South Africa places highly in several international rankings on competitiveness and governance, but some sticking points keep it back, most notably that it is a country of economic extremes. The National Development Plan aims to overturn this status and bring equality; such a change will have a knock-on effect on competitiveness.
The republic is seeking ways to unlock the potential hidden in its oceans. Operation Phakisa has identified opportunities in aquaculture, ship building and maintenance, and fishing that will grow the blue economy. It is a strategy lead by The Seychelles and that requires continent-wide co-operation.
Brand South Africa will host its second South African Competitiveness Forum in Johannesburg in early 2015 under the theme "Active citizenship and its role in changing the South African brand reality".
When Zimbabwe's economy tanked in 2002, the people spoke of "the coin problem". Because there was no change, every purchase had to be rounded up to the dollar. With most people living on the breadline, this was a severe hardship. Enter Econet Wireless and its innovative mobile payment system.
Perceptions of South Africa and its people can hinder or advance the country's business progress in the rest of Africa. This was one of the insights gained from Brand South Africa fieldwork and other research in Kenya and Nigeria.