Jump to navigation

Published 12th October 2001

Vol 42 No 20

The other war

Casualties in Africa's economic battles are outstripping those in the military campaigns in Asia and the Middle East

Watching Africa's halting economic progress amid war and recession, World Bank officials are launching an emergency drive for aid. Despite a decade of economic reform and debt relief, Africa's economies are set to grow on average at no more than three per cent a year for the next decade, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Africa will remain the only continent where poverty is growing. The Bank is basing its response around the New Africa Initiative - the Millennium Action Plan, initiated by South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria and presented at the African Union summit in Lusaka, Zambia, in July (AC Vol 42 No 14). The World Bank and UNCTAD point out that the slump in commodity prices will cancel out the benefits expected from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative. Over 80 per cent of African exports consist of primary commodities whose prices (except for that of oil) have been falling relative to exports from the rest of the world. The Bank plans its own emergency finance programmes, hoping for more support from rich countries and international organisations. Officials believe they must act quickly to staunch the damage from the commodity slump and some think attention has been concentrated too much on debt relief, not enough on policy reform.

The road to ruin

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

View site

Mugabe needs to win the presidency again, even if he wrecks the country

International eyes are off Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe is having a good anti-terror war. The Commonwealth summit scheduled to have opened in Australia on 6 October would h...

Who's selling who?

The Islamist International needs its friends in Khartoum but the price is rising

Sudan's government is walking a tightrope. Since the United States' and British bombing of Afghanistan began on 7 October, the threat to the National Islamic Front (aka National Co...

Islamism begins at home

Egypt's war against terrorism is not quite the same as America's

Egypt has officially given its blessing to the United States' air campaign against Afghanistan, though it waited till the last minute to do so. President Hosni Mubarak was on a muc...

The re-election game

A fixed vote and foreign indifference will put Jammeh back in power

Almost no one expects a free vote on 18 October, when President Doctor Alhaji Yahya Jammeh (Colonel, Retired) is up for re-election (AC Vol 42 No 6). His supporters have stuffed th...



P>Almost everything that could go wrong for President Laurent Gbagbo's national reconciliation conference in Abidjan is doing so (AC Vol 42 No 18). None of the three main oppositio...

Hagos heads home

As war-hero-turned-dissident Mesfin Hagos prepares to return home to near certain imprisonment for criticising President Issayas Afewerki, international pressure is mounting on the...

People's courts

The caseload from the 1994 genocide has left 115,000 suspects in gaol, detained but not convicted, in conditions which human rights advocates call inhuman. A few alleged leaders fa...