Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Africa News blog:

Time to stop aid for Africa?

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Far from being all bad news for Africa, the global financial crisis is a chance to break a dependence on development aid that has kept it in poverty, argues Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, who has just published a new book “Dead Aid”.

Moyo’s book, her first, comes out at a time when Western campaigners, financial institutions and some African governments have been warning of the danger posed to Africa by the crisis and calling for more money from developed countries as a result. The former World Bank and Goldman Sachs economist spoke to Reuters in London.

“I’m not saying its going to be easy, I’m just saying that there is a real opportunity for policymakers to focus on coming up with more innovative ways of financing economic development. In a way the crisis actually provides the African governments with the situation where they cannot rely on aid budgets coming through from the West.”

Moyo believes more than $1 trillion in development aid over the past 50 years has only entrenched Africa’s poverty, distorted economies and fuelled bureaucracy and corruption. She sees alternatives such as encouraging trade - particularly with emerging markets - encouraging foreign direct investment, microfinancing for enterprise and seeking funds from capital markets.

from Global Investing:

What a web we’ve woven

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Thanks are due to the World Economic Forum for clearly  explaining the interlinked web of misery currently facing the world.  Make what you will of the details in the graphic below -- and if you can, please do let us know! -- but the overall impact really does spell it all out.

This Vonnegutesque cat's cradle, incidently, comes from the forum's new report, Global Risks 2009, released ahead of its annual meeting in Davos between January 28 and February 1. It shows an interlinked world facing a monumental series of interlinked risk, some of which  investors are having to confront for the first time.  Sheana Tambourgi, head of WEF's global risk network, explains the report in this video:

from Africa News blog:

Selling Africa by the pound

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The announcement by a U.S. investor that he has a deal to lease a swathe of South Sudan for farmland has again focused attention on foreigners trying to snap up African agricultural land.

A few months ago, South Korea’s Daweoo Logistics said it had secured rights to plant corn and palm oil in an even bigger patch of Madagascar - although local authorities said the deal was not done yet. Investors from Asia and the Gulf are looking elsewhere in Africa too.

from Africa News blog:

Forgiveness in paradise?

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If you lived on an archipelago that defined paradise with palm-fringed white sand beaches and emerald green waters, you would expect a relaxed, lazy pace of life.

Lazy would be a generous description of the Seychellois soldier’s wave at the entrance to State House as I arrived with my local colleague George Thande - who is admittedly a regular visitor here.

Asian Contagion Redux

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    The Indonesian rupiah has lost more than a fifth of its value against the dollar so far this year and on Friday hit its weakest point since August 1998. Authorities swooped in to take over an
insolvent Bank Century, the first such takeover since the Asian financial crisis a decade ago.

   Are things in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy really that dire to prompt comparisons with the chaotic events of a decade ago? Today’s financial crisis is draining liquidity from many banks across the world, including in Indonesia.  And as was the case a decade ago, domestic capital is swarming hot on the heels of foreign capital in fleeing Indonesia.

from Africa News blog:

Should developing world have more say in crisis talks?

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When world leaders meet in Washington to tackle the global financial crisis, Africa will be represented only by South Africa.

 

African officials meeting in Tunis this week to discuss the impact of the crisis argued that the continent needed better representation, given the effects that the turmoil is having in Africa as well as the continent’s growing financial importance. The complaint could apply equally to other developing countries.

Nigeria: Will someone turn on the lights?

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Returning to Nigeria for the first time in five years, nothing is more striking than the mobile phones ringing wherever you go.

 

The phone signal barely drops on a drive some five hours out of Abuja, through countryside where the only people visible are hoeing the red earth and balancing unwieldy stems of sugar cane on bicycles. A growing number of village households now have phones.

What will be the shape of the world’s new financial order?

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A man protests outside the New York Stock Exchange October 13, 2008. Governments around the world bet hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue failing banks on Monday, sending world stocks soaring and giving Wall Street its biggest one-day gain ever. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)The global financial crisis has produced broad agreement that the world needs a new financial architecture, but world leaders are a long way from reaching agreement on what shape it should take.

Many countries have rescue plans to support banks and unfreeze credit markets. The United States has set in motion reforms to change the relationship between Washington and Wall Street.

Leaders unite over financial crisis, but is it enough?

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Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (C) gestures as he arrives with Greece’s Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis (2nd L) to attend a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris October 12, 2008. France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and leaders of euro zone countries hold an emergency meeting in Paris to agree on specific, pan-European measures to prop up the battered financial sector and halt market panic. REUTERS/Eric Feferberg/PoolEuropean leaders have finally got their act together. After weeks of looking divided over how to tackle the global financial crisis, they agreed on joint measures at  emergency talks in Paris. 

Their meeting followed talks in Washington at the weekend involving G7 finance ministers and officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank at which governments pledged to support the financial system. U.S. President George W. Bush said he was confident the world’s major economies could overcome the challenges.

Does crisis give China new opportunity in Africa?

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chinese-workers-in-kenya.jpgWith the West reeling from the financial crisis and pulling back some of its investment in Africa, could China step into the breach and expand its footprint on the continent - a presence that already worries Western powers?

On the face of it, China, which is relatively unscathed by the crisis, has a golden opportunity to exploit Western disarray and increase its financial and political penetration of the continent. Already there are signs that Africans are starting to look away from the West and towards other emerging markets, especially China, as they watch the banking chaos in the traditional capitalist markets.

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