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Friday, 30 January 2009

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Zambia's Vulnerable Children Must Fend For Themselves : IPS on Zambia's children. Apparently there will be as many as one and a half million orphaned children in Zambia by 2010. A figure the government disputes, who reckon the number is about 85,000 currently.

UN urges African economies to diversify : The UN is calling on African countries to boost food production and diversify its economies into manufacturing and services to cut the impact of future shocks like the current financial crisis.

The Feeding of the Nine Billion: Global Food Security for the 21st Century : A new Chatham House report warns that recent falls in food prices are no more than a temporary reprieve and are set to resume their upward trend once the world emerges from the current economic downturn.

Global Slowdown Damages Progress in Low-Income Countries : Low-income countries, already weakened by high food and energy prices, are likely to be hit hard by effects of the financial crisis in advanced economies and the global recession, according to an IMF panel.

1 comment:

  1. Now they tell us. I guess FDI and 'free markets' were only the only way to go, until they collapsed the global economic system, and now it's 'back to basics'. If only we could have somehow taxed FDI and reinvested the money into agriculture...

    Anyway, this is what the PhD's at the UN have come up with.

    I wonder if we can sue the IMF for costing the taxpayer over $10 billion in untaxed revenues and lost earnings, or just get a 0% long term loan...

    There is a huge urgency in developing agriculture, but also in seeing to it that it is done in a way that directly benefits present subsistence farmers.

    It is time to start developing a plan to create large professionalized agricultural sector of medium scale, 100 hectare organic farms, which is the only way to both secure the food supply and put a huge dent in official unemployment (make food affordable by having people with jobs spend money).

    I would favour on farm water storage over large scale irrigation, although Zambian has the potential for both. However, by storing water in the landscape, the impact on the environment will be much more positive than large disruptive irrigation projects that are so often favoured by central government politicians (because they are huge monuments they can put their names on).

    I am really impressed with Permaculture, and organic agriculture because they are more labour intensive, while requiring fewer off-farm inputs.

    With the new sea change in the UN, money will become available much easier.

    U.N. urges African economies to diversify
    Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:33am EST

    ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Africa must boost food production and diversify its economies into manufacturing and services to cut the impact of future shocks like the current financial crisis, the United Nations said Thursday.

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned this week that sub-Saharan Africa needed to prepare for tough times ahead, saying that there was no guarantee the resilience shown so far to global economic crises will continue.

    Major world economies are in recession, stung by a global credit squeeze, and growth is now slowing in developing countries that had at first appeared resilient to the downturn.

    Abdoulie Janneh, head of the U.N.'s Economic Commission for Africa, said the current financial crisis would have an impact on investment, trade, remittances and tourism revenues.

    Several African nations had also seen volatility in their stock markets and currencies, he told African Union (AU) foreign ministers meeting ahead of a February 1-3 summit in Ethiopia.

    "However, we should not panic, but use the current crisis as an opportunity to consolidate recent macroeconomic achievements and for putting measures in place to further diversify our economies," Janneh said.

    "We need to increase agricultural production and diversify into manufacturing and services in order to provide jobs ... Diversification will also give our economies the resilience to deal with future economic shocks."

    Wednesday, a senior World Bank official told AU officials initial hopes that the world's poorest continent might be spared the worst of the global credit crunch were premature.

    Monday, the IMF warned that higher food and fuel costs had put pressure on inflation and external balances in Africa, and said the deepening financial turmoil could curb regional growth through lower capital flows and export revenues.

    (Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sophie Hares)


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