Top honors for Dr Flippie Cloete Reply

flippie-met-toekenningDr Flippie Cloete of the School’s Agricultural Economics programme has received the Agriculture Writers SA’s award as the agriculturalist of the year, North West.The award acknowledges the contribution that he makes to the agricultural industry.

Flippie is well-know in game farming circles. He frequently does presentations to farmers and writes in the popular media about the game industry. At the recent Aardklop festival he was also a discussant on RSG.

Guest lecture on port governance and pricing Reply


This week Dr Sonja Grater hosted Dr Mikey Chasomeris of UKZN for a guest lecture and research exchange. There has been discussions with colleagues and lunch with the TRADE team. Yesterday Mickey presented some of his research at the ECON625 class.

The topic of the presentation was South African port governance and pricing – the dilemmas and suggested reforms. Mickey showed interesting facts about the eight main ports governed by the Transnet National Ports Authority. Governance dilemmas arise from the approach of cooperation, and not competition, between ports. For example, there is one tariff book for port pricing, though costs differ. Often there is misalignment between Transnet National Port Authority’s plans and priorities and local industrial development zones. Mickey also discussed the interactions between the TNPA and the ports regulator with interesting simulations of the revenue requirement formula and the pricing increases allowed.

Speaking on services trade and development at the WTO public forum Reply

sonja-by-wtoLast week a number of colleagues accompanied the NWU’s WTO chair holder (Prof Wilma Viviers) to the 16th WTO Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. On the 29th Dr Grater was invited as a panelist in a session was devoted to sharing the results from the North-West University’s TRADE (Trade and Development) research entity and the ICTSD’s on-going work on services and sustainable and inclusive economic development in LDCs and LICs.

wilma-by-wtoTopics that were addressed included the linkages between services and sustainable development, the relationship between services and gender outcomes, and the linkages between service-orientated SMEs and sustainable development objectives. The introductory remarks were handled by Wilma Viviers, Director, TRADE (Trade and Development) research focus area, North-West University. The other panelists were Nicholas Frank, Programme Officer, ICTSD; Sonja Grater, Senior lecturer and researcher, North-West University and Julia Lipowiecka, Independent Consultant.

The Public Forum stimulated debate and acts as platform for voices to be heard. Only by putting words into action will Forums such as this escape the accusation of mere talk and no action, frequently leveled at such gatherings.

At the WTO in Geneva Reply


Prof Derick Blaauw in action at the WTO – trade policy and poverty reduction

Last week Prof Derick Blaauw, Drs Anmar Pretorius and Sonja Grater accompanied the NWU’s WTO chair holder (Prof Wilma Viviers) to the 16th WTO Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The annual Public Forum is the WTO’s flagship event that provides a unique platform for heads of state and leading global business people, academics and non-governmental organisations to come together and discuss some of the major trade and development issues of the day. Over 1,500 participants attend the Forum each year. The 2016 Forum was an opportunity to discuss how a wider range of individuals and businesses can participate in the trading system and how WTO rules can help to ensure everyone benefits from trade. The panel of speakers at the opening plenary session of the WTO’s 2016 Public Forum emphasized that an agenda for inclusive trade, focusing on the needs of small business owners and more vulnerable sectors of society, will be essential for ensuring continued public support for open markets.

The session on the 27th of September organised by the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Co-operation (ITTC) Economic Research and Statistics Division fitted into this theme. The session was framed as: WTO Trade policy and poverty reduction: cases studies from WTO Chairs. The papers and case studies are part of broader research collaboration between the WTO and the World Bank. Here Derick Blaauw represented a paper entitled: “The impact of the recycling industry on poverty levels in South Africa’s informal economy: a case study of waste pickers in Pretoria“.