Sandy Lowitt obtained a Baccalaur ©at International in Geneva and went on to complete a Master of Commerce (MCom) degree in economics at the University of the Witwatersrand. She taught Economics at Wits University until 1994 when she joined the Gauteng Department of Finance and Economic Affairs. She still lectures part-time at Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).
In her 11 years in the Gauteng government, Sandy was responsible for the development and maintenance of a provincial economic database, the drafting of the provincial Trade and Industrial Strategy, the development of various agencies such as Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) and Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA), negotiating international economic agreements between the province and its counterparts, and the creation and operation of the province's strategic economic infrastructure programme, Blue IQ.
As the CEO of Blue IQ Holdings and as the strategic operating officer of Blue IQ, Sandy was on the board of directors of seven of Blue IQ's subsidiary companies. She chaired, for instance, the Board of the Innovation Hub, that of the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), that of the Automotive Supplier Park and that of the Newtown Development Company.
In 2005 Sandy left the Gauteng government and became a consultant. She has been working with the Economic Development and Growth Initiative (EDGI) at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) since 2005, focusing on sectoral studies and industrial policy issues. During this period she has also worked with various government departments, research organisations and donor programmes.
The seminar will be chaired by Professor Mike Morris [BA (UCT) BA Hons (UCT) MA (Sussex) PhD (Sussex)]
Visiting Professor and Principal Researcher, School of Economics, University of Cape Town and Research Professor, School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Professor Morris has a long engagement in policy oriented research, working with government, and assisting firms and industries. He has assisted the South African Department of Trade and Industry, the provincial governments of KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Northern Province with industrial policy work. He has also worked with the International Trade Centre (Geneva) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Vienna). He has undertaken research and policy work for a number of international agencies including the European Union (EU), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), DANSET, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).
He has published widely in the areas of globalization, the impact of Asian Drivers on Africa, global value chains and international competitiveness, industrial development and policy, clusters and learning networks, sectors and innovation, and economic development. He is also director of a company (Benchmarking and Manufacturing Analysts) which assists firms and government with upgrading, competitiveness and industrial strategies. He currently Heads a networking project, PRISM (Policy Research in International Services and Manufacturing) in the School of Economics at UCT.