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Daily podcast - March 17, 2009

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17th March 2009

By: Amy Witherden

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Making headlines:
In a joint statement by Ministers from the neighbouring nations, South Africa said that it is considering opening lines of credit and other measures to help Zimbabwe recover from its economic crisis, as well as ease the country's international isolation.
The officials also discussed steps such as providing export credit insurance and facilitating trade to support Zimbabwe's new unity government.
The countries agreed to work together in Zimbabwe's re-engagement with the international community and in lobbying for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Zimbabwe is in need of Western donors and foreign investors to rescue its economy. Foreign aid will be conditional on the implementation of a fully democratic government and economic reforms.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe continues to blame Western sanctions for the country's economic decline.

In other news, African countries have petitioned the Group of 20 for an increase in funding and easier access to international financing to help them through the global financial crisis.
African leaders and Ministers met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday to present a joint African position before the upcoming summit of established and emerging economic powers.
South Africa is the only African member of the G20, although Brown has invited the New Partnership for Africa's Development and the African Union Commission to the summit.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister said that African nations need up to $50-billion in additional funds to get them through the crisis.

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Back home, four opposition parties are to hold an "emergency meeting" with the Independent Electoral Commission in the Northern Cape today, to discuss alleged "biased actions" of IEC officials in the province.
Provincial leaders from the Democratic Alliance, the Congress of the People, the Freedom Front Plus, and the African Christian Democratic Party yesterday refused to participate in the symbolic signing of the IEC's code of conduct for the provincial elections.
FF Plus provincial leader Carel Boshoff, explained that while his party subscribes to the spirit of the code of conduct, he felt that he would be failing in his duty as a leader by signing the code while having reservations about a certain clause. The clause in question stipulates that registered parties must assure voters of the IEC's impartiality.

Also making headlines:
Madagascar's President remains isolated but defiant as tensions grow on the Indian Ocean island.
The Congress of the People promises to clear its website of South African Press Association news that had been doctored to show the party in a good light.
Sudan's government wants foreign groups to stop distributing aid to its citizens.
And, the Rhema church defends African National Congress President Jacob Zuma's weekend visit.

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That's a roundup of news making headlines today.

 

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