Global economy on the up: A sleeping giant awakens

The glue binding a still-aggressive global monetary policy response to a struggling world economy and almost daily record highs for world stock markets along with record low bond yields is set to remain intact in the coming week

– BDlive (14 August 2016)

SA’S economy has regained the position of Africa’s largest in dollar terms, more than two years after losing it to Nigeria, as the value of the nations’ currencies moved in opposite directions

– BDlive (10 August 2016)

It may be too soon to tell, but the current global trend that is seeing more and more economies shying away from their policies of austerity that have defined the state of affairs of the global economy for the past decade or so may be a sign that the financial crisis is about to end.

Yes, that’s right, economies around the world are pulling back on trade restrictions, spending more and we may actually see some real economic growth. What’s even better for us South Africans is that our economy seems to be in a far better state than it was a year or so ago, when we were all worrying about being degraded to “junk status”. While Nigeria is heading into a recession, we are reaping the benefits of an election that will force our politicians to act more responsibly and with some degree of accountability.

The Rand improved dramatically after the municipal elections and, in short, things are (hopefully) going to “get better”. For almost everyone in my generation, this will be unchartered territory…

It has been the case for a long time now that we are considered lucky to have a job, that an increase under CPI is acceptable, that we basically have to settle for being caught in a poverty trap. What’s more is that my generation is better educated than any before us. We are settling for shitty jobs, shitty pay and a shitty standard of living, even though we’ve been to university, graduated with degrees (mostly postgraduate) which have left us in crippling debt. Meanwhile, at my age, my parents had two kids, were married and were able to buy a house a few years later – and both were university dropouts.

For any rational South African coming through “the system” today, we have all operated under the assumption that prosperity lies beyond the borders of our country, in Australia, Dubai, Europe or America. But, I’m feeling very optimistic about sticking around… for now at least.

Africa may be perceived as a garbage dump, but I’ve always thought of it as a land of opportunity and this is especially the case in South Africa, where, as an entry point to the continent, we can be at the forefront of those opportunities.

We may think that the politicians are crap here, the living conditions are poor and that there’s too much poverty. BUT, we have it good here. Imagine living in Somalia… or Sudan, or Liberia, or Mali… we have it pretty good here, in comparison.

But I digress, my point is that Africa is a resource-rich continent. Gold, silver, diamonds, arable land, we have it all here in South Africa. There are even oil deposits in places like Nigeria and I have little doubt that if the land is properly surveyed, we will find more. Add in that we have a growing population and that one-third of the world’s population will be living on this continent.

This concoction just needs a little bit of political stability and some economic growth and we surely can achieve a healthy standard of living across the board. Gone are the days when Africa was looked upon as a stain on civilisation, as a synonym for poverty. We are now part of a generation that can turn things around.

And now that we’ve had to endure austerity, much like the Baby-Boomers generation in post-war Europe and America, we will be able to approach the opportunity for growth responsibly and grab it with both hands.





I am a 24-year-old journalist, working in Sports journalism, but interested in just about everything.

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