The article appeared in the Opinion and Analysis section of Business Day (SA) on 27/02/22
The biggest crisis in Europe since World War 2 has sent financial markets on another dizzying roller-coaster ride over the past week. The conflagration in Ukraine has had economists ripping up their forecasts and sent them back to the drawing board. Predictions were already battered by the uncertainties brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent supply-chain bottlenecks.
The dominant consensus that is emerging is one of doom and gloom for Africa, with rising prices of crude oil and food staples, especially wheat, feeding into existing instability. This is ominous given the number of military coups already witnessed recently in and around the Sahel region. One need not look too far back in history — just a decade, to 2011-2012 — for a period when a spike in prices caused civil unrest from Nigeria to North Africa and stoked the Arab Spring.
Continue reading “Russian-Ukrainian war may be the boon SA has been waiting for”
I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, a time that saw the end of the Cold War and a new wave of prosperity. An age when the modern industrialised capitalist economy reigned supreme and globalisation, then still in its infancy, seemed to be the answer to global poverty. We clung to the hope that it would raise billions out of subsistence.
Continue reading “The End of the Age of Labour. We are entering the Era of Automation & Neo-Socialism: A Look at Daniel Susskind’s ‘A World Without Work’”
A shorter version of this article appeared in Business Day, South Africa on 23rd March 2020
Last month President Ramaphosa in his SONA heralded the forthcoming construction of a new 5G-ready smart city around Lanseria Airport in the next decade. With it, South Africa was belatedly thrust to the front of a Continent-wide rush to establish so-called smart and eco-friendly cities, seen as a means of jump-starting the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution powered by digital technology.
Continue reading “Smart Cities in Africa. The Smart Move or another White Elephant that brings crushing debt”
I’ve had a few heated debates in the past few days about how I appear to care more about the economic fallout of Covid-19 than the mounting death toll from the virus itself.
Of course I care, and especially about the looming global health system crises too. But looking to the bigger picture, I also know that in the long-run, for better or for worse, this virus will be under control in a about a year’s time. Whereas the economic fallout, and by extension the social and political fallout could last decades.
Continue reading “The Covid-19 Medical Emergency is an Unprecedented Crisis, but it is the economic fallout that should truly petrify us all”
Continue reading “Comments on Francis Fukuyama’s two seminal books: ‘The End of History & The Last Man’ and ‘Identity’”
I recently finished reading Fukuyama’s two seminal books. They are essential reading for anyone wishing to get a deeper understanding of the advent and spread of democracy and the modern industrial economy globally. Not to mention the subsequent rise of identity politics and the likes of Trump and Brexit.
A shorter version of this article appeared in Business Day, South Africa on 05/09/19 ‘Shredding of the rag trade has lessons for the future’
‘We never realised it could be so dramatic!’ Aldo Agnelli, Managing Director of House of Monatic says smiling and throwing his arms open as a gesture of warm welcome and striding into his humble wood-panelled office. He was referring to the President of South Africa’s recent State of The Union Address where Mr Ramaphosa proudly announced wearing a suit, shirt and tie made by the clothing manufacturer. The President was actively encouraging consumers to buy locally made products to stimulate domestic production.
Continue reading “The President’s New Clothes”