BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer Jersey Bluesin first placein GSAC South Brookdale men beat No. 2 Gloucester in GSAC tilt Jersey Blues in first place in GSAC South BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer It was only round one of a possible three, but it didn’t diminish Brookdale Community College’s thrilling 65-62 win over previously undefeated Gloucester. Brookdale knocked off the No. 2-ranked team in the country on Jan. 20 in Lincroft behind a strong inside game provided by Miguel Rodriguez and clutch shooting from Jerome Hubbard. Trailing 60-59, the Neptune graduate Hubbard buried a 25-foot trey that put the Blues up 62-60 with 1:21 remaining in the game. He then added three free throws to extend the lead to 65-60 — paving the way for the huge Garden State Athletic Conference game that had national ramifications. “Games like this make you grow,” said BCC head coach Paul Cisek. “It was a great game. They’re good, real good, and so are we. We played a great game. “A couple of guys stepped up for us off the bench,” he added. Dennys Gomez, from Perth Amboy provided a big lift in the first half when Brookdale was struggling. He scored six points and provided a lot of energy. “He gave us a lot of good time,” Cisek said. The 6-4 Jenkins, out of New Brunswick, helped Brookdale dominate the paint coming up with 16 points. “We went with our inside power game really for the first time this year,” Cisek said. The Blues have become an outside-inside team this winter with their outside shooting setting up their inside game. Against the second-ranked Roadrunners, the Jersey Blues looked to pound the ball inside, especially in the second half where Gloucester had no answer for the 6-7 Rodriguez. “Rodriguez dominated the second half,” Cisek said. “He scored, rebounded and blocked shots.” The sophomore from Milford Academy led the team with 17 points and 13 rebounds. In a game where no team enjoyed more than a four-point lead at any one time, it was the outside shot that saved the day for Brookdale. Hubbard’s rainbow three turned the tide in Brookdale’s favor. Hubbard had 14 points, three assists, three blocks and two assists. Brookdale improved its record to 13-4 overall, but 7-0 in the GSAC Southern Division and now, all alone in first place. Gloucester fell to 15-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference. The two teams will play again on Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. in a game that will probably decide the division title and top seeding for the Region XIX tournament, where they could meet for a third time. The Jersey Blues are the defending Region champions. The 65-62 win over Gloucester was another sign that the young Jersey Blues have grown up. “We never became rattled, they just went out and did their thing,” noted Cisek. “We’re a much more athletic team this year and that was a factor.” With Rodriguez, 6-4 Devin Davis (Red Bank Regional), 6-4 Jenkins and 6-4 Joe Leone (Middletown North), the Blues can go big against anyone. They made life difficult for Gloucester. Brookdale also has depth in the backcourt with the eligibility of transfer Jamar Pressley, a true point guard. The addition of Pressley, another Neptune grad and former teammate of Hubbard, has allowed Hubbard to move to his natural position — the two guard. The Blues now have a very strong backcourt that can handle the pressure and get after teams. Gomez can also play the point and swing player Kelvin DeLosAngeles (Perth Amboy) has allowed Cisek to alternate his four guards as a unit. Brookdale did not get caught basking in the glory of its win over Gloucester as the Blues bounced Atlantic Cape, Thursday night in Mays Landing, 86-65. Jenkins led a balanced attack with 18 points, followed by 17 from Rodriguez and 16 from DeLosAngeles. The Blues improved to 8-0 in the conference and 14-4 overall. Brookdale is home tomorrow night against Ocean at 7 and on the road Tuesday at Middlesex. The Jersey Blues return to Lincroft for games against Mercer, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. and Salem on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m., before embarking on a three-game road trip that includes the Feb. 12 stop in Gloucester. Brookdale finishes the regular season with a pair of home games, Camden Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. and Morris Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
By Tony JimenezCHELSEA must add a new dimension to their brand of football if the champions are to mount a strong defence of the Premier League title they won in some comfort last season, said manager Jose Mourinho.The Stamford Bridge club finished eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City in May but Mourinho said his players had to continue to evolve and could not afford to simply stand still.“We are trying to add new qualities to our game to improve what we did in the past,” the Portuguese told reporters during Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the United States.“We are trying to be a little more unpredictable because opponents know us well and we want to go to the season with high motivation.“The title cannot give us bad things, it can only give us good things. The good things are confidence and motivation for more,” said Mourinho.Chelsea played a free-flowing style in the first half of last season but when injuries, suspensions and loss of form kicked in after Christmas they started to adopt a more cautious, pragmatic approach in order to grind out results.Mourinho’s men have been big spenders in the past but they have been almost frugal with their close-season expenditure compared to Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, and Mourinho said it would be a “great challenge” to try and retain the title.While City, United and Liverpool have splashed out vast sums of money to strengthen their resources, the Londoners have merely tinkered with their squad.Club favourites Petr Cech and Didier Drogba have moved on to pastures new and been replaced by former Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao who had an indifferent spell on loan at United last season.“I have only one objective and that is to win the next game,” said Mourinho. “I have no other objective apart from trying to improve and improve and improve.“It’s a great challenge to improve our team basically without new players, apart from Begovic and Falcao. I’m more than happy with that and the players are receiving this challenge with open arms.“Every day we work really hard to try to improve and I see great motivation in the players. They are happy because we are the same group…because myself and the club have shown loyalty to them,” added Mourinho.“We’ve said, ‘You are the champions, you made us champions, we trust you. Even if the other clubs have made huge investment we stick with you, we believe in you’.”Chelsea, who have won the Premier League four times in 11 seasons, lost 1-0 to Cech’s new team Arsenal in Sunday’s Community Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser to the new campaign.Mourinho’s men then kick off their league fixtures with a home game against Swansea City on August 8.
Mohamed Salah is keen to make a decisive contribution in Saturday’s Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur and help lay to rest the demons of Liverpool’s nightmare defeat by Real Madrid a year ago.Salah injured his shoulder in a coming together with Real defender Sergio Ramos during last year’s final in Kiev and was forced to leave the field with half an hour played.Liverpool went on to lose 3-1 and their Egyptian forward is fired up by the thought of scoring the winner this time around and helping his team claim their sixth European Cup.“I hope I can play the full game this time. I’m very excited,” Salah told reporters on Tuesday. “I hope we can right what happened last season, get a good result and win the competition.“Scoring the winner is not just dream. I hope it becomes a reality and I score in the final.”Salah also said Liverpool had learnt their lessons from last year’s disappointment and that the team was better off for the experience.“This is our second final in a row,” he added. “We lost the first but everything feels better this time around and we have more experience than last time.“I hope we can win it. It will be tough. This is a final and no opponent would have been easy… It is harder because Tottenham is an English side.”
Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Generika-Ayala trumps debuting Cocolife LATEST STORIES Zaghi and Corsame went head-to-head after the two sided went scoreless during the duration of the 10-minute match.Both muffed a couple of chances to score before the Brazilian striker found the right technique to outwit the 20-year-old Corsame, who plays for Arellano University in the NCAA.Zaghi’s goal triggered a wild celebration from Naxional and sent Corsame into tears as he met his teammates.“I felt so disappointed because we weren’t able to win it,” Corsame said in Filipino. “We really want to represent the Philippines in Brazil but we failed. I guess it’s just not for us.”But the way Tondo made its way to the Finals seemed as if the trip to Brazil and compete against the world’s best in street football was the team’s fate.Corsame and the rest of his teammates were just late replacements after Chieffy Caligdong and Co. begged off just hours before Saturday’s quarterfinals began.Mark Balbin, one of Corsame’s teammates said they only knew about it around nine in the morning. They got the call after Tondo finished next to Caligdong’s Baggie FC in the Qualifier B rankings.But that’s not to say Tondo had it easy.The team, flaunting its quickness and cohesiveness, had to take down Strafford FC and Manila Tala in impressive fashion.But the clock finally struck midnight ending Tondo’s Cinderella run against a fancied Naxional side, which dominated the qualifying round last week to emerge as favorites in the playoffs. MOST READ Here’s @hectorzaghi‘s winning goal earlier that secured Naxional’s ticket to Brazil in #NeymarJrsFive Finals pic.twitter.com/JfyYhbHynW— Mark Giongco (@MarkGiongcoINQ) March 4, 2017ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. China counts sharp rise in coronavirus cases, 2 in Beijing The winner will get to compete in the Neymar Jr’s Five World Final at Instituto Projeto NeymarJr in Praia Grande late this year.Zaghi, a United Football League veteran, lofted the ball over Robert Corsame and into the back of the net in a culmination of what had been an fiery match between two very competitive squads.“I was just looking to score and that was it. I couldn’t think, I’m kind of afraid because the other boy is skillful. I know he (Corsame) plays for the Azkals’ under-22 national team,” Zaghi told INQUIRER.net.“We both played it safe but I think my experience, I’ve been playing for a while, counted in that last goal.”READ: ‘Neymar Jr’s Five’ football tournament reaches ManilaADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘bookies’ bet collectors held in Quezon Naxional is made up of Mark Daniel Rivera, Miguel Artillera, Roberto Orlandez, Ahmed Abdalla and celebrity Daniel Matsunaga.In a class act, Matsunaga went on to give his spot to Corsame.“These kids deserve to be the winners. That’s why I gave all the prizes to them and my ticket to one of them. I know it’s their dream,” said Matsunaga. “I just felt bad because I know how hard their lives are and it’s just sad that they lost and the guys are crying. And if I can do something, I would.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Taal Volcano continues to emit steam, ash from weak explosions Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Panelo now believes Esperon on Duterte inclusion on NPA ‘kill list’ PLAY LIST 01:36Panelo now believes Esperon on Duterte inclusion on NPA ‘kill list’03:22The decision on the Maguindanao Massacre case01:54SEA Games: Tabugara delivers wushu gold for PH01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Beggar dead in Quezon hit-and-run incident Hector Zaghi scored the winning goal and Naxional booked a trip to Brazil after edging Tondo, 1-0, in a sudden death in Neymar Jr’s Five Finals Saturday at Sparta Philippines in Mandaluyong.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe tournament, which was held in the Philippines for the first time, is out of the ordinary football game with each team fielding only five players at a time in a street-style setting.The match lasts for only 10 minutes and in case of a tie after the time expires, a one-on-one will settle it with the first player to score winning it for his team. View comments
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The sophomore guard filled the stat sheet with eight points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals in the Tamaraws’ 61-55 loss to University of the Philippines Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Gonzales said he feels elated to be part of the starting lineup but also pressured with the newfound responsibility.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4“There is pressure for me but I also enjoy what I hear from other people rather than dwell negatively on it. For me, I’m just enjoying the ride,” said Gonzales in Filipino.FEU head coach Olsen Racela was impressed with how Gonzales fared, taking into consideration that the sophomore “played backup to the backup point guard.” Dwight Howard eager to make most of 2nd chance with Lakers Heart Evangelista, Kim Chiu, more celebs appeal for animal rescue after Taal eruption LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gonzales was Racela’s third-string point guard behind Axel Iñigo and Jasper Parker in Season 81 and he averaged 4.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 0.9 assists.“That’s the story of college basketball, players graduate and new players come in,” said Racela, who shrugged off Gonzales’ 3-of-14 shooting line. “If given the opportunity, they should show that they could take responsibility.”“I don’t really look at the scoring, LJ is an all-around player. There’s also his pressure defense. We’re investing in the youth and LJ is our present and future.”Gonzales, meanwhile, wanted to show his team that he’s not a one-dimensional player.“That’s what I wanted to do,” said Gonzales. “I want to show my team what I can do and help them in any way I can.”ADVERTISEMENT Canada yet to decide if it will pay Harry and Meghan security costs Residents rescue horses, farm animals left on volcano island Robredo to visit Batangas families displaced by Taal erruption UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims PLAY LIST 01:32UAAP Season 81: Racela says he’ll be ‘surprised’ if Ateneo loses a game in elims02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball01:52Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption MANILA, Philippines—LJ Gonzales had to work his way into the starting lineup of Far Eastern University in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament, and he did not disappoint in his first game as a starter.ADVERTISEMENT Teen dead, another hurt in vehicular collision in Santiago City MOST READ No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist LOOK: Kryz Uy, Slater Young expecting first son For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. View comments
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is confident his players can cope with the pressure of the Championship promotion race and secure the points they need to reach the Premier League.The Cherries, riding high at the top of the table for much of the season, slipped to second after conceding a late equaliser against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.But despite the setback, automatic promotion is still in their hands with two games to go, and Howe is backing his side, who have Bolton and Charlton left to play, to get the job done.Speaking to Hawksbee and Jacobs on Monday, he said: “Our players have been top of the league for the majority of the season so we have got used to the pressure and the players have dealt with it very well.“I don’t think much changes from our perspective, regardless of the results [elsewhere]. We know we have to win our last two games and that is what we are trying to focus on.“It’s been exciting to be part of and, from our perspective, we’re just hoping to get over the line and get the job done.“We are on a really good run of form. We drew on the weekend and it was a disappointment to concede so late, but our recent form has been very strong and we have just got to keep it going for the last two.“We have a little break now which gives us a chance to get back on the training ground and get over the disappointment of the recent result and look forward to Bolton on Monday. It could be one of the biggest games, if not the biggest game, in the club’s history.”
5:15 p.m.Santa Fe High School faces host La Serna Thursday night in a crucial Del Rio League football game, and the Chiefs may need to find a running game that has eluded them much of this season. As effective as QB Angel Molina is when he’s on track, a beefed up running attack would make his job easier. Junior Miguel Garcia is averaging an impressive 6.2 yards per carry, but he leads the team in rushing with only 322 yards. Anthony Santana, the player coach Jack Mahlstede figured would be instrumental on the ground game this season, has been hampered with injuries and has only 212 yards on 44 carries. The player La Serna must try to contain is wide receiver/defensive back/return specialist Romeo Pellum, whose speed is a problem for opponents on both sides of the ball. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Oh, Old Key West! From you, we sailed awayTo a land of dining and imbibing blissOther adventures began with transport steps away. Share This!With Valentine’s Day a month out, we’re looking at some places at Walt Disney World that offer the chance for couples to get away from the usual park experience and enjoy some romance – Disney style. Disney’s Old Key West Resort is a surprisingly great resort pick if you are looking for some Disney romance with your significant other. At least it was a surprise to my husband and me when we made a recent adults-only getaway and stayed there for the first time.As Disney Vacation Club members, we often plan our trips months in advance, but this trip was planned within a much shorter time frame. Old Key West is one of the DVC resorts that is more likely to have availability when planning just a couple months out.We were thrilled to find a room there for our dates. While we were excited for our first stay at this resort, what we didn’t expect was how much a part Old Key West would play in the overall romantic mood of the trip.Covered walkway leading to the riverfrontSo here’s a rundown of reasons why you should consider Old Key West Resort when planning your next couples trip to Disney World.Disney Romance Factor 1: SettingOld Key West’s layout is very spread out, with a central Hospitality House and two- to three-story buildings in pastel colors throughout several “neighborhoods.” This layout, especially for the buildings that are a bit tucked away, is extremely conducive to the feeling of privacy that enhances romance. The abundant foliage, palm trees, water features, and golf course fairways create an atmosphere of relaxation and seclusion away from the busy parks.The slow pace extends to the Hospitality House where you can wander with your sweetie under a wide covered walkway that opens onto the riverfront and dock area. Upon arrival at the resort, take a stroll together through the walkway out to the river. This transition creates a similar reveal, and a feeling of “you are here,” as when walking under the railroad station into Magic Kingdom’s Town Square—but without the crowds. This first impression of the resort was one of the earliest indications that our time at Old Key West would be even more relaxing and romantic than we expected. And now that we have partedI will remember this and think upon our returnPixie dust and romance at Old Key West. Disney Romance Factor 2: Mornings and afternoons on the patioOne of our absolute favorite features of this resort was our room’s patio. Late nights in the parks meant leisurely mornings enjoying our coffee overlooking a pond, reading, and hearing the satisfying thwack of golf balls from across the way. The patio was also a great setting for snacking on cheese & crackers and wine during our late afternoon breaks. We ended up spending way more time enjoying our quiet patio than we ever get to do when the kids are along. Although I expected more of this type of relaxation on an adults-only trip, it was even more special for the two of us because of the peaceful landscape just outside our door.Disney Romance Factor 3: Quiet PoolOur room was in the Turtle Pond neighborhood of Old Key West, and it was a short walk to the neighborhood’s Old Turtle Pond quiet pool. I’ll admit that I’m not a swimmer. Unless it’s really, really (really) hot, I prefer to read and enjoy a beverage by the pool while the rest of the family plays in the water, so my husband got a surprise when I suggested taking a dip. The fact that the quiet pool was in fact quiet meant that we could just relax and talk in the warm water. Very romantic!Old Turtle Pond quiet pool (photo by Len Testa) Those who neglect to consider youShould sit and reflect with another upon a peaceful patioOr cool off together in a pool of tranquility. Oh, Old Key West! Home of respiteYour soft breezes and stirring palms inspire romanceYour airy spaces of hospitality and wide expanses of greenAll evoke an amorous setting. Disney Romance Factor 4: Dining optionsOn our arrival day, we got to the resort just before lunch. We had planned to grab a quick bite before heading off to the parks, maybe at the main pool’s quick service location. What we found was a much better option to start off a relaxing just-the-two-of-us trip. We walked right into Olivia’s Cafe. I had heard that this table service restaurant could be walk-in, but I had to see it to believe it. And after the great experience we had there the first time, we walked in twice more during our trip. All three times, we had the same fantastic server, and it was nice to be recognized as “regulars.”Another excellent dining option when staying at Old Key West is to take the resort’s boat transportation to Disney Springs. With all the restaurant and bar options now at Disney Springs, we make it a point on just about every trip to get over there for some progressive drinking and dining. But taking the boat added a new dimension of romance.Disney Romance Factor 5: Parking?What? How can parking be romantic? No, not that kind of parking. I’m talking about the fact that you can just plain park right outside your room at Old Key West after a long day at the park. Or simply walk outside your door in the morning to your car just steps away. Knowing this before our trip, we decided to rent a car. Yes, after many trips to Disney World when we have, for the most part happily, shared transportation with the masses (and our children), having our alone time extend to our trips to and from the parks enhanced the romance. Having a car also made it easy for us to swing by one of our favorite spots, Territory Lounge at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, for some drinks (and wings) one night.Disney Romance Pro Tip: Create Your Own Pixie DustIf you are looking to impress your romantic partner on a Disney trip, I can vouch that a special gift will add just the right amount of pixie dust—and earn you some major points. My husband had Disney Floral and Gifts deliver some pixie dust to our room, and I brought home a treasured souvenir. They can deliver to any Disney resort, but the fact is I will always remember Old Key West was where I was surprised one afternoon with a special gift box.At what resorts, have you found romance? If your trip was as rejuvenating as ours at Old Key West, you may be moved to pay tribute by writing a line or two, like this:
1 August 2005South Africa’s Roland Schoeman can rightfully claim to be the fastest swimmer in the world after winning the 50 metres freestyle at the FINA World Championships in Montreal on the weekend.He flew through the water to touch in 21.69 seconds, the second-fastest time in history, bettered only by the world record of 21.64 secured by the legendary Russian Alexander Popov. Schoeman’s time was also a huge improvement on his own African record of 21.98.Second goldThis victory won Schoeman his second gold medal of the championships, improving his overall haul to two gold medals and a silver. The other gold came in the 50 metres butterfly in a world record 22.96, while the silver was in the 100 metres freestyle in 48.28.In the lead-up to the race, Schoeman was ill with a chest problem, but he believes it helped him swim better in the final. He felt being sick took some pressure off him to perform. “You don’t know what to expect,” he said.Looking back on his performances in Montreal, Schoeman conceded that he was a little surprised by his success: “I really didn’t expect this,” he admitted.His victory in the 50 metres freestyle proved a real confidence booster, with Schoeman reckoning afterwards that he could improve on Popov’s record. He’ll get the chance to do just that on Wednesday at a meeting in the US.Disappointment for NeethlingWhile Schoeman stole the spotlight with his sensational swim, the 50 metres freestyle proved a huge disappointment for Ryk Neethling, who surprisingly missed out on a place in the semi-finals.Nonetheless, the two men accounted for South Africa’s total medal haul of two golds, a silver and two bronzes.That left SA in 10th place on the medal table, behind Zimbabwe, who had Kirsty Coventry to thank for winning two gold medals and two silvers, and just ahead of the Netherlands, who won two golds, a silver and a bronze.The US topped the table followed by Australia, China, Russia and host Canada.Two bronzesFor Neethling, the FINA World Championships saw him making it onto the podium in an individual event at a major world event after 12 years of international competition, when he won bronze in both the 100 and 200 metres freestyle.Neethling started his career as a 1 500 metres specialist before making the switch to sprint events. So his results in Montreal are the cherry on the top of an amazing achievement.Schoeman started out as a sprint specialist – 50 metres events only. But he has now proved he is one of the world’s elite 100 metres freestyle swimmers, after winning silver medals at both the Olympic Games and the World Championships. He also showed that he is a real threat over 50 metres in butterfly and freestyle, beating the best at major world meetings. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
1 December 2014South Africa’s economy is more connected to the global economy than its peers in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Visa Africa Integration Index.The country scored the highest on the index, improving from 61.1 at the start of 2011 to 66.7 at the end of 2013.The index tracks 11 countries divided into key country clusters in sub-Saharan Africa, revealing strengths and areas of growth potential. The clusters are:West Africa: Ghana and NigeriaEast Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and TanzaniaSouthern Africa: South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and ZambiaThe 11 constituent countries are highly representative of the region, with a combined population of 437 million people, or 55% of the total population.South Africa scored highest amongst the 11 countries for global integration with a score of 42.6 out of 50. Kenya scored highest for regional integration, scoring 27.5 out of 50, narrowly overtaking Ghana. But all 11 countries were a long way off the global median of 50.Visa in South Africa launched the second annual Visa Africa Integration Index on Tuesday, 25 November. It measures the degree of economic integration within key trade corridors of sub-Saharan Africa, namely West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.DataThe purpose of the index is to better understand and to help facilitate economic growth from greater cross-border interaction and economic openness.Mandy Lamb, the country manager of Visa South Africa, said: “Since the launch of the Visa Africa Integration Index in 2013 the African economy has extended its best period of economic growth on record by delivering growth of 4.8% in 2013.“Our objective was to construct an index for a number of selected sub-Saharan African countries to measure their global and regional integration. The index is built from country-level macroeconomic data and a wealth of proprietary data.“The final outputs are economic integration scores at the country and regional levels measured on a semi-annual basis for the period 2011 to 2013,” Lamb said.BuoyantLamb noted that it was widely expected that buoyant economic growth would continue for the foreseeable future and it was likely that the African economy would achieve a growth rate approaching 5.5% in 2014, with a collective gross domestic product of over $1.9-trillion – a figure that is expected to exceed $2.6-trillion by 2020.The study was carried out in conjunction with Prof Adrian Saville, visiting professor of economics at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in Johannesburg, and Dr Lyal White, director of the Centre for Dynamic Markets and a senior lecturer at GIBS.Four key metrics to measure integration were used: the flow of goods and services or trade, financial integration and the movement of capital, the flow of information and knowledge, and the movement of people. This model assigned a numeric value to the level of integration, with the global median score being 100.FindingsDespite a modest base, the countries surveyed have undergone positive structural transformation over the past decade. All 11 countries showed improvements in economic integration.In some cases the improvements were modest: Zimbabwe and Uganda recorded gains in integration that amount to 0.5% a year and 1.2% a year, respectively. In other cases the gains were swift and substantial. Rwanda’s index score rose by just less than 20% over the three years. Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia all recorded robust single-digit improvements in economic integration.The analysis also considered the depth and breadth of integration, and how integrated each country was globally and regionally. In terms of “depth”, a country is considered to be “deeply integrated” if the economy is particularly open and highly connected to the rest of the world. Integration only becomes “deep and broad” if a highly connected economy is engaged with a wide variety of counter parties across the different strands of its global relationships.Structural improvementsWhile South Africa scored highest for global depth (48.3 against the global median of 50) and global breadth (36.9); Mozambique scored highest for regional depth (27.3); and Kenya had the highest score for regional breadth (40.9).Notably, none of these scores achieved the global median of 50, pointing to the need for further structural improvements.“Findings around openness and increased integration have important implications for the socio-economic advance of African economies based on at least two structural drivers,” said Lamb. “Firstly, African economies are substantially unconnected to the rest of the world. Secondly, African economies largely are unconnected to each other.“Africa stands to gain from a sustained structural benefit brought about by the opening up of African economies to each other and to the world at large.”Source: Visa