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  1. #1
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    Predefinito South Africa: A Future Superpower?

    South Africa: A Future Superpower?




    28 December 2011, 13:26
    "A potential superpower is a state or a political and economic entity that is speculated to be, or to be in the process of becoming, a superpower at some point in the 21st century.

    Presently, it is widely considered that only the United States of America currently fulfils the criteria to be considered a superpower."

    Can South Africa, however, become a superpower or not? What makes a country or state a superpower?

    First applied to the British Empire in 1944,a superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system and which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests. A superpower is traditionally considered to be a step higher than a great power.

    Alice Lyman Miller (Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School), defines a superpower as "a country that has the capacity to project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemony."


    Impossible for South Africa?

    Who would've thought 50 or 60 years ago that there would be a European Union,a single currency in continental Europe known as the Euro,a European Parliament and open markets?
    Nobody then ever thought that European countries would work together,so why would it be the "dreams of a madman" to think of South Africa as future superpower?

    Ancient black african civilization of Egypt (long before the Arabs came to Egypt,which by the way only came in the last 900 years or so of the 7,000 year history of the Egyptian empire) tells us anything can happen.

    Then there is the Mali mathematical wonder of Timbuktu,known as the Timbuktu Manuscripts,in which Westerners still wonder how that all happened. Then there is the Great African civilization and empires that failed due to evil practises such as slavery etc.

    Should South Africa though,with its vast natural resources stop being a Shopping Mall to the rest of the World and start working itself towards Super Power status?

    Can South Africans enjoy just being South Africans for once?

    The Chinese have an interesting concept that quantifies Super Power status, called Comprehensive National Power (CNP). This index is produced by processing the economic, military and cultural factors that make countries powerful: GDP, technological development, number of tanks and ICBM’s, as well as “softer” factors such as influence on global media and international institutions.

    If history and outside perceptions is anything to go by, then that should not be allowed to darken our balance sheet. We could recognize a mismatch between rhetoric and reality, between policy prescription and policy delivery by a South African Government.

    South Africa is not unique in that respect and the vibrancy of its society has real strength. Therefore the implicit understanding is that we should ascribe to what was happening without being too judgmental about it.


    On the internal scene,South Africa has the advantage of an economy with great potential, but the challenges of huge inequalities and poverty in the distribution of wealth remains its greatest draw back.

    South Africa's macro-economic framework had been managed fairly okay over the past decade or so, but the country's service delivery remains extremely poor and the infrastructure has begun to creak, as was the case with its performance on electricity generation illustrated. Unemployment was catastrophically high at 25%, with little or no sign of any job creation policies intensive enough to remedy the situation.

    Positives in South Africa's favour...

    South African people by and large have noted a remarkable degree of social cohesion taking place in the country, the relative absence of any political violence (even though the same couldn't be said of the country's criminal violence which remains a serious worry) and the maintenance so far of a solid spirit of reconciliation and inter-racial understanding, given the country's sad history in that area.

    However...

    Concerns were expressed nevertheless about the temptation to give in to populist politics, the uncertain lines of political accountability in the system, the widespread corruption and the disappointment which would inevitably grow if economic and social inequities could not be resolved.

    HIV/AIDS in the country...

    The problem of HIV/AIDS in South Africa had to be regarded as extremely serious. People in South Africa were puzzled as to why infection had spread so widely in a society which ought to have been better able to cope with it.

    In spite of all the focus on retroviral drugs, where there had been reasonable progress, and on denial at the policy-making level (not as serious as is the case in India), human behaviour seemed to be remarkably hard to change on this issue.

    The connection seem to be with poverty and perhaps also with the relatively poor state of education in South Africa. If the standards of education in South Africa could be raised in the medium to longer term and if economic growth could be sustained and accelerated, then there might be improvements for the nation along these lines.

    South Africa’s role in its region and in the African continent...

    With one third of the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa and two thirds of that of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)),the South African economy is the driver of African development.

    South Africa's political role is equally important in taking forward the African regional institutions and at the Pan-African level,such as the AU and NEPAD. In many ways South Africa had responded constructively and helpfully to important work done on economic development, regional infrastructure, good governance and conflict resolution.

    South Africa’s contribution in most of these areas had been seen as positive by outsiders looking in. The momentum behind NEPAD, and the African Peer Review Mechanism,had been slow,and the capacity to deliver their programme priorities of the African Union, and that of other regional organizations,will still lay a long way short of what's expected no doubt.

    Future Superpower?

    Assessing South Africa as a global player, tributes was paid to its success in establishing its voice as one of authority at the United Nations and elsewhere, speaking sometimes for the developing world, sometimes for Africa and sometimes for multilateralism.

    In many ways South Africa’s contribution to international problem-solving was constructive,but it should never be trumped to say the least. South Africa had shown that when choices had to be made, its motivation always came back to the interest of Africa.

    As a member of a number of different multinational formations, whether it be the UN, within the African continent, on global trade or environmental issues and/or negotiations or on south-south structures such as IBSA, South Africa lacked the capacity to staff and service all these involvements and so it was unable to take advantage of its global reach where its reputation and advocacy gave it.

    Perhaps there is something else that could be taken forward with external partnerships,such as the EU-South Africa strategic relationship, which as yet might not be fulfilling its full potential. That holds true also of US-South African ties as well, in spite of the significant trade partnership. The political chemistry between Washington and Pretoria recently has become very poor, which suggested that improvements might be possible under a new leadership or a new Government.

    South Africa’s interest in becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council...

    While recognising that the UN was still some way off from reaching an agreement on this issue,no expansion of permanent seats could proceed without Africa being included, but the hesitations of other African countries about allowing South Africa to be their representative were very real.

    Reasons being that Nigeria’s claim might be regarded as equally as strong as South Africa's,leaving South Africa as one, but not the only,regional leader.

    Relations with China and India...

    China’s relationship with South Africa is a complex one, different in kind from Chinese relationships with other parts of Africa. Former South African president,Thabo Mbeki, had shown an awareness of the potential of China to be a threat to the region as well as a benefactor.

    Careful judgments had to be made about the balance between a partnership with China at the global level or in the context of the G20 and BRICS, and the competition which China represented to South African companies active within Africa.

    As for India, there were connections and benefits that might flow from historical links, but the relationship up to now had been surprisingly under-developed. This was an area to which South Africa might give further attention.

    From a complex set of varied characteristics,any speculative conclusions about the direction in which South Africa was heading remains to be seen. Ultimately,the desire remains for South Africa to succeed, for its own sake and for the rest of Africa.

    South Africa: A Future Superpower? | News24
    Fra tutti il ministero dell'amore era quello che incuteva un autentico terrore... [...]

    1984 George Orwell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krYkuiRtO7M

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  2. #2
    Brics nuova linea
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    Predefinito Rif: South Africa: A Future Superpower?

    2011 a good year for South Africa: Zuma

    Sapa | 30 December, 2011 13:03


    The year 2011 has ended better than it started, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.


    "We have made visible progress in reducing serious and violent crimes, in improving health care, rural development, education, social security and the general expansion of access to basic services," he said in a statement.

    In 2011 the government created partnerships for job creation and made firm plans to improve infrastructure. A great achievement for the country was hosting the COP17 climate change conference.

    Hosting the event in Durban, and the International Olympic Committee General Assembly in July, enhanced the country's image as a first class organiser of international events.

    Zuma urged South Africans to make 2012 a year of unity and to celebrate the country's political heritage.

    "We have an opportunity to showcase our country's remarkable successes, given the historic celebration of the centenary of the ruling party, on January 8, 2012.

    "Our country proved to the world that it is possible to rise above institutionalised racism, hatred, colonial oppression and apartheid, and build on its ruins a modern democracy which enshrines justice, human rights and dignity."

    2011 a good year for South Africa: Zuma - Times LIVE
    Fra tutti il ministero dell'amore era quello che incuteva un autentico terrore... [...]

    1984 George Orwell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krYkuiRtO7M

  3. #3
    Brics nuova linea
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    Predefinito Rif: South Africa: A Future Superpower?

    China's big 2012 bets: South Africa rocks

    Author: Jackie Cameron|
    29 December 2011 004

    Asian giant set to snap up more juicy assets in Africa, aiming for double-digit returns.

    Many investors are looking to Asia, in particular China, for returns as the world heads into yet another tough year. China, meanwhile, is foraging in Africa for opportunities to generate superior returns.

    Most visible on its list is South Africa. The China-South Africa burgeoning trade relationship is in the spotlight yet again, with news just before Christmas that China's sovereign fund has acquired a sizeable stake in Shanduka.

    China Investment Corporation has reportedly paid a staggering R2bn for 25% of the unlisted investment holding company with interests in coal mining and other industries. Shanduka is a familiar name in business circles in South Africa. Its charismatic chairman, Cyril Ramaphosa, was widely tipped to succeed Nelson Mandela as South African president.

    The Chinese fund manages about $410bn of China's $3trn in reserves and has investments in Chinese banks and French energy companies, among other entities. Clearly it expects Shanduka to deliver lucrative returns. The China fund earned just under 12% last year on its overseas portfolio investing mostly in high-risk assets, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    2012: Expect lots of China-Africa deals

    We can expect big money deals involving the Chinese government and related financiers and South African companies to become increasingly common in 2012. Developed markets continue to look unattractive.

    South Africa has a relatively sound regulatory environment, developed business infrastructure and entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic about unlocking returns across Africa. China spotted the obvious opportunities in hooking up with South Africa in its African forays some time ago.

    China welcomed South Africa as the fifth member of its sexy Brics club along with Brazil, Russia and India this year. It has trumpeted the benefits of South Africa as an access point to a massive continental market of 1bn or so people.

    The man who coined the term Bric, asset management heavyweight Jim O'Neill of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, was less convinced. He said on broadcasts televised in China when Brics delegates met on the Chinese island of Sanya in April that South Africa is effectively an economic minnow compared to the Bric countries. (For more on that, read China's favourite African son can do no wrong.)

    But, criticism about South Africa gaining entry to the Bric clique this year failed to dampen China's enthusiasm for South Africa. Standard Bank (JSE: SBK), an adviser to Shanduka and a major deal-maker in Africa, recently declared that South Africa and the rest of Africa are "flavour of the month".

    China's appetite for African assets, for now, appears to be insatiable. Earlier this year, Standard Bank released a forecast that China's investments in Africa would leap 70% on 2009 levels, to US$50bn by 2015.

    There are no signs that this target won't be met. China is already Africa's largest trading partner, with China-Africa trade volumes for 2011 expected to come in at more than US$150bn (about $126bn in 2010). They are expected to double to US$300bn in four years.

    Standard Bank has the inside track on what investors, and the Chinese in particular, are up to in Africa. It has banking tentacles across Africa.

    It is also partly owned by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) through a 20% stake acquired for US$5.5bn in 2008. Standard Bank has partnered with ICBC, the world's largest bank, to fund projects in Africa.

    Africa's investment returns tantalise

    There are many other signs that China is only just getting started with its investment programme on the continent. Ramaphosa said of Shanduka's latest deal, which saw China' s sovereign fund buying shares mainly from Old Mutual and Investec, that the plan is to explore future opportunities in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa.

    In November the Wanning Declaration emerged from a meeting of more than 400 diplomats, politicians, researchers and business representatives from about 40 African countries in Wanning in the Chinese province of Hainan. Encouraging Chinese investment in private enterprise in Africa is a major objective in the new agreement.

    Chinese and South African politicians are likely to get closer as a new parliamentary exchange mechanism is bedded down. A direct SAA flight from Johannesburg to Beijing, from January, will help oil the wheels of friendship.

    In the Seychelles the political relationship is now so cosy that China is even considering taking up the offer of what effectively would be its own port. China refuses to acknowledge that it would be getting its very own African naval base.

    Many of us will not like it that Chinese operators are likely to further entrench themselves across the continent. With a reputation for undercutting African firms and using their own cheap Chinese labour instead of creating jobs in communities, the jury is out on whether Chinese investment and loans in Africa are actually good for Africa in the long run.

    China also has a reputation for aiding and abetting the continent's evil-doers in business. China's controversial diamond mining activities in Zimbabwe - with two mines this month placed on the United States' sanctions list - are a prime example.

    But for some elite operators, like South Africa's Ramaphosa and Mugabe's diamond dealing pals, the opportunities on the horizon undoubtedly glitter as China explores the African continent for higher returns than it could expect elsewhere.

    China`s big 2012 bets: South Africa rocks - China perspective | Moneyweb
    Fra tutti il ministero dell'amore era quello che incuteva un autentico terrore... [...]

    1984 George Orwell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krYkuiRtO7M

  4. #4
    Brics nuova linea
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    Predefinito Rif: South Africa: A Future Superpower?

    South Africa, an emerging PHL export market, data show

    THURSDAY, 29 DECEMBER 2011 21:11 PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES
    PHILIPPINE exporters may consider tapping South Africa, a huge emerging market and deemed as among the hot spots for exports as well as investments in the next few years

    Its import is steadily increasing amidst the global economic recovery. Both imports and exports posted double-digit growth in 2010.

    While South Africa produces many products for world-class quality for export, it is also a major importer of diverse products from most countries

    Data indicates that among its key import areas include agricultural products, airport retailing, computer software and services, computer software and services, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, franchises and giftware.

    “South Africa supplements local agricultural production with imports, key among these being consumer-oriented products, forestry products and intermediate products,” it said.

    South Africa has good trade links in the region and abroad. It became the fifth member of the exclusive emerging market Bric group also comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China

    On the other hand, among the sectors with high growth potential for investments are business process outsourcing and telecommunication and transportation sectors, both of which are being privatized.           

    “All sectors of the South African economy are open to foreign investors. No government approval is required and there are virtually no restrictions on the form or extent of the investment,” according to a data furnished by the Federation of International Trade Associations.

      Other measures taken by its government are simple tax rules, investment incentives, a better regulatory policy on competition and protection of intellectual rights.

    South Africa, an emerging PHL export market, data show
    Fra tutti il ministero dell'amore era quello che incuteva un autentico terrore... [...]

    1984 George Orwell
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krYkuiRtO7M

 

 

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