By James Hall
Analysis in brief: The destruction of a major port city and loss of life in one of Africa’s biggest recorded storms may be the impetus to create a continental authority to manage disasters that arrive with greater power and frequency as a result of climate change.
The destruction Cyclone Idai wrought on the Southern African countries Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in March 2019 claimed over 700 lives, obliterated Mozambique’s port city, Beira, and flooded 138,000 km²of crop land. Cholera became the immediate threat and diminished harvests are a mid-term eventuality. The response of the 13-state regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was very little given the scope of the calamity and when compared with the work and contributions of overseas aid organisations who immediately rushed in to assist. A SADC representative said the body was surprised by the cyclone’s power and was not prepared for the devastation unleashed.
Challenges, Opportunities, Risks and Next Steps
The South African government has prioritised small business development with the objective of creating 11 million jobs by 2030 to reduce the country’s chronic and high unemployment rate, and looking to SMEs to create these jobs and stimulate economic growth. This objective can only be achieved through the establishment of a supportive and enabling environment for the growth of small businesses.
SME SA in collaboration with In On Africa (IOA) has endeavored to assess the current environment in which SMEs operate through executing nationwide research on the sector. The aim of the research was to shed light on the challenges, opportunities and risks that need to be considered in the development of the SME sector to ensure the much needed growth and new employment opportunities in the country.
The Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR) is the definitive resource for understanding Africa, providing comprehensive assessments of all 54 African countries. The report scores, ranks and insightfully assesses each country holistically, as well as across business, economic, political and social factors, all presented in an 750-page infographic-driven publication.
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