first_imgThe Johannesburg skyline. South Africa leads the African continent in the second annual Legatum Prosperity Index. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClub SouthAfrica. For more free photos, visit the image library)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa is the leading African country on this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index, which analyses countries around the globe for their effectiveness in creating a climate conducive to prosperity. More than 100 countries came under scrutiny, including 19 from Africa. Rankings are based on 22 key indicators and 44 sub-indicators.The Legatum Prosperity Index goes beyond GDP as a measure of national prosperity. It investigates and gives details of personal and policy choices that can increase the prosperity of individuals and nations around the globe – here the definition of prosperity encompasses both material wealth and quality of life.The index is produced by the Legatum Institute, an independent policy, advocacy and advisory organisation within the Legatum investment group of companies, whose mission is to research and promote the principles that drive global prosperity. This is so that policymakers, individuals, academics, the media, and other relevant parties can better understand how prosperity is created and so implement steps towards its attainment.Legatum derives its rankings based on the prevalence of conditions that foster prosperity in a given country – those factors that promote economic competitiveness and a better quality of life. These are known as drivers, compared to restrainers, which retard prosperity. Importantly, rankings do not indicate the actual prosperity of a country, but rather how effectively it is cultivating the practices that create prosperity.Conclusions are drawn from statistical analysis of more than 40 years of data in fields such as sociology, economics and political science, as well as theory, experience and lessons learned from history, and life satisfaction survey data for the 104 countries.South Africa leads the African continent in terms of drivers of economic and personal growth and wellbeing, followed by Botswana (45) and Namibia (55). These are also the only three African countries not ranked in the bottom quartile, an indication that the continent still faces many challenges. Coming in at number 38 out of 104, South Africa shares its slot with Costa Rica and Poland.Botswana was described as well-governed and in spite of severely high levels of HIV infection, has achieved one of the world’s fastest rates of income growth, while Namibia was found to have no obvious weaknesses and one major strength, equality of opportunity.Australia took the top spot, with Austria and Finland close behind. Yemen is last on the list, just ahead of Central African Republic, Mali and Zambia. These countries’ unfavourable ranking, and others low down the order, is due mainly to extreme poverty while there are some, such as Zimbabwe, that are affected by political instability. This hampers capital investment and consequently accumulation of wealth. Other factors include poor governance, low average life expectation, and high dependence on foreign aid.Legatum’s senior vice-president Dr. William Inboden said, “True prosperity consists of more than money. It also includes happiness, health, and liberty. The prosperity index shows that in addition to economic success, a society’s prosperity is based on strong families and communities, political and religious liberty, education and opportunity, and a healthy environment.”Africa’s biggest economySouth Africa, Africa’s biggest economy, achieved a ranking of 41 in economic competitiveness and 43 in comparative liveability. On the economic side the country scored particularly highly on entrepreneurship, because of the improved ease of starting a business. It also scored highly on religious life in the liveability category, indicating that South Africans enjoy high levels of both religious faith and religious freedom.South Africa’s other strengths were in the area of education, with a population that is relatively well-educated compared to most other African countries. With its abundance of natural resources South Africa has also managed to avoid excessive dependence on revenue derived from export of commodities, as these account for just 4.1% of GDP.A few weaknesses were identified, such as below-par commercialisation of innovation for an economy of this size – at 0.5% of GDP this is less than average. Legatum felt that the low number of R&D researchers is a possible reflection that highly-skilled professionals are at a premium, but noted that the high number of patents is positive. South Africa is known worldwide for its many ingenious inventions, such as the pool-cleaning Kreepy Krauly and the electronic device widely used during cricket and tennis games to measure the speed of the moving ball.With regard to liveability, South Africa has benefited from a stable political environment over the past 14 years, and political rights and civil liberties are upheld. However, income levels are still low and unemployment is high. Legatum cited public health as the country’s biggest challenge, especially in the fight against HIV and Aids.Besides religion, another factor that contributed positively to South Africa’s liveability score is the 30% proportion of women in parliament, which indicates an important role for women in society.Weighted indicatorsSeveral new indicators were introduced for the second index. These include the number of regional trade agreements signed, which is regarded as a driver of economic growth, as well as business ownership rate which is an indicator of entrepreneurship, and net migration, which links to levels of income and life satisfaction.To ensure fairness, Legatum used different key drivers according to a country’s level of development. For emerging countries with average incomes of less than $10 000 per annum per person, raising incomes is a priority because it is the single strongest indicator of how content the population will be. Therefore indicators such as levels of education, commercialisation of innovation and costs of starting a business were more relevant.The index did find, however, that many poorer countries, particularly in Africa, have high levels of wellbeing because of traditional social support through religion and the community. This compensates, to a degree, for a lower standard of living. Higher levels of optimism were also evident in these countries – many people believe that by working hard they will forge ahead in life.For countries with per capita income of more than $20 000, continued economic growth is a focus and here the drivers include entrepreneurship, invested capital and commercialisation of innovation.In richer countries, a key element of continued prosperity and quality of life is the move beyond material wealth and into other areas which improve life satisfaction. Drivers here include charitable giving, political rights and civil liberties, equality of opportunity, and good health.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related storiesSouth African inventionsSouth Africa’s economyDoing business easier in SAUseful linksLegatum InstituteLegatum Prosperity Indexlast_img read more


first_imgEls, who had begun the last day six shots off the pace, played the last nine holes in 32 shots, with four birdies and no drops. The win came as a big surprise, although he had previously done well when The Open Championship had been hosted at Royal Lytham and Saint Annes, finishing tied for second in 1996 and tied for third in 2001. However, his last victory had been in December 2010 in the South African Open. “For some reason I’ve got some belief this week, I feel something special can happen,” Ernie Els said after his third round in The Open Championship at Royal Lytham and Saint Annes. A day later, his words turned prophetic as he captured his fourth major title and his first in a decade. ThanksEls also took the opportunity to thank former President Nelson Mandela for what he has done for South Africa, Johan Rupert for his support of golf in South Africa, and his caddie Ricky Roberts. Four consecutive drops Scott had appeared on course for his first major title despite a hesitant opening, which saw him drop three shots and add a birdie in the first six holes. When he sank another birdie on the 14th, it appeared that he had sealed the deal, but then came those four consecutive drops, including a “how did that happen” miss of a three-footer on the 16th. TurnaroundIt has been quite a turnaround for Els, who missed out on the US Masters earlier this year, having failed to qualify for the event for the first time since 1993. A bogey on the last hole of the US Open meant he failed to qualify for the 2013 Masters. Now, with the South African a major winner again, that concern is a thing of the past. South Africa’s Thomas Aiken tied for seventh after finishing on one-under-par 279 after rounds of 68, 68, 71 and 72. Then, addressing his family, Els continued with a smile: “I’m going to try and come and see you this evening [in London]. I’m supposed to go to Canada, but I think I’m going to blow that thing off … I’ll maybe get to Canada on Tuesday,” a comment which once more had the crowd laughing. After three days of forgiving conditions at Royal Lytham and Saint Annes, the course turned tough on Sunday and Els handled that pressure best to come from behind to take victory as the third round leader Adam Scott’s game fell apart on the inward nine. If one looked closely, though, the signs were there that the man known as “The Big Easy” was on the way back. In the previous major, he returned the best putting statistics in the US Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, where he finished ninth, three shots behind the winner, Webb Simpson. Els was gracious in his acceptance speech and addressed runner-up Scott first. “I feel for my buddy Adam Scott,” he said on the 18th green.center_img ‘You’re going to win many of these’“Scotty, you’re a great player, a great friend of mine, we’ve had some great battles in the past. I feel very fortunate and you’re going to win many of these, you’ve got too much talent [not to].” 23 July 2012 “I’m pretty disappointed because I had it in my hands with four to go and I managed to hit a poor shot on each of the closing four holes, which costs you a bogey, and that’s what happens on a course like this. I’m very disappointed, but I played so beautifully for most of the week, I certainly shouldn’t let this bring me down,” he said afterwards in a television interview. He closed with a two-under-par 68, the best round among the third round front-runners, while Scott, who led by four shots after three rounds, following a course record six-under-par 64, a 67 and a 68, fell apart with bogeys on each of the last four holes to stumble to a 75. He recalled talking to Sheryl Calder, known as “the Eye Doctor”, who has helped him with his putting, early in the year. “When I saw her in January,” Els recounted, “she said we were going to win a major this year and I thought she was crazy and here we are right now.” Tiger Woods finished in a tie for third with Brandt Snedeker, four shots behind Els on three-under-par 277. Woods’ challenge for a 15th major, but his first since the 2008 US Open, was undone by a seven on the par-four sixth hole. Louis Oosthuizen, the Open champion in 2010, closed with a 73 to end in a tie for 19th place on one-over 281. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Later, he joked: “I had a lot of support this week, but you guys have to ask yourselves, were you being nice to me or did you believe I could win,” which drew loud laughter from the big crowd.last_img read more


first_imgKutch, India’s largest district, is in the grip of one of the worst droughts. The western and northern Banni areas of this Gujarat district have been without rain for the third continuous year.“Our data of over 12 years shows that during this drought the migration of the Maldhari tribal herders with their livestock has been very high,” says Ramesh Bhatti, programme director of Sahjivan Trust, Bhuj.“In their quest for water, people of Sheth Vandh in Banni get together, pray and start digging. Those in the surrounding villagers also join in,” says Abdul Rauf Mutwa, a local leader. Why has drought hit the Maldharis of Kutch so hard this year? Before Partition, the Maldharis used to migrate to Sindh during droughts, recalls Jumma Sama, a former sarpanch of Ratadia village.The drought has not spared Khadir island along the India-Pakistan border either.Jilubha Sodha of Dholavira in Khadir, who runs a cattle camp, says water from a branch canal of the Narmada project would be very valuable at such times, but it has not yet reached the area.(Images and text by Vijay Soneji)last_img read more


first_imgPrime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says household workers, who are predominantly women, occupy positions of importance and make their contribution to national development. “This largely female cadre has contributed throughout every period of our history to the fundamentals of our development,” said the Prime Minister. She was speaking at the launch of the Jamaica Household Workers Union on Friday, March 15 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. The Prime Minister described the launch as a historic moment in the country’s development. “The concept of a union for household workers to ensure that they are respected and enjoy equality of rights in order to maintain their dignity in the Jamaican society, is a manifestation of the vibrancy of our democracy,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said. The Prime Minister noted that the launch was taking place as the Government is reviewing the International Labour Organization (IL0) Convention 189, which stipulates “Domestic work is decent work”, and emphasised that the Government “will not fail to accept all the conditions that will result in an environment of decent work for every household worker in Jamaica.” The Jamaica Household Workers Union is led by President Shirley Pryce and seeks to protect the rights of, and providing skills training for domestic workers. Contact: Communications Unit-OPMTel: 926-0244 Fax: 920-4684 Email: opm.news@opm.gov.jmlast_img read more