Low interest rates have helped make Aussies wealthier despite rising household debt said a leading property analystRISING household debt is being offset by increasing household wealth according to the latest research by CoreLogic.CoreLogic cited data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) which showed the ratio of household debt to disposable income was at a record high of 193.7 per cent at the end of June 2017.CoreLogic research analyst, Cameron Kusher, said most of this debt is housing related.“Clearly, household and housing debt has increased over time relative to disposable incomes. Of note is that since the financial crisis, the rate of escalation has slowed,” Mr Kusher said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour agoThe analysis revealed, however, housing assets and household assets have increased by 6.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively — which is well in excess of the increase in household and housing debt, according to Mr Kusher.“The data reiterates that although debt levels are high, at this stage debt is well supported by assets which are valued substantially higher,” he said.Mr Kusher said a big contributor to the declining ratio of debt to assets has been the fall in interest rates.“The latest household finance data from the RBA highlights that Australian households are heavily indebted, largely due to housing,” Mr Kusher said.“While debt levels are high, the value of household and housing assets are, at this stage, considerably greater than the level of debt,” he said.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair
The Jac-Cen-Del Cross Country team participated in a 5-way meet against South Ripley, Milan, South Decatur, and Trinity Lutheran.The Lady Eagles placed first followed by Milan, South Ripey, South Decatur, and Trinity Lutheran.The Eagles boys team also finished first followed by South Decatur, Milan, South Ripley, and Trinity Lutheran.JCD 5 Way CC Meet (8-24)Courtesy of Eagles Coach David Bradshaw.
THE residence of the president of the Guyana National Dominoes Federation (GNDF) Faye Joseph will be a hive of activity on Sunday when the entity stages a grand Champion of Champions Part 2, commencing promptly at 14:30hrs.According to a release from the GNDF, only teams who won tournaments during the 2017 season are allowed to participate and among those vying for supremacy are Mix Up, 300, All Seasons, PH, Gold For Money, TNT, Turning Point, Thunder, Gangster, Beacons, Masters, Rage, Angels, Medicare, Strikers, Assassins, Transport, GT and Frankie’s.The guest teams are Delta Force, National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), NA Killers, Scramblers, Determine and Orange Walk.The tournament will be played on a two-in one-out knockout basis with an entrance fee of $15 000 per team.The winners will walk away with a whopping $175 000, the second-placed team $75 000 and third-placrd $40 000. There’s also an incentive prize of $10 000 for the Most Valuable Player (MVP).All GNDF rules will be in effect at the 1223 Gaulding Place, South Ruimveldt venue.For more information teams are asked to contact Mark ‘Jumbie’ Wiltshire on 665-5855.
Rwanda has talent, President saysPresident Paul Kagame has pledged the government’s support to artists, sportsmen, media practictioners and other talented Rwandan to enable them achieve their full potential.The President made the pledge on May 27 during a meeting with more than 2000 participants of Itorero for artists, sportsmen and media practitioners at Kigali Convention Center.In attendance were sportsmen and women, including past medal winners and members of different teams, and musicians, actors, and dancers.They were meeting with President Kagame to celebrate their achievements and thank him for his support.Addressing the Itorero graduates, President Kagame encouraged them to use their potential to reach excellence in their respective fields and called all responsible institutions to use resources available to ensure no talent is wasted.“I refuse to accept that we lack people of exceptional talent,” he said, and added that that his government is “ready to provide our support but you must be ready and willing to put in the work.”“Have humility but also the strength to exercise your talent and go beyond being a spectator on the sidelines,” the President said.Among those the President congratulate was Rwanda’s cycling team for its success and Salome Nyirarukundo, the winner of the recent Kigali Peace half marathon.The Rwanda cycling team has for years been organising the successful Tour du Rwanda and they have won it for the past three consecutive years.On the international race circuit, Rwandan riders have performed fairly well and some have started getting international cycling gigs. Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, one of the top cyclists on the Rwanda team recently flew to Canada to link up with Lowestrates.Ca cycling team.He recently won the ‘Race to Remember’ which is on this year’s Rwanda Cycling Cup.Reigning national champion Uwizeyimana is reported to be readying to be part of the LowestRates.ca team at the International Grand Prix de Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce in June. The two events are International Cycling Union (UCI)-sanctioned races.At the recent 14th edition of Tour of Eritrea, the country’s top sprinter Jean Claude Uwizeye finished a very close second to the winner, Solomon Zemenfes of the hosts.The President used their success to illustrate outstanding performances and also challenge institutions that fail to support talented athletes to stop the practice. He noted that Nyirarukundo had received almost no support during preparations for the race and the concerned institutions were not promoting the cycling team.The officials who are to blame for the omission would have to answer to him, he said.The President added that there are many talented people around the world who live in the same environment we live in and go on to achieve great things.“Rwanda can achieve a lot using fewer resources. We should not allow our potential to be wasted,” he said.On the role that all artists, sportsmen and women, members of the media play in the country’s development, President Kagame assured them that they are an essential element to the country’s development and social cohesion.****Share on: WhatsApp
Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney (25) on the sidelines against California during the second half in an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Tyler Gaffney attended last year’s Pac-12 championship game as a fan, milling around the sidelines at Stanford Stadium before kickoff and spending the rest of the night in the stands.This time he’ll be the featured attraction.After playing baseball in the minor leagues last year, Gaffney’s remarkable return to football is one of the biggest reasons seventh-ranked Stanford (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) has a chance for consecutive Rose Bowl berths. He has run for 1,485 yards and 17 touchdowns entering Saturday night’s showdown at No. 11 Arizona State (10-2, 8-1), turning in one consistent performance after another, which will likely land him in a different draft next.“He’s put on film that he’s a potential high-round pick in the NFL, because that’s how NFL backs run,” Stanford coach David Shaw said Monday. “He’s done it every game. He’s caught the ball out of the backfield. He’s pass protected. He’s come back and shown that he’s a complete back. I’m excited for him. This is maybe even more than what he envisioned coming back for.”Shaw began fall practices talking about how he planned to replace Stanford’s career rushing leader, Stepfan Taylor, with a rotation of up to six running backs.“An embarrassment of riches,” Shaw called them.Instead, Gaffney emerged as the featured running back because he seemed to always find the right holes — or plow them. He has quietly moved just 386 yards away from Toby Gerhart’s celebrated school record of 1,871 yards rushing in 2009, when he was the Heisman Trophy runner-up to Alabama’s Mark Ingram.Gerhart needed only 13 games to set that mark. Gaffney will get 14 because of the Pac-12 title game. And with everything he has accomplished this season, Gaffney will get to make a major life decision for the second time in a year: go back to baseball, or head to the NFL? In all likelihood, it will be the latter.“I would love to play in the NFL,” Gaffney said. “That’s an opportunity that doesn’t knock on many people’s doors.”In his first three seasons at Stanford, Gaffney ran for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns on 156 carries. He also caught 17 passes for 187 yards and three TDs as Taylor’s primary backup.The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Gaffney in the 24th round as an outfielder, and he said he couldn’t turn down a chance to play professional baseball. He had a solid season with the Class-A State College Spikes, batting .297 with a .483 on-base percentage.Gaffney got the urge to resume his football career after watching his Cardinal teammates win the Pac-12 title and the Rose Bowl last season. He also wanted to finish his degree — doubling-majoring in sociology and psychology — and chase his own championship, the two things missing from his Stanford resume.Now he has a chance to fulfill both.“Speaking for myself, this is awesome,” Gaffney said. “I’ve never been to the Rose Bowl. I was a fan, I watched and it looked like an incredible place to play. I know what’s going on around now, so I think from both perspectives. I can appreciate the game and what goes into it. There was the big food and everybody was hanging out. I’ve never seen so many Stanford fans. They were coming out of the woodworks. To be a part of that, not to speak ahead, but I would love to be a part of that.”The recent success of former Stanford running backs such as a Gerhart (Minnesota Vikings), Taylor (Arizona Cardinals) and Jeremy Stewart (Oakland Raiders) should also bode well for Gaffney’s NFL future.Stanford runs a pro-style system predicated on power and patience. And other than Gerhart, perhaps nobody has perfected those qualities more than Gaffney on The Farm.Gaffney has averaged 23.6 carries per game, which has increased steadily all season. His most memorable performance came in the victory over Oregon on Nov. 7, when he ran for 157 yards and set a school record with 45 carries.“The crazy part is how many carries he can do,” said Stanford linebacker Blake Martinez, a former running back. “I just think back to high school, at the end of the game or on Saturday when we watched film, I’d say, ‘Hey, coach, how many carries did I get?’ He’d say, ‘Around 15.’ I’d say, ‘Are you kidding me? I feel like I’ve been doing about 50.’ And just thinking of him actually doing around 50 carries is remarkable.”In a perfect world, Gaffney has always said, he would play both football and baseball professionally. But he realizes that’s unlikely, so he’s put all his effort into whatever sport he’s playing at the time.Gaffney said he parted on good terms with the Pirates, and the organization would welcome him back. And while he’s not ready to declare for the NFL draft just yet, those around Gaffney believe it’s his best option after the season.“I’ve seen him play baseball for a couple years. I know he’s good. He’s got a lot of tools. He’s an outstanding hitter, he’s a great baserunner. I think he’s a really good fielder. But I think he’s an NFL back,” Shaw said. “I don’t know where he’ll get drafted, but it’s going to be in the first couple rounds.”___Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
Summerland out shot the Leafs 26-18 in a game Nelson had only nine shots through 40 minutes of play.Joseph Barton, selected Nelson’s game star, was in goal for the Leafs against the Steam.Saturday, Kelowna built a 4-0 lead after three minutes into the second period before Nelson roared back with three consecutive goals by Nicholas Ketola, Jordan Davie and Tyler Garcia on the power play.However, the Chiefs ended any chance of a comeback with a pair of third-perod goals by Ryan Lawson and Jonathan Lee.Lawson, selected the game star for Kelowna, finished the game with four points on two goals and a pair of assists.Defenceman Austin Anselmo was the game star for Nelson in a game the Chiefs out shot the Leafs 31-30.Nelson, falling to 11-7 on the season, five points behind Murdoch leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks, opened the three-game road trip with a 4-3 win Friday in Armstrong.The Leafs remain on the road traveling to Spokane Sunday.Nelson then meets the Thunder Cats in Creston, Friday, November 13 before hosting Grand Forks Border Bruins Saturday, November 14. Summerland Steam found just enough offence to edge the Nelson Leafs 2-1 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Sunday afternoon in the Central Okanagan City.Wyatt Gale’s goal midway through the third period proved to be the winner as the Steam was able to avenge an earlier loss to the Green and White.Nelson double the Steam 4-2 in the Heritage City October 11.Cody Egilson score the other goal for Summerland, which held period leads of 1-0.Samuel Weber scored the lone goal for Nelson, which lost for the second straight time on the road.Saturday the Leafs saw its six-game winning streak snapped as Kelowna Chief double Nelson 6-3.
Bob Baffert11126191423%$2,957,432 Mark Glatt8414171217%$626,602 John W. Sadler14122201816%$1,479,100 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Richard E. Mandella7016101323%$992,946 Mike Puype10813151512%$546,946 (Current Through Friday, April 10) Peter Miller15929271918%$1,444,836 Rafael Bejarano29370453924%$3,428,118 Tyler Baze32143413513%$2,513,258 Victor Espinoza18535352619%$2,437,156 Santiago Gonzalez13819152114%$841,434 WOOLF WINNER LUZZI ENJOYS DAY IN THE SUNYIANNUS STEPS UP IN SUNDAY’S SAN PEDROFIRING LINE WORKS FOR KENTUCKY DERBYRACING RADIO PIONEER BILL GARR PASSES AT 98 Jeff Bonde38102426%$381,976 -30- Doug F. O’Neill18523172512%$1,126,402 Elvis Trujillo23526342411%$1,525,650 Felipe Valdez9413121614%$428,837 Martin Garcia14929201719%$2,724,890 Corey Nakatani11419111617%$933,348 James Cassidy741081314%$440,550 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Edwin Maldonado12618131414%$621,204 Fernando Perez2061824269%$871,578 Flavien Prat15517182011%$953,314 Martin Pedroza17918272310%$781,744 Joseph Talamo25527274311%$1,875,618 ‘GREAT HONOR’ FOR LUZZI TO WIN WOOLF AWARDMike Luzzi was basking in the sunshine of another glorious morning at Santa AnitaSaturday, 30 hours before he was to enjoy a more significant moment in the sun, acceptance of Santa Anita’s George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award after tomorrow’s sixth race.“It’s a great honor,” said Luzzi (as in fuzzy), who was accompanied by his son, Lane as he greeted old friends and well wishers. “My grandfather (Virgil “Buddy” Raines) was a trainer and was friendly with George Woolf, so the award means a little extra to my Mom.“Raines was a regular at Delaware Park and that’s where I grew up, right outside the gate there (in Stanton). My grandfather and George Woolf were close. I actually have some souvenirs from that time, the last program on the day he was killed, so this means more to me than it might to someone else, because I heard about George Woolf from Pops.”Sidelined because of a broken leg and a fractured pelvis sustained in a paddock accident last Nov. 2 at Aqueduct, Luzzi, winner of 3,420 career races, has undergone reconstructive surgery and hopes to resume riding at some point this year.Presented annually by Santa Anita since 1950, the Woolf Award is one of the most coveted honors in racing, as it recognizes riders whose careers and personal character have earned esteem for both the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. RADIO RACING PIONEER BILL GARR VIEWING ON MONDAYBill Garr, who loved racing as much as life itself life and devoted the major portion of his career to the game he loved, died on March 28 at the age of 98.Garr, a Southern California-based radio broadcaster who did countless shows from Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar and the Los Angeles County Fair, was a notorious punster and teller of corny jokes who also enjoyed backing a horse he fancied with a few dollars. When once asked by an on-air listener, “Who do you like in the sixth race?” on a particular Saturday, Garr unhesitatingly responded, “I like Hot Dog in the sixth, he’s a Weiner.”Garr’s first live show from Santa Anita was broadcast on Dec. 26, 1959. For nearly four decades, he broadcast his show from live racing venues on the Southern California circuit and unabashedly promoted loyal sponsors such as Kitty Queen, Canada Dry, Old English Rancho, Pro Express and many others.A native of San Francisco, Garr’s first break in radio came as a station announcer at KNBR, which was the West Coast’s flagship station for NBC in the early 1940s.Garr was preceded in death by his wife, Jean. He was the brother of the late Louis Eilken, a former racing secretary at Santa Anita and at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota. He is survived by his daughter, Jeannie, son Bill, and three grandchildrenA viewing will be held this Monday, April 13, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Douglass and Zook Chapel of Remembrance Funeral Home, 600 East Foothill Blvd., Monrovia, 91016.A memorial service will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1757 North Lake Ave., Pasadena 91104, on Tuesday, April 14, at 12 noon. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Shadow Hills Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Club, www.shadowhillsridingclub.org, or U.S. Navy League, Navy Days 310 392-1275. Philip D’Amato8219121523%$929,990 Jerry Hollendorfer17030222518%$3,299,408 Ron Ellis641451022%$485,440 Peter Eurton8715131517%$878,756 Richard Baltas831715720%$751,335 Gary Stevens9918141818%$1,583,128 Kent Desormeaux21334382816%$2,100,220 YIANNIS GOES FROM MAIDEN WIN TO STAKES SUNDAYYiannis moves from a maiden victory in his lone start to the $75,000 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs Sunday.“He won his first start (by a nose over subsequent stakes winner, Gimme Da Lute, as the 9-10 favorite on Jan. 31), we liked him, and we entered an allowance race but it didn’t fill,” said John Sadler, who trains the Kentucky-bred son of 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman for Hronis Racing LLC.“We’re going from a maiden win to a stake but we think he’s a nice colt, he’s got a good post and he’s trained well (a bullet 57.20 on April 5, best of 68 drills at the distance).”The field for the San Pedro: Well Maybe, Mike Smith, 6-1; Kentuckian, Rafael Bejarano, 8-5; The Man, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Guy Code, Gonzalo Nicolas, 30-1; Gloria’s Angelo, Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1; Yiannis, Victor Espinoza, 8-1; Om, Fernando Perez, 9-5; No Problem, Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1; and Serbian Syclone, Tyler Baze, 12-1. FINISH LINES: Firing Line, winner of the Sunland Derby by more than 14 lengths, worked five furlongs at Santa Anita Saturday in 59.20 under regular rider Gary Stevens, who will be seeking his fourth Kentucky Derby win when he rides the son of Line of David in the May 2 Run for the Roses. Owner Arnold Zetcher was a keen observer of the drill . . . Congratulations to Gary Stute for ending the “Gary Drought” among Santa Anita trainers yesterday. When Stute sent out I’ll Tell You What to win Friday’s eighth race by 3 ¼ lengths at a $15.80 payoff under Tyler Baze, it marked the first win this meet for a trainer whose first name is Gary. Stute had been oh for 18. Fellow trainers Gary Mandella and Gary Sherlock are oh for 21 and oh for 38, respectively. “It was a welcome win in more ways than one,” Stute said. “It was the first win for the stallion (Roman Commander) who stands at Milky Way Farm in Temecula. Tyler rode the rode the horse perfect, and if any Gary was going to get off the schneid, I’m glad it was me.” . . . Joe Steiner and William Antongeorgi III have moved their tack from Santa Anita to the Great Northwest and the Bay Area, respectively. . . Rosie Ybarra, hostess at Clocker’s Corner gab and grub pub, has tickets on sale at $5 a pop for Think Bright Pink in support of breast and ovarian health VIPink Weekend, May 2 and 3 . . . Condolences to the family of longtime Bay Area-based trainer Bill Morey, Jr., who passed away Friday following a long bout with cancer at age 74. Morey was best known as trainer and co-breeder and owner of Bold Chieftain, who won the 2010 Sunshine Millions Classic and was a two-time winner of the California Cup Classic in 2007 and 2009. Morey was also trainer of multiple stakes winner Dixie Dot Com, who won the 2000 San Pasqual Stakes. Morey is survived by his wife, Doris, son, trainer William E. Morey, daughter Kelley (Green), and two grandchildren. Mike Smith11422221719%$2,546,971 Tiago Pereira1271791513%$505,592 Mark Casse63106916%$810,186 Drayden Van Dyke21823282511%$1,492,943 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 10, 2016)–With his octogenarian trainer beaming with pride, 8-year-old Chilean-bred Quick Casablanca made a bold move around the final turn and steamed to 2 ¾ length victory under Tyler Baze, providing Hall of Fame conditioner Ron McAnally with his fourth lifetime win in Santa Anita’s traditional closing day feature, the Grade III, $100,000 San Juan Capistrano Stakes.Originally scheduled to be run at one and three quarter miles with a hillside start, significant rain over the past two days necessitated that the race be run on the turf oval with a stretch start. Quick Casablanca thus negotiated a first-ever mile and seventh eighths on a yielding turf in 3:19.58, much to the delight of an on-track crowed of 10,079, which roared its approval as the field crossed the line of finish no less than three times.“This is a good horse,” said McAnally, 83, who won his first San Juan Capistrano with the legendary Hall of Fame gelding, John Henry, in 1980. “We just let him gallop the first time around, and the second time, he made that move. He had plenty left.“He’s an old horse, he’s a pro. He’s been around a long time. He’s been to Chile, he’s been to New York, he’s been to Florida. He’s one professional horse, and he’s old, like me.”Allowed to lope along in last among a field of seven older horses that included a pair of mares, Quick Casablanca settled into a steady stride under Baze and was content to trail until called upon, three furlongs from home.“In the paddock, the only thing Mr. McAnally told me was to just gallop him the first time around,” said Baze, who tasted victory in the San Juan for the first time. “That was no problem, he’s a real cool horse, push-button, like a pony. I galloped that first mile and picked it up from there and tried to figure out how I was going to push the button because with him, it’s all or nothing. He was really flying that last three eighths of a mile.”The 9-5 favorite, Quick Casablanca paid $5.80, $3.20 and $2.40. Owned by Pablo Gomez, he improved his overall mark to 28-5-8-6. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $749,160.Generosidade, a 7-year-old Uruguayan-bred mare who bested Quick Casablanca by 1 ½ lengths in the Grade II, 1 ½ miles turf San Luis Rey Stakes March 13, completed the exacta, finishing 3 ¾ lengths in front of Life’s Journey. Ridden by Tiago Pereira and off at 3-1, Generosidade paid $4.40 and $3.80.Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Life’s Journey was off at 14-1 and paid $5.00 to show.Fractions on the race, improbable as they seem, were 25.73, 53.54, 1:20.45, 1:47.71, 2:43.26 and 3:07.45.Santa Anita’s 41-day Spring Meet will open on Thursday, May 5, with first post time at 2 p.m. McANALLY WINS CLOSING DAY FIXTURE FOR FOURTH TIME, DATING BACK TO JOHN HENRY IN 1980
James Shikwati – Chief Executive Officer, The African Executive, Kenya; Dr David Zounmenou – Senior Researcher, African Security Analysis Programme, Institute for Security Studies; and Dr Petrus de Kock – Research Manager, Brand South Africa.Africa is the world’s second-fastest growing region. It delivers the highest returns on foreign direct investment (FDI), yet the continent is plagued by the perception of major risks associated with investment.In light of these views, a one-day seminar was held on 1 August at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton, hosted by Frontier Advisory in partnership with Brand South Africa, the Financial Times, Webber Wentzel and Deloitte. Risk was top of the agenda at the thought-provoking session, which was held with the hope of changing minds and ultimately driving Africa’s investment appeal.In his keynote address, Miller Matola, Brand South Africa’s chief executive officer, emphasised: “The risks are definitely there, but so are the rewards.” It must be the potential rewards that were attracting unprecedented and sustained investment growth.Andrew England, Southern African Bureau Chief for financial times“Despite the economic upheaval in global markets, Africa is the world’s second-fastest growing region and delivers the highest returns on FDI in the world. But it is also a confusing continent of 54 nations, each with their own risk profile, internal and regional dynamics. This makes accurately identifying, weighting, contextualising and pricing these risks – and of course the rewards – a truly daunting task.”The continent’s market was highly fragmented and its political economy complex, with poor intra-regional enabling infrastructure, weak capital markets and often informal trading links. Public sector institutions were also often weak and the risk of political and social instability was a threat to sustainable business activity.Watch VideoBrand South Africa recently commissioned a study of companies in the country. It found that the top obstacles to further investment for local and international companies were crime, corruption, inefficient bureaucracy, labour regulations and skills levels. Speaking to the largely corporate crowd, Matola added: “Likewise, Ernst & Young’s 2012 Africa Attractiveness Survey identified political instability, corruption and security as the major risks associated with African investment.” Managing risk The conference addressed topics such as:How do we manage financial and investment risk in Africa?How do we mitigate against geo-political and conflict risk on the continent?How vulnerable is Africa to external macro-economic forces and shocks?How do we manage environmental risk in Africa with respect to food security, climate change, natural disasters and water security? The other keynote speaker was Richard Dowden, the executive director of The Royal African Society. Moderators were Martyn Davies, the chief executive of Frontier Advisory; Andrew England, the southern Africa bureau chief for the Financial Times; and Anushuya Gounden, the head of the Africa desk at Deloitte.Gounden said: “Risk perception varies: old world, Africa as a development burden, and new world, Africa is a commercial opportunity.”Panel speakers comprised:Alfredo Hengari – the head of South African foreign policy and African Drivers Programme, South African Institute of International Affairs;Dennis Dykes – the chief economist, Nedbank;Dr Deon Nel – the head of the biodiversity unit, WWF;Dr David Zounmenou – the senior researcher, African Security Analysis Programme, Institute for Security Studies;Erica Johnson – the chief officer of risk and strategy, Eskom;James Shikwati – the chief executive of The African Executive, Kenya;Katherine Tweedie – of the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University;Khungeka Njobe – the managing director of Aveng Water;Michael O’Brien Onyeka – the executive director of Greenpeace Africa;Omri van Zyl – the leader of Africa agriculture business unit, Deloitte;Praveck Geeanpersadh – the regional leader of Africa risk advisory, Deloitte;Dr Petrus de Kock – the research manager, Brand South Africa;Roddy McKean – the head of Africa practice, Webber Wentzel; and,Siobhan Cleary – the director of public policy and strategy, JSE. FDI decreases According to the Financial Times’ 2012 FDI report, which only measures new investment projects or significant expansions of existing projects, for 2011 there was a 29 percent decline in FDI projects into Egypt and a 14 percent fall in Tunisia.South Africa was the best performing country on the continent in 2011, recording a 57 percent increase in project numbers and an 87 percent growth in capital investment.Stephan Morais, one of the panellists, said: “Risk is a measure of trust. High expected rewards in Africa exist because of lack of trust in institutions and between everyone.”Matola added: “The commodities super-cycle has served African growth well. It is a prime source of the vital resources which are sustaining emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere.The massive new investment in extractive industries from energy to minerals is well documented. And, as food security rises up the international agenda, so too will the demand for arable land. By some estimates 60 percent of the world’s available unexploited cropland lies in sub-Saharan Africa.”By 2050, about 60 percent of Africans would live in cities – cities that would need infrastructure to be financed and built. According to the United Nations, Africa would have a population of about two billion by 2050. Creating a free trade area “We are proud to be amongst the 26 countries which signed an agreement in June last year to create a free trade area that covers more than half of Africa,” Matola said. “We hope that by June 2014, nearly 60 percent of the economy of Africa with a combined [gross domestic product] of $1-trillion [R8.3-trillion] and encompassing 600 million people will be a single free trade area, covering southern, eastern and central Africa.”He also mentioned other entities, such as the Industrial Development Corporation, which had expanded its remit to include African investment and would consider new or existing companies within Africa with funding needs from R1-million to R1-billion.The JSE offered a wide range of investment instruments focused on Africa outside of South Africa. Ultimately for South Africa, all this meant the country was well positioned to become a deal-making, financial and professional services hub for the entire region.“Here we are not competing with our neighbours but with New York, London Hong Kong and other international finance centres.”Matola concluded that we needed more and deeper dialogue between countries, governments, business, media and the public to dispel out-dated myths and to recalibrate how risk was seen in Africa.