Cover art for podcast The Brenthurst Foundation Podcast

The Brenthurst Foundation Podcast

82 EpisodesProduced by The Brenthurst Foundation Website

Through conversations with policy-makers, political actors, academics and topic experts, we talk through the development challenges facing Africa and some of the solutions on offer for economic growth and prosperity.The series features Marie-Noelle Nwokolo as the host.

82 Episodes | 2020 - 2023

Supporting MSMEs in the Informal Sector – the Setana Solution

August 23rd, 2023


The informal sector across Africa makes up nearly 83% of employment. However, in spite of its size, there is a general lack of engagement with the sector, from both government and private corporates.  


Today we speak …

Japan’s Rise to Economic Prosperity: A Chat with Prof Kenichi Ohno (Part 2)

June 14th, 2023


Honda, Toyota, Toshiba and Sony, to name but a few, are all successful companies to come out of Japan. How did Japan perfect enterprise and create a …

Japan’s Rise to Economic Prosperity: A Chat with Professor Kenichi Ohno

June 7th, 2023


At the end of the Second World War, Japanese cities were destroyed, a significant number of its population were killed or displaced, …

Africa Through Their Eyes: A Chat with Madam President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

May 24th, 2023


Speaking to Marie-Noelle,  H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the 2011 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and former President of Liberia (2006 – 2018), reflects on the moment she was announced President, the task to rebuild …

Debt, Democracy and the Importance of Dialogue: A Chat with Olusegun Obasanjo

May 10th, 2023


Our latest podcast with Olusegun Obasanjo is a deep dive into his time as the former President of Nigeria, highlighting how he supported the country’s transition to democracy. 

This episode was recorded during a recent …

Africa Through Their Eyes: A Chat with H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn (Part 2)

April 26th, 2023


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be Prime Minister?Well, our latest miniseries ‘Africa Through Their Eyes’ enables you to do just that through important discussions with former heads of state from across Africa. …

Africa Through Their Eyes: A Chat with H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn (PART 1)

April 19th, 2023


Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be Prime Minister? 


Well, our latest miniseries ‘Africa Through Their Eyes’ enables you to do just that through important discussions with former heads of state from across …

The Cream of the Crop: The Importance of Agriculture in Development with Isabelle Tsakok (Part 2)

April 5th, 2023


What role does the AfCFTA play in agricultural development? What links growth, stability and equity to agriculture? Why don’t reforms always work? 


The Cream of the Crop: The Importance of Agriculture in Development with Isabelle Tsakok (Part 1)

March 29th, 2023


Africa’s arable land has increase by 52% in 20 years, so why do a large portion of the continent’s population still live in poverty? 


This week, …

Africa Through Their Eyes: A Chat with H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma Part II

March 15th, 2023


This week we continue the conversation with H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma as he gives us an insight into the many surprises he experienced during his time as Sierra Leone's President, trends relating to coups across the region …

Africa Through Their Eyes: A Chat with H.E Ernest Bai Koroma

March 8th, 2023


From economics and ebola to coups and the challenges of leadership, this episode features Marie-Noelle in conversation with former President of …

Do Africans Now Prefer More Military Rule? A Chat with Afrobarometer’s CEO, Joe Asunka

December 14th, 2022


The demand for democracy is higher than the supply, according to recent Afrobarometer surveys; what does this means and might it have anything to do with the recent spate of coups in West Africa and the preference for …

The Role of SOEs in Development in South Africa: A Chat with Alan Hirsch

November 30th, 2022


Many state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in South Africa are in trouble; some have been for a decade or more. What is happening, why are they still in …

Tanzania’s Past, Present and Future: A Discussion with Zitto Kabwe

November 23rd, 2022


With 68% of the Tanzanian population born after 1999, the role of the country’s youth is vital. However, does Tanzania’s past play an important role …

Better Choices and the Labour Market: A Chat with Haroon Bhorat

November 16th, 2022


Over the last 20 years, just 180,000 manufacturing jobs were created in South Africa. Going forward, what can be done to ensure higher employment rates within the country? This week, Marie-Noelle speaks to Haroon Bhorat …

Eskom and the Great Power Puzzle with Ray Hartley

November 9th, 2022


In 1998, South Africa’s energy supply was in the pink. A low-cost, coal-fired fleet was producing surplus energy at one of the lowest prices in the …

Crime and the Justice System in South Africa: A Chat with Gareth Newham

November 2nd, 2022


In today’s episode, Marie-Noelle and Gareth Newham tackle the reason for the decline of South Africa’s crime and justice system. South Africa has …

Service Delivery at Sub-National Level: A Chat with Andrew Murray

October 26th, 2022


In our episode this week, Marie-Noelle speaks with Andrew Murray, one of the authors of The Brenthurst Foundation’s latest book titled ‘Better Choices: Ensuring South Africa’s Future’. 

Here, they discuss all things …

Accountability, and the Importance of Upholding Human Rights in Ukraine: A Chat with Oleksandra Matviichuk

October 19th, 2022


Since the Russian invasion began on the 24th February 2022, amongst many other atrocities, Ukraine and its people have been the victims of countless war crimes. Human rights activists such as Oleksandra Matviichuk have …

Social Insurance: Building Better Institutions: A Chat with Andrew Donaldson

October 12th, 2022


In our episode this week, Marie-Noelle speaks with Andrew Donaldson, Senior Research Associate at the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit at the University of Cape Town as well as one of the authors of …

Understanding the Role of a Wartime Parliament: At Home with Solomiia Bobrovska and Hryhoriy Nemyria

October 5th, 2022


Parliament is the cornerstone of any functioning democracy. A centre of legislation and debate, its role is clearly defined during times of peace. …

South Africa's Agriculture: Policy Reforms to Stimulate Growth and Employment

September 28th, 2022


Marie-Noelle's guest this week is Wandile Sihlobo, academic, Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) and author …

A Masterclass on Ukraine's Strategic Communication in War: A Chat with Alina Frolova

September 21st, 2022


Today's episode is a masterclass on strategic communication in warfare with Ukraine's Deputy Chairman for the Centre for Defence Studies and …

The Financial Services Sector and its Support to the Economy: A Chat with Annabel Bishop

September 13th, 2022


Join Marie-Noelle in a chat with Investec’s Chief Economist, Annabel Bishop, on the dual role of the financial sector in the economy and …

Informal Economy and Informal Employment in South Africa: A Chat with David Francis

September 7th, 2022


In this episode, Marie-Noelle chats with David Francis about South Africa’s ‘challenge’ with the informal economy and the better choices needed to …

Understanding the Basics and Basis of Election Observer Missions: A Chat with Jeffrey Smith

August 24th, 2022


On the show this week, Marie-Noelle Nwokolo and pro-democracy activist Jeffrey Smith interrogate the role and relevance of election observer missions …

On Leadership and Agency of Africa’s Youth: A Chat with Prince Nwadeyi

August 3rd, 2022


In this week’s episode, Marie-Noelle chats with Prince Nwadeyi, co-founder of iSpani, on what it means to have and exert agency and the work required …

The Role and Relevance of Parliament Today: A Chat with Siviwe Gwarube

July 28th, 2022


Voter apathy is a growing problem among South Africa’s youth. While the reasons behind this are often emotive, they are understandable.

To better grasp how and where people have agency, Marie-Noelle spoke to Siviwe …

Somaliland: How to Get onto the Right Side of History

July 6th, 2022


How does a small state that, according to the UN, doesn't officially exist, with a nonconvertible currency, no officially recognised borders or …

No One is Safe Until Everyone is Safe: Discussing Migrant Experiences in South Africa

June 22nd, 2022


The impact of COVID-19 in South Africa, by existing data, has been the most severe on the African continent. South Africa, which accounted for 38.1% of total COVID-19 infections in Africa as of March 2022, is home to …

Understanding the Crux of Africa-China Relations on Trade and Infrastructure: A Chat with Ovigwe Eguegu

May 25th, 2022


In this chat, Marie-Noelle Nwokolo and Ovigwe Eguegu of Development Reimagined chat about the deepening China-Africa relations as it pertains to …

Technology and Domestic Resource Mobilisation: A Ghanaian Case Study

May 11th, 2022


In today’s episode chat with Henry Telli and James Dzansi of the International Growth Centre (IGC) about how IT systems can be potentially …

One Man’s Journey as a Diplomat: A Chat with Ambassador Kipyego Cheluget

May 4th, 2022


In today’s episode, Marie-Noelle speaks with Ambassador Dr Kipyego Cheluget about his diplomatic career and the lessons that a regional economic …

When Tech Meets Agriculture: A Chat with Ikenna of Releaf

April 27th, 2022


In this episode, Marie-Noelle Nwokolo chats with Ikenna Nzewi, co-founder and CEO of Releaf,  an agriculture technology company that develops …

Reimagining Development (with China) – a Chat with Hannah Ryder and Jade Scarfe

March 16th, 2022


Is China’s presence in Africa a positive one? What more can Africa do to increase the benefits received from a China-Africa relationship? Has Africa’s relationship with China changed over time? This podcast answers all …

Launch of the 'Prospects for a Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery in Africa' Report

March 9th, 2022


How much economic damage was caused, and how will African economies recover? This is the question addressed in today’s episode from the launch of the 'Prospects for a Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery in Africa' report. 

Keynote address from President Hakainde Hichilema || Expensive Poverty Book Launch

February 23rd, 2022


On 26 January 2022, President Hakainde Hichilema addressed a broad audience of policymakers, past presidents, ambassadors and curious minds at the …

Addressing Africa’s youth (un)employment challenge: a chat with Mona Iddrisu

February 16th, 2022


In this week’s episode, Marie-Noelle sits with Mona Iddrisu, Head of Youth #Employment and Skills at ACET. They discuss the demand and supply-side …

Monetising the Ocean as a Source of Finance: a Chat with Erik Wandrag

February 9th, 2022


On the first episode of the year, Marie-Noelle speaks with Erik Wandrag, CEO of Oceans Finance Company, who’s main take is to develop financial …

Why Alleviating Poverty is not the Same as Creating Prosperity: A Chat with Efosa Ojomo

December 1st, 2021


Understanding why poor countries have remained poor despite the trillions of dollars spent on development over the past several decades requires …

Getting It Right With Tech In Africa: A Chat With Tim Harris

November 24th, 2021


In today’s episode, Marie-Noelle sits with Tim Harris to discuss BPO, tech, service sectors and the opportunities for job creation. The gains however …

Are we really practising democracy?: A discussion with Rhoda Osei-Afful

November 17th, 2021


According to Afrobaromter, Africans want more democracy than they are getting. Why is democracy so important? What does more democracy entail? How can we deepen the democratic project?

Find out more in this week’s chat …

Career spotlight pt 2: What it's really like to be a finance minister with Malado Kaba

November 10th, 2021


This week we bring you the second half of our conversation with Guinea's former finance minister, Malado Kaba, who sat down with Marie-Noelle to …

Career spotlight pt 1: What it's really like to be a finance minister with Malado Kaba

November 3rd, 2021


Malado Kaba, first female Minister of Economy and Finance of Guinea, sits down with Marie-Noelle to discuss the difficult trade-offs in …

The case for an active approach to foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa

October 27th, 2021


Ever wondered why Africa misses the mark attracting FDI?

Summits, targets, and envoys are a good start to attracting much needed FDI to Africa, but they will not be enough. We need a more active and targeted approach by …

Financing Africa’s growth – a chat with Dr Yakama Manty Jones

October 20th, 2021


The Brenthurst Foundation presents an interview with Dr Yakama Manty Jones, Director of Research and Delivery Division at the Ministry of Finance in Sierra Leone. Yakama reflects on the financing options that are …

Developing a new narrative for growth: A chat with President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia

October 13th, 2021


Over the past couple of years, Zambia has been in the news but not for flattering reasons: mounting debt and increasing mismanagement of the country's macroeconomic indicators. Today, the narrative has turned as many …

On good leadership and deepening democracy in Africa: a chat with Riva Levinson

September 29th, 2021


In today’s episode, Riva Levinson of KRL International joins Marie-Noelle in discussing good political leadership, what it takes to deepen democracy …

Youth Leadership in Africa: Why are Africa's leaders so old if it's populations are so young?

September 22nd, 2021


Young people across the world are well adept to 21st Century life and issues which come with it, making them well-equipped to take positions of power. However, when it comes to Africa, do the young of today lack the …

Resilience and Adaptation: How the SA Future Trust supported SMME's through the pandemic

September 15th, 2021


The SA Future Trust was was established in March 2020 with a view to provide financial support to SMME's across the country. One and a half years on, how has it helped support the people of South Africa and what further …

When the cameras stop rolling: A life in journalism with Daniel Makokera

September 8th, 2021


What’s it like meeting those in power? How are they really when the camera’s are turned off? What does it taketo become a top African journalist?

This week, Marie-Noelle speaks to Daniel Makokera, a veteran newscaster …

A Masterclass in designing a fit for purpose foreign policy for South Africa with Peter Fabricius

September 1st, 2021


South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) recognises that it needs to focus more on economic diplomacy, including upskilling its diplomats to promote trade and investment.

But this …

Afghanistan After the West’s Withdrawal

August 25th, 2021


Between 2001 and 2019, two million men and women from abroad served in Afghanistan, and more than $2 trillion was expended, an extraordinary, once-in-a-generation commitment of resources to a poor country, a staggering …

Averting South Africa's Political Crisis: Is UBI the answer?

August 18th, 2021


The recent unrest that took hold across parts of South Africa, following the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma, put inequality back in the …

Improving Nigeria’s business environment: A chat with Dr Jumoke Oduwole

June 2nd, 2021


The Ease of Doing Business indicator is a system that ranks the regulatory environment of countries around the world. Over time, the ranking, …

On US-Africa relations: A conversation with Ambassador J. Peter Pham

May 26th, 2021


The US foreign policy approach to Africa has remained remarkably consistent since the Clinton administration. As President Biden’s State Department …

Diaspora engagement: Harnessing the developmental power of the international community

May 19th, 2021


Diaspora communities play an integral role in the economic, cultural and developmental growth of their countries of origin. 

However, research …

The case for industry without smokestacks: Leveraging BPO services to address unemployment in Africa

May 12th, 2021


Industries without smokestacks – tradable services like tourism and transport – could hold the key to future meaningful employment for millions …

The future of work: A pathway to employment in Africa with Sharmi Surianarain

May 5th, 2021


Automation. Artificial intelligence. Remote working. These are just some of the terms and phrases often deployed in conversations around the ‘fourth …

Engaged capital: A path to strengthening Africa’s post-pandemic recovery

April 28th, 2021


According to the IMF, Africa was home to the world's five fastest growing economies prior to the pandemic. Much has been written of the continent's …

The rapid urbanisation of African cities: How to avoid a demographic crisis

April 21st, 2021


Africa’s cities are growing. Fast. Some 500 million people live in one of the continent’s already burgeoning metropolises. Another 800 million are …

The power of technology: Preparing today's youth for tomorrow's digital world

April 14th, 2021


Technology - how can we leverage its power to improve lives and equip the youth of today with the right skills for a digital world of tomorrow?

The …

We're taking a break this week

March 29th, 2021


We’re taking a break from the podcast this week, but fear not, we’ve got a load of great new content lined up that will be coming out shortly.

Lessons from COVID-19: Building a more resilient continent

March 24th, 2021


Crisis planning is critical to the success of any government. But how can you plan for the unknown?

Fellow at The Brenthurst Foundation, Richard …

Philanthropy and development: Funding Africa’s growth

March 17th, 2021


Philanthropy has played a significant role in the lives of many through charitable donations, funding businesses and stop gap public good provisions. …

Driving trade across Southern Africa: A route diagnostic from South Africa to Malawi, via Mozambique

March 10th, 2021


The Brenthurst Foundation’s Director, Dr. Greg Mills, has been known to embark on some epic adventures in his time.

This week, he spoke to

On AfCFTA: How can Africa win this time around?

March 3rd, 2021


This week Marie-Noelle invites one of The Brenthurst Foundation’s newest members, Deputy Research Director Emmanuel Owusu-Sekyere, to offer his …

South Africa’s greatest economic adversary... itself: Finding common ground for growth with Ray Hartley

February 24th, 2021


This week we're going in house, The Brenthurst Foundation Research Director Ray Hartley sits down with Marie-Noelle to discuss how South Africa …

Picking your battles: The reality of managing COVID-19 in the face of insecurity - An interview with David Kilcullen

February 17th, 2021


Increasing pressure is being put on African nations to get Covid-19 outbreaks under control, but how easy is it to prioritise Covid-19 when you're …

The elephant in the room: Can AfCFTA work? An interview with TMEA CEO Frank Matsaert

February 10th, 2021


The potential benefits of the AfCFTA are endless and many have called it a 'game changer', 'revolutionary and 'Africa's next biggest break'. 

Join in …

Reflections on The Asian Aspiration - Agriculture & Green Revolution

December 23rd, 2020


Marie-Noelle Nwokolo presents the final episode of this mini-series on agriculture and green development. 

Hear Prof David Henley, author Joe …

Reflections on The Asian Aspiration - Accountability In Governance

December 16th, 2020


While some African governments have sought to crush corruption, almost all have failed in preventing it from enveloping the continent.  An accountability deficit has bred poor governance. But how do you tackle this?

Reflections on The Asian Aspiration - Culture: A Continental Mind Set?

December 9th, 2020


Is there an Asian or an African mindset? Are there cultural variations that help explain the differing development trajectories of these continents?

Reflections on The Asian Aspiration - Globalisation and Regional Development

December 2nd, 2020


How vital is policy continuation in promoting development? Are regional success stories important in showing the way for others? What can Asia’s …

Reflections on The Asian Aspiration - Foreign Aid: Help or Hindrance?

November 25th, 2020


Following on from The Asian Aspiration podcast launched earlier this year, The Brenthurst Foundation presents a new seven-part podcast series: …

Bonus Episode: The Asian Aspiration Introductory Chapter

October 5th, 2020


Thank you for listening in to the Introductory Chapter of the book, The Asian Aspiration: Why and How Africa Should Emulate Asia – and What It Should …

The ANC and Zimbabwe

August 21st, 2020


What can be done to fix Zimbabwe and how should South Africa approach its wayward neighbour? Join host Greg Mills as he talks to Lindiwe Zulu, the …

The Prospect of Building an Opposition Coalition in South Africa

August 12th, 2020


Can South Africa's opposition find more in common than what separates them and join together to unseat the ruling ANC?

Listen to Herman Mashaba and …

The Lessons from Malawi's Election for Southern Africa's Opposition

August 12th, 2020


What are the lessons for the opposition in other Southern African countries? Greg Mills talked to one of the region’s most courageous opposition leaders, Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema, about what lessons he learned from …

The Economic Costs of South Africa's Lockdown

August 12th, 2020


Listen to Professor Haroon Bhorat, Tim Cohen, Greg Mills and Henning Suhr on the state of the economy after lockdown. 

For more information on the webinar and other Brenthurst Foundation activities head to:

Malawi's Moment of Truth: The Presidential Election Second Time Around

August 11th, 2020


On 19 June 2020, Greg Mills hosted Lazarus Chakwera, leader of the Malawi Congress Party, Dr Boniface Dulani of the Institute of Public Research and …

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