WEAll Ambassador Ayabonga Cawe appointed to South African Economic Advisory Council

Innovative economist, broadcaster and WEAll Ambassador Ayabonga Cawe, has been appointed as one of the 18 members of South Africa’s new Economic Advisory Council.

According to The Citizen, the new Presidential Economic Advisory Council will: “ensure greater coherence and consistency in the implementation of economic policy and ensure that government and society, in general, are better equipped to respond to changing economic circumstances”.

The new economic advisory council is also intended to build a capable state.

According to the formal announcement, the council will be chaired by the president, will meet every quarter, and will receive support from National Treasury and existing economic research structures. The announcement states that the new council will engage with the existing National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

As an aside, Nedlac was established as “the vehicle by which government, labour, business and community organisations seek to cooperate, through problem-solving and negotiation, on economic, labour and development issues and related challenges facing the country”.

More about Aya

Ayabonga Cawe is a Johannesburg based development economist, columnist, radio presenter, photographer and activist.

He is Managing Director of a platform involved in advisory, facilitation and content development across a wide range of fields.

He hosts #PowerBusiness on PowerFM and writes a regular column for Daily Maverick and Business Day.

Prior to this he was Economic Justice Manager at Oxfam South Africa (OZA) working on policy advocacy and research. He has also worked as an Associate Consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a global development strategy consulting and policy advisory firm.

He has experience in economic research, policy and supply chain analysis, advocacy, development program design and M&E. He is also a co-founder of Rethink Africa NPC, a youth-led policy research, advocacy and advisory organisation. He has taken part in a wide range of research, advisory and policy engagements on development issues in agriculture, rail, urban design and labour market policy.

His international experience on issues of sustainability and business includes conducting primary research with farmer organizations in Indonesia, for a multilateral client. He has also conducted primary research in Nigeria, for a market entry strategy on behalf of a global pharmaceuticals manufacturer. Ayabonga was a finalist in the category, ‘Best Business and Finance Show’ at the 2018 Liberty Radio Awards.

Ayabonga sat on the National Minimum Wage Advisory Panel appointed by the Deputy President and Nedlac, which advised on the R20/hour proposal.  He currently sits on the VAT zero-rating review panel, tasked by the Minister of Finance to consider the expansion of the list of food and non-food items exempted from value added tax.

He holds an M. Com (Cum Laude) in Development Theory and Policy from Wits.

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