Our issues mainly focus on the following major themes
Developing countries are renowned for a higher marginal productivity of capital due to its scarcity. This is in stark contrast to their developed counterparts, where there is lower productivity of capital due to its abundance. To illustrate this simple example, an investor can give a plough and an ox to a peasant farmer in Southern Africa and his/her yields can actually increase twofold or even more. At the same time, if such an investment was given to a farmer in Western Europe for example, it would not have any effect on productivity because chances are that his/her farm is already mechanised. This simple illustration explains why there are sometimes better returns to capital in developing countries.
This also comes with significant risks. Therefore, local, regional and international investors need as much information as possible so that they can develop some understanding of the risks at play. The Southern Economies therefore provides selected summaries of the major business, economic, investment and political related stories in one place. This is important in that it gives individuals and entities looking for opportunities for investment Southern Africa a concise account of what is going on in each country; enabling them to arrive at some assessment of the level of risk in a particular country.
Despite the importance of information in arriving at some assessment of risk, it also ensures that the investor is generally aware of what is going on. Media summaries roundup can also show potential investors interesting areas that they actually start considering to develop into assets. Developing countries remain to be fully exploited in a mutually beneficial manner. Every day new mineral deposits are discovered, while everyday industry suffers from vintage machinery breakdowns and other production bottlenecks; hence a fresh injection of capital can help result in mutually profitable transformation. Therefore, the importance of information is pivotal for investment Southern Africa.
The user requirements of information are diverse. The Southern Economies recognizes that different stakeholders might require information that is not significantly processed. Thus, the monthly bulletin provides raw top media stories. At the same time, there are a lot other individuals and entities who would instead prefer information that is distilled further for easier analyses and on which they can plot trends and see whether there are any cycles in the data. Such metrics are useful in making decisions concerning the creation of assets in foreign countries.
The SERISA Climate of Investment and Business Environment Index (SCIBEI) is an example of such a metric. A brainchild of Social and Economic Research of Southern Africa (SERISA), it is an endeavour to quantify the investment climate and business environment in Southern Africa monthly. Several other organizations have their own estimations pertaining to business environment and investment climate, but these are normally available yearly and might be based mainly on estimations and interpolations. SCIBEI has the advantage that it is available monthly. Such frequency is important because developing countries inherently lack stable institutions, and as a result changes in the political and economic systems can be abrupt and unpredictable. When this happens foreign capital is usually caught in the crossfire, and a monthly SCIBEI rating might have the potential to predict the trajectory a particular country is taking. This is useful for investment Southern Africa.
Another important advantage of SCIBEI is that it has a direct link to the reality on the ground. It is informed by the top media stories research that is carried out monthly, assigning a particular score to a country depending on the news coming out of it. Therefore, if you are considering investment Southern Africa, SCIBEI might be something you may be interested in. The Southern Economies not only presents the monthly SCIBEI index, but also gives a brief commentary.
The rehabilitation and modernisation of existing transport infrastructure as well as the development of new roads, airports and railways remains high on the agenda in most developing countries. This is also true for Southern Africa. Countries in the region have had their own success stories in terms of expansion and modernization of transport infrastructure. Challenges still remain though. There are still many parts in the region that are inaccessible, particularly in the rainy season where bridges get swept away by flooding for example. The high cost of transportation also acts as a disincentive for business or leisure travel. In the end businesses in one part of the region may in the end fail to realise the lucrative opportunities that they could exploit elsewhere. The Southern Economies therefore features content from different parts of the region that may be interesting to stakeholders elsewhere.
There is a possibility that the answer to the energy crisis that a particular sunflower producing village in the DRC suffers from lies with an energy company in South Africa that also coincidentally is looking for sunflower as a raw material required somewhere along its value chain. Featured stories Southern Africa for different communities enlarge possibilities by bridging the information divide between the those in need of a solution and those who have the solution, as in the previous example. Similarly, by featuring the story of a community in Zambia living in a natural forest resources rich region, a fruit canning company in Tanzania can actually partner this community and see how they can package the natural berries and get them onto the market to alleviate the lives of this community.
Featured stories Southern Africa may also be about interesting places whose tourism potential has somehow not been fully exploited. In this regard, The Southern Economies also attempts to promote the tourism and hospitality industry development in the region.
The Southern Economies (As Economias do Sul) provides a one stop shop from which different stakeholders can get a grasp of the performance of the different countries in the region macro wise. All business and organizations with an economic, developmental and/or otherwise interest in the region need to have some level of understanding of the trajectory that things are taking. Therefore, our magazine presents any relevant statistics that any investor or entity that intends to trade with the region would generally require to have an appreciation of.
We realise that this is an important time to look at the region as a whole. This is because regional Integration of Southern Africa and of the continent as a whole has been an important objective of the governments for a number of years. While not much progress has been achieved on the political class, the economies in the region are to various degrees integrated – if the increased movement of people and goods is anything to go by. In an integrated larger economy, there are various benefits to be reaped. For example, in a regional market, there is higher demand for goods and services as opposed to the Autarky conditions. Therefore, The Southern Economies makes available statistics that not only promotes regional integration but ensures more investment Southern Africa.
These statistics include quarterly growth statistics, inflation, exchange rate movements as well as commentary on the commodities markets. The aim is to ensure various stakeholders who want to trade with the region or who intend to channel investment Southern Africa can have a robust understanding of what is going on. Such statistics are useful for intra-regional trade, as well as trade with the rest of the world.