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Iraj Abedian is the founder and Chief Executive of Pan-African Investment and Research Services (Pty) Ltd and Chairman of Pan-African Capital Holdings (Pty) Ltd. He was professor of economics at the University of Cape Town, before entering the business sector in 2000. He obtained his BA (Honours) and MA in Economics from University of Cape Town (UCT). He received his PhD in Economics from Simon Fraser University in Canada in 1993. He has served as a consultant on economic policy issues to public and private sector organizations in South Africa as well as internationally. His involvement in policy development in South Africa includes: The Transformation of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (1995), the RDP White Paper (1995), Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR 1996), Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF 1997/98), the Presidential Review Commission (PRC 1997/98), membership of the President’s Economic Advisory Panel 2006-2009 and Economic Advisor to Minister of Mineral Resources of SA Government (Feb. 2010 to July 2012).
He is a prolific researcher and has written numerous articles and co-authored books such as:
- Economic Growth in South Africa (Oxford University Press, 1992)
- Transformation in Action: Budgeting for Health Service Delivery (UCT Press, 1998)
- Economics of Tobacco Control: Towards an Optimal Policy Mix (SAMA Press, 1998)
- Economic Globalization and Fiscal Policy (Oxford University Press, 1998)
- Seeking the Ethical Foundations of the South African Nation, Co-edited with Itumeleng Mosala and Jeffrey Sehume (editors) (A MISTRA Publication, Johannesburg, 2018)
- A South African PGM Exchange: Policy Rationale for Financial Beneficiation (A MISTRA Publication, Johannesburg, 2019)
- FutureHow: COVID19, Reimagining Our Collective Future, Co-authored with John Sanei (A publication of Mercury, Burnet Media, April 2020)
- FutureNext: Re-Imagining Our World & Conquering Uncertainty; Co-authored with John Sanei (A publication of Mercury, Burnet Media, October 2020)
During September to December 1999, Dr Abedian was based at the IMF, Washington D.C., working on issues related to fiscal vulnerability assessment. In January 2000, he joined The Standard Bank Group at their head office in Johannesburg as Group Chief Economist. He was appointed Director and Group Economist in April 2000, and was a member of the Standard Bank Group EXCO.
Currently, apart from the companies in the Pan-African Capital portfolio, he serves the following organizations and companies:
- Chairman of the Board of African Marine Solutions (AMSOL) (Pty) Ltd (December 2016 to date)
- Chairman of the Board of In2Fruit (Pty) Ltd (October 2016 to date)
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Auditor General of the SA Government (2006 to date)
- Member of the National Infrastructure Investment Committee (IIC).