In the second edition of its report, Implementing the 2030 Agenda, the World Bank looks at its impact in projects at the local, national, regional and global levels – and in the full range of sectors, including education, health, infrastructure, technology, climate change, gender equality, business development, energy, and many others.
Government leaders took forward the SADC industrialisation agenda, while focusing on infrastructure development, youth empowerment and sustainable development at the close of the 38th SADC Summit, which took place on 17 and 18 August 2018 in Windhoek. The theme was “Promoting infrastructure development and youth empowerment for sustainable development”.
Participants called for global youth empowerment and presented an international bank of scalable and replicable projects at the close of the G20 engagement group’s summit in Córdoba, Argentina.
Regional economies, employment, infrastructure and energy were some of the topics on the agenda when Argentine business leaders, ministers and governors attended the fifth edition of the B20 Business Leaders Forum in Patagonia.
The summit took place in Windhoek, Namibia, from 16-18 August 2018. Among other issues, leaders discussed the socio-economic situation in the region, while Angola, as chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, reported on the state of peace and security. Particu-lar attention was paid to recent and forthcoming elections including in Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Eswatini and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Over the course of the Y20 Summit, the 46 official representatives from G20 countries will work on a document containing public policy recommendations that will be submitted for consideration by G20 leaders on 30 November and 1 December in Buenos Aires. Delegates will also work on the Social Innovation Warehouse, an international bank of scalable and replicable projects designed by young people that will serve as input for governments and organisations seeking to innovate in public policies for young people.
BRICS members were discussing the possibility of creating a new currency for payments within the bloc, said Anatoly Aksakov, who heads the Russian State Duma Financial Committee. A BRICS currency would have good prospects, “because the bloc possesses half of the world popula-tion, 30% of the world's industry and 40% of the world's agriculture, as well as the biggest natural resources deposits.”
Combatting bribery, money laundering and tax evasion should be a priority if Africa was to finance its transition to middle income status and increase prosperity, said Vera Songwe, the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Trade expansion will likely slow further in the third quarter of 2018 according to the WTO’s latest World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) released on 9 August.
The annual SADC Industrialisation Week was “a unique opportunity for regional public-private engagement aimed at fostering new opportunities for intra-regional trade and investment in the SADC region”, Namibia’s Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Minister Tjekero Tweya said at the opening on 30 July in Windhoek. It precedes the Summit of the Heads of State and Government.
The WTO issued the latest editions of its annual statistical publications: World Trade Statistical Review, Trade Profiles and World Tariff Profiles on 30 July 2018. World Trade Statistical Review looks into the latest trends in global trade, as well as at the performance of developing economies and the latest developments in regional trade agreements, among other issues.
The 10th BRICS Summit was hailed as a huge success by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who said it was proof that BRICS was not merely a talk shop but a forum that took clear, decisive decisions to better their nations as a collective. Leaders signed the Johannesburg Declaration, as well as an agreement on environmental co-operation and a memorandum of understanding on a regional aviation partnership.
The communiqué issued at the close of the Third G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Buenos Aires on 22 July 2018 shows support from the world’s main economies of international trade and investment as “important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development”.
The surge in innovation brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution “had the potential to solve many of the social problems we face by better equipping us to combat disease, hunger and environmental degradation”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on day two of the tenth BRICS Summit. Openness, breaking down trade barriers, education and addressing the imbalance of available skills were championed as the keys to ensure that BRICS nations did not get left behind.
The New Development Bank, established in 2014 by BRICS, had made tremendous progress, bank president Kundapur Kamath told a sitting of the bloc’s heads of state during the tenth summit. “The bank is now fully operational and is in a rapid, though prudent, growth phase.” To date, it had approved 23 projects worth about $5.7-billion in its member countries.
South Africa set its targets for the BRICS Summit it is hosting at a roundtable discussion held at the Invest SA One Stop Shop in Johannesburg on 19 July. “BRICS must deliver to the people. It must speak to our national priorities, our domestic interest of addressing unemployment, poverty and inequity in our societies,” said BRICS ambassador Anil Sooklal, tabling peacekeeping, the establishment and launch of a BRICS Women’s Forum, a key focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the development of the needed skills as top of the country’s agenda.
Chinese experts said the BRICS summit would focus more on uniting members and deepening their industrial co-operation amid the common threats of protectionism and unilateralism, Global Times reported. Chen Fengying, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the news group that “this year’s summit comes at a crucial time when many emerging economies are facing pressure and challenges from US unilateralism and protectionism”.
The New Development Bank planned to lend as much as R8-billion ($600-million) more in South Africa this year in an effort to level the playing field among its five member states, Bloomberg reported. “Our aim is to be equitable among our five members,” NDB President KV Kamath told the news group. “If you look at the $4bn we will be doing this year, we should be lending around $800m” in each nation, he said. “I hope this year, we will hit that number.”
South Africa’s key finance track priorities for the BRICS Summit will be presented by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene at a high level meeting in Johannesburg on 24 July 2018, a day before the country hosts the tenth BRICS Summit in the city. New Development Bank president KV Kamath will talk about the latest developments at the bank, while Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago will present South Africa’s key priorities related to the work of the IMF Policy Committee. Also on the agenda are the implications for African and developing countries of the changing global geo-economic context.
The GEGAfrica project has been funded by UK aid from the UK government; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.