The Southern African Development Community has had to revisit its plans to raise funding for its ambitious regional development plan in the wake of a cold-shoulder from western nations and multilateral finance institutions.
Water remains a key component in development policy. And, as the Southern African Development Community discusses how best to develop the region, the effective management of watercourses will be key, says Professor Anthony Turton, one of the foremost experts on water policy in southern Africa and a trustee of the Water Stewardship Council of Southern Africa.
Experts are agreed that the key to unlocking the economic potential of the Southern African Development Community lies in easing cross-border flows of people, goods, capital and services.
There are big aspirations for Africa’s largest hydroelectric project, the Inga III that is set to be built in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But analysts are sceptical that such an ambitious project will ever be realised.
Leading bankers are concerned that the regulatory environment in some southern African states is preventing them from offering a full range of services to individuals and companies across the region.
If a Free Trade Area were to be negotiated between Africa’s two largest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, it would have a powerful effect on trade across the sub-continent and would challenge other countries to respond.
Competing players in the tourism industry in southern Africa are putting aside their rivalry in pursuit of a common goal – a big boost in tourist numbers to the region.
The lack of economic diversification throughout sub-Saharan Africa means that despite South Africa’s pledges to help Nigeria make the automotive sector the West African nation’s flagship industrial target, it may be difficult to do so, experts say.
Commentators and business leaders in South Africa believe that the recent announcement of an end to the United Kingdom’s aid programme to South Africa may be the start of a new trend to cut back on aid to this country, and possibly to the rest of Africa.
As the African Union celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it is still younger and less integrated than the 56-year-old body that is now the European Union, and, according to politicians and diplomats, has a big advantage over the Europeans as it charts its own path of integration.
There is growing optimism that the countries of Southern Africa are within months of concluding negotiations with the European Union on a major new trade deal, after years of hesitant progress and frustration.
If job creation is South Africa’s major social and economic priority, the country should be investing in people rather than in robots that populate the country’s highly-automated automotive manufacturing sector, according to local economists.
A trademark system which is used to protect Europe’s finest wines, cheeses and hams could soon brew up benefits for a humble tea from a remote region of South Africa.
Although leaders of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa group agreed to launch a new development funding institution, giving the club a major infrastructure boost, some here are sceptical about the potential impact of the new bank.
There is growing resentment in Africa about the way in which South Africa professes to speak for the rest of the continent in its role as a member of key developing nation blocs, researchers and experts have warned.