BusinessDay has reported that the global crisis has radically altered the outlook for Africa's economies, and growth forecasts for the continent are likely to be revised further downward, a new report by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) says. But the IDC, which has approved about $1bn of loans beyond SA's borders, says demand for Africa's resources - in the markets that pick up first once the global economy starts to recover - will benefit the continent. "A significant part of the growth momentum in Africa in recent years has been driven exactly by the expansion of emerging markets such as China and India; when we start getting a recovery it will be earliest in those markets and Africa will benefit from being a partner in that," Jorge Maia, the head of the IDC's research and information department, says.
HIV Gene Therapy Trial Promising
One of the first attempts to use gene therapy to treat HIV has produced promising results in clinical trials according to the BBC. When the therapy was tested on 74 patients, it was shown to be safe and appeared to reduce the effect of the virus on the immune system. In theory, one treatment should be enough to replace the need for a lifetime of antiretroviral therapy. The study, by the University of California, Los Angeles, appears in the journal Nature Medicine. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has greatly improved the prognosis for people infected with HIV.
East Africa Rail Deal Cancelled
Uganda Government has gone to court as a means of canceling the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) deal for failure to fulfill its mandate of facilitating business according to East Africa Business Week. The Uganda Minister of State for Works, Eng. John Byabagambi said government has won round one by taking the matter to court and had been given a green light by court to cancel the concession given to RVR. Sources in Kenya told EABW the Kenyan government cancelled RVR's concession without the burden of going to court while Uganda has gone to court and been given a go ahead to cancel the concession. Since the advent of Rift Valley Railways not more than 15% of the cargo destined for the hinterland from Mombasa is handled by rail.
Nigeria Bankers Committee Ban Excessive Advertising
THISDAY has reported that the decision to tone down the publicity blitz associated with the publication of annual financial statements by banks informed the restrictions placed on banks in respect of advertising, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. The apex bank also said that the decision was jointly taken by the Bankers' Committee and not CBN's unilaterial decision. CBN's Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Festus Odoko, made this clarification in a statement made available to the press. Besides the ongoing de-marketing gimmick depicting or insinuating that some banks can no longer meet their financial obligations, THISDAY had reported that heads of the finance department of some blue-chip firms were now cautious of the banks they deal with.
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