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South Africa global reputation remains steady

For the second consecutive year, South Africa’s all round global reputation has remained steady, maintaining its position at 36 in the latest review by Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI). NBI is an yearly survey measuring global thoughts and opinions of several developing and developed countries throughout the world.

This is actually a major accomplishment for South Africa given that the results come at a time when two thirds of the countries in the survey, a handful of which happen to be regarded as the world’s most respectable nations, experienced declines in their reputation over the last 12 months.

 

 

South Africa’s stable position as a nation brand is essential for the reason that the way a country is thought of can produce a significant impact on the prosperity of its business, trade and tourism initiatives, along with its diplomatic and cultural relations with other nations around the world.

Dr Petrus de Kock, research manager at Brand South Africa, suggests the fact that the country’s inclusion in the report is worldwide recognition of South Africa’s position in international economic and political systems. De Kock proceeded to express that promoting the nation is not only the responsibility of the government. “The way South Africans speak about their country and relate to others also plays a role when shaping perceptions,”.

To compile the annual report roughly 20 000 individuals are interviewed in 20 core panel countries, one of which is South Africa. They include major developed and developing nations that perform an integral function in international relations, trade, the flow of business, cultural and tourism activities.

The respondents rate 50 countries on questions divided into six categories, namely exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment. The index measures the power and appeal of each country’s ‘brand image’ by evaluating and analysing its competence in these categories.

 

 

 

Top achievers

 

Once again, the US held on to the top position for the 4th year in a row, as the nation with the best all round reputation, followed by Germany (2nd), UK (3rd), France (4th), Canada (5th), Japan (6th), Italy (7th), Switzerland (8th), Australia (9th) and Sweden in 10th position.

In a statement, NBI founder Simon Anholt, in his analysis of the results, mentioned that with a couple of exceptions, developed countries, ranking among the top 20, have recorded some of the most significant score losses. “Put simply, the world likes the world a bit less than it did last year,” Anholt said.

The majority of countries that attained higher scores in 2012 have come from emerging regions, with the greatest advances for the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Kenya, and Poland.

 

No small accomplishment for South Africa

 

South Africans furnished high rankings in the people, tourism and culture categories, however they are a lot more critical regarding areas such as governance and immigration/Investment.

The latter describes a country’s capability to entice talent and capital, its economic prosperity, equal opportunity, and the perception that it is a location having a high quality of life. The country’s economic and business environment are at the same time assessed.

 

 

 

Governance

 

The survey details the fact that South Africa is faced with the most significant challenges in the area of governance, with South Africans becoming a lot more critical of their government this year.

Despite the fact that South Africans’ all round score for their own country in this area decreased, the country registered some improvement in this area, outdoing its Brics partners, India and Russia, within this category.

 

 

Tourism, culture, people

 

South Africa shifted in front of Russia, South Korea and China in the people category, which is the measurement of people’s friendliness by whether respondents would feel welcome when visiting the country.

Based on the report South Africans are respected across most panel countries regarding their welcoming nature, specifically when you are considering someone from South Africa as a close friend.

The cultural reputation of a nation is recognized as one of the most volatile of all indices, however South Africa’s standing in the culture category continues to be its strongest asset, ranking at 28th. In this particular category the country scored highly on sporting excellence (16th), but is somewhat less renowned for its culture – both contemporary (34th) and historic (33th).

South Africa’s rank of 34 for tourism matches last year. The country, which happens to be particularly famous for its natural beauty (15th), attained its best ranking from 11 out of the 20 panel countries on this particular measure.

The research discovered that international travelers, thought of as individuals who have visited no less than one foreign country, are definitely the most positive toward South Africa. Travelers consider South Africa as a tourist destination, which just happens to be an attractive place to live and work.

However, they also identify that it is a creative place that contributes to technology, produces quality products and provides both investment and educational opportunities.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com, gfkamerica.com

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UK trade ties set to double with South Africa by 2015

British Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham

British Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, set an objective to double trade volumes and strengthen commercial ties between South Africa and the UK by 2015.

Bellingham announced the actual commitment during  bilateral discussions with International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Ebrahim I Ebrahim, last Wednesday in Pretoria.

The trade goal had been set by President Jacob Zuma during his state trip to the UK in March earlier in the year.


Great britain is just one of South Africa’s major trading partners, whilst the United Kingdom remains one of the primary two most significant foreign investors in South Africa. There exist in excess of 200 South African companies that have already established a local presence in the UNited Kingdom.

Total trade between the UK and South Africa increased by 173 percent between 1998 and 2008, from R25.492 billion to R69.630 billion.

Minister Bellingham also congratulated South Africa on its return to the United Nations Security Council following a short absence together with such an overwhelming vote in its favour.


He also indicated Britain’s determined commitment to closely collaborate with South Africa and also to share views on important things of mutual concern.

Ebrahim expressed appreciation for the UK’s commitment to maintaining International Development support at a level of 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI), even during the tough economic times.

Ebrahim’s meeting with Bellingham were held within the context of fortifying North-South relations as well as consolidating the African Agenda.

Bilateral relations between South Africa and the UK are generally strong across the board, covering fields as diverse as defence, trade liberalisation and development co-operation.

Sourced  – BuaNews, mirror.co.uk

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Skilled human resource key to economic growth

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

An educated and skilled human resource is a key lever for accelerating economic growth and human development, says Deputy President Kgalema.

“By enhancing the skills, the knowledge and the abilities of individuals, Human Resource Development serves to improve the productivity of people in their areas of work, whether in formal or informal settings,” Motlanthe said during the National Skills Summit in Pretoria.

He explained that the county’s current Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDS) was designed to complement a range of purposeful development interventions.

“It is a coordination framework intended to combine the key levers of the constituent parts of the Human Resource Development system into a coherent strategy.”


The strategy aims to bring about articulation between subsystems to allow for optimal achievement of systemic outcomes, facilitate holistic analyses of education and training and the functioning of the labour market and link both of these to the economic development strategy which among others includes diversifying and transforming the economy, attracting foreign investment and ensuring a better strategic fit with citizen involvement and empowerment.


It further aims to deal with shortcomings in labour market information, ensure economies of scale with regard to complex analytical work such as labour market supply and demand forecasting, and initiate activities that cannot be performed in any of the subsystems, but which are critical for the HRDS in the country.

Motlanthe also noted that the HRDS spans several domains including education, labour market, industry and society noting that the problems that are intrinsic to these domains cannot be reduced to one institution or policies of one government department or institution.


“They impact on the collective ensemble of institutions in the system and relate to a cross-sectoral mix of government policies, private sector initiatives, higher education and other academic institutions as well as the broader society,” he said.

Government has established the Human Resource Development Council with a view to supporting the HRDS.


The council is a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder and expert-led advisory group which provides an environment promoting optimal participation of all stakeholders in the planning, stewardship, and monitoring and evaluation of human resource development activities in the country.

Motlanthe said that the council as well as the relationships that will be sustained beyond the summit will be important for government’s efforts to improve its human resource systems.

Source:  BuaNews, oavm-africa.com, tntmagazine.com,

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SA needs to do business differently to succeed

If South Africa is to succeed in extracting maximum benefits from its mineral endowment it must do business differently, says Mineral and Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.

 

Minister of Mining Ms Susan Shabangu

 

“We cannot continue to mine and export ore and other raw materials for processing elsewhere, as this limit the benefits we can derive from the exploitation of our resources,” she said.

Speaking at the Africa Down Under Conference held in Australia on Wednesday, Shabangu said there was a need to increase value addition to minerals before they are exported, in line with government’s new industrialisation priorities.

 

 

“This will present enormous investment opportunities in the country for both South African and foreign investors. We, however, need to enlist the support of strategic international partners to facilitate skills and technology transfer for the benefit of local beneficiation,” the minister said.

Shabangu said the shortage of skilled human capital, particularly of mining engineers, technicians and inspectors, not only poses a major threat to the sustainable growth of the South African mining industry but also contributes to fatalities and injuries sustained in the industry.

“We have had to seriously examine our options in order to find effective solutions to deal with the challenge of skills shortage,” she said.

 

 

Among other things, the conference seeks to provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen commercial links in the sector.

Africa Down Under is one of the foremost international mining industry events focused on Africa.

Source: BuaNews, info.gov.za, mining.mines.edu

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Developed nations should invest in African universities

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor has urged developed nations to invest in rebuilding African universities.

Pandor, who was speaking at the Africa University Day Symposium, said strengthening higher education through active collaboration was an important strategy for enhancing human development and attaining regional integration in Africa.

“Developed nations must invest in rebuilding African universities, and provide funding for scientists to pursue postgraduate and postdoctoral work in Africa.

“In today’s globalised and interconnected world, we encourage brain circulation through cultural and material incentives. We need to support Africa to become an attractive location to pursue high quality research,” she said.

 

Four in ten African scientists live and work in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, according to the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), and this has crippled research development in Africa.

According to Pandor, there was also a sharp renewal in enrolment in sub-Saharan African countries.

“Enrolments in sub-Saharan African universities tripled between 1991 and 2005, expanding at an annual rate of 8.7 percent, which is one of the highest regional growth rates in the world.

“We also see a renewal in the growing number of African students looking for higher education elsewhere in Africa and abroad.

“Studies show that the international mobility of students has increased significantly over the past 10 to 15 years,” she said.

The former Education Minister said not all universities can be research intensive, adding that if such institutions were to be built, the continent should look towards new and innovative partnerships to support their vision.

Maybe Africa should start looking for funding from within the continent and stop asking for handouts from developed nations?
Maybe if developed nations see Africa trying to fend for themselves, then they will look to invest in the continent?

Source: BuaNews

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