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.


The rise of e-commerce presents considerable opportunities and challenges for international trade, but with stalemate at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), global trade governance looks set to fall behind this growth. As ever more trade occurs through the production, distribution, marketing, sale and delivery of goods and services by electronic means, this blog post reflects on where next for e-commerce in Africa.
Thursday, 15 March 2018 09:06

Outcomes of G20 Dialogue Forum

This was an opportunity for African policymakers to share their views on how the G20 can tackle the continent’s concerns.
Thursday, 06 July 2017 16:54

G20 commitment to Africa

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.
SAIIA, DNA Economics and Tutwa Consulting are extremely pleased to be starting a new project on Global Economic Governance and Africa, the second phase of the project SAIIA ran from 2012-2015.
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’.
Monday, 20 July 2015 09:16

Financing for development: Resources

Written by
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.
Thursday, 02 July 2015 11:09

BRICS Materials 2015

Written by
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.
On 31 March 2015, the South African Institute of International Affairs hosted a G-20 Study Group on 'Turkey and the G-20 Presidency: Implications for Africa.'
A new set of papers has just been released, looking at BRICS and Development Finance Institutions.
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 19:24

Nene faces toughest test yet

Written by
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.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 13:04

Where is the ‘A’ in ‘BRICS’?

Written by
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.
Monday, 19 January 2015 10:14

A fresh approach to credit ratings

Written by
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”. 
Monday, 01 December 2014 16:17

The G-20 Tax Agenda and Africa's Needs

Written by
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.
Monday, 24 November 2014 12:06

Africa’s hope at Brisbane G-20 Summit

Written by
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.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 181, April 2014 Download - English (885.94 kB)Published by SAIIA's Economic Diplomacy Programme
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 11:48

The Unfair Nature of the World Trade Organisation

Written by
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…
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:40

Washington after Fortaleza

Written by
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.'

  • Location Pretoria
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.
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 11:47

Africa at Jackson Hole

Written by
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.
Page 1 of 6

Click the button below to receive email updates any time new GEG Africa material is posted. (Or click here to subscribe to the quarterly GEG Africa newsletter).