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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Quick Links

A woman's view of Zambian politics : UK Guardian piece on Lucy Shirley Changme the deputy minister for gender and women.

Govt to introduce Human Rights as a subject taught in schools : Lusaka Times on the latest Presidential commitment.

Botswana's diamonds lose their shine : Financial Times on how the Global Slowdown has puncturing the hole through Botswana's diamond dependent model for growth.

Congo miners suffer as boom turns to bust : Financial Times on how the DR Congo's recent mineral boom is turning to bust.

Food Vouchers Not Enough to Fight Hunger : IPS on the recent initiative by GRZ and the World Food Programme (WFP) to hand out food vouchers to the urban poor.

Zambia's agri-business powerhouse : BBC news on Zambia's success story! Comes with a video!


  1. Some brief follow-up news on the state of India's National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). In short it appears to be working, achieving a positive return on assets in 2008 and jumping to #14 on Businessworld India's list of most influential financial services companies. They now have their own open 5-year bond issued, with highly competitive interest of at least 8.5% (higher for senior citizens). [.pdf download of offer documents here]

  2. It may seem odd, or perhaps just a sign of the times, but in my opinion some of the best reporting on the crisis in the financial markets and especially the role of "business media" has been done over the last week by American cable television comedian John Stewart of The Daily Show.

    I strongly recommend following the links in the lower left margin labeled Cramer vs. Non-Cramer: Tale of the Tape starting on 4th March and working up to 12th March. Some of the humour wrapped around it may be a bit low, but the core reporting is really quite excellent.

  3. You have to love that deregulation. I wonder how all the die hard freemarketeers justify their ideology now.

    (Full Version- part 1) Jim Cramer on Jon Stewart The Daily Show

    (Full Version- part 2) Jim Cramer on Jon Stewart The Daily Show (3/12/2009)

  4. I think the placing of Human Rights on the national curriculum would be a positive development, for so long as it doesn't end up simply an academic exercise.

  5. While aimlessly combing the virtual countryside in Google Earth, I came across this excellent video from the Participatory Village Development in Isolated Areas Project (part 1/3), (part 2/3), (part 3/3). About 30 minutes total. Details joint agricultural development efforts by Zambia and Japan in rural Western Province. From 4 March, 2009. (I had some playback problems around 7:51 in part 2, just skipped ahead to part 3.)

  6. The ANC has shamed itself. Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, speaking for the ruling party in a debate hosted by the University of Cape Town, has attempted to rewrite history by asking about the Dalai Lama, "Is he just the spiritual leader of the Buddhists in Tibet or is he the one who on March 28 1959 established the government of Tibet in exile in the same way Taiwan was established to counter the legality of a single China?" This statement is simply indefensible. The comparison to Taiwan is ludicrous, and apparently this new ANC believes that traditional leaders have no role to play in liberation struggles if Business Day has paraphrased further comments by FM Manuel correctly: "Manuel said one needed to understand the role of the lama in Tibetan history. They had acted as high priests and feudal overlords, which was part of the difficulty."

    Surely Zambians have not forgotten the time when the ANC was such a government in exile, with many prominent members and leaders who were also members of hereditary ruling families. This is simple abrogation of the founding principles of South Africa in favour of quick cash and lavish personal treatment from PRC sources, whose own claim of providing development aid to African countries without political precondition on the basis of respect for sovereignty in nations such as Sudan rings rather hollow if a single visa to a single public speaker can, in FM Manuel's own words, "raise the global issue that will impact on the standing of SA."

    "The reason why the Dalai Lama wants to be here is to make a big global political statement about the secession of Tibet from China. He wants to do it on the free soil of SA," Manuel said. Good thing the ANC leadership is around to set the record straight: The soil of SA is no longer "free".

  7. My hat is off to Aubrey Matshiqi of the Centre for Policy Studies, via Business Day. He is much funnier than I am.

  8. South Africa in Dalai Lama U-turn:


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