Zimbabwe's NGO Sector Feels the Pinch

Zimbabwe’s civil society organisations are reeling from the global financial crisis as donor aid slows down due to the country’s nagging political deadlock which has dragged on for years.

The situation has also led to a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) reportedly scaling down operations because of lack of funding.

The NGO sector is moving away from being a growing sector that is heavily involved in various activities, ranging from social justice, food aid, health services and education to providing water purification tablets during a severe cholera outbreak.

GDP Risks Two Percent Decline

The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) has warned that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in South Africa risks declining below two percent this year.

SAIRR chief economist, Ian Cruickshanks, says that the decline will negatively affect government revenue, infrastructure development and job creation in the country.

Malawi Development Bank to Revamp the Economy

Malawi’s ruling party, the People's Party (PP), has disclosed plans to establish a Malawi Development Bank with loan access at low interest rates in an effort to reduce poverty through sound economic management and governance.
In its manifesto, "The PP recognises that economic management and good governance are central to a transformational poverty reduction agenda.”
However, it points out that the main challenge of maintaining macro-economic stability is that Malawi faces significant internal and external imbalances.

No Brand SA Delegation at WEF

Brand South Africa has cancelled its plan to attend this week’s high-level gathering of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Nigeria’s capital Abuja because of security fears after two bombings and the mass abduction of schoolgirls in the country.

In a letter to its stakeholders, South Africa’s key marketing body points out that, "South Africans travelling to Nigeria can expect to be reasonably safe although they should exercise due caution and vigilance.”

IPCC Urges ‘Faster Action’ on Global Warming

The United Nations (UN) says faster action is needed to keep global warming to agreed limits and delays until 2030 could force reliance on technologies to extract greenhouse gases from the air.
In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of more than 1 000 experts, says a shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy such as wind, solar or nuclear power was affordable and will shave only about 0.06 percent point a year off world economic growth.

Call for Enhanced Poverty Fight in Zambia

Pertti Anttinen, Zambia’s Finnish ambassador, states that the fight against poverty should be enhanced as Zambia celebrates 50 years of independence.

Anttinen argues that it is important for Zambia to address the high poverty levels and make economic growth all inclusive for citizens.

He further maintains that, “Zambia has been a long-time friend and one of the seven priority countries for Finland development." 

SADC Ensuring Peace and Security

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) organ on defence and security affairs, states that it will continue to work towards ensuring that the region continues to enjoy peace and stability.
SADC director, Tanki Mothae, asserts that processes of regional integration could face challenges in regions that have no peace.
"Without peace, the economic integration becomes a little bit difficult. At the same time, once economic integration has taken place, a very conducive environment of peace and security also becomes,” states Mothae.

ILO: Weak Global Recovery Bad for Growth

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says a weak recovery from the 2008 global economic downturn has curtailed job growth around the world.

The Geneva-based agency says that nearly 202 million workers were unemployed in 2013, up five million from the year before.

It further says youth unemployment is a particular problem, with more than 74 million people aged 15 to 24 out of work in 2013, adding that the youth employment rate is more than 13 percent, more than twice the overall global jobless rate.

Major Economic Policies are Incoherent - CDE

The Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) says that the government's three major economic policies are incoherent.
In relation to the National Development Plan, the New Growth Path, and the Trade and Industry Department's Industrial Policy Action Plan, the CDE executive director, Ann Bernstein, believes it is essential to have consistency within these policies.
“The economy is in trouble and South Africa needs certainty. It's time to make the tough choices and stick to them," explains Bernstein.

Gigaba lays bare South Africa’s economic woes: will it be enough to trigger change?

Wittingly or unwittingly, South Africa’s Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s medium term budget policy statement places him – and champions of the market economy inside and outside the African National Congress – in a strong position and opens the way for real economic change. Whether the opportunity is taken is, of course, another matter.


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