Spotlight on Southern Africa Private Equity

Between 2007 – 14, there were 341 reported PE deals in Southern Africa totaling US$6.7bn. South Africa has the most mature and sophisticated market for PE in the region (and on the continent), accounting for 76% of the deal volume and 92% of the deal value in Southern Africa from 2007 – 2014. Annual deal volumes in the region have been trending downwards slightly since 2012, in part due to slower growth in South Africa and lower prices for commodities affecting the region. Overall, Southern Africa’s share of deal activity in Africa declined from 37% in 2007 – 2010 to 31% in 2011 – 2014. There were 127 PE exits in Southern Africa from 2007 – 2014. Sales to trade buyers – many to South African companies looking to expand their footprint within South Africa and across the region – accounted for a large proportion of exits

Government Impartiality and Sustained Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Many studies suggest that one of the main reasons for Africa’s dismal growth performance over most of the 20th century is its degree of ethnic fragmentation. Yet, there is still insufficient knowledge about whether ethnic diversity necessarily entails large economic costs, or whether the implications of diversity depend, inter alia, on the government’s approach toward the ethnic question. We note that economic growth tends to increase average incomes, but it also affects the income distribution. Then, if growth is accompanied by growing economic inequality, the perception of the impartiality of the government toward different ethnic groups is likely to be important for whether growth can be sustained, or whether sparks of growth will evaporate because of rising political divisions and internal conflicts. In this paper, we study whether the degree of ethnic impartiality in the government’s policies is related to the emergence of sustained growth in sub-Saharan Africa, irrespective of the actual content of the policies. We measure perceptions about the impartiality of the government with survey data from the Afrobarometer covering 20 countries starting in the late 1990 s. Our main definition of sustained growth is when there is a GDP per capita growth rate of at least 2% for at least five consecutive years. Our empirical results suggest that countries whose governments are perceived as impartial are more likely to experience sustained growth. We conclude that in order to ensure economic development, it is not only important to choose the ‘‘right” policies, but also to implement these policies in a fair manner.

Identifying the Policy Actions to Move Forward the Global, Africa Equitable Development Agenda

In many African countries, the ladder of opportunity has become much harder to climb. Large disparities in access to health and education services, land and other productive assets between the richest and the poorest households persist. Wealth inequalities are transmitted across generations and are present across locations, trapping large pockets of society in poverty and exclusion. Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland count among the continent’s top ten most unequal countries. Slow progress in addressing poverty and inequality and the very nature of economic growth on the continent have created a vicious circle whereby inequality and slowdown in economic growth are mutually reinforcing.

Book: Poverty Reduction and Changing Policy Regimes in Botswana

This book examines how Botswana overcame the legacies of exceptional resource deficiency, colonial neglect and a harsh physical environment to transform itself from one of the poorest nations of the world to a middle-income economy. It reviews the interactions of economic, social and institutional policies and how these reinforced one another to significantly reduce the number of people living in poverty. In particular it illustrates how the chosen development strategies consistently tied social and economic policies to achieve, on the one hand, redistribution, protection and reproduction and, on the other, investment in production and human capabilities.

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