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First launched in 1972, this annual competition gives economics students the opportunity to sharpen and share their thoughts on issues of national importance.
Peter Moyo, CEO of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, says: “It is very exciting to see how the competition ignites insightful conversations between tomorrow’s economists and the policy-makers of today. We’re proud of the fact that it helps to unearth talent and stimulates the bright young minds that will shape our economic future.”
Every year economics students from across the country are invited to submit essays on a topical aspect of economic development. Following their selection as finalists, the 10 undergraduates and 10 postgraduates face rigorous questions from a board of adjudicators that includes some of the country’s top economists and analysts.
This year undergraduate candidates had to discuss the economic and fiscal costs of corruption using both local and international studies to illustrate their argument. The post-graduate essay topic focused on monetary policies adopted by central banks following the financial crisis of 2010 (See the full questions in the Notes to Editors below.)
“Corruption is a critically important issue and as we fight together for South Africa’s future and plan for inclusive economic growth and national development, it is vital that we listen to the voices of the new generation. We are proud to provide a platform that shines a spotlight on thought leadership from the next generation of economic leaders,” Moyo says.
Mike Brown, CE of Nedbank, adds: “It’s particularly encouraging to see the rigour with which the postgraduate finalists examined the implications of the unconventional monetary policies adopted by central banks in the wake of the global financial crisis.
“The Nedbank & Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition gives us an opportunity to contribute towards building principled economic leaders who will help navigate our country through the structural changes our economy needs towards a better tomorrow, one that better serves the needs and aspirations of all South Africans.”
The winners will be announced at a gala dinner co-hosted by Nedbank and Old Mutual on the evening of the Budget Speech on 21 February, with the Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba delivering the keynote address.
Three of the 2017 postgraduate finalists have been finalists in previous years: Gorton Wilmans was an undergraduate finalist and 2nd runner-up in 2014, Mpho Mataboge was an undergraduate finalist and 1st runner-up in 2010 and a postgraduate finalist and 2nd runner-up in 2014. Sonia Phalatse was an undergraduate finalist in 2012.