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We’ve had a fall over the past decade in the global league of nations in terms of our investment prospects as low growth, rising unemployment and rampant corruption have fed into declining confidence. It’s perhaps telling that in the four years of his French presidency, Emmanuel Macron made his first visit to our shores this past week, having made Africa a main part of his foreign policy objectives. Our “beachhead” advantage of a gateway to Africa, long trumpeted, may be waning.

It is telling that Macron visited Burkina Faso in 2017 and Nigeria the following year, yet this was his first official trip to SA. Since the start of our democratic era as we were integrating into the global economy, our selling point was that we would serve as a gateway to the rest of the continent. But after almost a decade, our gateway is losing its attractiveness...

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