Editor’s Note: April 18, 2019

Governance really does matter

South Africa has seen the worst decline in its social and economic performance of any country outside of war since 2006. This is according to research by a local advisory firm, Eunomix Business & Economics.

The only places to perform worse in this period are countries affected by conflict, like Mali and Ukraine.

It’s a damning scorecard for Africa’s most advanced, and second-largest economy.

The period in question roughly covers the presidency of Jacob Zuma from 2009 – 2018. This was marked by various corruption scandals, economic stagnation, and institutional erosion.

Zuma was removed from office in February 2018, after numerous failed attempts, but the cost of poor governance under him is only now becoming apparent.

An expected turnaround under his successor Cyril Ramaphosa has failed to materialize. Instead business confidence has plummeted, the country is facing the prospect of a sovereign downgradeby Moody’s, and failing state-owned enterprises are doing more harm to an already battered economy.

Rolling back the damage of the last decade will take years.

It’s an unfortunate, but powerful illustration of the importance of good governance, which is rightly viewed as an essential piece of the development puzzle in Africa.

South Africa is providing an object lesson in the cost of getting it wrong.

From The Continent

Authorities in Sudan have arrested two brothers of ousted president Omar al-Bashir, who has also been imprisoned, as part of a crackdown on individuals linked to his regime. The military, which removed Bashir from office last week, is under mounting domestic and regional pressure to hand over power to civilian leadership. More: Al Jazeera

Angola has awarded a new telecommunications licence to an obscure company called Telstar Telecomunicacoes, reportedly owned by an Angolan army general, over interest from 26 other international and local firms. The move is seen as a step backwards for president João Lourenço’s reform programme and pledges to promote transparency. More:Bloomberg

The Daily Stat


The amount of money the African Development Bank plans to invest in Central Africa in the next seven years. More: VOA

The Global Perspective

Impact investing group Acumen has raised a $70m fund to invest in renewable energy companies in East Africa. This is part of growing investment into the sector across the continent. More: Bloomberg

Zimbabwe plans to announce details of two new platinum mining projects in the coming weeks. The projects will be led by two, as of yet unnamed investors, amid efforts to boost foreign investment in the country. More: Reuters

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