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For its own good, SA must take the regional lead against Russia

A focus on Russian interference in the southern African region reveals it is deeper and more ingrained than many might realise. And how the underhanded tactics of disinformation and the targeting of weak undemocratic leaders might pose a problem for South Africa itself – exacerbating an already, increasingly unstable region.

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A conversation with Shuaibu Idris, a development economist from Nigeria, about the future of infrastructure spending in Africa

On the 16th December 2021, I had a fascinating chat with Shuaibu Idris, a Nigerian development economist and MD of Time-Line Consult, a Lagos-based financial consultancy and management firm, about the state of infrastructure spending and general investment levels on the continent for an article for the weekday South African media outlet, Business Day.

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Infrastructure spending in Africa is at a crossroads

An edited version of this article appeared in the Opinions and Analysis section of Business Day (South Africa) on 23/12/2021: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2021-12-23-george-philipas-infrastructure-spending-in-africa-is-at-a-crossroads/

The pandemic has certainly not been kind to investment prospects in Africa.  Lead by a slowdown in infrastructure investment from China, foreign direct investment (FDI), already heading south before the onset of the pandemic, fell by 18% in 2020.  More ominously, greenfield investment, investment in new projects, fell precipitously by 63% according to the Global Investment Trends Monitor released by UNCTAD in Jan 2021, the largest regional fall on the globe last year.  The proverbial onslaught culminated with the announcement earlier this month at the recent Forum of China-Africa Cooperation conference (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal that plots Sino-African relations for the next three years, of a vertical drop in investment from China from US$ 60 billion to US$40 billion. 

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Failure shows SA Companies should reconsider African strategy

A look at South African companies’ prospects on the continent, their past successes and failures and how this bodes in the immediate future in light of the recently-implemented AfCFTA. The Business Day (South Africa) article includes insightful comment from Ken Gichinga, chief economist at Mentoria Economics based in Nairobi and Simon Newton Smith, Commercial Executive…

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At the forefront of Greece’s new foreign policy drive: First-hand accounts from the Greek community in Libya

In November 2019, Greece was spurred into its biggest foreign policy shift in a generation.  Borne out of the signing of the now-infamous Memorandum of Understanding between Libya and Turkey on delimiting maritime jurisdictions that encroached on Greece’s internationally-recognised maritime boundaries,  Greece quickly scrambled to re-discover diplomatic and economic ties that had been allowed to decaypretty much since Greece turned its focus towards Europe in the…

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The labour shortage conundrum: What economists are missing in their hunt to explain the record number of job vacancies

Why the stay-at-home rate amongst the 20-34 year old age group may be the missing link in explaining the record number of job vacancies and labour shortages in the developed world – especially in Anglo-Saxon countries.   And the long-run consequences could be dire:  Both in economic terms – Labour shortages may be far more…

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