Socio-Economic Profile

South Africa is classified as a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources including gold, iron, coal, copper, platinum, and gem diamonds. It possesses well-developed financial, legislative, communications and transport sectors. A modern infrastruc-ture supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the region constitutes a significant asset. The South African macro-economic policies focus on targeting inflation and attractive trade conditions to stimulate employment growth and income levels.

In January 2015, the country‚Äôs unemployment rate decreased to 25 percent from a ten-year high of 26.40 percent, encouraged by more ac-cess to education and migration to the cities, with two-thirds of the population now living in urban areas - an increase from 52% in 1990 to 62%. 

Despite the tremendous gains made in the past 20 years since its lib-eration from apartheid, South Africa continues to battle with some of the legacies of its past inequalities including poor access to services com-pounded by challenges in addressing the high burden of health diseas-es, a key driver of the MEPI initiative.

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