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AfricaFocus Bulletins with Material on Agriculture and Related Issues - 2007-2008

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Select bulletins with material on Debt | Trade | Aid, Poverty, & Public Investment | Agriculture | ICT

May 11, 2008  Africa: Commodity Dependence http://www.africafocus.org/docs08/sc0805b.php
    "We are living in a confusing time in the history of commodity markets. Commodity prices are currently high. Yet producers in Africa and other parts of the developing world do not seem to be benefiting from these high prices. ... The rich industrialised North has set the rules of the game, but instead of holding its producers accountable to those rules, it is distorting markets in their favour. Meanwhile, African producers whose governments have accepted to play by the rules are losing out.- - Dede Amanor-Wilks, ActionAid International

Apr 13, 2008  Africa: Food Alarm and New Proposals http://www.africafocus.org/docs08/wb0804.php
    This is the season for economic reports, and, as usual, the message is mixed. The World Bank and the Food and Agriculture are stressing the structural crisis caused by rising food prices, and propose some new remedies, both immediate and medium-term.

Dec 20, 2007  Africa: Seed Sharing or Biopiracy http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/bio0712.php
    "Sharing of seed is the essence of our planet's agricultural biodiversity. Without the open palm offering seeds, we all lose. Current policies, however, are closing the fist around seed, evident in the strong drive for individual access and monopoly ownership of genetic resources, as opposed to open access and collective principles of communities." - Andrew Mushita and Carol B. Thompson

Oct 24, 2007  Africa: Neglecting Agriculture, 2 http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/ag0710b.php
    "For the first time in 25 years, the World Bank's annual Development Report (WDR 2008) is dedicated to agriculture. The report is a welcome indicator of renewed interest in agriculture worldwide that is urgently needed... [But] though the WDR 2008 makes a few guarded references to the mistakes made under structural adjustment programs, there is no place that adequately describes the responsibility of countries and firms who made irresponsible loans, or of the Bank itself for its rigid and often misguided programs " EcoFair Trade Dialogue

Oct 24, 2007  Africa: Neglecting Agriculture, 1 http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/ag0710a.php
    "The central finding of the study is that the agriculture sector has been neglected by both governments and the donor community, including the World Bank. ..The Bank's limited and, until recently, declining support for addressing the constraints on agriculture has not been used strategically to meet the diverse needs of a sector that requires coordinated intervention across a range of activities." - World Bank Independent Evaluation Group

Sep 3, 2007  Sahel: Beyond Any Drought http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/sah0709.php
    "People blame locusts, drought and high food prices for the crisis that affected more than 3 million people in Niger in 2005, But these were just triggers. The real cause of the problem was that people there are chronically vulnerable. Two years later, they still are." - Vanessa Rubin, CARE International UK

Jun 29, 2007  Africa: Trade Disconnect http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/tr0706.php
    International trade talks are again on the edge of collapse after failure of the G4 (United States, EU, Brazil, and India) to reach agreement at a side meeting in Potsdam, Germany. Developing countries are increasingly vocal in their refusal to make new commitments for opening their markets without meaningful concessions from industrialized countries on such issues as agricultural subsidies.

Mar 17, 2007  Africa: Trade Unions Speak Out on Trade http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/tr0703.php
    Labor leaders from Brazil, India, South Africa and other developing countries spoke out earlier this month opposing demands by rich countries for sweeping cuts in tariffs. And global trade unions, formalizing new international ties, are also demanding that rich countries respond to the need for better terms for African cotton producers.