An edited version of this article appeared in the daily weekday ed of Business Day (South Africa) on 18/10/2021:
There has been a flurry of activity by South African companies on the continent recently. From Vodacom’s successful bid as minority partner for the Ethiopian telecommunications license to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between South African Airlines (SAA) and Kenyan Airways (KQ) that is intended to sow the seed for a pan-African airline. In fact, South African companies have made great inroads into Africa over the last two decades or so and seem to dominate the African business space. According to a 2018 report by the Boston Consulting Group, South African companies make up 32 out of the 75 African multinationals active on the continent. And according to a recent 2021 fDi Intelligence report, a leading research agency and a division of the Financial Times, South Africa is the second biggest investor on the continent from Africa or the Middle East, behind only the UAE.
But there is another side to this unquestionable success, one punctuated by regular missteps and blunders that have been repeated to the great detriment of a significant number of South African companies in Africa.
Continue reading “Failure shows SA Companies should reconsider African strategy”
The stay-at-home rate amongst the 18-34 year old age group – those who have moved back or never left the parental home – may well be a crucial missing link in explaining the record number of job vacancies and labour shortages in the developed world.
And the long-run consequences could be dire that could lead to far more persistent labour shortages than many realise, especially at the lower end, and by extension lead to higher levels of inflation for longer.
Continue reading “The labour shortage conundrum: What economists are missing in their hunt to explain the record number of job vacancies”
And with more angry, young people with no hope and a bleak future comes increased unrest and civil strife.
The great inflation debate that begun in earnest following the current U.S administration’s US$1.9tn coronavirus relief package in early Spring 2021 has morphed into something more serious than the jovial sideshow that is was before. Recent monthly U.S consumer price inflation (the percentage increase in prices across a range of representative goods and services) continues to overstep forecasts. In June in the U.S it came in at a whopping 5.4% – the highest jump since the early 80s. If this persists, at stake is the end of cheap money upon which advanced economies have come to rely so heavily upon – that is, if increases in interest rates are deployed to combat the problem and one that has not reared its ugly head in a generation.
Continue reading “The source of inflation that nearly no-one is focused on and everyone needs to worry about…”
This article was published in the Sunday Cyprus Mail on 20th June 2021
In an affluent suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, where ex-colonial houses sit comfortably next to shiny new shopping centres, is the unassuming building that has housed the Cyprus Brotherhood of South Africa since 1952.
Continue reading “A sense of continuity for the South African Cypriot diaspora”
While many commentators are raising their proverbial arms in the air and decrying the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the current violence may have exposed a path to an end game – for better or for worse – between the two sides.
As familiar as the eternal and depressing rocket exchange between Hamas and the IDF is, causing predictable and well-trodden consequences and damage, it seems that this this time the confrontation feels different in scope.
Continue reading “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Why the eternal struggle may not be so eternal for much longer.”
Up until about 2004 when I emigrated to Africa – first to Kenya and then South Africa, I had lived in London all my life.
From Greek heritage I always considered myself English growing up. A born and bred Londoner.
Even when people would retort, “yes, but where are you actually from?” puzzling over my generic dark, Mediterranean physical features, I would brush the slight aside and proudly declare allegiance to Blighty – water off a duck’s back as the old British saying goes.
Moving abroad, that sense of nationhood only deepened. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and all that – A proverb probably borne out of the intense passion of a thousand long-distance relationships fueled by well-engineered love letters in well-crafted English as described in the best traditions of 19th century British romance novels of the Jane Austen persuasion.
But all that changed with the Brexit vote on 23rd June 2016.
Continue reading “The broken social contract and the paradox at the heart of Brexit”