Are cooperatives better suited to deal with crises: perspectives from Europe and South America
(GovInn, June 2014)
Author: Claudia Sanchez Bajo
There has been little research on cooperatives within regionalism and in particular, how regionalism works in an effort to compare policy making between two regional integration processes. This work will first analyse the role of cooperatives in regionalism in terms of policy, including standards, enterprise statutes and statistics, with particular regard to the role of the networks in the initiatives and their participation in regional integration policy making. The building of networks is one of the expected spillovers from regionalism. However, in the concept of ‘new regionalism’, the role of business actors is enhanced through networks promoting both entrepreneurial action as well as strategic influence on the development path of the countries involved.
THE Corporate Governance Index 2014, which GovInn released last week in partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors of SA, provides a worrying snapshot of the state of business performance in SA.
The index finds that the leadership skills, accountability and overall conduct of public and private corporations have worsened over the past year. GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti comments on the perilous relationship between economic and political powers on Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper.
If public officials take bribes to favour a few at the expense of the public good, then it is worth asking: where does the money come from? And the answer usually is: from business.
The simplistic juxtaposition between corrupt government and virtuous business does not pass the reality check.
Read the full article here
GovInn research Fellow Christopher Changwe Nshimbi comments on the absence of Zimbabwe at the recent US-Africa summit. What are the responsibility of the Africa Union and of SADC towards the citizens of Zimbabwe?
AU and SADC should have ensured free and fair elections in Zimbabwe 2013. However, the AU has inherent weaknesses regarding intervening in domestic stalemates as in Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire. SADC should strengthen rules regarding elections, citizens’ rights in electoral processes and SADC’s enforcement role. Moreover, SADC and the AU should revise their approaches to state sovereignty.
Do you agree? Read it all on the Nordic Africa Institute Forum website
South Africa is on an economic roller coaster. After the five-month strike in the platinum mines and turmoil in the metal sector, our country is still grappling with a credit downgrade and gloomy forecasts for economic growth.
Pundits warn that if the gross domestic product (GDP) does not pick up in the coming months, a recession will be inevitable, with disastrous consequences for all of us. Our eyes are all on this magic number. But what is GDP? Is GDP really helping us measure the state of our economy? Or is it a misleading indicator that contributes to wrong policy decisions, especially at a time of growing unrest and dissatisfaction with the transformation of the economy?
Read the full article on South African economy and the inadequacies of GDP, on Business Day, South Africa’s leading business newspaper.
Mining, regional integration and environmental imperatives: perspectives from West Africa
(GovInn, June 2014)
Author: Frank Nyame
Prior to European colonization of the African continent, mining of gold by indigenous people was an important activity for many tribal states and kingdoms that used gold as a medium of exchange to trade in various goods and services. It served as a symbol of power, wealth and influence especially in mineral-rich regions. Well established pre-colonial kingdoms such as the Ashanti in Ghana flourished for centuries partly through conquest and the incorporation of mineral-rich but militarily weaker states or tribes. Pre-colonial mining was thus probably a source of conflict and “integration” in what is now West Africa.
A successful regional approach to environmental governance: The case of the European Union
(GovInn, June 2014)
Author: John McCormick
Environmental policy was a latecomer to the agenda of the European Union (EU), only establishing itself as a formal interest of European integration with the passage of the 1987 Single European Act. The years since then have seen a flurry of legislative and policy activity, with EU institutions addressing a broadening base of environmental problems. From a time when most legal activity was focused on air and water quality, waste management and the control of chemicals, the EU has become involved in issues as varied as noise pollution, energy conservation, the control of genetically modified organisms, organic agriculture, and efforts to address climate change.