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Embracing Africa – beyond the binaries


2019 Tutu Fellow Ronak Gopaldas has delivered a powerful talk about thinking beyond the binaries and embracing Africa’s diversity. He delivered the talk in Cape Town in 2016. At the time, Ronak was the Head of Country Risk at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) in Johannesburg, where he managed a team of analysts who provide the firm with in-depth analysis of economic, political, security and operational dynamics across sub-Saharan Africa.

In his talk he describes his job as a political economist as trying to predict the future without a crystal ball. Ronak has travelled extensively across Africa to identify key country themes and trends, which in addition to a network of contacts and resources, help inform the qualitative and quantitative research the team produces, with the aim of guiding RMB’s strategic investment decisions.

He is a regular commentator in the local and international press, and writes opinion and analysis pieces for various publications. Ronak is convinced that the narratives heard bout Africa do not do the continent justice and that Africans are the ones who should be telling the stories about their continent, rather than hearing them from others. He also says that African leaders should think beyond the binaries of boom or bust; rising or failing; and others - but rather in different shades of grey. The nature and scale of challenges in Africa require us to consider solutions that go beyond the binary.

You can watch his entire talk below:

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Saturday, 25 September 2021

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