Stories written by John Fraser

West Cold-Shoulders Rebuilding Southern Africa

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.

Southern Africa Shows the Way With Water

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.

Crossing Borders with Trade

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.

Africa’s Largest Hydroelectric Project May Hit the Rocks

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.

Where Banks Need Less Regulation

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.

Freeing Trade Between South Africa and Nigeria

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.

Southern Africa Must Unite to Boost Tourism

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.

Can South Africa Help Nigeria to Industrialise?

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.

Is Aid to South Africa Drying Up?

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.

Lessons in Economic Integration for African Union

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.

Major Trade Deal Between EU and Southern Africa Expected

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.

Should South African Taxpayers Subsidise Car-Making Robots?

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.

Storm in a Teacup Between EU and South Africa

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.

Not Yet Banking on BRICS

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.

Resentment as South Africa Speaks Business for Continent

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.

New Development Bank to be Key BRICS Building Block

Emerging market leaders want their Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa club to be taken seriously, and next month they are expected to make a decisive move towards setting up a development bank to give it real substance and credibility.

Tourism Lies at the Heart of the BRICS

As tourism between the emerging nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa starts to increase, South Africa is determined to weld the iron while it is hot.

BRICS Summit Means Business

African nations and other emerging countries are expected to soon outperform the developed world, and South Africa wants to take advantage.

The Bank Stops Here

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Nonetheless, it is difficult to miss the irony in the following sentence from a news release, sent out by South Africa’s First National Bank on Jan. 17.

Q&A: Raising Tariffs “Common Sense” Not Protectionism

South Africa has denied that it is taking a protectionist stance to protect its own producers against foreign competition, but says it is justified in boosting tariffs where this is allowed under international trade agreements.

Chris Hart, economist and chief strategist of the Johannesburg-based asset manager, Investment Solutions. Credit: John Fraser/IPS

BRICS Invest in National Priorities

A leading South African economist and investment strategist has warned that national priorities may be a more compelling factor influencing business decisions in the BRICS group of countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – than the prospects of increased market access through the alliance.

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