Southern Aid & Trade

Opinion: Africa, the Need for Greater Integration

There is a misconception, by some, that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a barrier to regional integration. It is one of a number of misconceptions that do not match up with the facts like the perception that the WTO is a rich man's club. Today the WTO has 162 members and rising at all stages of development. 43 of those members are African countries and rising. The organization now covers around 98% of world trade. It is a truly global organization, one where everybody has an equal say. And it is an organization which supports regional integration in Africa. Indeed, I would say that the need for better integration across the continent is indisputable.

OPINION: Ignore Standard Good Governance Prescriptions To Accelerate Development

Many well-meaning people believe that “good governance” is key to inclusive development. But research claiming that “good governance” is essential for rapid growth suffers from serious methodological or conceptual limitations. Existing definitions are extremely broad, suffer from functionalist tautology, or mainly refer to corruption.

Food Insecurity in the Far North

“They have reduced the quantity of food they used to give us and we still do not know why. But we are managing. We are refugees and we have no choice. All they give us is rice and some soya beans” John Guige, a Nigerian resident and primary school teacher in the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon’s Far North region, told IPS.

Improving Rural Livelihoods Boost Agrarian Economies

For two decades, Dickson Kamau only grew maize on his 0.5 hectare (ha) of land earning himself the nickname Kamau wa mbembe or Kamau who owns maize in his native Kikuyu language.

Groundwater Crisis Worsens Food Insecurity

Sijabuliso Nleya has been kept busy in the past few weeks digging up sand. He is not a sand poacher like scores of people who local district councils across the country say are digging along dry river beds for sand used in the construction of houses. "The situation is terrible," said Nleya, who owns a plot in Douglasdale, a small farming community on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

Evolving Nature of China’s South-South Cooperation

China’s strength in South-South Cooperation (SSC) lies in its carrying out big-ticket infrastructure projects in diverse developing countries. It is remarkable in terms of project scale, speed and cost-effectiveness and has been playing a positive role in promoting partner’s nation-building, economic development and social progress. However, the swift completion of China’s infrastructure projects also has its sets of problems like little or no paper-work leading to lack of transparency, oversight and post-project monitoring. The backlash against Chinese labourers employed by Chinese companies in developing countries has been routinely highlighted by the international media with allegations of skirmishes with the local population, corruption coupled with resource theft.

Gulf migration at an inflexion point

The steep fall in global oil prices has hit Gulf economies severely. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Bahrain are expected to run huge budget deficits as shrinking revenues from selling cheaper oil cannot fund their mounting expenditures. As they tighten their belts, the brunt of adjustment will be felt by migrants, who constitute the bulk of the labour force. Reforms include cutting fuel, power, water, education subsidies and a value-added tax (VAT). This will affect migrants and reports indicate family members are returning home.

Costa Rica, UAE Cement Relations with Energy and Tourism

A visit by United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Costa Rica paved the way for closer trade ties between the two countries, especially in the areas of tourism and sustainable energy.

United Arab Emirates Strengthens Ties with Argentina’s New Government

The new government of Argentina and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are strengthening the relationship established by the previous administration, at a time when this South American country is seeking to bring in foreign exchange, build up its international reserves and draw investment, in what the authorities describe as a new era of openness to the world.

Mexico to Export Nixtamalisation of Grains to Africa

Every day in the wee hours of the morning Verónica Reyes’ extended family grinds corn to make the dough they use in the tacos they sell from their food truck in Mexico City.

Not Yet Curtains for BRICs

With Goldman Sachs folding up its haemorrhaging BRIC fund, is it curtains for the acronym that defined the investment bankers’ fancy for emerging markets? It certainly appears so after China’s stock market crash and a fast slowing economy triggered fears that the dragon will set off the next global recession.

Opinion: Economic Slowdown Threatening Progress

Slower economic growth since 2008, and especially with the commodity price collapse since the end of last year, threatens to reverse the exceptional half-decade before the financial crash when growth in the South stayed ahead of the North. From 2002, many developing countries – including some of the poorest– had been growing much faster after a quarter century of stagnation in Africa, for example.

United Arab Emirates and Cuba Forge Closer Ties

Cuba and the United Arab Emirates agreed to strengthen diplomatic ties and bilateral cooperation during an official visit to this Caribbean island nation by the UAE minister of foreign affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Opinion: A BRICS Bank to Challenge the Bretton Woods System?

The formal opening of the BRICS Bank in Shanghai on Jul. 21 following the seventh summit of the world’s five leading emerging economies held recently in the Russian city of Ufa, demonstrates the speed with which an alternative global financial architecture is emerging.

Will the New BRICS Bank Break with Traditional Development Models, or Replicate Them?

Just days ahead of a summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in which the five countries are expected to formally launch their New Development Bank (NDB), 40 NGOs and civil society groups have penned an open letter to their respective governments urging transparency and accountability in the proposed banking process.

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