August 6, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praises Malawi’s president for economic reform.
South Africa gears up for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act extension.
And, secretary-general Blade Nzimande says the South African Communist Party will not abandon the ANC.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a lightning visit to Malawi on Sunday to congratulate its new president, one of only two female heads of State in Africa, for pulling her impoverished country back from the economic brink after a political crisis.
Clinton landed in Malawi's capital Lilongwe and headed directly to a meeting with President Joyce Banda.
Banda, a veteran women's rights campaigner, who had been the country's vice president moved into the top job in April after the death of her erratic predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika.
US officials said Clinton's five-hour visit, the first ever by a US Secretary of State to the Southern African country, was a vote of confidence in Banda, who has moved swiftly to woo back international donors after years of damaging mismanagement under Mutharika.
South Africa has been warned to avoid “complacency” ahead of deliberations by US lawmakers on whether or not to extend the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (or Agoa) beyond September 30, 2015. The Act offers highly favourable, unilateral trade terms for African products entering the world's largest economy.
South Africa's ambassador to the US Ebrahim Rasool has called for a broad-based coalition of government, business and labour to develop a strategy designed at ensuring the extension of Agoa benefits for a "reasonable period" of up to 10 years.
Rasool is concerned with safeguarding South Africa's continued participation, which is being questioned by some observers, who believe that the country's relative development should disqualify it from Agoa’s duty-free access to the US on 6 400 tariff lines.
In a bid to ensure there is no uncertainty over the Act’s future ahead of the 2015 deadline, intense advocacy is being planned from late January 2013, when the new administration and the country’s new lawmakers would be in place.
South African Communist Party (or SACP) general-secretary Blade Nzimande said on Sunday that the SACP would not abandon the ANC despite increasing criticism about the alliance’s relationship.
Speaking at a rally marking the SACP's ninety-first anniversary Ndzimande said its detractors claimed it lacked the courage to stand on its own in elections.
Nzimande asserted that the SACP was one of the driving forces behind what he called "radical ANC policies", and also criticised “professional cynics” who did not acknowledge the country’s accomplishments.
He said the party wanted to see a united African National Congress ahead of its elective conference in Mangaung at the end of the 2012.
Also making headlines:
The ANC ’s proposed jobseekers’ grant is confronted by muted enthusiasm from the labour market.
Sudan and South Sudan reach oil deal and expect a border security agreement.
And, China’s State news agency slams US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on Africa trip.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.