Mozambique Rising – is South Africa capitalizing on the opportunity?

I have been fortunate enough to know the splendor of the Mozambican soil, Mother land to my parents and ancestors. My first memories were of its pristine beaches, and the then Maputo, when we visited from South Africa on family holidays. When my parents moved to Beira in 1992, Mozambique became my second home. The Mozambique of today is significantly different to the Mozambique I remember back then, in fact it is hardly recognizable. After a devastating 16 years of civil war brought its economy, the country and its people to its knees, it is slowly but proudly rising out of the ashes to stake its claim as an African powerhouse. Yes – the African sun is once again shining its warm and powerful rays on this East African country. Though South Africa and Mozambique have had a long history of being regional economic partners, each time I return from Mozambique I am less and less convinced that South Africa is [optimally] capitalizing on both it's historic relationship with Mozambique and its neighbour's boom as an export destination for its domestic goods, services, capital and labour.


Africa – the Continent of Great Opportunity

Africa – the Continent of Great Opportunity brilliantly disguised as Unsolvable Problems.

The African continent remains an economic enigma to many foreign investors, and a social enigma to many philanthropists and anthropologists. Africa - the vast and beautiful 'virgin land' riddled with a history of poverty, corruption, exploitation, and other ailments. In part from its previous colonial regimes, and in part from post independence civil wars.


Spitting Image

For those of you old enough to remember, the 1980’s heralded the television satirical puppet show called “Spitting Image”. It parodied and teased, making fun of society at large. One of the songs it produced is: “I’ve never met a nice South African” which was a vicious denunciation of Apartheid. On a personal level, I despised it, because at the time I really didn’t understand what all the fuss was about and somehow the attack felt personal. Yet as young ‘varsity students, we loved it and would play it at every opportunity especially when members of the state security apparatus were about. I think it may even have been banned (along with Bob Marley’s “Gimme Hope Joanna”).


The importance of cross-cultural communication and integration in business negotiations

- Being a young white female in not only a ‘man’s world’, but in a ‘man’s world in Africa’, has had its challenges.
Prior to researching the topic of “cross-cultural communication and integration” I was totally unaware, though not surprised, that this subject was a discipline in its own right. As I sifted through the extensive reading material available online, it was intriguing to see how I have been unwittingly applying the principles of cross-cultural communication and integration for as long as I have been involved in African Business Development.


Municipalities – a threat to the property industry?

Have you ever wondered what role South Africa’s municipalities play in the property industry? The ripple effect of their impact cannot be underestimated.

I had an interesting chat with a friend recently. She spends most of Saturday mornings tutoring teenage children English and mathematics at the “container school” in Cosmo City, North West of Randburg. She relayed stories about the desperate state of the teenage children’s maths and English literacy. Devastatingly, many of them are unable to write an English sentence, and can do little more than count.

Similarly, while my wife was on extended maternity leave, she held literacy and mathematic classes, to up-skill adult employees at a company in Midrand. It was just after the first independent elections, and their black employees were still crippled by our previous government’s Bantu Education system.

By now, you must be wondering what this has to do with the effect of municipalities on the property industry? My answer is… everything!


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