The Global Economic Governance (GEG) Africa programme is a policy research and stakeholder engagement programme to strengthen the influence of pro-poor African coalitions at global economic governance fora.
This year Germany has made Africa the focus of its G20 presidency through its Compact with Africa and the Marshall Plan for the continent, which together aim to create a more sustainable environment for private sector participation in African economies.
The International Conference on Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-15 July 2015 brought together world leaders to assess progress on the implementation of the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and the 2008 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development. The goal of the Monterrey Consensus, endorsed at Doha, was ‘to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development as the World advances to a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system’.
Last week, at the United Nations Third International Conference on Financing for Development, in Addis Ababa, the 193 UN Member States agreed on a series of measures to overhaul global finance practices and generate investments for tackling a range of development challenges.
Leaders from the BRICS countries - Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa - will meet on 8-9 July 2015 in the Russian city of Ufa. Many key developments are expected to arise from the Summit, which takes place as Russia’s relationship with the United States and its European allies worsens, while its ties to BRICS appear to have become closer.
Some five weeks ago I attended the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Academic Forum in Moscow as part of the South African delegation. The discussions held there provide interesting insights into the future direction of the BRICS group.
After a late flurry of additions to the founding membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), attention now turns to setting the China-led AIIB’s rules and regulations. But important questions remain – most important, whether the AIIB is a potential rival or a welcome complement to existing multilateral financial institutions like the World Bank.
South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is facing his biggest baptism of fire yet when he delivers his maiden National Budget speech on Wednesday, as the country desperately needs him to plug the gap between national spending and revenue. South Africa’s debt trend is not sustainable.
The BRICS certainly want to engage with Africa yet the consensus is that it is up to the continent to determine how it wants to use its platform to navigate the international system – and many questions remain unanswered. Rebecca Ramsamy, ECDPM's Young International Professional and former intern with SAIIA, reports on discussions at a recent Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung conference.
Over the past few years there have been discussions amongst the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries to open up their own rating agency that will compete with the 'big three' credit rating agencies - that is, Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and the Fitch Group. S&P and Moody’s are based in the US.
Without question South Africa remains a vibrant, complicated and seemingly a growing troubled land. My colleagues from the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) one of the premiere think tanks in South Africa and the University of Pretoria, particularly the Department of Political Science there brought together some of their South African colleagues with experts from a number of countries for a conference (December 4th-5th) titled “Alliances Beyond BRICS: South Africa’s Role in Global Economic Governance”.
The importance of taxation goes far beyond providing income to finance the public sector, investments, and the basic needs of the population. The establishment of states is partly attributed to the tax system which has also contributed to promoting the state’s legitimacy, strengthening democracy, as well as to creating economic well-being for the general population.
In July 2014, the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), announced the creation of a new, US$100 billion New Development Bank to lend money to developing nations for investments. There is much speculation about the role the Bank might play, and the motivations of the BRICS members in establishing it.
For global governance watchers, last week was the big week of the year. Between 7 November and 16 November, the world witnessed an APEC meeting in Yanqi Lake near Beijing complete with a bilateral China–Japan ‘breakthrough’ and a major US–China climate deal; an historic ASEAN and East Asia Summit held in Naypidaw, Myanmar; and a colourful G-20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia.
The 2014 annual summit of the group of 20 (G-20) developed and emerging economies comes up from 15 to 16 November in the Australian city of Brisbane. As usual, the leaders of the G-20 countries will be deliberating on issues that will have ramifications for not only their respective economies but also the rest of the world, including those who will not be represented at the deliberations.
The Group of 20 (G-20) will hold its ninth Leaders Summit in Brisbane, Australia next week. Around the table are expected to be three African Heads of State from South Africa, Mauritania and Senegal. South Africa is the only permanent African member of this prestigious group that is the self-styled pre-eminent forum on global economic governance issues.
Group of 20 (G-20) Summits are a magnet for expectations. Ever since the grouping was formed in the turbulent early days of the 2008 global financial crisis major stakeholders have pinned many hopes on the ability of the group to steer the globe back to growth.
As the only African member of the G-20, South Africa carries the weight not only of its own national interests but of being a voice for the concerns of African and low-income countries. While South Africa has no official mandate to represent anyone but itself, there is implicit pressure to ensure that those countries and institutions who participate in the G-20 processes at least understand how some their decisions might impact upon African non-members.
When Russia hosted the first BRIC Leaders’ Summit in June 2009, which was attended by Brazil’s President Lula, Russia’s President Dimitry Medvedev, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and China’s President Hu Jintao, Russia's leader hailed Yekatarinburg the as 'the epicenter of world politics.' The need for major developing world nations to meet in new formats was 'obvious,' he said.
South Africa’s current growth rate, and trajectory, is weak. Global circumstances, notably our exposure to continued European stagnation and financial market tapering by the US Federal Reserve Bank, are partly to blame. Structural conditions, particularly continued commodity dependence, weak manufacturing capacity, skills shortages, and infrastructure bottlenecks, also play a role.
Thirteen years ago the World Trade Organization (WTO) essentially promised to put developing states needs at the forefront of international trade negotiation agenda. The start of the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations, in November 2001, saw the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration that was a positive response to the anti-globalisation riots and challenges seen at the ends of the 1990s. The five-day protests called the 'Battle of Seattle', which resulted in the opening ceremonies and the initial session of the WTO being effectively shut down, was a clear example of the developing states people’s and developed state activists’ belief…
Four months after the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) launched their New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CAR) at a Summit held in Fortaleza, Brazil, the World Bank and IMF convened for their Annual Meetings. For all the fanfare that met the announcement of the BRICS’ new financial infrastructure, not a lot has changed.
The Economic Diplomacy Programme at SAIIA and the Mandela Institute, School of Law at the University of Witwatersrand hosted a public G-20 Study Group on 'Ensuring South African and Other Developing Nations Benefit from the G-20's Work on Tax.'
In a recent interview with BBC Hardtalk, the economist and futurologist Jeremy Rifkin propounded a radical new vision of capitalism, or rather the end of capitalism, one where people produce their own energy, produce and share what they need and build an economy based on collaboration not competition.
For some the Group of 20 (G20) is synonymous with political symbolism, for others the G-20 yields much influence in setting agendas for the global economy through the framing of discourses and the prioritisation of some ideas and policies over others. For South Africa, being the only African member of the G-20 brings with it the – at times, burdening – ‘first in Africa’ label. Although internationally of relatively small economic and political weight, South Africa is an African power, and it has taken on a related representative role within the G-20.
The Jackson Hole summit (officially the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Economic Symposium, held 21-23 August 2014), was one of the more subdued in recent memory. Every comment coming out of the annual retreat of the world’s top central bankers has been closely scrutinised over the last few years, as nervous markets searched for clues on how regulators would manage the financial crisis and the ensuing recovery. But even with markets returning to something resembling normality, the macro-economy once again crashed the party.
South Africa is the only African member of the Group of 20 (G-20) and therefore carries the weight not only of its own national interests but of being a voice for the concerns of African and low income countries. While South Africa has no official mandate to represent anyone but itself, there is implicit pressure to ensure that those countries and institutions who participate in the G-20 processes at least understand some of the impacts that their decisions might have on African non-members.
The recently held Sixth Summit of the BRICS grouping of countries has rightly emphasised the role of intra-BRICS trade for furthering their economic cooperation.Keeping in mind the Fortaleza Declaration, CUTS International has published a Discussion Paper titled 'Intra-BRICS Trade & Its Implications for India'. This Discussion Paper, using a series of analytical tools, illustrates the trends in trade and competitiveness between the BRICS countries as well as its implications for India.
The seaside resort of Fortaleza in the northern part of Brazil was the destination for the sixth summit for the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) group of nations. Flying into the city, one would not be immediately aware it was playing host to this increasingly significant geo-strategic platform of the Global South. Daily life moved along routinely.
A country’s international economic agenda is invariably shaped by its domestic constraints and socio-economic development objectives. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) states are no exception.
After five years of introspection and institution building, the sixth BRICS summit offers an opportunity for the group to focus on its relations with the rest of the world. Relations with the Group of 7 (G-7) are particularly contentious. Russia's exclusion from the G-8 following the crisis in Crimea has moved the BRICS to the centre stage in Russian foreign policy thinking, and risks pulling the group onto an opposition footing with the West.
South Africa hosted the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban in March 2013. This summit was a first for South Africa and for the BRICS in more ways than one. Notable was the fact that it was the first summit held under a theme that went beyond the five BRICS members and resonated with the continent in which the Summit was being hosted. The theme for the Summit was, “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation”.
In November 2011, a group of five like-mentioned organisations from among the BRICS group of countries came together in Shanghai, China to establish the BRICS Trade & Economics Research Network. They are: Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil; EcoAccord, Russia; CUTS International, India; Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center, China; and South African Institute of International Affairs, South Africa.
In advance of the sixth annual BRICS Heads of State Summit, to be held in Fortaleza, Brazil from 14-16 July 2014, SAIIA has compiled an engaging range of new materials about the grouping's past, present and future.