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Title:The gateway to Africa? Geography and South Africa's role as an economic hinge joint between Africa and the world
Authors:Scholvin, Sören
Draper, PeterISNI
Periodical:South African Journal of International Affairs
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:international trade
economic policy
regional economic relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10220461.2012.740321
Abstract:The authors argue that South Africa's role as an economic gateway for various African countries primarily depends on geography, that is, on naturally given and man-made structures in geographical space. Hence, they first examine South Africa's location and physio-geographical conditions in Southern Africa in order to show important factors that affect the scope of the South African gateway. Second, they shed light on regional transport infrastructure, revealing how South Africa interlinks its neighbouring countries globally. Thirdly, regional economic interaction is analysed with regard to structural features of South Africa's economy that make it prone to being a gateway. The authors recognise that the impact of all these factors is influenced by strategic decisions taken by politicians and businesspeople. The outlook of the paper therefore addresses policies of the South African government that are often problematic for the country's gateway role. Potential challengers and their competitive advantages are presented, too. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]