South Africa's membership of the Brics group of emerging powers has been criticised – mostly based on the small size of its market. But the country punches above its weight, with the world's largest mineral resources and sound financial standing. These strengths underscore its value to the Brics' development bank.
African countries are collaborating to remove barriers to inter-country trade on the continent, President Jacob Zuma says on the sidelines of WEF. Allowing investors to move freely across borders is necessary for business to flourish, and red tape preventing this is being cut by governments.
The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index ranks South Africa as the 56th most competitive economy out of 144 countries, the highest standing on the African continent and ahead of its Brics developing economy partners India and Brazil.
As the world's economic leaders gather in Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum, Team South Africa prepares to tell a story of innovation and skills development focused on boosting employment and pushing the country ahead of the pack in the emerging economies.
By 2016 50% of Africa’s population will be living in cities and there will be 65 cities with populations over 1-million. By 2030 the 18 largest African cities will have a combined spending power of $1.3-trillion. While Africa’s rapidly urbanising population is creating new markets it presents infrastructure and humanitarian challenges.
The world is changing at a breathtaking pace. In the past year, it seems to have become a darker place, marked by deepening geopolitical fault-lines which jeopardise the era of economic expansion, integration and partnership that began with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.