by Greg Penfold

ED'S NOTE

OPPORTUNITIES

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Opportunity is always present. Even when immediate prospects seem murky and grim, there is something to be pulled out of the fire. You simply have to know where to look.

Of course, if opportunity comes knocking, you shouldn't turn it away. Three country-sized opportunities came knocking on South Africa's door in November, bringing the promise of increased bilateral trade and business partnerships.

Angola has spent decades not performing at its full potential. Yes, there was the oil, but that didn't trickle down to the rest of the economy, which can only be described as a shambles. Despite rich resources, such as incredibly fertile soil, Angola's people live in poverty and have a low life expectancy. However, with a new president in charge, that is set to change. João Lourenço has already made overtures indicating an entirely new dispensation. Indeed, during a state visit to South Africa recently, he declared that it will no longer be necessary for visiting South Africans to apply for a visa. Considering the near impossibility of obtaining this document for anyone but the politically connected, that is a massive opportunity in itself. If you are not already signed up on a Portuguese language course, now is the time to do it!

Zimbabwe, too, could be coming in from the cold. The post-Mugabe era is still in its infancy, but there are signs that the landlocked country is going to be doing business in a more business-like and less ideological fashion. The potential benefits for regional trade cannot be underestimated. Watch this space!

Then, much further north, Morocco has rejoined the African Union, a move welcomed by Pretoria. As a world leader in renewable energy, Morocco has much to offer the rest of the continent.

In Africa is our salvation as a nation.

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