Business

The financial crisis and emerging economies

The role of globalisation after the 2008–2009 financial crises has fundamentally altered the economic landscape around the world. Excessive dependence on exports to the United States and the European Union has long been identified as a problem for developing countries. Product and market diversification should be part of any trade or development strategy. The fall…

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Banking on sexism

Earlier this year I told Standard Bank that they could stick their dishwasher where the sun doesn’t shine. The reason? It replicated 1950s sexism assuming that men in the family are breadwinners, sit around watching TV all day, and that the women in the family do all the cleaning. Accordingly men were given the opportunity…

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Informal cross-border trade should be formalised

Despite being a source of income for many living on the African continent, as much as 43%, informal cross-border trade is regarded as illegal. Informal cross-border trade refers to trade in processed or non-processed merchandise that may be legal imports or exports on one side of the border and illicit on the other side and…

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Avoiding the resource curse in Africa

Over the last four decades, resource abundant countries in the developing world have consistently under-performed resource poor countries when it comes to economic growth, income inequality and good governance. It has been well established that the more intense a country’s reliance on mineral exports (measured as a percentage of GDP), the more slowly its economy…

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Driven by necessity? You be the judge

It was interesting to note that at last month’s Judicial Service Commission interviews for the post of KwaZulu-Natal deputy judge president, Judge President Chiman Patel chose to grill Judge Isaac Madondo over the fact that he was the only judge in the division to enjoy the services of a dedicated driver. Judge Madondo responded that…

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The importance of technology in economic and social development

Technological innovation and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) represent a way for developing world nations to foster economic development, improve levels of education and training as well as address gender issues within society. Entrepreneurship is crucial for economic development around the world. In countries such as Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia, micro-entrepreneurs generate 38% of the gross…

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Postcard from a recovering China

Preparing to leave Beijing last week after a splendid fortnight’s rail tour of the two neighbouring (and confusingly named) provinces of Shaanxi and Shanxi, I was startled to find evidence of a very different China to the one that is often portrayed in mainstream English-language media – “never mind the quality, feel the growth!” What’s…

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Eskom crippling our water resources

It’s a simple truth: water is fundamental to life, we can’t live without it. The problem, though, is that water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource; one South Africa is running short of. By 2030 it’s expected that our demand for water will outstrip what’s available by a staggering 17%. Already more than 98% of…

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The Economist gets it wrong — again

It’s easy to satirise the kind of journalism that led to the now famous October 20 “Cry, the beloved country” cover story of the Economist magazine. There are two stories in the edition, a short “leader” article and the main story. This is the intro of the main story in the magazine: “It has made…

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South Africa on the brink

Two weeks into the truckers’ strike and South Africa stands on the precipice of serious societal breakdown. The Marikana massacre was undoubtedly a tragic event in its own right, although it may prove to have merely been the spark that lit the fuse. The powder keg waiting to explode is the imminent shortage in liquid…

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