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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

National Funding of Road Infrastructure

July 10, 2014 Comments off

National Funding of Road Infrastructure
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report examines the funding of roads and highways in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden. It provides a description of the infrastructure in the jurisdiction, information on the ownership and responsibility of the roads, and taxes or other ways of collecting money to fund the nation’s infrastructure. If applicable, a discussion of reforms or new initiatives is examined.

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USGS — Global Platinum-Group Resources Estimated at More than 150K Metric Tons

May 19, 2014 Comments off

Global Platinum-Group Resources Estimated at More than 150K Metric Tons
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

The first-ever inventory and geological assessment of known and undiscovered platinum-group element (PGE) resources estimates that more than 150,000 metric tons of PGEs may exist in the two southern African countries that produce most of the global supply of these critical elements.

The USGS study identifies 78K metric tons of known PGE resources in South Africa and Zimbabwe and estimates 75K metric tons in PGE resources that may be present, but are undiscovered. This is more than 20 times the total tonnage produced since the 1920s when PGE mining began in these countries.

The U.S. is 90 percent reliant on imports of PGEs which are essential for cleaning automobile exhaust, for manufacturing glass, fertilizer, high-octane fuel, and a variety of chemicals, including cancer fighting drugs. They are widely used in jewelry and electronics such as hard drives, circuitry, and cell phones. PGEs could play a crucial role in fuel cell technology to produce clean energy for cars, homes, and businesses.

AU — The G20: a quick guide

March 26, 2014 Comments off

The G20: a quick guide
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

This is a quick guide to basic information about the G20, as well as links to useful summary resources. The G20 background section includes the G20’s history, its members, the hosting system and G20 meeting processes, as well as a brief discussion of selected policy areas. Material on Australia and the G20 includes Australia’s involvement in the G20, Australia’s G20 goals for 2014 and speeches and press releases on the G20. A short list of links provides access to more resources on the G20.

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa

March 3, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa
Source: Energy Information Administration

South Africa’s energy sector is critical to its economy, as the country relies heavily on its large-scale, energy-intensive coal mining industry. South Africa has limited proved reserves of oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits to meet most of its energy needs, particularly in the electricity sector. Most of the oil consumed in the country, used mainly in the transportation sector, is imported from Middle East and West African producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is locally refined. South Africa also has a sophisticated synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from the Secunda coal-to-liquids (CTL) and Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants. The synthetic fuels industry accounts for nearly all of the country’s domestically produced petroleum as crude oil production is very small.

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014

February 27, 2014 Comments off

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014
Source: Towers Watson

This is a study of the 13 largest pension markets in the world and accounts for more than 85% of global pension assets. The countries included are Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The study also analyses seven countries in greater depth by excluding the six smallest markets (Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong and South Africa).

The analysis includes:

  • Asset size, including growth statistics, comparison of asset size with GDP and liabilities
  • Asset allocation
  • Defined benefit and defined contribution share of pension assets
  • Public and private sector share of pension assets.

CRS — South Africa: Politics, Economy, and U.S. Relations

December 17, 2013 Comments off

South Africa: Politics, Economy, and U.S. Relations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

South Africa is a multi-racial, majority black southern African country of nearly 52 million. It held its first universal suffrage elections in 1994, after a transition from white minority rule under apartheid, a system of state-enforced racial se gregation and socioeconomic discrimination. South Africa entered a period of mourning in late 2013, following the passing of its first post-apartheid president, Nelson Mandela, who is viewed as the founding father of today’s nonracial South African democratic system. Due to its political, trade, and investment ties across Africa and its active role within the African Union, South Africa is influential regionally. It is viewed as a U.S. strategic partner in Africa, despite periodic foreign policy differences. In mid-2013, President Obama traveled to South Africa after visiting Senegal, prior to a visit to Tanzania. The trip centered on U.S.-African partnerships in the areas of trade and investment, development, democracy and youth leadership development, and peace and security. Key issues addressed in South Africa included bilateral political and trade and investment ties, development cooperation, and shared U.S.-South African aims regarding conflict mitigation and development across Africa.

Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter

July 17, 2013 Comments off

Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter
Source: Technology and Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School

Libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés play a critical role in extending the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to a diverse range of people worldwide. However, their ability to contribute to development agendas has come into question in recent times. The Global Impact Study was designed to address this debate by generating evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access ICTs in eight countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, the Philippines, and South Africa. This report summarizes the study’s key findings, situating public access in the context of national development, discussing some disputed issues, and providing recommendations for policymakers, public access practitioners and researchers. The results show that a central impact of public access is the promotion of digital inclusion through technology access, information access, and development of ICT skills. Both users and non-users report positive impacts in various social and economic areas of their lives.

National Assessments on Gender and STI

March 13, 2013 Comments off

National Assessments on Gender and STI

Source: Women in Global Science and Technology

The National Assessments on Gender and STI are based on the Gender Equality – Knowledge Society (GE&KS) indicator framework, which was developed to address the fact that worldwide, women’s capacity to participate in science, technology and innovation is grossly under-developed and under-utilized. Not only do they have less access to information and technology, they are poorly represented in educational, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. It brings together gender-sensitive data on key areas in the knowledge society (ICT, science, technology and innovation) with gender indicators of health, economic and social status to assess the barriers and opportunities for women.

A pilot assessment of six countries and one region took place during 2012 with funding from the Elsevier Foundation: Brazil, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, the United States, and the European Union.

Key Findings

The major finding of this study is that the knowledge gender divide continues to exist in all countries, even those which have a highly-developed knowledge society. In all countries in this review – which represent the leading knowledge-based economies in the world – the knowledge society is failing to include women to an equal extent, and in some cases, their inclusion is negligible.

  • Numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world’s leading economies, and are actually on the decline in many, including the United States.
  • Women remain severely under-represented in engineering, physics and computer science — less than 30% in most countries – while the numbers of women working in these fields are also declining.
  • Women have lower levels of access to the productive resources necessary to support active engagement in the knowledge society and related professions – property (land); finance; technology; and education.
  • Female parity in the science, technology and innovation fields is tied to multiple factors, with the most influential being higher economic status, larger roles in government and politics, access to economic, productive and technological resources, and a supportive policy environment. Findings also show that women gain ground in countries that have health and childcare, equal pay, & gender mainstreaming.
  • Access to education is not a solution in and of itself and neither is economic status. It’s only one part of what should be a multi-dimensional policymaking approach. There is no simple solution.

Enterprise and Inequality: A Study of Avon in South Africa

August 22, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

Avon’s apparent success in using entrepreneurship to help women escape poverty, as well as its staying power in circumstances where similar efforts have failed, has captured the attention of the international development community. This study, the first independent empirical investigation, reports that in South Africa, Avon helps some impoverished women earn a better income and inspires empowerment among them. The authors introduce a new theory, pragmatist feminism, to integrate past work on women’s entrepreneurship and argue that feminist scholars should reexamine the histories of the market democracies for replicable innovations that may have empowered women.

World Cities Culture Report 2012

August 2, 2012 Comments off

World Cities Culture Report 2012 (PDF)
Source: Mayor of London (UK)

The Mayor of London’s World Cities Culture Report 2012 is the biggest international survey of its kind. It has collected an unprecedented amount of data on the scope and impact of the cultural assets and activities that are produced and consumed in 12 major cities:
Berlin
Istanbul
Johannesburg
London
Mumbai
New York
Paris
São Paulo
Shanghai
Singapore
Sydney
Tokyo
Using 60 indicators and reports from each of the participating cities, the World Cities Culture Report 2012 shows that culture is seen as important as finance and trade and sits at the heart of public policy.

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa

October 9, 2011 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa
Source: Energy Information Administration

South Africa’s energy sector is critical to the economy as the country relies heavily on its large-scale, energy-intensive mining industry. South Africa has only small deposits of conventional oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits for most of its energy needs. As a result, carbon emission and intensity levels are relatively high. The country also has a highly developed synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from coal and natural gas.According to a recent EIA study, South Africa could hold significant shale gas resources. However, the sector is at the early stages of development and exploration plans have been put on hold as a result of environmental concerns that led to a 2011 moratorium on licensing and exploration.

 

Map of South Africa.
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