Event Details

Covid-19 will have a significant and lasting effect on the global economy; 2020 and 2021 will be "lost years" in terms of gdp, and the Economist Intelligence Unit expects the global economy to recover to pre-coronavirus levels only in 2022. However, this global forecast masks big disparities between countries. Some will recover quickly (e.g. China); others will take up to four years to return to pre-covid-19 gdp levels (e.g. Japan).

The global outlook comes with considerable downside risks, including dreaded secondary waves of the coronavirus and a prolonged search for an effective vaccine or treatment. This all makes for an extremely challenging operating environment.

Now, more than ever, business leaders need reliable, timely information and strong networks to support their commercial decision making.

So at this critical juncture, we invite you to join us and our panellists of economists and commentators as we discuss:

· The outlook for the global economy and regional highlights for 2021 and beyond.

· What factors will determine how well different economies will do in the recovery, and where might some opportunities lie

· The imperatives for South Africa's policy leaders; how long they have to take tough decisions and what's at stake if they don't

· The key risks beyond covid-19, how they might play out, and what they mean for the Africa region.


9 AM - 9:10 AM
Welcome and introduction
9:10 AM - 10 AM
Global outlook
10 AM - 10:55 AM
South Africa in focus
10:55 AM - 11 AM


  • Simon Baptist (Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Simon Baptist

    Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Simon Baptist is Editorial Director and Chief Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit. Prior to his current role, he has held a number of other senior management and editorial positions in the business, including Managing Director for Asia, Regional Director of our Asia editorial team, Director of Global Forecasting, and Consulting Director in both Europe and Asia

    Simon’s focus is on the global economy, national and international political developments, and public policy. He engages with business, government and international organisations, helping them to understand the operational and strategic implications of the EIU’s forecasts.

    He has a doctorate in economics from and was a lecturer at Oxford University, along with degrees in economics and science from the University of Tasmania. His academic research investigated technology and the determinants of productivity in manufacturing firms.

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  • Ann Bernstein (Executive Director of Centre for Development and Enterprise)

    Ann Bernstein

    Executive Director of Centre for Development and Enterprise

    Ann Bernstein is the executive director and founder (in 1995) of CDE and a respected public policy analyst and commentator. Regularly interviewed by South Africa’s leading media, she writes thought provoking op-eds and is invited to speak to the boards of many of the country’s largest companies, and at conferences and events focused on economic growth, employment, skills and development.
    She was a member of the transition team and then the board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa between 1994 and 2001, and sat on the Brenthurst Foundation board between 2007 and 2017. In 2013, she was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington, DC. In 2005, she was a fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC. In 2008 and 2009, she was an invited faculty member, World Economic Forum, Davos.
    She is author of The Case for Business in Developing Economies (Penguin 2010) which received favourable reviews in the South African media, the Economist, Financial Times, Forbes and elsewhere. She is the winner of the Sir Anthony Fisher Award 2012, Atlas Research Foundation, Washington DC for this book.

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  • Cas Coovadia (Chief Executive Officer at BUSA)

    Cas Coovadia

    Chief Executive Officer at BUSA

    Cas is CEO of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and the former Managing Director of The Banking Association SA (BASA). He is the Chairperson of the National Business Initiative. He serves on the Board of the Centre for Development & Enterprise. He is the immediate past President of the International Banking Federation (IBFed). He serves as a Council member of the University of Witwatersrand. He is also on the board of the Nepad Business Foundation. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the CEO Initiative. Cas obtained his B. Com from the University College - Durban in 1971. He completed the Housing Finance Course with the Wharton Real Estate Centre at the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed the Effective Directors Programme with the Kagiso School of Leadership. He has contributed to numerous articles and publications on housing finance, civil society, local government and the role of civic organisations in governance.

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  • Herman Warren (Network Director, Africa of The Economist Corporate Network)

    Herman Warren

    Network Director, Africa of The Economist Corporate Network


    Herman Warren is The Economist Corporate Network’s Network Director for Africa. Herman works with corporate clients to provide insight and analysis on a range of topics related to the broad and specific African context, helping clients to prosper in one of the world's fastest growing and most dynamic economic zones. He regularly chairs and moderates events and delivers custom briefings to senior executives. Herman is the author of a number of white papers on infrastructure, financial and commercial developments in the region. Herman has previously worked as a management consultant with Bain & Company, started and run a successful mobile technology company and has held senior posts in both public- and private-sector corporations. Herman holds a BBA degree in Finance from Howard University.

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