A complex array of regional structures to unite Africa's 54 member countries has created confusion when it comes to economic integration.
Labour strikes, the US's possible intervention in Syria and data from South Africa, China and the UK will determine this week's economic mood.
SA's latest inflation figures, manufacturing updates from China and housing data from the US are some of this week's big items on the data diary.
All eyes are on consumers as the markets wait for updates on the eurozone recession, US consumer sentiment and SA retail sales, writes Matt Quigley.
This week will bring a possible clarification of the US Federal Reserve Bank’s policy intentions, as well as key economic data from China.
Government's work to legislate for the development of special economic zones has been welcomed by business.
But why are politicians so reluctant to admit it and so averse to a neat solution to the eurobond crisis?
Over the coming days, earnings season is due in the US, Europe will update on its industrial production and SA will release manufacturing figures.
Elections in Italy and more debt drama in the US could rattle markets but this week data reigns supreme. Here is your guide to the week ahead.
As people celebrate the Chinese New Year and Latin America's carnival, Barack Obama will give an update on the State of the Union in the week ahead.
Over the coming days, North America, Africa, Asia and Europe will report trade figures illustrating where global demand is strong or falls short.
In the last week of 2012, investors will be waiting for word from the United States on its tax rises and spending cuts due to begin next year.
The CCMA has seen a dramatic increase in the number of referrals since September and this could be a result of the "downturn" in the economy.
M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes talks us through his predictions for the 2012 budget speech.