|News Round Up
Aid: Losing Global Popularity?
The world seems to be warming up to the fact that free and open trade is better than aid. In the recent Turkish-African CSOs Forum at Istanbul, Prof. Ali Engin Oba (Ambassador Rtd. And Representative of TASAM Ankara office) observed that “it is now widely accepted that trade is better than aid.”
|People Queuing for Food Aid|
In another meeting where some 120 members of parliament drawn from different countries and regional blocs gathered in Nairobi for a seminar to discuss among other issues, aid effectiveness, Moses Wetangula, Kenya’s foreign minister said that African countries must shun aid dependency and embark on trade and harnessing of their resources. The meeting aimed at scrutinizing the role of parliament in donor negotiations as well as sensitizing parliamentarians in East and Central Africa on the Paris declaration in promoting development.
Members drawn from 100 countries now gathered in Accra, Ghana to review how effective aid is in helping developing nations deal with poverty seem to be warming up to the view that the answer lies in freeing up trade. A major World Bank report on growth and development in May observes that trade “is an important factor behind poverty alleviation.” Will trade soon take center stage?
Ethiopia State Bank Eyes Somali and Sudan
The 66 year old state owned Commercial bank of Ethiopia (CBE) will soon open branches in Sudan and Somali. Sudan and Somali are among the top three African nations that import substantive amounts of Ethiopian products. Business in Juba is booming with new oil discoveries. The CBE is the largest bank in Ethiopia and has 8000 employees and 205 branches.
Rogue Investors Con Museveni
Two Chinese investors close to president Museveni have allegedly robbed the country of $ 3.9 billion and fled. The two, Ms Jing Hong and Guo Dong of Jinda International Textiles Corporation (JITCO) received money from Uganda Development bank (UDB) and Barclays Bank with president Museveni’s blessing to revamp the Lira Spinning Mill. In an earlier incident, Tristar Apparels, a Sri-Lankan textile company heavily supported by Museveni to export garments to the US market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) closed shop after costing the Uganda taxpayer UShs 24 billion.
Common Market Issues Tackled by EAC
East Africa Community (EAC) member states have agreed to address reservations by some members over a common market in the region. During an EAC meeting in Nairobi on August 23, EAC Permanent Secretary David Nalo attributed the delay in the formation of a regional common market to deep-rooted suspicions and fear of losing control of markets by some member states. "There is fear of losing out as far as balance of trade is concerned, but we are optimistic of reaching a consensus," he said. Early this year, Tanzania failed to attend a crucial EAC meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, a move interpreted by other states as lack of commitment to negotiating and implementing the common market protocol.
Nokia Research Centre to Open in Kenya
A regional research center is set to open by Mobile phone maker Nokia to study consumer behavior in low-income communities. The study is aimed at understanding the needs of mobile users in Africa in order to create concepts that address these needs. Dubbed Nokia Research Africa, the research Lab is partnering with local Non Governmental Organizations and universities.
Uganda to Export Beef to Nigeria
Uganda will start exporting beef to Nigeria whose big population provides market opportunities to Ugandan farmers The Nigerian High Commissioner to Uganda, Fidel Ayoyu, has said. During a press briefing at the embassy headquarters in Kampala last week, Mr Ayoyu said: "Nigeria believes that it's commercially viable for Uganda to begin exporting beef to Nigerian .We have cows and Uganda have cows but it seems Uganda has beef in abundance. We want Ugandan beef." He said lack of a good transport route between Nigeria and Uganda is one of the reasons hampering economic activities between the two countries. He disclosed that the newly discovered oil in western Uganda has also encouraged more economic activities between Uganda and Nigeria, adding that the government of Uganda has sought Nigeria's competence in the oil industry and that his government is ready to share its experience with Uganda.
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