The World Bank is finding new ways to understand South Africa's issues

1 day 12 hours ago
The latest World Bank report on South Africa identifies land reform as critical factor of addressing the country's economic challenges. EPA/Kim Ludbrook

The latest World Bank report on South Africa is not only remarkable for the collaborative method it employed, but also for some of the conclusions it reached on issues like land redistribution.

The report, which includes contributions from a long list of external consultants including myself, the National Planning Commission and Statistics South Africa, is the platform for further engagement between the World Bank and South Africa.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the World Bank earned a justifiably bad reputation for seeking to impose solutions cooked up in Washington DC. Now, the bank takes great care to work in partnership with the country to figure out solutions to economic challenges.

This approach seeks to identify the underlying systemic constraints and not just the symptoms such as unemployment. The bank set out to get to the root causes of what it calls the twin challenges of poverty and inequality which characterise South Africa as an “incomplete transition”.

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Budget to reveal how Kenya plans to deliver on ambitious priorities

5 days 9 hours ago
Low funding for agriculture is a risk to development in Kenya. EPA/Daniel Irungu

Kenya’s 2018-19 budget is set to be tabled before Parliament on June 14 in an unusually calm political climate. Economist Timothy Njagi Njeru explains what Kenyans can expect and how the budget will likely serve as a showcase for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s “Big Four” agenda. Kenyatta has prioritised food security, manufacturing, universal health coverage, and affordable housing over the next five years.

What is the context of this year’s budget?

This is the first budget since the announcement of the “Big Four” agenda by the government. As such, it’s expected to reveal what foundations the government is putting in place to achieve its agenda.

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