In the 19 years of transformation, the spirit of entrepreneurship that is needed to create the…

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Into the aerotropolis

The best place to spot planes in Johannesburg is on Jan Smuts Road off Yaldwyn in Boksburg. You park right next to the runway, just beyond the razor wire, and wait. On Saturday my brother and I achieved a haul of a Kulula 737, three SA Express Embraers and an SAA Star Alliance Airbus. I…

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Chester Missing’s more real than the NYDA

By Willie Tafadzwa Chinyamurindi Dear Yershen Pillay, the chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency Yershen, youths like kids often say the darndest things. I challenged my students during a class to think radically concerning issues on employability and the insurmountable challenges facing youths in our country. The usual answers ensued, “government must provide a…

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Economic growth set to reduce poverty in Africa

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to reach more than 5% on average between 2013 and 2015 as a result of high commodity prices worldwide and strong consumer spending on the continent, ensuring that the region remains among the fastest growing in the world. In 2012, about 25% of countries on the African continent…

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The age of the indebted, mediatised, securitised and depoliticised

In Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s latest book Declaration (Argo Navis, 2012) — although, probably given its brevity (just over a hundred pages) compared to the books comprising their trilogy (Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth), they refer to it as a “pamphlet” — they articulate the global crisis of the present era in terms of four…

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The changing landscape of financial inclusion

Today, there is broad recognition that access to capital is only one of the inputs required for economic development and poverty alleviation. Furthermore, the marginalised — like anyone — require and use a variety of financial services for a variety of purposes. And some of these services work better than others, for reasons we are…

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The truth about extreme global inequality

The crisis of capital, the rise of the Occupy movement and the crash of Southern Europe have brought the problem of income inequality into mainstream consciousness in the West for the first time in many decades. Now everyone is talking about how the richest 1% have captured such a disproportionate share of wealth in their…

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Africa’s mobile revolution in education

For a continent that has historically been largely unconnected via land-based telecommunications, mobile telephony uptake over the last few years has been nothing short of a revolution on the African continent. In 1995 there were an estimated 600 000 mobile phone subscriptions in Africa. A decade later this number rose to 87 million and in 2012 it…

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The importance of financial inclusion in the developing world

Financial inclusion poses policy challenges on a scale and with an urgency that is unique for developing countries, which house nearly 90% of the world’s unbanked population. Developing country policymakers have recognised that complex and multi-dimensional factors contribute to financial exclusion and therefore require a comprehensive variety of providers, products and technologies that work within…

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