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The nature of competitive rivalry, and the power and interests of large firms and their owners, is at the heart of how countries develop. Large firms shape the economy as these firms can make the investments required in productive capacity, provide the upstream inputs and services required by smaller businesses and, in many areas, are also the main routes to market. At the same time these firms tend to have market power if competition between them is weak. In crude terms, it is critical whether these firms are able to focus on extracting rents through market power, or whether the returns reward their effort, creativity and entrepreneurship. Competition authorities and economic regulators are critical institutions in restraining the market power of firms while at the same tie taking into account the need to incentivise investment.
The book maps out key issues in competition through four key industry studies across Southern and East Africa. It considers the nature and extent of market power, the development of large firms, their production, investment and the prices of products across countries. This takes into account the work of competition authorities in the different countries and the implications of industrial policies. The concluding chapter draws out critical implications for competition, regional integration and economic development. This fills a big gap as there are no similar publications relating to this important topic.
The main focus of this publication is the link between South Africas grand pan-African ambitions, especially in the area of peace, security and governance, and its own capacity to pursue these objectives. Specifically, the paper examines Pretorias involvement in Africa, and internal capacity to support its mediation, peacekeeping and strengthening the abilities of African institutions for peacemaking. Further, it examines the challenges posed by tension between its pan-African and economic interests as well as power rivalry at the continental level, which have greatly limited its ability to take a more assertive role in regional political and economic developments. It briefly describes South Africas relations within SADC and the AU, as well as with Zimbabwe and examines the challenges posed by the agendas of China and Africas former colonial powers.