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Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Fakir is the head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wildlife Fund South Africa. The unit's work is focused on identifying ways to manage a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Strategic economics in times of uncertainty

19th October 2018 In his excellent three-volume work titled Wheels of Commerce, Fernand Braudel describes countries or city states as islands in a world economy. This is a reference to the interconnectedness of the world and our dependence on the  world economy. There are always places of gravity and attraction –... 

The industrialisation debate in SA – what are the lessons?

21st September 2018 Manufacturing has been in slow decline in the past decade or so. The sector has always been treated as a useful link between mining and higher-value beneficiation. Light and heavy industrialisation were, and in some respects still are, at the core of South Africa's industrial base. Before the... 

Using Douglas North’s institutional economics to understand State capture

24th August 2018 Douglas North remains an influential institutional economist and his work on institutional economics can help us understand economic development and long-run growth. North was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993 and died in 2015. He shared the award with William Fogel.   He was one of the founders of... 

SA’s bioeconomy should be multipronged

3rd August 2018 The fact that South Africa does not have a White Paper or a holistic bio-economy strategy is the biggest of ironies, given that a vast variety of biological life and biodiversity can be found across the country. This is a sector with the highest labour intensity.   The aggregate value of the... 

Will the SDGs help us rewire the economy?

29th June 2018 The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the new mantra, and everybody is trying to figure out the best way to leverage them; the question is whether to follow the same old path or to beat a new one.   If the underlying premises of an economic system are the same, what can SDGs really solve?... 

The Just Transition debate in South Africa

18th May 2018 South Africa is the only country that explicitly includes in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) a mention of the Just Transition – this is as far as I know.   The issue of a just transition raised its head recently when the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) and a... 

Tackling shipping sector’s carbon emissions

27th April 2018 Shipping emissions is an area that has not fallen under the rubric of United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC). The shipping industry has, by and large, avoided scrutiny of its own contribution to climate change. Given that the shipping industry’s infrastructure will be exposed to the... 

What we must undo in post-Zuma era

23rd March 2018 During Jacob Zuma’s Presidency, South African had to contend with racial parochialism, State inaptitude and a gloomy economy. Dystopia became the only legacy the former President would bequath the present and future generations. Gramsci once noted: 'The State was only an outer ditch behind which... 

Tackling inequality in South Africa – the great escape

23rd February 2018 There have been clarion calls to clean up corruption in South Africa, but the greater challenge will be clawing back the effects of structural poverty. Influential voices from business have suddenly become activists in relation to corruption but seemingly not activist enough on inequality. Growth... 

Will Ramaphosa be a transformational leader or preserve the status quo?

2nd February 2018 The election in December of Cyril Ramaphosa (CR) as African National Congress (ANC) president has brought a sigh of relief to many South Africans. There is both euphoria and trepidation. The sigh of relief is no indication that mass support for the ANC will be forthcoming any time soon. Jacob... 

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