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Daily podcast - June 15, 2009


15th June 2009

By: Amy Witherden


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Monday, June 15, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
Africa must keep up reforms and avoid protectionism in order to turn the global crisis into an opportunity for growth driven by more than just China's quest for minerals, delegates agreed at the World Economic Forum on Africa last week.
China has strengthened its position in Africa during the economic crisis, to become the most important partner for many of the continent's States. There is little doubt that the immediate impetus for African growth will come from China.
Africa enjoyed an average growth rate of over 5% for five years, but growth is expected to dip below 3% this year. That has piled pressure on some governments to slow reforms and raise tariff barriers. Delegates at the Forum said that would be dangerous.
African governments and international institutions were urged do more to improve the business environment and invest in infrastructure and skills so that the continent can develop industries of its own.

Climate talks in Bonn have made progress towards a new United Nations treaty to curb global warming, but fell short of calls by developing nations for the rich to make deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Four years of talks to widen the existing Kyoto Protocol have struggled to agree on how to share the cost.
Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, says, however, that the Bonn talks were "a significant session that advanced work [on climate change policy] in important ways".
He said that governments have staked out far clearer views after a first review of a draft legal text of a treaty due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.
China and many developing nations want the rich to cut emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, to avoid the worst of global warming.


Egypt Finance Minister and head of the International Monetary Fund's steering committee, Youssef Boutros-Ghali, says that the world's rich nations must show urgency and "political vision" to give more influence to emerging countries in the IMF.
At a meeting of Group of Eight Finance Ministers, Boutros-Ghali said that he was concerned that the sense of urgency for IMF reforms was waning as the economy showed signs of improvement.
He said that he would not like to see the world coming out of the economic crisis without having invested in fundamental change to keep it from happening again.
There will be significant movement only when the leaders get together on IMF quota reform, he said. Giving more votes to countries like China and Russia, which have said they are ready to contribute more funds to the IMF, was "part of the reform".

Also making headlines:
Economists expect South Africa's economy to decline by 2% this year.
South African President Jacob Zuma suggests immunity from prosecution for autocratic African leaders who should step down.
Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni is to meet with unions over inflation today.
US President Barack Obama gives Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai words of support but no money for the government.
And, International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn says that the worst of global crisis may be yet to come.


That's a roundup of news making headlines today.



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