Thursday, October 8, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Bradley Dubbelman
The African Development Bank has speeded up its lending to the region's 38 poorest countries in response to the downturn in the global economy and will run out of resources by the end of 2010, its President, Donald Kaberuka, says. "The discussion here is, can we replenish the cycles earlier, because we will be running out of money by 2010," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings. Africa's poorest countries, many of them emerging from conflict, were vulnerable before the global economic downturn erupted in 2008, having just weathered a world food and energy crisis in 2007.The world's regional development banks and the World Bank are preparing to present their case for more resources to major donor countries early next year.
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is among the top contenders to win the Nobel Peace Prize.Other contenders for the $1,4-million prize include: Colombian peace broker Piedad Cordoba, Afghan rights activist Sima Samar, interfaith dialogue advocate Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, as well as US and French Presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy. "It's quite likely this committee will reward somebody who is engaged in current processes," says Krtistian Berg Harpviken, head of the International Peace Institute in Oslo. "They want the prize to have an impact on things that are about to happen and want to affect events," he says. The winner will be announced on October 9.
The Department of Public Enterprises has introduced a number of austerity measures to reduce spending. According to Public Enterprises Minister, Barbara Hogan, there is a conscious effort by the ministry and the department to reduce spending on travel. All domestic travel by the department's officials will be economy class and business class will only be used if the duration of a flight is over six hours. Regarding car hire, Hogan says that wherever possible, vehicles will be shared by two or three officials travelling to the same destination. In addition, the department is in the process of identifying hotels within walking distance of the office in Cape Town to further reduce spending on car hire. The department has also introduced various cost saving measures across the board within its operational areas.
Also making headlines:Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka has warned nonperforming public servants with dismissal. The US reacted coolly to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's overture for better ties, saying that he should end political arrests and media censorship and honour the power-sharing deal. And, according to the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organisation, the world needs to invest $83-billion a year in agriculture in developing countries to feed 9,1-billion people in 2050.
Thats a roundup of news making headlines today.