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South Africa – SADC
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May 5, 2017

South Africa: Crunch time for power sector (Top Story News)

A series of recent events may have determined the future of South African power production for a generation.

Renewables look set for continued rapid expansion, coal is on the back foot and new nuclear plants look as far off as ever. The least spectacular event may have the greatest practical implications.

The government has announced that it has streamlined the procedures for developing large renewable energy projects in renewable energy development zones. Developers hoping to develop projects in the country’s eight renewable energy development zones will only be required to carry out basic environmental impact assessments, with the aim of greatly speeding up the [...]

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March 30, 2017

Uncle Kathy’s emotional send-off

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/uncle-kathys-emotional-send-off-20170329

Johannesburg – Stern words, standing ovations, and raw emotions dominated the final send-off for ANC veteran Ahmed Kathrada on Wednesday.

Friends, family, dignitaries, activists and struggle veterans said their last goodbyes to Kathrada at the Westpark cemetery, Johannesburg. Throngs of mourners gathered at the Houghton mosque early on Wednesday morning before heading to the cemetery for the last rites.

The 87-year-old stalwart’s coffin arrived draped in an ANC flag in a marquee almost filled to capacity.

Mourners sang revolutionary songs and veterans and former [...]

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March 29, 2017

Plummeting oil revenue hits Lusophone prospects

Angola and Mozambique may have very different economies but their current economic problems have the same two root causes: low energy prices and economic mismanagement.

Low oil prices have slashed Angolan revenues and slowed the development of gas and coal projects in Mozambique. At the same time, Maputo’s borrowing resulted in default in January, while Luanda’s continued opacity and state control has not created an economy sufficiently robust to weather the period of low oil prices more comfortably.

Most forecasters have become more pessimistic about the two countries’ prospects. The World Bank has downgraded its forecasts for Mozambican growth in 2017 and 2018 by 2.5% [...]

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March 29, 2017

How can Africans trade more with other Africans?

Global companies were supposed to be more efficient, leveraging resources from across the world, from places where they are best sourced, to create value on an unprecedented scale. That seemed to be the case in fact.

Western multinationals used cheaper labour in underdeveloped countries to manufacture products that relied on inputs from all over the world and technologies developed in their more expensive labour markets. Studies now suggest these advantages are being lost. Labour is no longer as cheap in many places.

In China, for example, lifestyles are becoming increasingly aspirational – more Chinese are now seeking the good life and consequently demanding higher [...]

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