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Published 12th September 1997

Vol 38 No 18

South Africa

Market forces

Despite criticism from the IMF, Pretoria has defended its currency against speculators – unlike some of the Asian Tigers

In the run-up to the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meeting in Hong Kong, China, on 23-25 September, two issues have dominated the South African economy. These are external criticism, by the IMF, of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)'s intervention to protect the rand and internal criticism of government policy from mainstream business, especially of high interest rates, and from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on the rush to 'liberalisation'. The IMF's criticism of SARB Governor Chris Stals looks like a storm in a tea cup.

Trading arms

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The defence industry wants politicians – even Nelson Mandela – to become arms salesmen

Defence Minister Joe Modise wants to buy new equipment for the South African National Defence Force, which he says is in decline. Finance Minister Trevor Manuel counters that the m...

A sweet tooth

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The government is now beginning to feel the pain of indulging its sweet tooth

There is no likelihood in the near future that the International Monetary Fund will resume lending from its US$220 million balance of payments support. The Kenya government has tri...

Less than economic

West Africa's economic club has won one war and begun another

Charles Taylor, Liberia's new President, paid the supreme compliment: 'But for the stern commitment of Ecowas, we may still have been at war'. At its 20th summit in Abuja, the 16-m...

Cross-border crimes

As pressure mounts on Nigeria's military regime, Abacha tackles his border problems

Chairing the Economic Community of West African States has pushed the reclusive General Sani Abacha into the limelight with Nigeria's neighbours. None, perhaps, is more important t...

Looking for leaders

As factions grow weaker, foreign intervention is in danger of making them stronger again

On the face of it, the plan for 25 Somali factions to meet in the north-eastern port of Bossasso in November sounds like a step forward for the peace process. In practice, many Som...



The international media did not reflect how much Africa mourned Princess Diana. This was left to the hundreds of newspapers and broadcasting stations on the continent for which the...

Murder charges

Ten opposition leaders were charged with murder late last month after a policeman was lynched at a Bamako rally. President Alpha Oumar Konaré's reputation as guardian of Mal...

'I'll go home to die'

In the final months of Pascal Lissouba's presidential term, which officially ended on 31 August, over 6,000 people have died in the war between his supporters and those of ex-dicta...