Cyril Ramaphosa

Relief then recession in South Africa

Photo: Ramaphosa, with Mandela looking on (in mural form). Photo: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's efforts to revive Africa's second-largest economy aren't off to a propitious start.

The latest: The country has now entered into recession for the first time in nearly a decade, and Ramaphosa's remedies are limited by the fact that his fantastically corrupt predecessor left a bare cupboard behind. Emigration is on the rise. Foreign investment isn't.

Expert Voices

Xi's Africa tour an opportunity to fortify Chinese economic ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Senegalese President Macky Sall at the G20 Summit.
President Xi Jinping with Senegalese President Macky Sall at the G20 Summit on September 4, 2016, in Hangzhou, China. Photo: Lintao Zhang via Getty Images

Xi Jinping is heading to Africa this week, with stops in Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa and Mauritius. In South Africa, Xi will also attend the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit with Michel Temer, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi and Cyril Ramaphosa.

Why it matters: China’s emphasis on Africa as a cornerstone of its diplomacy remains strong. Chinese financing has supported a great deal of new African transportation infrastructure, including high-profile projects such as Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway and the Addis–Djibouti Railway. Similar commitments will likely emerge during Xi’s visit.