Tag: Africa Media

Ghana has a housing crisis: what we found in Kumasi, and what needs to change

The historical city of Kumasi is undergoing significant change Daniel Mensah Boafo/ShutterstockHousing is one of the most basic human needs and can have a profound impact on the happiness, lifestyle, self-esteem, and productivity of an individual. Yet the delivery of adequate housing to urban dwellers has been a considerable challenge for national governments in many developing countries. Compound houses remain an important housing type in most West African...

South Africa’s waning economic fortunes demand harsh policy adjustments: who will bear the brunt?

South African Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni. The origins of the country's fiscal crisis are deeper than COVID-19. Getty ImagesThe social and economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated South Africa’s fiscal crisis. But the origins of the fiscal crisis are deeper. It is a structural crisis that will define public policy over the years ahead. Two decades ago, South Africa was confident about its economic...

South Africa’s economic reform ambitions fall short of what’s required: a few pointers

Parts of South Africa's economy, such as the transport sector, are dominated by a few companies, which raises barriers to entry. Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesOver the past two decades various African National Congress (ANC) administrations in South Africa have sought to redistribute income to the poor and the vulnerable. They have also sought to stimulate rapid economic growth. The administrations have made progress in the redistribution effort,...

Restrictions in trade to contain COVID-19 have been devastating for Africa’s urban poor

Kenyan flower exports to Europe fell 50%, affecting about 1 million people. Getty ImagesTrade routes have been significantly disrupted this year in efforts to contain COVID-19. The effects of this are already showing: global growth is set to contract by 4.9% and growth in sub-Saharan Africa will contract by 3.2%. This will get worse if continued restrictions further impede trade. The World Trade Organisation has warned that at...

Whistle-blowers in South Africa are treated as pariah’s in spite of their moral courage

Shutterstock Recent reports of the looting of relief funds meant for managing the COVID-19 pandemic have once again shone the spotlight on the abuse of power in South Africa. They beg the question as to how it can be prevented. Data from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Ethics Barometer suggested that the country has a long way to go in dealing with ethical failures. Whereas 45%...

African countries need reliable and accessible economic data: recent ratings show why

Botswana retained its rating because of its strong case about fiscal strategy, institutional strength, and prudent policymaking ShutterstockA number of African countries have recently been contesting decisions by credit rating agencies. Some have raised objections that the rating agencies lack understanding of their economic environment. Others have challenged the correctness of their ratings on the basis that the agencies had not discussed them with the country’s representatives. The...

Zimbabwe’s restrictions on mobile money transfers are a blow to financial inclusion

Closed mobile money kiosk Tampiwa Mahari/ Great Gatsby Photography, Author providedMobile financial services are, in most African countries, born out of crises. In 2011, Zimbabwe had gone through a volatile decade of economic crises – hyperinflation, currency instability and a collapse of the formal financial system. Consumers, mostly employed in the informal sector, had a widespread mistrust of the formal banking system. In came Econet, a major mobile...

Here’s why South Africa and its neighbours are anxious about EU and UK post-Brexit trade talks

EU and UK are major markets for South African exports, including vehicles ShutterstockAs the deadline for the post-Brexit trade talks between the European Union (MIG) and the United Kingdom (Storbritannien) looms, concerns have arisen as to whether the two parties will be able to conclude a deal. In terms of the Brexit divorce agreement, the UK is expected to leave the EU single market and customs union on...
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