No money to spare as GDP set to fall

No money to spare as GDP set to fall

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The impact of Nigeria’s border closure on its own economy

Motivation & Environment

The mandate of any nation’s customs and border control agencies is to allow licit and legal free trades, and halt illicit and illegal trades. Illicit and illegal trades involve the movement of various types of commodities and services that usually lead to the creation of numerous black markets which have been known to slowly but gradually cripple economies.

Many times in the past, Nigeria usually closed its borders because of one form of illicit trade or another. However, border closure has often led to inefficient operations within licit and legal supply chains, thus increasing costs and time delays, disrupting deliveries, and interrupting the smooth flow of goods and services.

Once again, and recently in August, 2019, Nigeria—which shares boundaries with the republics of Benin, Niger, and Cameroon—closed its land border to the movement of goods. The government declared that it did so in order to halt smuggling of food and…

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Leading economist Tony Alexander on the unsettled economic outlook

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“Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being… and second a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or Hindu, will we progress our shared humanity.”

may turn into another book, Oh no – not another one now please, c!

Craig's Books

Originally posted on Working, Striving towards a more Peaceful World “I WRITE, I SHARE, I DREAM!”: following on from “Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being and second a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or Hindu, will we progress our shared humanity. Let not our beliefs, but…

via “Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being… and second a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or Hindu, will we progress our shared humanity.” — Books by craig lock: “Explore, Dream, Discover”

Together, one mind, one soul, one life, one small step at a time, let’s try to make some difference in the world, however small it may be. Also each one of us can plant tiny seeds of hope, then we can ALL march together towards a better future…a far brighter tomorrow.

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Beyond the Miracle: An excellent book by Allister Sparks

* *
BEYOND THE MIRACLE’ by Allister Sparks

Although written some years ago, Allister Sparks provides excellent analysis of and commentary on the economic realities and problems in South Africa today. He simplifies the problems in easy-to-understand language for the layman and people who don’t have much knowledge or understanding of the country.

Here are my notes (brief) taken many years ago (on my old floppy discs) from this excellent book, which I’m sharing in the spirit of hope for a better and brighter future in the “Beloved (still/always) country”

“definitely not an economist” craig

Feb 2020


Zivusemi = lift yourselves up

South Africa’s macro-economic policy has been widely acclaimed, but still it has not produced the growth rates needed to start the cycle.

As Maria Ramos recalls: “While nationalization was still very much part of the thinking, it was already being tempered by the realities of the world we were living in, by the realization that economies had to globalize, that South Africa had to come out of a long period of isolation and become globally competitive.”

The country is attempting three simultaneous revolutions in one. The first, the transformation from apartheid to a non-racial society. The South African struggle is more appropriately analagous to the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians over the same blood-soaked patch of Middle East earth, and between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. But more challenging is the second revolution, which has been to transform SA from an isolationist siege economy into a player in the new global marketplace. SA has had to transform itself from a highly-protected, inward-looking economy into an internationally competitive one. This has meant opening itself to international competition, reducing barriers, abolishing exchange-control regulations on non-residents, and allowing the Rand currency to float to a market-related level. These have been courageous and necessary steps, but they have exposed the country to the blasts of international financial instability. SA is having to move rapidly from a primary producing economy based on agriculture and mining to one based on exports of manufactured goods.This has had to be turned around rapidly…and is the third revolution. However, the harsh reality of competitive participation in the global market is that it leads to increased unemployment and pressure on wages, at least in the short term. In seeking to transform SA from a producer of primary goods into a manufacturing exporter, the government has to deal with the fact that the old economy required an abundance of cheap unskilled labour, while the new one requires a smaller, but highly skilled work force. The harsh reality of globalization, of competitive participation in the new commercial marketplace, is that it leads to increased unemployment and pressure on wages. The rich grow richer and the poor poorer, between countries, as well as within them (a rising economic tide doesn’t raise all boats …and definitely not at the same time). Unemployment stands somewhere between 25% and 35% (more like 40%, I think), depending on how unemployment is defined and whether or not one includes the informal sector of the economy. The problem for a country like SA is that it needs foreign direct investment to kick-start growth, but foreign investors are looking for growth before they’ll invest (a “chicken-and-egg” conundrum).


The old apartheid regime, which proclaimed itself one of the most vehemently anti-communist on earth, ran an economy that established the largest amount of state-owned industry outside the Soviet bloc. Economies of the world are inter-dependent. The process of globalization is taking root. No economy can develop separately from the economies of other countries. The state also plays an vitally important role in the areas of education, health and welfare *

As Maria Ramos recalls: “While nationalization was still very much part of the thinking, it was already being tempered by the realities of the world we were living in, by the realization that economies had to globalize, that South Africa had to come out of a long period of isolation and become globally competitive.”
– Maria Ramos

And so there began a shift away from the Freedom Charters call towards the Asian model of a “developmental state”. The state would still play a central role, but not in a socialist manner. Instead it would intervene to direct economic activity in a way that would bring about “growth through redistribution”. The state would do this by redistributing income to the black poor, which would increase demand, production and job-creation – all of which would generate growth. The basis of the government’s recommended programme was an acceptance of capitalism with a vigorous private sector and a strong drive to encourage local and foreign investment, but combined with heavy strategic intervention by the State to direct the economy. ‘bosberaad’ = bush conference.



Ways can even be found to deal with the main worry about privatization, which is that private companies would not provide essential services to uneconomic sectors of the country. The word ‘privatization’ is never used in the new South Africa. What is happening is a “restructuring of state assets”. Cosatu faces some structural problems too. As the SA economy transforms, with the primary sector losing importance and the secondary and service sectors gaining, the power base of the work force is shifting away from Cosatu’s traditional strength among mineworkers and other less-skilled people to those with higher skills. Now the behemoths are restructuring and unbundling. Encouraging the development of new “black empowerment” companies.


“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more than abundance:but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”
– Matthew 13:12

New vistas of opportunity are being created daily, yet technical skills are essential to capitalize on this moment in history. Seize the moment. Globalization is generating much greater wealth worldwide, but is distributing that wealth unequally, so that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, within nations and between them. Expanding inequality. American labour leader, Jay Mazur says, “such islands of concentrated wealth in a sea of misery have historically been a key to upheaval.” Nor is globalisation’s impact only economic. It is political, technological and cultural as well. The information revolution with its digital and satelite technology which has brought about the greatest and fastest advance in human communication in the history of the world. Not only the Berlin wall came down in 1989. Mine came too! Milton Friedman quote: “Making the private sector the primary engine…” Countries, like individuals are different. Programmes need to be tailored to fit their circumstances, not force-fed from the dogma of a capitalist manifesto. Countries do NOT grow because they get foreign investment; they get foreign investment only afterthey start growing! Growth is the ‘magnet to prosperity’. The Asian tigers, countries like Japan, Thailand and South Korea, which led the way, all had heavy state intervention in their economies. Their governments identified industrial sectors to be boosted, gave those industries low-interest loans from state-controlled banks to help them acquire the technologies and capital equipment to allow them to develop. They also implemented red-tape rules to discourage foreign competition. The result was that local industries grew rapidly, opened up export opportunitiesin these fields and generated capital for further investment. Look for windows of opportunity. South Africa was late into the field of developing nations competing for the attention of foreign investors put us at a disadvantage, The winning tigers take all. And you have to grow first to be recognized as a tiger! Leaders of countries need “well-oiled industrial relations”, that solves problems through mediation and conciliation, rather than through strike action, there will be a competitive advantagethat should attract foreign investors. A sufficient number of people with high-value jobs stimulate the economy through increased consumer demand. We need sustainedgrowth above say 5% for up to ten years to get the structural changes in wealth that we need for a stable society.” (Alec Erwin)


“We South Africans like to look on the dark side of the moon. We sometimes can’t believe that we’re actually doing OK.”
– Maria Ramos, former Deputy-Governor of the Treasury

We should not have unrealistic expectations, Tutu warns. It will take time to build a sense of national unity across a wide range of diversity with such a history of conflict. “The world needs a South Africa that has succeeded.”

What is the measure of success? When people can relate to each other naturally, but without trying to wipe out their differences.
Celebrate this diversity, it’s enriching.” It’s a matter of inculcating a culture of mutual respect and tolerance. The rainbow nation must be a mosaic society, not a melting pot. We have made considerable progress along the rocky road from institutionalized racism to mutual tolerance. In the past our businesses were uncompetitive, hiding behind high protective tariffs, and economic growth had been in decline for years. Economically SA has been transformed and the country has averaged 3% a year growth over the decade. However, the economy is still too sluggish to get the country on the high road to real development. Unemployment is high, the skills level is low, there is a huge wealth gap, crime persists, foreign investment is only a meage 1% of GDP, the AIDS pandemicis inflicting great tragedy on the population. SA’s problems interact and feed off each other. Poor education leads to a low skills level, which deters investment, which slows growth, which aggravates unemployment, which increases the crime rate, which deters investment, and soon. An improved education system would help greatly. “As Bill Clinton famously told his campaign office: “It’s the economy, stupid.” Get the growth rate up above 5% for five to ten years in a row! Reduced unemploymentwill bring down the crime rate, it will begin to close down the wealth gap, which will reduce racial and class tensions, which will increase political stability – all of which will make the country more attractive to foreign investors. South Africa’s macro-economic policy has been widely acclaimed, but still it has not produced the growth rates needed to start the cycle. Simply liberalising the economy and then waiting for foreign investors to come does not work. Growth must be produced first to attract them. But HOW? There are only two ways to make an economy grow – by increasing investment, or by improving productivity. Growth, like charity, begins at home. The foreign investors will not come if they see the locals holding back. So an effective strategy must start with boosting local investment. The neo-liberal approach has not worked in SA and in for a number of Latin American and East European countries, which have had slow and volatile growth. The lesson is that one size-fits-all formulae are no good. Economic jackets must be tailored to fit individual circumstances, as the more successful examples of India, China and Vietnam have shown. The crux of the problem is that SA has a double-decker economy – with its First World sector and its Third World sector – and what is working for those on the upper deck of this economic bus is not working for those on the lower deck. So unemployment is increasing and the wealth gap is widening. It’s a question of SKILLS and developing them. (And it all starts with EDUCATION. There is no stairway from the lower deck to the upper one. If you are unskilled, you cannot climb up to the top of the bus. A single neo-liberal macro-economic policy, which is what South Africa has – is insufficient to deal with this dual economy. It may be good for the skilled sector, but not for the unskilled. What is needed is a two-pronged strategyto cater for the different needs of both. The developed sector must be encouraged and energised to build on the good start it has made. It is this sector, which will attract the foreign investors. But the unskilled sector, which is far larger, needs a different set of strategies, not only for humanitarian reasons, but to draw them into the economy from which they are now excluded; so that they can begin to contribute their huge numbers to its growth and also build a stairway to the top. What is needed above all is to build a closer partnership, a “social contract” between government and business. They need to forge a greater unity of purpose(that of shared obligations). Few in business have an understanding of politics and vice-versa. Huge numbers of people have NOT reaped any benefits at all from Thabo Mbeki’s market-friendly reforms and some are worse off than before. Having forsaken nationalization, the government is trying to redress the gross imbalance between white and black shares in the economy through policies of affirmative action and black empowerment. Globalization’s free-market policies are making the rich richer and the poor poorer.Whites don’t mind losing political power, but don’t touch their property. In other words, don’t touch their wealth! I am reminded of a wisecrack by Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the struggle days. Referring to the attitudes of white South Africans as the old regime played games with various power-sharing formulae, Tutu remarked: “Everyone is in favour of change, so long as things remain the same.” There’s got to be de-racialism of the economy as well. Evidence so far is that black empowerment has not increased black unemployment. All it’s done is ensure that the top of the bus is not a whites-only deck. But we still have the problem of the overcrowded bottom deck. President Mbeki says skills training is the key. It all starts with EDUCATION, then QUALITY TRAINING!

Zivusemi = lift yourselves up.

Approx 35% of SA’s economically active population work in the informal sector, according to Frances Lund of Natal University. The informal sector is ballooning everywhere in the developing world, as globalization with its downsizing and outsourcing, drives more people out of the formal economy. It accounts for between 4% and 60% of the total workforce in most of the developing countries. In SA the informal economy is 7% .What is needed are strategies to help it grow. (Mexico12%, Asia17%-48%, India 62%) The top of the bus is doing well, but there is NO trickle-down effect. We need strategies for the lower deck and if those masses can be better mobilized, I believe there will in fact be a trickle-up effect that will boost the entire economy.

Uplifting the poor in a globalized world is a global challenge, and in this too, SA must become a path-finder. We must march to our own drummer. It is a wildly diverse population of crazy, yet creative people. An exciting place to live in; because SA is at the cutting edge of so many of the world’s most challenging problems. As the old pop song of the Sixties said: ‘Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.’ So in the final analysis I am confident that we shall fulfil Nelson Mandela’s pledged Covenant and attain the rainbow nation. “It will not come easily and it will not come soon. But that we shall get there I am as certain can be in this uncertain world.”

– Allister Sparks


Together, one mind, one soul, one life, one small step at a time, let’s plant seeds of hope, then march together towards a better future…a far brighter tomorrow


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Quality or Quantity of Economic Policies: What is the priority for the government?

Hi Cavid
Thanks for the follow and likes.
if you want to follow me, go to
(to find one or two of interest…perhaps)



# Though my family and close friends say it would be far more entertaining with a video-camera* in the “real world”, rather than in cyberspace!)
* By the way, do they still make them in today’s ever-faster changing world..or is it all done with mobile phones?

(get with the times now,”luddite”* c – it should be a smart phone)

* or so I was often called by my “my techno-geek” friend, Bill (“the gonk”)

“total non-techno” c (who doesn’t possess a mobile phone, after a rather eventful’ experience some years back, whilst trying to walk, talk and chew gum at the same time) #

The impossible we do immediately; however miracles take a little longer!

* (You may think I’m joking, but just ask my friends!)

Who says men can’t multi-task!

Men…Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em!

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”

– Colette (nice name for a girl, btw)

All the best with your blog
Shared by craig

“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder” *

* not bridges (thank goodness)!

Well my family and friends say I’m “safest” just writing and sharing

Driven to share, uplift, encourage and (perhaps even) inspire


“Live each day as if it’s your last…
and one day you’ll be right!

Don’t worry about the world ending today…

it’s already tomorrow in scenic and tranquil ‘little’ New Zealand

Junior Economist

The main macroeconomic goal of economic policies is Economic Growth, which is the growth of total production in an economy. In other words, economists measure economic growth by the change in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is the change in the sum of the total consumption, private investments, government spending and the difference between exports and imports. Since, economic development is a broader term; reflecting both qualitative and quantitative indicators in a certain economy, such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, quality of private and government institutions, life expectancy, economic growth, and etc. Despite economic development is much more vital for countries, but in many economies, policymakers focused on growth rather than development. In this article, I am going to highlight the primary reasons for this paradox.

The reasons for many governments to prioritizing economic growth policies are many, whereas I would like to stress the importance of long-lasting results of policies…

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There’s never been a better time to invest in Africa

Investing in our continent enables much-needed growth and economic development, and can offer strong returns

Source: There’s never been a better time to invest in Africa


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