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Launching Zapreneur

February 9th, 2011

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

zapreneur logo

I will be launching Zapreneur tomorrow.

Zapreneur is a platform for new voices and ideas on the challenges facing South Africa. Zapreneur will offer:

  • Original and challenging content
  • Constructive conversations on developing public policy alternatives

I am so excited, and hope you subscribe to the newsletter.

Interview on parastatal restructuring

February 9th, 2011

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

A presidential review is underway to determine whether all of South Africa’s parastatals are fulfilling their mandate, creating value and enabling the government to grow the economy. I did an interview with CNBC Africa on the review process being undertaken.

Newspapers Should Give Progressive Activists a Fair Chance to Get Published

November 11th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Are newspapers receptive to civil society voices? I argue that in my experience newspapers need to do much more to provide a voice to civil society.

For more clips visit SACSIS. The organisers have captured the essence of the engagement as follows:

SACSIS and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office. The roundtable examined the media’s perspective of the South African economy.Other media speakers at the event included, Nic Dawes (Editor in Chief, Mail & Guardian), Alide Dasnois (Editor, Cape Times) and Reg Rumney (Head of the Centre for Economics Journalism in Africa, Rhodes University). Editors were asked to answer the following questions: Is the economy on the right growth path? What are the prospects for making it more inclusive? How does the media report on the economy? Does the media have a vision for South Africa’s economic development?

(Still a little strange to be posting clips of myself online.)

3 Questions from the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

October 28th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

The dominant reading of the MTBPS is that it has steadied the ship, but a more demanding reading of it argues that given projections on social indicators and the political climate, a space existed for deeper reaching reforms. Read a more in-depth article on the MTBPS at SACSIS.

This post brings together three key questions that arise  from the 2010 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). This post is simply about putting some of the numbers together, so that I can begin to think through the options and implications.The three areas I am focussing on :

  • Local government share of revenue
  • Costing of services and effective spending
  • Economic growth and employment creation


Read more

Local Obsession and the Economy

October 7th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

How do we tell the story of economic policy in South Africa? As an analyst my tools are statistics and substantiation, and even sometimes a case study. Steve Mandy, a fashion artist, tells the story through art. (A profile of Steve is found here.) His exhibition – which I have viewed only through online pictures – tells a more accessible story. (Details on the exhibition are here.)The exhibition titled “Local Obsession” – which involves Steve working with fashion designers – offers a profound and demanding reflection of the clothing industry, and more broadly, the South African economy.

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Lessons from the closure of Netsetter

October 5th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

The Netsetter made a surprise announcement that it would close. My surprise at the closure is two-fold:

  1. As part of Envato, Netsetter has some of the most experienced people working on it.
  2. The blog was something I always read, and I would rate it among my favourites blogs on entrepreneurship.

Summary

  1. Crowded Niches – Everyone thinks of a similar niche
  2. Cutting Losses Early – Sometimes it just does not work
  3. More often is more – Audiences want “stuff” everyday

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South Africa’s Economic Growth Path and the Limits of Imagination

September 28th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Imagination is absent in the conventional spaces of South Africa’s economic growth path.Conventional wisdom equates increasing economic growth to around 7%, as an important target. In political speak, the growth target is of course a “necessary” and not a “sufficient” condition. What it In fact does is reflect orthodoxy. This policy stance is premised on the fiction that we can grow ourselves out of a situation of high unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The alternative position is to focus on building economic inclusion so that, as growth ramps up, so too, do employment growth and a concomitant reduction in poverty and inequality occur.

Enter COSATU’s economic proposals contained in “A growth Path Towards Full Employment.”

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International Freelancers Day

September 25th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

I have been freelancing for four years, and finally a day just for freelancers. Looking forward to learning at the online workshops, just click the image below and register for the event.

Unemployment by Province (Second Quarter 2010)

September 25th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

[easychart type=”vertbar” height=”200″ width=”400″ title=”Unemployment Rate by Province” groupnames=”Provinces” valuenames=”KZN, WC, Lim, SA (Total), Gauteng,EC, FS, NW, Mpumalanga, NC” group1values=”20.8, 21.8, 22.6, 25.3, 27.1, 27.7, 28.0, 28.1, 28.1, 30.1″]

Source: Statistics South Africa

Let’s Get Serious about Achieving Economic Equity

September 17th, 2010

Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Sixteen Rand is not much. It’s what a single shot of espresso at an upmarket hotel in Cape Town might cost. However, poverty estimates reveal that over 20% of the population attempt to meet not only their food needs, but every other need with less than R16.00 a day.

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