IOA Special Reports

IOA also publishes various special reports on a variety of Africa-related topics, aiming to inform our readers on key issues impacting Africa’s development.

Finding Cover

The South African Insurance Industry 2024

In a world marked by risk, having mitigation strategies is paramount, particularly when working in Africa. The growth of insurance uptake, both life and non-life, though slow and steady, is a sign that such risks are increasingly becoming focal points in the minds of individuals, businesses and governments alike. Whether its protection against theft, fraud, accidents or unforeseen weather events, finding cover is at the top of the agenda for stakeholders.

With the considerations in mind we delved into the South African insurance industry over the course of 2023 in unpacking some of the developments driving the evolution of the market. We assessed various trends including the growth in claims, the influence of digitalisation in expanding the breath and reach of coverage in the market, and in turn the growing risk of digitalisation in terms of its influence on cybercrime and fraud. This data and more has been consolidated in our latest report, ‘Finding Cover: The South African Insurance Industry 2024’ as a way to concisely and insightfully dissect what’s shaping the industry.

Owning The Future

Intellectual Property in South Africa 2024

Intellectual Property (IP) is a topic generally reserved for legal discussions behind closed doors and is something that is more a concern for large corporates than the corner shop selling fast-moving consumables. Even so the importance of IP protection cannot be overstated as it is the cornerstone of development in not only the world’s most advanced economies (like the US and UK), but also those that are increasingly emerging as new and incumbent key players (like China). In both instances IP protection is paramount to long-term economic success.

Over the course of 2023 IOA embarked on a research endeavour to explore the trends shaping the IP space in the context of South Africa, and sought to assess some of the main challenges in operating in the sector while simultaneously homing in on the opportunities that will present themselves going forward. In getting to the crux of the matter we consulted a wide array of open-source data, and likewise spoke with a diverse group of representatives of the country’s IP sector. Our report, ‘Owning the future: Intellectual Property in South Africa 2024’, is the culmination of this research effort with various insights being drawn on the points above as well as others such as thoughts on the top economic sectors for growth and legal needs within them.

ChatGPT in South Africa

Is the AI chatbot changing how we work and play?

ChatGPT, an advanced AI-powered language model developed by OpenAI, has gained global traction due to its applications across diverse fields such as writing assistance, content generation, and research support. During the period from June to July 2023, IOA embarked on an in-depth assessment of how working South Africans engage with this popular chatbot. This pioneering mixed-method research study, drawing insights from over 3,000 working individuals, explores how ChatGPT is becoming deeply integrated into the personal and professional lives of individuals across various industries.

IOA’s publication titled ‘ChatGPT in South Africa’ intricately weaves together vibrant and captivating infographics, rendering it both easily digestible and accessible to a wide-ranging audience. This study ventures into industry-specific insights, providing readers with a comprehensive grasp of ChatGPT’s impact across sectors. It also delves into concerns voiced by working South Africans regarding the potential future impact of AI on their workplaces and personal lives. Amid an era marked by transformative technological shifts, this publication serves as an illuminating guide, shedding light on the intricate dynamics between humans and AI within the dynamic South African landscape.

African Oil & Gas

Evolving the industry post Covid-19

The global oil and gas space has undergone a number of shifts in recent years which have changed the face of the industry permanently. From the shale revolution in the US and the more recent price wars between Russia and Saudi Arabia-led OPEC, through to the fast-tracking of the energy transition and moving away from long-term hydrocarbon resource use, the industry is going through a period of irreversible change.

As part its efforts to maintain a finger on the pulse IOA has developed the 2021 ‘African Oil & Gas’ report with an aim to provide insights to both government and private sector stakeholders on the key developments shaping the African hydrocarbon industry. The report covers key discussion points surrounding policy and regulatory developments, financing strategies, and the way forward for infrastructure development and in particular utilities that are still dependent on hydrocarbon resources.

Small Business Support Ecosystem Report – South Africa

The role and impact of business development support services

Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa are vital role-players in terms of their economic and social contributions to development with over 2.5 million in operation across the country in 2019. As this figure is set to rise both public and private actors need to work together in ensuring that business owners in the SMME space are equipped with the requisite knowledge and experience for effective business management and sustainability.

In joint collaboration IOA and Catalyst for Growth (C4G) sought to unpack data drawn from C4G’s cloud-based SMME support programme, analytics and reporting software, in dissecting key trends surrounding SMME operations when looking at the impact of enterprise supplier development programmes implemented by various stakeholder groups.

Education in the Age of the 21st Century

Responding to the challenges and opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution

During an event held by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) in 2018 in partnership with Heavy Chef, former President Mbeki stressed the importance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) for the African context, and expressed concern about whether South Africans in general, and educators in particular, are adequately prepared to respond to the challenges of the 4IR. In response to Mbeki’s call, the TMF formed a multi-stakeholder Working Group (WG) comprising of academics, educators, policymakers, civil society and thought-leaders to tackle the complex question of what practical steps South Africa, and Africa in general, needs to take to build a foundation for a successful transition into the 4IR.

The TMF contracted In On Africa to lead the comprehensive research assessment and analytical work of the WG, and provide support throughout the project on the planning, managing, implementing, assessing and reporting. Through extensive consultation with the WG, experts in the education space, and a wide range of sources, it has become clear that South Africa (as well as other African countries) is not currently equipped to join the 4IR. This is for a number of reasons, including a lack of basic and technical infrastructure, poorly trained teachers, curricula that are no longer relevant, and education stakeholders not collaborating effectively.

Botswana 2019 Election Review

An assessment of Botswana’s socio-political landscape

Long considered a beacon of democracy and good governance, Botswana’s 2019 General Election was the first true test of the democratic experiment running since 1966. Known primarily for its diamond mining industry and as a safe haven for African elephants, Botswana made headlines when the lifting of its elephant hunting ban in early 2019 saw the sons of the country’s founding father leave the party that he had formed. What transpired subsequently has been a cunning battle of politics and extravagant campaigns, culminating in the most tightly contested elections in the history of the country.

IOA’s latest special report contextualises Botswana’s socio-political landscape in the lead up to the 2019 General Election, and looks to analyse the events preceding the election and their impact on the final election outcome. A further value-add which the report provides is the codification of common socio-political practices and general knowledge that is widely known by most Batswana, yet tends to lack in the broader literature. The main aim of this report is to equip the reader with the necessary knowledge to better-understand the country’s political and social dynamics, and their subsequent impact on the outcome of the 2019 election.

Africa Media Index (AMI)

The GroupM Africa Media Index (AMI), produced in collaboration with In On Africa (IOA), focuses on 14 of East, Southern and West Africa’s largest media markets. The index is designed to inform media investors and advertisers about opportunities, while also highlighting problems that stand in the way of profitable investment and effective advertising. Balancing raw data with the media sector are surveys conducted with experts in the field. Their perceptions provide depth to the report’s data structure and capture the enthusiasm or pessimism relating to particular aspects of the media environment. From these voices, businesses can hear direction on where to grow their brands.

One conclusion stands out in this report: Africans are diverse as individuals but tend to have uniform tastes in what they wish to receive from their media services. Enabled by the latest technology, investors can meet consumer needs and advertisers can tap into consumer desires.

What is the future of work in South Africa?

Examining the ‘Side Hustle’ economy

With the current challenges in economic climate South Africans are increasingly looking to broaden their horizons into additional work opportunities. The advent of working on the side is becoming increasingly prevalent, whether it’s driven by a need to generate additional income, or in search of more engaging and stimulating work. But what is the prevalence of side hustling, and what are the likely impacts on the broader economy?

IOA in collaboration with Henley Business School has looked to assess the nature and proliferation of work on the side in the context of South Africa. The research aimed to delve into various drivers of side-hustling, the hourly commitments to pursuing a side venture, as well as the views coming from both employees and employers on the topic.

Assessment of South Africa’s SME landscape

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.

Youth Exchange Programmes in Africa

Impact Assessment and Recommended Practices Guide

Youth volunteering and exchange programmes are gaining currency as a means of supporting African development goals, including addressing youth unemployment, contributing to economic and social development, building human capacity and strengthening regional identity. As such, there has been increased interest from international agencies, the African Union, development actors and civil society organisations in promoting volunteering and youth exchange in African countries.

In mid-2017 the African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI), in collaboration with IOA, embarked on a large-scale research study to assess the impact of such youth exchange programmes in Africa. The aim of the research was to inform future strategies for youth development on the continent, and guide progress in strengthening North-South and South-South cooperation through youth exchanges. This report presents the key findings and strategic recommendations from the research.

Mining Trends Report 2018

Skills Development and Training Trends in the Mining Sector

In early 2017, IOA and MTS partnered to develop a first-of-its-kind mining sector trend report. The aim of the initiative was to provide a comparative assessment of the progress made within the South African mining sector over the last 5 years, and note the progression that has taken place within the sector over this period.

The report provides insights into the emerging trends of various government and private sector initiatives by assessing sample data drawn from the MTS Insite platform over 2012 and 2017, and covering 45 mining (inclusive of core contractor) companies in the country.

Global Business Roundtable

World Congress Report 2018

Stimulating intra-African trade has been a top discussion point over the last decade. The recently signed Continental Free Trade Area agreement between all 54 states will look to address key concerns in terms of trading within Africa. This agreement will also need to be taken into account within the context of evolving industries across the continent, but also specifically in countries such as Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

IOA’s latest report, in partnership with the Global Business Roundtable, provides key insights on the shifting nature of trade agreements in Africa, the evolution and decentralisation within top sectors such as energy, mining, ICT and agriculture, and the relevant opportunities for small business growth in these focal areas.

Powering Africa into the Future

Examining Africa’s energy landscape today, for tomorrow

African countries face a multitude of challenges in providing sufficient and affordable power access. Generation plants, transmission and distribution infrastructure and retail-facing entities, are all needed to realise the larger rollout of electricity across the continent. Considering different energy sources for different markets is also paramount in utilising available resources to their maximum potential; from coal in South Africa and Botswana, to hydropower in Ethiopia and Kenya, and solar power in Morocco.

IOA’s latest special report, in partnership with POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa, provides insights on key topics such as sustainable energy market initiatives, renewable energy implementation, the impacts of the digital technology revolution and the prospects for South Africa’s nuclear build programme, among others.

Brightening Africa’s Prospects

Striving towards universal energy access across the continent

As a growing continent, a key objective for Africa to stimulate development is stable and sustainable power access. At present, there are still over 600 million Africans that do not have access to electricity. Addressing this challenge is at the forefront of triggering economic growth and social benefit

The report seeks to assess the current state of energy in Africa, as well as unpack the various opportunities that implementing greater renewable solutions holds for the continent.

The Future of African Food Security

Seeking solutions to nourish nations in the face of climatic and developmental uncertainty

IOA’s report, The Future of African Food Security, explores the current state of food security in light of the severe drought conditions and what impacts will result from these and the rise in global temperatures. Measures to improve food security are presented and discussed, including campaigns and programmes spearheaded by international organisations, reducing food waste and food loss, and the role sustainable farming practices can play in alleviating poverty and ensuring food security.

IOA consultants with expertise in food security and sustainability provide their input on these matters. What results from discussion throughout the report is a conclusion that a multi-pronged approach is needed to address issues of food security. Included in the requirements is land reform, balancing agriculture for export with agricultural production needed to feed local populations, and low-cost technologies to make farming viable at the family and community level.

Against a backdrop of climate change, African agriculture can be reformed to finally meet the nutritional needs of all African people, creating an optimistic future for the African continent.

Sustainability & Redefining African Development

Meeting targets or creating change?

IOA was privileged to participate in the 2016 Sustainability Summit at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) – a two-day event founded and organised by Blank Canvas International. The Sustainability Summit is a platform for trusted collaboration between business leaders and building of relationships towards more sustainable, agile business for Africa.

IOA and Blank Canvas International collaborated to develop the Sustainability & Redefining African Development report. The report assesses Africa’s efforts and progress toward ‘sustainable development’ and argues that what is needed is real, transformative change to unlock the incredible potential within Africa’s diverse communities, businesses, economies and cultures.