Brand South Africa, Forbes Africa and CNBC Africa convene senior business and government leaders to discuss sustainable growth and regional integration, infrastructure development and labour market reform.Davos, Switzerland; 24 January 2013: Developments in infrastructure – both physical and financial, and deeper economic integration were seen as key to sustained growth in Africa, according to a panel of global leaders from business and politics, brought together by Brand South Africa at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.Hosted in partnership with CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa magazine, the discussion centred on Africa’s “resilient dynamism”, the theme of this year’s forum, and featured a keynote from Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, with a panel featuring Minister of Trade & Industry, Rob Davies; Maria Ramos, CEO, ABSA; and Brian Molefe, CEO, Transnet.The panel was extremely optimistic about Africa’s future. Indeed, while the United States and Europe battle political gridlock and mounting debt, and global growth continues to stagnate as economic powerhouses like China seek to avoid a hard landing, Africa has remained one of the few bright spots for economic activity.The African continent saw growth of more than 5 percent in 2012 and is projected to see the same in 2013, according to the IMF.“In a world that is troubled with slow or no growth, which is struggling with the impact of unemployment, both business and government have serious challenges ahead,” said Minister Gordhan.“Collectively, we must balance the need for short-term solutions to immediate challenges, while making a long-term commitment to sustainable growth and implementing a sound political and economic framework.”Africa, and South Africa in particular, are clear embodiments of this year’s Davos theme, showing resilience in the face of a challenging global economic climate; South Africa has ranked in the WEF Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) as being among the best places in the world for corporate governance, regulation of the financial system and availability of financial services.*Beyond trade – deepening economic integrationMinister Davies highlighted the need for African countries to not just broaden their economic and trade ties, but to deepen their relationships – something he said is being achieved through the development of the free trade areas covering 26 countries on the continent.Minister Davies acknowledged that the absence of sovereign debt crises, alongside better governance across the continent, has gone a long way to creating an environment where African investments see long-term growth and returns that create sustained development across the continent.However, he reiterated the need to ensure industrialisation benefits all Africans, and cautioned against becoming over-reliant on mineral resources. While existing infrastructure was developed in large part for – and still largely supports – the mining industry, Minister Davies said that long-term growth strategies must reach further.For growth, he said, there must be investment in financial, energy, and technology infrastructure just as there is for the extractive industries.Innovating infrastructureBoth Ramos and Molefe agreed that infrastructure development creates opportunities for both investors and the African people, with more than 80 percent of Africans remaining unbanked and 70 percent without access to internet.Molefe, who is spearheading Transnet’s $300 billion investment in infrastructure projects, said that innovation in financial services and ICT create huge potential for Africans.According to Molefe, the globalisation of the retail finance market and the increasing use and availability of products such as bonds and mortgages, is helping to unlock value and capital, creating liquidity across all levels of the market.At ABSA, Ramos said she is seeing a significant increase in infrastructure funding and is particularly encouraged that more deals are being financed in African capital markets.However, she highlighted the need to keep innovating the financial services industry in Africa, to talk more about financial infrastructure and to create greater certainty in legal environments across the continent with regards to tariffs and financing.Looking forwardDespite the resilience and dynamism currently being seeing across the continent, unemployment and labour market instability must be tackled to sustain the dynamism of the African continent.However, unemployment in particular was highlighted as the global challenge of our time, in the words of Ramos.According to Minister Davies, there is no ‘magic bullet’ for unemployment, and job creation cannot be seen as simply an incidental outcome of growth, but a target in its own right.There must be commitments from different stakeholders across labour, business and government to address practical matters and in particular youth unemployment, he said, with training and skills development being absolutely critical.Closing the event, Brand South Africa’s CEO Miller Matola said: “We often forget to highlight the positives we’ve achieved. South Africa is a well-established democracy, the continent is emerging from the global economic crisis well-positioned for growth and we have a solid, stable fiscal environment.It is all too easy to lose sight of what’s good, and to just focus on what is not good. Our task is to demonstrate that we not only acknowledge the challenges we face, but that we are responding to them in a dynamic and innovative way through our National Development Plan and infrastructure build program.”Notes for editors:For more information, please contact Sandile at Brand South Africa via SandileN@brandsouthafrica.com or on +27 11 483 0122.*2012-2013 WEF Global Competitiveness IndexAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa was first established in 2002 under the name of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC).In 2011 we got a new name to reflect our new mission – to proactively market the country internationally and raise awareness domestically. www.southafrica.info
A special Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment till death to self-styled godman Asaram Bapu after holding him guilty of raping a minor girl in his ashram at Manai village, near here, five years ago. Two of Asaram’s aides were also convicted and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment each.Special Judge Madhusudan Sharma convicted Asaram, 77, under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Juvenile Justice Act, holding him guilty of committing the sexual offence against the teenage girl. The judgment was pronounced in the high-security Central Jail, where Asaram has been lodged since September 1, 2013.Asaram case verdict: As it happenedThe co-convicts, Sharatchandra, director of a residential school in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, where the victim was studying, and Shilpi, warden of her hostel, were convicted for criminal conspiracy under I.P.C. and sentenced to 20 years in prison.The court also imposed a fine totalling ₹5 lakh on the three convicts and ordered that it would be paid to the victim, who belongs to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.The teenage girl had stated in her complaint that Asaram had called her to a farmhouse of one of his followers in Manai, which was temporarily converted into an ashram, and raped her in the night of August 15, 2013. Following his arrest and judicial custody, Asaram was denied bail 12 times.
MOST READ Brown, who is averaging 3.5 points per game and 1.8 rebounds this season, has received more minutes over the last couple weeks including two straight starts.“That’s working hard and the results are going to show. I’ve been getting more minutes and I’ve been taking advantage of that,” Brown said. “I don’t expect (anything) to change.” LeBron won’t tell All-Star order, jokes Westbrook last pick Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting LATEST STORIES Milwaukee Bucks’ Sterling Brown (23) chases down a loose ball during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)MILWAUKEE — Police officers used a stun gun on Milwaukee Bucks rookie guard Sterling Brown and arrested the 22-year-old Friday after a confrontation at a Walgreens parking lot.Police Sgt. Timothy Gauerke says the department is investigating what happened and the officers’ use of force.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Read Next Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gauerke says officers contacted a man after seeing a vehicle parked across two handicapped parking spots while doing a business check at about 2 a.m. Gauerke did not say what led to the officers’ use of force and it wasn’t immediately known whether Brown was cited for anything.“It’s a personal issue I’m dealing with right now. I know it’s being handled. I’d appreciate it if you all respect that right now,” Brown told reporters before the Bucks’ home game Friday night against Brooklyn.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBrown had what appeared to be a bruise and scratches on the right side of his face.Asked if there could be any discipline for Brown from the team or NBA, coach Joe Prunty said “I truly believe. We support him in this. We believe it will be resolved quickly. We’ll move forward from it.” John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH