JOHANNESBURG - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday named Trudi Makhaya as his economic advisor.
This comes after Ramaphosa appointed former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas, executive chairperson of Afropulse Group Phumzile Langeni, and chairman of Liberty Group Jacko Maree, as the president's special envoys on investment.
Makhaya is a writer, economist and entrepreneur. She has served as an advisor and angel investor in young companies and held non-executive directorships at Vumelana Advisory Fund and MTN South Africa.
Makhaya was the principal economist and a member of the executive committee at the Competition Commission of South Africa from 2010 to 2014, assessing the competitive effects of mergers and acquisitions, analysing complex competition enforcement cases and appearing as an expert witness at the Competition Tribunal.
Prior to joining the Competition Commission, she held various management consulting and corporate roles at Deloitte South Africa, Genesis Analytics and AngloGold Ashanti.
Makhaya holds an MBA and an MSc in Development Economics from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes scholar. From the University of Witwatersrand, she holds an MCom in Economics, an honours degree in economics and a BCom in Law and Economics.
Ramaphosa said that Makhaya's duties would include coordinating the work of investment envoys as they crisscross the globe trying to attract at least US$100 billion in new foreign direct investment to the South African economy over the next five years.
The group will be travelling to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors, and also seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo.
"Among her immediate responsibilities will be the coordination of the work of these special envoys and a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the Investment Conference," Ramaphosa said.
"The engagements that we expect to take place will also be part of a process towards the establishment of a presidential council on investment."
Ramaphosa departs for London on Monday evening to lead a South African delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this week.
"We will use this opportunity to meet with several major global companies to brief them on recent developments in the country and on our assessment of the economic challenges, risks and opportunities. We will be communicating a clear and consistent message – that South Africa is an investment destination with significant unrealized potential," Ramaphosa said.
"We also have a youthful population, an improving basic education system and significantly expanded higher education enrollment. In other words, despite the challenges, we are working hard to build our skills base."