Leaders Meet to Promote Global South Trade

Published on 16th October 2007

The leaders of South Africa, Brazil and India are meeting in Pretoria to promote trade and cooperation across the three continents. The second annual India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) summit will discuss ways to increase trilateral trade between the three countries from US $7 billion to US$10 billion a year. Other issues to be discussed are: The reform of the United Nations; The stalled Doha Round of talks conducted by the World Trade Organisation; Poverty and under-development; and Disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.


FAO: Food is a Human Right  


FAO has called for a renewed commitment to guarantee the right to food for the world's hundreds of millions of hungry people. While speaking at the World Food Day, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf asked why 854 million people still go to sleep on an empty stomach yet our planet produces enough food to feed its entire population. Diouf also said that a right is not a right if it cannot be claimed. Horst Kohler, Germany President said that "hunger is not an inescapable destiny, but can be eliminated by wise policies." Therefore, governments of developing countries should make food security a priority. World Food Day is commemorated annually in 150 countries.


AIDS Patients in Africa Examined


Researchers have reported that only 60 percent of AIDS patients in Africa still take the drugs they need to stay alive two years after starting treatment. Forty percent of the patients no longer taking the drugs after two years died and the rest missed scheduled appointments, failed to pick up medication or may have transferred to other clinics. "If you think of this in terms of deaths avoided and orphans avoided, then this could be a success story," said Sydney Rosen, an assistant professor at Boston University's School of Public Health, who led the study. The study was published Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal.


Regional Ministers Talks on Road Development


African Ministers in charge of road transport are discussing ways to improve Africa's road networks, in order to accelerate economic growth and social development. The five-day AU Conference of Ministers Responsible for Road Transport, which began on Monday, aims at defining and adopting a common African vision for road transport development in the continent.


SADC Prepares for Launch of FTA


Last week the Southern African Development Community (SADC) convened a workshop to prepare for the launch of the Free Trade Area (FTA) next year. SADC set a deadline of 2008 for the introduction of zero tariff rates in keeping with the minimum conditions of a FTA in March this year. It expects more than 85 percent of regional trade to be conducted at zero tariff rates. SADC Executive Secretary Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomao last Wednesday in Gaborone said that the launch of the SADC FTA will be a new progressive development of significant importance to the private sector in particular, and all other stakeholders in the SADC region.


Africa’s War Costs the Continent U.S. $18 Billion Annually


According to a report titled "Africa's Missing Billions: International Arms Flows and the Cost of Conflict", Africa cost the continent over 300 billion U.S. dollars between 1990 and 2005, which is equivalent to all the international aid received by sub-Saharan Africa in the same period. The report released by Oxfam International, the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and Saferworld is the first to show, on a large scale, the effect of conflict on Africa's gross domestic product (GDP). It compares the economies of countries at war with those of countries experiencing peace.


Compiled by Anne Mugoya
Inter Region Economic Network

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