Country Analysts

Iraj Abedian
Former Member, President’s Panel of Economic Advisors

In The News


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Recent Country Insights

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South Africa’s fourth quarter current account balance improved, but deteriorated for 2018 as a whole
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 07 Mar 2019
Data released by the South African Reserve Bank shows that there was a significant narrowing of the country’s current account deficit during the fourth quarter of 2018 from the third quarter as it contracted by R70.2 billion, from R180.4 billion to R110.2 billion. The current account deficit as a...

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Tepid GDP growth for South Africa in 2018
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 05 Mar 2019
​Despite South Africa’s exiting a technical recession in the third quarter of 2018 when GDP recorded (an upwardly revised) 2.6% q/q growth rate (previously 2.2%), the country’s economic growth remains anemic and still insufficient to make a meaningful dent on unemployment, poverty and inequality....

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The Presidency sets up a Special Tribunal at Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to recover stolen funds
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 04 Mar 2019
Year in and year out, large amounts of money are lost to the state from corruption or irregular spending. This is one of the main reasons the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) was established in 1996 in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunal Act, (Act No 74 of 1996). The mai...

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The DA unveils its 2019 manifesto - the manifesto for change, it says!
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 26 Feb 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA), led by Mmusi Maimane, launched its 2019 National Elections manifesto on Saturday, February 23, 2019. The DA remains South Africa’s biggest opposition party, but its “appeal” started to slowly fizzle out after it was beset by problems since the 2016 local government e...

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South Africa’s 2019 Budget: Tough decisions made, but will it be enough?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 20 Feb 2019
South African Budget 2019 was delivered today by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, his maiden Budget Speech following the delivery of the Mid Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October 2018, a mere two weeks after taking over as the new Minister of Finance. The Minister had indicated that South...

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Another ailing State-Owned Company-SA Airways- to be split into three divisions
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 18 Feb 2019
In its April 2018 Financial Stability Review, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) warned that state firms’ debt may threaten South Africa’s financial stability. Indeed, governance issues at state-owned entities (SOEs), rising contingent liabilities (in the form of government guarantees) and ina...

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South Africa in darkness as Eskom’s troubles intensify
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 13 Feb 2019 1 response
Load shedding is back once again, and this time, the electricity cuts by Eskom that have long plagued South Africa have intensified. Load shedding is implemented by Eskom as a last resort measure when demand for electricity outstrips power generation by the entity. This is done in order to avert ...

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The President once again sweet-talking investors at Mining Indaba 2019
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 08 Feb 2019
​The 25th Investing in African Mining Indaba, the most prominent and likely the biggest mining investment event in Africa, took place in Cape Town from February 4-7 with an estimated 6,000 delegates. The organizers of the event indicated that this year’s event would be focused more on deal-making...

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President Ramaphosa’s 2019 State of the Nation Address: Growth, government reform and job creation emphasized
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 07 Feb 2019
President Ramaphosa delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) with a blend of honesty and hope. He acknowledged the setbacks experienced in a number of areas. He highlighted the considerable harm to the country resulting from corruption, especially arising from “state capture” in th...

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