Posted in ztchkuwm

Mission Impossible for Female U-20 Lone Star

first_imgFor anything I don’t enjoy the challenges that Coach Christopher Wreh and his deputy Oliver Makor are grappling with right now. The two men are expected to lead the female national U-20 side to complete their second-leg match against their Nigerian counterparts on Sunday in Nigeria.And I don’t even envy the two coaches because their side lost heavily (7-1) to the Nigerians in the first leg right here in Monrovia.What should Liberians expect at the end of the 90 minutes in Nigeria? It would have been easy to say ‘victory’ but trailing 7-1 is not something for any diehard fan to dream could be erased, particularly in the opponents’ backyard.Remember the recent drubbing of a similar margin by the Black Stars of Ghana against ‘The Pharaohs’ of Egypt? Well, back in Cairo the Egyptians could not call on all their magic to erase the score-line but they were able to win narrowly (2-1) to give home fans some confidence.Though the current case is the reverse because the girls lost 7-1 at home and they are traveling to Nigeria to play.So the greater good they can do themselves and the nation is for them to play to demand their respect.It means the coaches by now have made it certain that the players know the game-plan.They are now aware of the mistakes or weaknesses that spelled their doom in the first leg and therefore they must learn to control the flow of the game in Nigeria.Yes, I know, it is easier said than done and it needs players with exceptional talent to overcome such a test. But, please tell me, is it not true that he who is down fears no fall?Whoever came up with that clever idea may have had the kind of situation our girls face in mind. Ok, so now that we know we have a herculean task to perform, all our girls have to do is to play well and try not to concede more goals like what happened at home.You see, I said they must try because the Nigerian forwards are aware of our girls’ weaknesses in the first leg and may go all out to exploit to their own advantage. Or since they are comfortably ahead with 7-1, they may relax their game, a kind of play to entertain their crowd to give them a good run for their money.If Coach Wreh and his deputy Makor could evolve a strategy to weather the storm and come out unscathed, despite the first leg results, they would be described as heroes and the girls would be known as heroines of our time.The team leaves on Thursday, and though the mission seems impossible, they must play together to change for the better the difficult role that inadequate preparation has thrust into their hands.Good Luck girls.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Continue Reading... Mission Impossible for Female U-20 Lone Star
Posted in ztchkuwm

Government’s Women’s Empowerment Agenda

first_imgBack in 2016, Guyana’s President David Granger announced a five-point plan to promote equal and modern opportunities for women, as he recommitted his administration towards empowering women folk to meet the challenges that lie ahead in the changing domestic and global environment.The announcement of the plan came on the heels of a UNDP report which stated that, over the past few years, Guyana has made very good progress towards promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.Capitalizing on this, President Granger made it clear that one of the fundamental pillars of his government is equal opportunities for the whole population, with empowerment and protection of women and the eradication of poverty at the forefront of its efforts.His rationale coincides with the 17 global goals identified by the United Nations as essential for achieving sustainable development. Goal number five speaks to the notion of worldwide gender equality and women’s empowerment.Gender equality therefore, as the UN succinctly states, “is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” Unhindered access for all people to education, healthcare, employment, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will underpin sustainable economies, and clearly benefit societies and humanity overall.With regard to international levels of employment, the latest statistics from the World Bank for ratio of female to male labour force participation – those for 2013 — show the Syrian Arab Republic having the lowest female participation, coming in 185th place at 19%, and Malawi being in the number one spot with 104%. The World Bank points out that, globally, women are less likely than men to participate in the labour market, i.e. less likely to be employed or actively looking for work; with only Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique and Malawi being over the 100% mark. The UK and the US come in at 81% and 82% respectively. The World Bank explains that “female participation in employment is high, and the gender gap low, in many low-income countries where women are engaged in unpaid subsistence agriculture, although they are less involved in paid activities outside the household. Women also tend to be active in high-income countries, where over two-thirds of the female adult population participate in the labour market and the gender gap in labour force participation rates is less than 15 percent on average.”Guyana places 154th in the study, which also shows the country’s ratio increasing from 48.2% in 2003 to 52.9% in 2013. Although it is still lower than the average of 68.4% for Latin American and Caribbean (developed) countries, it is moving in the right direction.Mr Granger also stipulated that the Government would ensure more microcredit facilities are set up, and greater access is available to small business loans. He added that the Government was prepared to consider offering tax rebates to companies that establish day care facilities for working mothers. He also promised the introduction of proactive protective legislation and new training programmes.Indeed, the UNDP notes that educationally, “the targets of having gender parity in primary and secondary education have been achieved, since boys and girls are equally represented at these levels. At the university level, there are twice as many girls as there are boys enrolled.”Politically, according to UN figures, women now hold more than 30% of seats in the national parliament in at least one chamber in 46 countries. Among them is Guyana, where, since 2015, the proportion of seats held by women in its national parliament has reached 35%.The President’s ambitions come with the wholehearted backing of First Lady Sandra Granger, a determined and accomplished career woman and homemaker. Mrs Granger has pledged to champion various causes during her husband’s first term as president, particularly equality and the education and safety of children.The situation in Guyana has not changed drastically since 2016, despite the President’s commitment. More women are dying and becoming the victims of sexual abuse and violence inflicted by their male counterparts and intimate partners. The girl child is no safer than she was in 2016, and there has been no major policy shift towards the empowerment of women in rural communities.In fact, with the dismissal of thousands of male breadwinners along the sugar belt, the situation has worsened, and women who were traditionally housewives are now forced to work and earn incomes in order to sustain their families. The opportunities available to these women folk are few and far less than what many may see as befitting this class of people.A more serious approach has to be adopted in dealing with women’s issues if the President’s vision is to become reality. If his commitment is to be kept and worked into policy, then Government must redouble its effort at harmonizing the work of the Ministries and departments that fight for and advocate gender equality, women rights, and the family as an important unit. The President must lead and support wholeheartedly by funding and financing campaigns aimed at strengthening women to continue to make positive contributions to Guyana’s development, especially with the advent of the Oil and Gas industry.last_img read more

Continue Reading... Government’s Women’s Empowerment Agenda
Posted in ztchkuwm

Hamilton in no hurry to win Formula One title in Mexico

first_img0Shares0000Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton is on course for another drivers’ crown, despite only coming third at Suzuka © AFP / Toshifumi KITAMURASUZUKA, Japan, Oct 14 – Lewis Hamilton said he was in no hurry to win a sixth world championship after the title battle was reduced to a two-horse Mercedes race at the Japanese Grand Prix.The Formula One circus moves on to Mexico in two weeks’ time where Hamilton, enjoying a 64-point lead over Valtteri Bottas, can wrap up a third consecutive drivers’ crown if he outscores his teammate by 14 points or more. More likely is that the battle will be concluded at the subsequent race at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas.Bottas’s victory at Suzuka and Hamilton’s third place clinched a sixth consecutive constructors’ championship for Mercedes and left the Finn as the only driver who can catch Hamilton over the final four races of the campaign.“I think for me it’s never been a case of always wanting to rush things,” Hamilton told reporters Sunday adding that he expected a tough battle from his teammate over the final few races.“Valtteri’s driven well all year long, he’s done a great job today and he will most likely do a very, very solid job these next races, so we still have a battle, the fight continues,” he added.Valtteri Bottas’s victory at Suzuka left the Finn as the only driver who can catch teammate Lewis Hamilton over the final four races of the campaign © AFP / Behrouz MEHRIHamilton is not expecting an easy time in the rarefied high-altitude air of Mexico which should suit Ferrari, who hold an obvious advantage in straight-line speed.“I think Mexico is generally our worst race of the year because of the way our car is set up and it’s going to be a tough one for us,” said a downbeat Hamilton, who was quicker on fresher tyres than second-placed Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages at Suzuka but was unable to barge past.“The last few (races) have been pretty shocking, even though we’ve won the title,” he said, after resurgent Ferrari won in three races out of four up to Japan and outqualified Mercedes comfortably at Suzuka.“I’m hoping for a better weekend but I think it’s going to be very hard to beat the Ferraris with those long straights.“We have no hope of getting by on those straights, that’s for sure but even if you look at the others, the McLarens are picking up some serious speeds on the straights, so are the Red Bulls so I think it will be a tricky one.“I don’t anticipate (the title win) will be Mexico. I think we will be battling for a good few races.”Bottas jumped from third to first with an electric start to win in Japan ahead of Vettel and Hamilton.With only Bottas now able to overtake Hamilton in the standings, Mercedes clinched an unprecedented sixth successive world championship double of drivers and constructors titles.With the win at Suzuka by Valtteri Bottas (C) and third place by Lewis Hamilton (R) Mercedes clinched an unprecedented sixth successive world championship double of drivers and constructors titles © AFP / Behrouz MEHRIHamilton dedicated the achievement to the team’s former non-executive director Niki Lauda, who died in May.“It definitely feels a little bit different,” Hamilton said of the three-time Formula One world champion.“I wouldn’t say as happy as previously because naturally we lost Niki this year and it doesn’t feel the same without him.“Every time I walk into the garage I see Niki’s headphones and his cap. I sat and I looked at it today.“I think the whole team and the whole of Mercedes will probably dedicate this to Niki. I definitely do.”0Shares0000(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Continue Reading... Hamilton in no hurry to win Formula One title in Mexico
Posted in ztchkuwm

Juventus offer Liverpool target Martin Caceres new contract

first_img The defender’s contract with the Italian champions expires in the summer 1 Juventus have offered Martin Caceres a new contract – in an attempt to ward off interest from Liverpool.The defender’s contract with the Italian champions expires in the summer and he is able to leave on a free.That has attracted interest from Liverpool and several other clubs from around Europe.Juventus are reluctant to lose Caceres on a free and, according to Tuttosport, have opened talks over a new deal.The 28-year-old is keen to keep his options open, though, as he aware of the number of clubs chasing him.As well as Liverpool, sides in Germany, Italy and Spain have all contacted Caceres’s agent regarding a summer move.last_img read more

Continue Reading... Juventus offer Liverpool target Martin Caceres new contract
Posted in ztchkuwm

Mourinho hopes Lyon-bound Depay can return to Man United one day

first_img1 Memphis Depay in action for Manchester United Jose Mourinho hopes Memphis Depay performs so well at Lyon that the outgoing Manchester United winger one day returns to Old Trafford.Expectations were high in the summer of 2015 when the 22-year-old arrived in a big-money deal from PSV Eindhoven, but an underwhelming first season was followed by a difficult second campaign.Depay has made just one United start since Mourinho’s arrival and is now joining Lyon in a deal which is understood to be in the region of 25 million euros (£21.7m).United have inserted a sell-on clause into the deal and an option that could see them one day buy back the winger – a move Mourinho would be welcome to if things work out in France.Put to the boss that the club have got some security built into the deal if Depay comes good, the Portuguese said: “Of course because potentially he is a very good player.“I think when Mr Van Gaal decided to buy him, he did well. He knew him very well from the national team.“He was very young when in the World Cup. He had flashes of top quality.“He was playing well in Holland – we know that the Dutch league is not the same but he was showing very good things.“I think Mr Van Gaal and Manchester United they did well to buy him.“He didn’t succeed in this 18 months, I would say, but he is very young so I think it is important for the club to keep control of this talent.“And we all wish that he plays very, very well at Olympique Lyon and why not to come back because everyone here likes him.”last_img read more

Continue Reading... Mourinho hopes Lyon-bound Depay can return to Man United one day
Posted in ztchkuwm

Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Reds stars rated and slated

first_img Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7 – Many would have considered Oxlade-Chamberlain’s inclusion a surprise and he initially struggled to get into the game, the England international provided the assist for Salah’s goal. 14 Mohamed Salah – 8 – Salah was Liverpool’s brightest spark and was rewarded for his good work with a slightly fortunate goal midway through the second half. 14 Joe Gomez – 7 – A much improved performance from his game against Sevilla, Gomez worked well with the Liverpool defence and kept the Chelsea team quiet for most parts. Simon Mignolet – 7 – Mignolet was recalled to the starting line-up after their draw at Sevilla and the keeper made some crucial saves in the first half to keep his side in the game. However, the Belgian will be disappointed to have conceded Willian’s goal. A late goal strike from Willian saw Chelsea earn a point against Liverpool in a fiery encounter at Anfield. Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool the lead against his former club midway throught the second half. But Willian’s cross-cum-shot deceived Simon Mignolet to send the away fans into pandemonium. There was drama before the game started as Jurgen Klopp left Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane on the bench to the surprise of supporters. But how did the Liverpool players who featured in the game? Click the right arrow above to see talkSPORT’s Liverpool player ratings.  14 Philippe Coutinho – 6 – The Brazilian looked very composed in the middle of the park but did not find the same joy as in previous games against a compact Chelsea defence. Joel Matip – 7 – Liverpool’s defence looks more stable with Matip at the back. The centre-back did not do anything particularly special but led the defence well. Jordan Henderson – 6 – The skipper showed good energy throughout the game, supporting his team well going forward and defensively. 14 SUB – Adam Lallana – N/A – Fans will be happy to see Lallana make his return to the team but he was not on long enough to influence the game. SUB – Sadio Mane – N/A – Many will wonder why he didn’t start the game. Had Mane played for longer, perhaps we would be talking about a Liverpool victory. Daniel Sturridge – 6 – Another surprise inclusion to the starting XI and Sturridge struggled to make any meaningful impact on the game. A missed opportunity for the out-of-favour striker. 14 Alberto Moreno – 4 – A less erratic display from Moreno than the Sevilla game, but he did create nerves across Anfield with some bizarre defensive techniques. SUB – Georginio Wijnaldum – 6 – Wijnaldum offered a fresh pair of legs when he came on just after Salah’s goal, however, it wasn’t enough to get his side to hold on to their lead. 14 14 Ragnar Klavan – 6 – The Estonian produced another consistent performance to keep the likes of in-form Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata at bay. 14 James Milner – 6 – Milner was in a competitive midfield battle and looked solid throughout the game. 14 14 14 14 14 14last_img read more

Continue Reading... Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Reds stars rated and slated
Posted in ztchkuwm

Steven Fletcher returns as Scotland squad announced

first_imgElsewhere, Aberdeen’s Mikey Devlin and Gary Mackay-Steven keep their spots after being drafted in for the 3-0 friendly loss to Portugal at Hampden.Bournemouth speed merchant Ryan Fraser is back in the squad after missing the last two matches through injury.Scotland currently sit second in their Nations League group after suffering a 2-1 loss to Israel in Haifa last time out.Israel occupy top spot on six points – with Scotland and Albania three points behind – but McLeish’s men have a game in hand on both of their group rivals. Steven Fletcher is to make his Scotland comeback in the crucial double-header against Albania and Israel.The Sheffield Wednesday striker has been called up for the first time since he came on as a substitute in a 2-2 draw with Slovenia back in August 2017.Manager Alex McLeish was left short of options in attack for the upcoming matches and has opted to hand Fletcher a recall to try and solve his selection headache.Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is struggling for fitness and Hearts forward Steven Naismith is out of the two matches through injury.last_img read more

Continue Reading... Steven Fletcher returns as Scotland squad announced
Posted in ztchkuwm

Young mum injured in Bundoran tragedy hopes for a ‘miracle’ to walk again

first_imgThe young woman who was injured in the tragic Bundoran car crash says she is hoping for a miracle to walk again. Rachel Elliott (25) from Fermanagh was one of six people travelling in a car which crashed in August this year. Two people died in the crash – Shiva Devine (20) from Belleek and Conall McAleer (20) from Kesh.Rachel sustained serious injuries to her brain, back and pelvis. Brothers Conor Brennan, aged 26, and Tristian Brennan, aged 19, who were also in the car, suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. Mum-of-one Rachel told her followers on social media on Monday that she just “wants to go back to the old Rachel” and be able to walk again.According to Independent.ie, Rachel wrote: “Thank you so much for all your kind messages and your prayers and for helping my family get through the days my eyes were sleeping.“To think it was 14 weeks yesterday that the tragedy happened where I lost my best friend Shiva and good friend Squeak.“There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think of them both or think of the crash. It still feels like it happened just yesterday. “But I know they’re up there now looking down on us all. It’s true what they say – God really does take the best.”Rachel ElliotRachel said she is trying to think positive for her three-year-old son, Ronnie, as she grieves for the loss of movement in her legs.She added: “I feel like giving up, but I keep thinking I was given a 1% chance of walking so maybe a miracle will happen to me yet.“But I just don’t know where to get the strength to get used to my wheelchair. I just want to go back to the old Rachel.“But I have to try and get myself back together and think positive for my wee boy Ronnie and be adamant I’ll walk again some time.” Young mum injured in Bundoran tragedy hopes for a ‘miracle’ to walk again was last modified: November 27th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Continue Reading... Young mum injured in Bundoran tragedy hopes for a ‘miracle’ to walk again
Posted in ztchkuwm

Mandela’s story told in meals

first_img14 July 2008As part of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Jacana Media launched Hunger for Freedom: The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela at a sumptuous banquet outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg earlier this month.Described by author Anna Trapido as a “gastro-political biography”, the book explores Mandela’s hunger for freedom in a literal and metaphoric way, linking stories from his childhood, his life as an activist, political prisoner and world statesman with the food that he ate and the people he ate with.Mandela, says Trapido, was the product of “an astonishing generation of activists. Of course he’s an astonishing individual, but everyone around him was completely fabulous too, and those were some really some amazing dinner parties.”Trapido, who is an anthropologist, chef and food writer, said the book had brought new voices into South Africa’s liberation story, revealing unsung heroes like the Naidoo family, who cooked every day for the Treason Trialists. Intimate “What I hope that this book does is put the people who literally fed the struggle against apartheid back into the story.”After Trapido got the idea to write the book, she began her research at the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Centre of Memory. She started reading Mandela’s prison letters, which she described as “so foodie”.“He uses food and food metaphors all the time to talk about love and passion and missing people, really because all these letters are being censored . You don’t want to write in a very intimate way if you know that all your love letters are going to be read by somebody else.”Achmat Dangor, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, says the book’s significance was that “in many ways it’s a map of his life. It documents what food he ate as a child, what he ate when he moved to the city, what he ate with the people he liked, and the food that he was forced to eat in prison.”Along the way, Mandela’s broad tastes – from pig’s head to crab curry – reveal his interaction with a cross-section of southern African society. “The choice of the food is quite eclectic,” says Dangor. Food and politics Speaking at the book launch, Mandela’s daughter Zindzi said the book had enabled the family to reconnect with old friends. “It has been at times an emotional journey. It’s brought people back into the circle.”Former anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner Ahmed Kathrada, a noted historian, was pleased to be at the event. “I have to make up for 26 years without good food, and I take every opportunity to do that,” he joked.Kathrada cautioned, however, that although many of the meals in the book were tasty, “we dare not forget the prison years”, during which Mandela ate prison food – porridge and soup for breakfast, boiled maize for lunch, and porridge and soup for supper.And, of course, there was no bread for African prisoners, said Kathrada, a powerful reminder that food and politics are often intertwined.Hunger for Freedom: The Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela is available from Jacana Media as well as from good South African bookstores.SAinfo reporter and the Nelson Mandela Centre of MemoryWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Continue Reading... Mandela’s story told in meals
Posted in ztchkuwm

Highs and Lows of our Competitiveness,Capturing our heritage on camera,Empowering young people in South Africa,Crime Line ‘helping beat drugs scourge’,Poverty underlay Marikana: Zuma,Mapungubwe visitor centre opens

first_imgThis year’s survey makes for interesting analysis, not simply because South Africa has dropped two places in the rankings to 52 in the world, but for the fact that the country still remains the highest-ranking African country in the survey and third-placed amongst the BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). There is anticipation and interest for a much needed debate, stimulated by the report, amongst South Africa’s political and business decision-makers around our country’s strengths, weaknesses, comparative risks and opportunities within the BRICS and Next11 countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam).As the global economy is still grappling with slow growth and weak recovery, emerging and developing countries are growing faster than advanced economies. Acknowledging that the BRICS countries represent an astonishing 43% of the world’s population, these markets will remain a major source of global economic growth. This situation provides South Africa with both unprecedented opportunities and significant challenges as it looks to capitalise on this global trend. The real challenge is to fully understand South Africa’s position in the context of the BRICS and NEXT11 markets and to maximise the country’s strengths, whilst addressing some significant weaknesses that could hold the country back if measures are not taken to radically improve performance in key areas such as health, education, and labour market efficiency.When benchmarking South Africa against other BRICS nations, there is some positive news for the country. Its competitive strengths can be seen in financial market development where it ranks 1st amongst the BRICS nations and 3rd overall in global terms; business sophistication where it ranks 2nd amongst the BRICS nations and 38th overall; and goods and market efficiency where it ranks 1st amongst the BRICS nations and 32nd in the world. Other strengths included the Legal Rights Index, the Regulation of Securities Exchanges, the Efficacy of Corporate Boards, and the Strength of Auditing and Reporting Standards, where South Africa is placed 1st. Other strong performance areas included Availability of Financial Services (2nd place) and the area of Financing through Local Equity Markets (3rd place).It is worth noting that the high level of confidence shown in South Africa’s financial market development comes at a time when global market confidence is slow to return. The country is undoubtedly benefitting from the size of its economy and from the quality and accountability of its private institutions where it achieves a 2nd place global ranking.However, South Africa’s overall ranking was negatively impacted by its declining performance in critical areas for economic and social developmental growth. If South Africa is to improve its global competitiveness, it will need to significantly address a number of these key weaknesses. On health, South Africa was the worst performing of the BRICS nations and positioned 132nd out of 144 economies. Particular areas of concern remain the number of Tuberculosis cases recorded per 100,000 people in the country, where South Africa is positioned 143rd out of 144 countries. Other equally worrying statistics include the business impact of HIV/Aids where South Africa is positioned 135th, and the country’s HIV prevalence rate which positions it globally in 141st position.In the Life Expectancy Years pillar, South Africa ranks 133rd in the world. These results remain a matter of great concern and will continue to affect the country’s future growth if effective solutions are not found and attitudes are not changed. Ensuring high standards for health and education of the country’s workforce is critical to South Africa’s current and future economic and social development.Where South Africa’s performance decreased signficantly was in the country’s Macroeconomic Environment which saw a drop from 43rd place to 69th place overall. Although South Africa still remains the most competitive economy in sub-Saharan Africa, the country needs to address issues such as its Labour Market Efficiency where the impact of a dramatic drop from 97th place overall in the world to 113th place today is being clearly felt in the local economic environment. The country’s labour productivity reached a 46 year low in July this year with the report identifying restrictive labour regulations and poor work ethic as the most prohibitive factors for doing business in South Africa.The country’s rigid hiring and firing practices ranked it 143rd out of 144 places in the world; its lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies ranked it 140th; and significant tensions in labour-employer relations ranked it 144th in the world. These statistics require vigorous debate and a new approach if South Africa is going to achieve a sustainable growth and development path going forward.Another key area where South Africa can improve is in Quality of its Maths and Science Education, ranking at 143rd place out of 144 countries. The Quality of the Education System ranks 140th and 111th for Internet Access in Schools. If South Africa wishes to nurture a highly qualified workforce to meet the economic challenges of the future and to maximise the potential marketplace growth of the BRICS and NEXT11 nations, it has to rapidly address its failings in the education of its young people. Failure to do so will result in competitor countries taking advantage of South Africa’s weaknesses and boosting their own economies, ultimately at our cost.The negative impact of our education sector failings can also be seen in South Africa’s ranking of 122nd place for the Availability of Scientists and Engineers. This does not bode well for the future of our scientific research institutions. They require a continual pool of well-educated young people with an excellent grounding in maths and science if they are to continue to benchmark themselves in the global scientific marketplace. A world ranking of 143rd out of 144 countries for the Quality of Maths and Science Education is not going to advance South Africa’s ambitions in this respect, without significant intervention. In a positive response by Government, the National Development Plan, recently adopted by Cabinet, looks to address people development and job creation to foster economic growth and prosperity, with a target of creating 11 million more jobs by 2030 through higher investment, capacity building and greater labour absorption. This represents a positive new development in addressing education, training and labour issues moving forward.Finally, the report highlights obstacles to doing business in South Africa due to the high costs of crime and violence, recording a position of 134th in the world rankings with organised crime ranking South Africa at 111th. Government institutions negatively impact on business growth and development – South Africa is ranked 110th in the world for incidences of Favouritism in Decision of Government Officials, and 123rd for the Burden of Government Regulation on business development.On a positive note, if South Africa successfully addresses its challenges and continues to benchmark itself against its fellow BRICS members and the world in order to improve, it can hope for a better ranking in next year’s Global Competitiveness Report. South Africa remains open for business, but with an eye on making the changes needed to make it a genuinely global competitive player.While there may be challenges for South Africa in this year’s WEF report, earlier this year South Africa improved with two positions in the 2012 IMD Global Competitiveness Yearbook. South Africa improved its overall standing from number 52 in 2011, to 50 in 2012. In this year’s IMD competitiveness report the country improved its ranking in government efficiency 29 (up from 32 in 2011); business efficiency 37 (up from 40 in 2011); and infrastructure 54 (up from 56 in 2011).First published in the Sunday Independent, 16 September 2012.last_img read more

Continue Reading... Highs and Lows of our Competitiveness,Capturing our heritage on camera,Empowering young people in South Africa,Crime Line ‘helping beat drugs scourge’,Poverty underlay Marikana: Zuma,Mapungubwe visitor centre opens