Monday, February 1, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Brad Dubbelman.
Tens of millions more people in Africa and elsewhere will be driven into poverty this year even though the world is recovering from the global financial crisis, said World Bank president Robert Zoellick yesterday.
Speaking at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, he said that while the world seems to be on the path to recovery, it still faces considerable risks in 2010. "It has a human face," he said.
Zoellick said that the World Bank estimated that 64-million people worldwide will fall into extreme poverty because of the crisis, with infant mortality in sub-Saharan Africa increasing.
Zoellick added that the bank would use its direct subsidy schemes to mitigate poverty for those who are most vulnerable. He also restated the bank's promise to raise its financial commitments to Africa by a minimum of $15-billion over the next two to three years.
Africa sought to promote its opportunities at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, but found that selling the continent as an investment destination is tough. Despite recent macroeconomic reforms and an impressive growth outlook, many investors remain wary of Africa. South African President Jacob Zuma said that Africa is emerging as an important investment destination, but "what remains (to be seen) is whether investors see that opportunity". One big handicap is a lack of scale and liquidity. Still, the continent is raising its profile in the financial markets and Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank, said that planned bond issues from various African countries were an important step in the process. Kaberuka is confident that Africa's economic growth will revive this year and accelerate in 2011, following the blow from the global recession which hit commodity prices hard.
President Jacob Zuma has undermined the struggle against HIV/Aids by having unprotected sex again, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said yesterday. This, after the Sunday Times reported that he fathered a child, his twentieth, with the daughter of soccer boss Irvin Khoza. DA leader Helen Zille stated that President Zuma's behaviour directly contradicts the government's campaign against multiple sexual partners, and the inherent HIV/Aids risk in having unprotected sex. She likened Zuma's behaviour to that of former President Thabo Mbeki, whose denialist stance on HIV/Aids was found, by a Harvard University to have possibly contributed to the deaths of more than 300 000 South Africans during his tenure. At the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Zuma defended his polygamy and called for an acceptance of Zulu culture.
Also making headlines:
Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille proposes legislation to remove the power of Presidential pardons.
The African Union picks Zimbabwe for the continent's Peace and Security Council.
South African President Jacob Zuma says that hosting the Square Kilometre Array telescope in South Africa will boost skills and technology infrastructure development.
And, the African Union says that it will consider a proposal to provide land in Africa for Haitians displaced by the recent earthquake that wrecked that country.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.