Tag Archives: World Economic Forum

South Africa education system is failing the nation


World Economic Forum


New research has shown that South Africa’s education system is failing the nations and producing a generation of stupid people. According to the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report 2013, South Africa is the second worst in world when it comes to mathematics and science and 4th worst when it comes to quality of the educational system.

The recent report undertaken by the World Economic Forum has painted a horrifying synopsis of the current education system in the country, especially when it comes to maths and science. Out of a total of 144 countries surveyed, South Africa’s secondary enrollment rate position is 56 and 93 with respect to adult literacy.

According to the recent report, South Africa is ranked worse than most of the world’s poorest countries. If the country want to compete with other countries on the continent, it will need to overcome these significant obstacles, not to mention compete on the international stage. South Africa ranked ahead of only Yemen, Burundi, Libya and Haiti when it comes to the overall quality of education and just pipped warn-torn Yemen when it comes to science and maths.

The top performing nation in Africa in maths and science is Mauritius (49th worldwide) followed closely by Zimbabwe. Even Lesotho managed to outperform South Africa ranking 119th overall.



The Global Information Technology Report 2013


“Sub-Saharan Africa has continued to make significant efforts in building its ICT infrastructure, as reflected by important improvements in developing its broadband infrastructure and the expansion of its mobile network coverage,” the report says. “As a result, ICT usage, while still very low, has picked up slightly, as seen especially by an increase in the number of Internet users and also by the continued commitment of some governments in the region to expand the number of available online services.”

The World Economic Forum report ranks approximately three-quarters of worlds nations and is based upon a country’s state of their information and communications technology (ICT) ecosystems as well as a country’s readiness to use technology.

According to the 2013 report, South Africa moved up 2 placed in the overall ranking to 70. The only african countries to feature in the top half of the recent report with the majority of African nations holding the bottom positions.

Based on the report, the majority of African nations are facing similar obstacles: lack of infrastructure, the cost of connectivity and problems of access and education. Apart from Skills category, South Africa did manage to perform well specifically in mobile phone penetration and its policy and regulatory environment, and efficiency of its legal system in settling disputes, protecting intellectual property and challenging regulations.


To view full report and ranking – CLICK HERE

Source: World Economic Forum


The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012


The World Economic Forum’s Centre for Global Competitiveness and Performance through its Global Competitiveness Report and report series, aims to mirror the business operating environment and competitiveness of over 130 economies worldwide. The report series identify advantages as well as impediments to national growth thereby offering a unique benchmarking tool to the public and private sectors as well as academia and civil society.The Centre works with a network of Partner Institutes as well as leading academics worldwide to ensure the latest thinking and research on global competitiveness are incorporated into its reports.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012
, comes out amid multiple challenges to the global economy and a continuing shift in the balance of economic activity away from advanced economies and toward emerging markets. Policymakers are struggling to find ways to manage the present economic challenges while preparing their economies to perform well in an increasingly complex global landscape and the report offers a unique tool in addressing some key issues.

This year’s report findings show that Switzerland tops the overall rankings. Singapore overtakes Sweden for second position. Northern and Western European countries dominate the top 10 with Sweden (3rd), Finland (4th), Germany (6th), the Netherlands (7th), Denmark (8th) and the United Kingdom (10th). Japan remains the second-ranked Asian economy at 9th place, despite falling three places since last year.

South Africa moved up 4 places to position 50 and leads the African continent.


To view full report – click here


21st World Economic Forum on Africa commences

The 21st World Economic Forum on Africa, which is to be attended by in excess of 900 participants from 60 countries, commences in Cape Town.

The three-day conference will focus on precisely how sub-Saharan Africa can maintain its growth path and turn into one of the pillars of global growth and demand.

To be organised within the subject, Shaping Africa’s Role in the New Reality, the conference is going to take place against the background of the growing global acknowledgment of Africa’s development potential.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the lead minister for WEF, remarked that in redefining the nation’s association with the world, South Africa’s message was indeed shifting beyond the focus on its abundant cultural diversity.

“We are currently showcasing our accomplishments in the areas of science, technological innovation, financial services and our acknowledgement as a systemically crucial member of the international community.

“In our hosting of WEF Africa, we will with certainty declare that South Africa is definitely responding to the new reality,” he said.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

Gordhan mentioned the nation is without a doubt perfectly positioned in the changing poles of power and economic growth, not merely as an emerging market, but more as a leading economy on a continent this is certainly an invaluable partner within the global economy as well as being home to roughly 15 percent of the world’s population.

“All of us are formidable supporters of inclusive growth, job creation, and the diversification of the economy,” the minister claimed.

He added the fact that South Africa has been actively taking part and adding to positions developed in global policy making.

“We may also be assuming a progressively more significant place in the global arena. We are one of the non-permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, the sole African nation to be a member of the G20, as well as not too long ago, we have obtained a seat at the table of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa forum (BRICS), which, with its inhabitants in excess of 3 billion people, functions as a significant platform for global dialogue and cooperation.”

Certainly one of concerns to be talked about at the WEF Africa will most certainly be just how African economies will be able to mitigate their exposure to the volatility and unpredictability in commodity prices and ways in which the continent can bolster its voice in multilateral community forums much like the G20 and the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17). The COP 17 conference is going to be organised in Durban in December.

President Jacob Zuma

As being the largest economic system on the continent, South Africa has long been and definitely will continue to utilize its seat on multilateral fora, along with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G20, to boost Africa’s interests.

South Africa will in addition take advantage of its membership of BRICS to improve Africa’s voice in the world.

Africa’s enhanced economic prospects have mainly been due to steps undertaken by African nations themselves to get rid of political conflicts, improve governance and develop improved macroeconomic conditions.

Despite the fact that Africa will definitely reap the benefits of globalisation, which is certainly most likely to spur demand for commodities, the continent’s expansion into the future will probably be influenced by social and demographic shifts currently underway.

The South African Government delegation to WEF Africa will be headed by President Jacob Zuma, who is going to be accompanied by the following ministers:

* Pravin Gordhan: Minister of Finance
* Trevor Manuel: Minister of National Planning: The Presidency
* Rob Davies: Minister of Trade & Industry
* Ebrahim Patel: Minister of Economic Development
* Tina Joemat-Pettersson: Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries
* Malusi Gigaba: Minister of Public Enterprise
* Marthinus van Schalkwyk: Minister of Tourism
* Dipuo Peters: Minister of Energy
* Edna Molewa: Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs
* Naledi Pandor: Minister of Science and Technology

Several South African business people will in addition participate in the WEF conference.

Source: BuaNews


Africas Roadmap – From Crisis to Opportunity

While sub-Saharan Africa has been less impacted by the global recession than most emerging regions, the economic crisis still represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the continent and its people. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, opened this closing plenary session by asking participants to outline the actions they believe are needed to ensure the challenges are overcome and the opportunities fully exploited.

Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller, United Kingdom; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum on Africa, said the global economic crisis so far has had a relatively muted effect on the continent, at least as measured by SABMiller’s investment plans in Africa and the profitability of its existing operations there. “Our experience has been that it is much more business as usual in Africa than in other parts of the world.” However, the continent’s longer term growth will require policy-makers to pay closer attention to the needs of business, both foreign and domestic. Despite SABMiller’s strong commitment to Africa, Mackay said, there has been surprisingly little outreach by the region’s governments for advice on how they could facilitate additional investment. “There is a huge amount of potential in Africa and we should remind ourselves of that,” he said. However, much remains to be done to create a more hospitable business climate, he added.


Maria Ramos, Chief Executive Officer, Absa Group, South Africa, also took a guardedly optimistic view, arguing that strategies and policies that can successfully address problems such as poverty, disease, low productivity and inadequate access to capital already exist. The problem, she said, is that African leaders in both the public and private sectors have been too slow to adopt them. “We are capable of doing unbelievable things,” she argued. “We have unbelievable delivery capacity, not just in South Africa but across the continent. We have unbelievably talented people . . . The only thing that stops us is our own failure of imagination and our inability to move beyond theory to implementation.”

The imperative to move more aggressively and ambitiously extends to Africa’s role on the world stage, asserted Graça Machel, Founder and President, Foundation for Community Development (FDC), Mozambique; Co-Chair, Global Agenda Council on the Future of Africa. The continent’s leaders, she said, not only need to assert themselves more strongly in the G20 and other multilateral decision-making bodies, they must also ensure that those gains are maintained in future years. “We need to put Africa in a position where it will never again be marginalized and ignored,” Machel said.

Soud Ba’alawy, Executive Chairman, Dubai Group, United Arab Emirates; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum on Africa, urged African officials and business leaders to reach out more forcefully to investors in the oil producing countries of the Arabian peninsula, and to favour direct investment in the real economy instead of relying on shorter term “hot money” flows. He called for the establishment of a truly regional African stock exchange, adding that the development of such a market would be facilitated by policies designed to spur the creation of pension funds, endowments and other pools of long-term capital.

Closing the session, Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa, said he agreed with many of the points made by participants, and said the ideas and proposals discussed at this year’s meeting would prove highly useful for leaders of the African Union at their upcoming summit meeting. “I agree that Africa has many opportunities,” Zuma observed. “The challenge comes back to the leadership: Are we able to see those opportunities and are we able to utilize the appropriate structures to take advantage of them.”

• While Africa has been less negatively affected by the global recession than other emerging regions, policy-makers still should move quickly to take advantage of the opening for reform that the crisis has created
• African governments need to listen more closely to private business and its needs, and use those recommendations to create a more favourable investment climate
• The role of women and youth in both African and global decision-making bodies needs to be expanded

Source: weforum.org


The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010

Switzerland tops the overall ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010. The United States falls one place to second position, with weakening in its financial markets and macroeconomic stability. Singapore, Sweden and Denmark round out the top five. European economies continue to prevail in the top 10 with Finland, Germany and the Netherlands following suit. The United Kingdom, while remaining very competitive, has continued its fall from last year, moving down one more place this year to 13th, mainly attributable to continuing weakening of its financial markets.

The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of Partner Institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the Report.

South Africa, at 45th overall, remains the highest ranked country in sub-Saharan Africa, with a stable performance compared with last year. The country continues to benefit from the large size of its economy, particularly by regional standards (it is ranked 24th in the market size pillar). South Africa does well on measures of the quality of institutions and factor allocation, such as intellectual property protection (24th), the accountability of private institutions (5th), and goods market efficiency (35th). In this area there has been a notable improvement in the evaluation of the country’s financial markets, which have increased in rank from 24th last year to a very high 5th this year, indicating strong confidence in South Africa’s financial markets at a time when trust has been eroded in many other parts of the world. South Africa also does reasonably well in more complex areas such as business sophistication (36th) and innovation (41st), benefiting from good scientific research institutions (ranked 29th) and strong collaboration between universities and the business sector in innovation (ranked 25th).

On the other hand, South Africa’s competitiveness would be enhanced by tackling some enduring weaknesses. The country ranks 90th in labor market efficiency, with inflexible hiring and firing practices (125th), a lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies (123rd), and poor labor-employer relations (121st). Furthermore, the country’s innovative potential could be at risk with a university enrollment rate of only 15 percent, which places the country 94th overall. In addition, South Africa’s infrastructure, although good by regional standards, requires upgrading (ranked 45th). In this light, the improvements in transport infrastructure related to the 2010 World Cup is a welcome development that should reinforce South Africa’s competitiveness. The poor security situation remains another important obstacle to doing business in South Africa. The business costs of crime and violence (133rd) and the sense that the police are unable to provide protection from crime (106th) do not contribute to an environment that fosters competitiveness. Another major concern remains the health of the workforce, ranked 127th out of 133 countries, the result of high rates of communicable diseases and poor health indicators more generally. Improvements in these areas will enhance South Africa’s competitiveness outlook.

Read report…

Source: weforum.org