Monday January 09, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg I’m Brad Dubbelman
The eurozone crisis could hurt South Africa's economy and the country should maintain a supportive monetary policy to ensure growth in the medium term, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. Christine Lagarde, in South Africa as part of her first tour of the continent since taking the IMF post, said the African economic powerhouse would do well to also moderate wage growth. Although well integrated into the global economy, South Africa mitigated the worst impact of 2008's recession through a sound macroeconomic regime, a strong financial sector and a flexible exchange rate, she said.
A tight grain supply outlook after several bumper harvests is set to fan food price pressures in Southern Africa, fuelling salary demands and threatening to knock the region's fragile economies out of kilter. Erratic rains have delayed the planting of the crucial maize crop in Zambia, pushing inflation towards double digits, while bread basket, South Africa, is importing the staple despite abundant harvests because of worries it has exported too much. With a high proportion of households in the region spending much of their limited income feeding themselves, rising food inflation is likely to further stoke union demands in wage negotiations.
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said that he was working with Libyan leaders to secure the border between the two countries and prevent the smuggling of weapons to rebel groups in Sudan. Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges, arrived in Libya on Saturday. During the visit, Bashir has stressed the need to protect Libya's southern borders, which he said former dictator Muammar Gaddafi used to smuggle weapons to rebels in Sudan.
Also making headlines:
The euro is likely to survive 2012 despite the debt crisis in the euro currency zone, IMF MD Christine Lagarde said.
And, the Muslim Brotherhood won more than a third of the votes in the last stage of elections for Egypt's lower house of parliament, according to partial results on Friday, which show the Islamists are set to dominate the legislature.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.