ERSA is a National Funded programme designed to both broaden the scope of economic research in South Africa, and to deepen its quality in order to ensure greater international exposure of economic research conducted in Southern Africa.
Toward this end ERSA publishes a Working Paper series, provides financial incentives to researchers to publish their papers in peer reviewed scholarly journals, run Workshop programmes in 5 core research areas, and provides extensive support to graduate students in economics in Southern Africa.
For the Working and Policy Paper series of ERSA, the number of published papers has now risen to 362. During the course of 2012/13 ERSA has switched from a manual submission system to an electronic system in order to facilitate the administration of the work flow surrounding the editorial process. The web site portal can be found at http://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/ersa
Publications in peer reviewed journals associated with the ERSA paper series also continues to rise steadily. The number of published papers has now risen to 156, of which 119 have appeared in international journals, and 37 in national journals.
Workshop activity continues across research groups. During 2012-2013, 7 workshops were held, and attendance at the workshops continues to represent a diverse representation of national institutions and demographics. A total of more than 186 institutions, of which 127 were South African, have been represented at ERSA workshops from the inception of the programme.
During 2012/13, ERSA has appointed its first Policy Associate as a full-time researcher. Biniam Bedasso completed his PhD at the University of Maastricht and served as a Robert McNamara Fellow at the University of Maryland. I would like to welcome Biniam to ERSA and look forward to his contributions to the debate on growth in South Africa. The appointment of further Policy Associates is currently in the process of being finalized.