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African Futures

MNC Trend Report 2018 - The Future of Work

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The 8th MNC Trend Report provides an overview of the company information contained in the SA MNC Database. The database includes company finances, operations, remuneration and geographical spread of 91 South African MNCs that operate across Africa. The MNC Database has been populated with this information since 2008, which provides a unique dataset from which to analyse financial trends. This report is focused on two main areas of study. Firstly, the financial trends of the 91 sampled companies are analysed within 14 economic sectors, including revenue growth as well as revenue compared to competitors. In addition to this, each company’s profit before tax (PBT) is analysed compared to its sector and competitors. Within this context, the remuneration strategies of the top level of directors is analysed. Finally, we take a quick look at the total remuneration packages of directors compared to the lowest employees in the company.
The last section of this report, titled ‘the Future of Work’, takes a closer look at the developments around the automation of jobs. This section aims to put this within the broader context of the developing world, as opposed to the developed world. It is questioned whether the reality in the developed world is a reality in Africa, and also makes some suggestions as to how unions and workers can use technology to further their own agendas.
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94
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The Future of Mobility and Migration Within and From Sub- Saharan Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
African migration – its drivers, dynamics, and consequences –increasingly features in global policy debates. Concerns vary widely, including everything from economic and human development, human rights, and human and state security. For OECD countries, particularly members of the European Union, there
are additional concerns. These include securing labour required to support an aging European population and expensive social welfare system; upholding commitments to human dignity; maintaining a positive reputation and influence throughout the ‘global south’; and politically derived imperative to starkly limit
spontaneous movements of Africans across Europe’s external boundaries. As illustration, despite a growing need for labour, the number of newly issued long-term work permits (12+ months) for African labour migrants has been reduced from 80.000 in 2008 to 20.000 in 2016.
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25
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Coming to Life: Artificial Intelligence in Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The rapid uptake of disruptive technologies in Africa, such as mobile and financial technologies, is prompting speculation among tech investors about whether artificial intelligence (AI) applications will also take root on the continent.
A new issue brief by Africa Center Senior Fellow Aleksandra Gadzala, “Coming to Life: Artificial Intelligence in Africa,” mostly throws cold water on the idea. She acknowledges that many African nations still lack the statistical capacity, infrastructure, and good governance necessary to see AI take off. However, in a select handful of countries, AI solutions are already being successfully deployed at scale. Gadzala surveys the state of AI in Africa and discovers what these successful investments have in common, and what African governments need to do to strengthen the ecosystem necessary to see these technologies flourish, focusing on ways to foster a culture of research and innovation, improve investment environments, and strengthen policy frameworks so African nations can reap the full benefits of AI.
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12
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Aftermath of the Arab Spring in North Africa

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 31, 2016
Abstract in English: 
At the outset of the political uprisings that began in North Africa in 2010, the four countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia faced similar economic and political challenges. Over the past almost six years, the countries have adopted different approaches to address these problems, however the overall economic picture today is grim amid varied political environments. In “Aftermath of the Arab Spring in North Africa,” authors Mohsin Khan and Karim Mezran examine whether these four North African countries have been successful in meetings the demands of their populations as expressed in the 2010-11 uprisings and what challenges remain for them in the future.
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16
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3D Printing: Shaping Africa’s Future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Disruptive technologies—such as the Internet of Things, robotics, and three-dimensional (3D) printing—have been heralded as the future of the global manufacturing sector. However, in Africa, they could hinder industrialization and result in fewer entry points into global supply chains. While it may be possible for African nations to “leapfrog” directly to newer technologies, it is more likely that developing the relevant worker know-how, infrastructure, and corporate capabilities necessary to leverage the potential value of these technologies will be a very gradual process. African policy makers must therefore pursue multipronged strategies to ensure relevance as 3D printing and other disruptive technologies move into the mainstream.
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9
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African futures: Horizon 2025

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
If Sub-Saharan Africa’s future had to be encapsulated in a single word, it would be transformation. In recent years the continent has undergone significant economic, socio-political, and technological transformations, a process which is likely to accelerate over the coming decades. While it would be an overstatement to proclaim that the future will be African, there are strong indications that the global importance of the continent is set to rise – and not only as a source of risk factors spilling over from poverty and instability. By 2045, approximately a quarter of the world’s population will be African. Looking ahead, there is also the potential for Africa’s economic growth to outpace the global average. The expansion of foreign direct investment (FDI), which today already outstrips aid, could drive further integration of African countries in the world economy. The diversification of Africa’s relationship with external partners – which now not only include traditional Western partners such as the EU, but also Asian, Middle Eastern and Gulf countries – will also contribute to increasing Africa’s prominence in the global arena.
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84
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Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa

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Publication date: 
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Abstract in English: 
This paper looks to uncover the growth traps and opportunities for the South African economy, with a focus on underlying labour market dynamics. We explore the potential of South Africa’s demographic dividend. We also consider the structure of the labour market and the growth-employment interactions, which uncover the skills-biased labour demand path of the economy and a rising trend in the use of labour brokers to source temporary workers. Finally, we show a new labour market trend has emerged: a rise in the share of public sector employment along with higher conditional returns to public sector workers than to those in the private sector.
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41
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African futures 2050- the next forty years, ISS monograph

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Abstract in English: 
In this monograph the Institute for Security Studies and the Pardee Center for International Futures provide an extensive analysis of the projected course of African development to 2050. Combining the deep and wide knowledge of Africa within the ISS with extensive use of the IFs modelling system, this discussion goes beyond past work in a number of ways. It looks across most major issue arenas: demographics, economics, sociopolitical change, the environment and human development itself, including health and education. It explores further into our future than perhaps any other extensive study of African futures has ever done. While not pushing forward specific policy initiatives, it provides a context within which those who pursue sustainable human development can consider policies.
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66
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The future of intrastate conflict in Africa More violence or greater peace?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This paper analyses future trends for intrastate conflict in Africa up to 2050 using the International Futures (IFs) model. After reviewing the main post-Cold War patterns of conflict and instability on the continent, the paper discusses seven key correlations associated with intrastate conflict in Africa. It then points to a number of reasons for the changing outlook, including the continued salience of various ‘structural’ conditions that drive intrastate violence even during rapid economic growth, recent improvements in human development alongside a strengthened regional and international conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding regime. Finally, the paper explores how multipolarity may impact on stability and forecasts trends for intrastate conflict in West, Southern, Horn/East and Central Africa. The authors expect large-scale violence to continue its steady decline, although the risk of instability and violence is likely to persist, and even increase in some instances.
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24
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Reducing poverty in Africa Realistic targets for the post-2015 MDGs and Agenda 2063

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, August 25, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The eradication of extreme poverty is a key component of the post-2015 MDG process and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. This paper uses the International Futures forecasting system to explore this goal and finds that many African states are unlikely to make this target by 2030. In addition to the use of country-level targets, this paper argues in favour of a goal that would see Africa as a whole reducing extreme poverty to below 20% by 2030 (15% using 2011 purchasing power parity), and to below 3% by 2063.
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28
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