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Title: EDGE Spring Presentation 3

EDGE Spring Presentation 3
  • The upcoming Elections in Nigeria
  • World poverty and the Millennium Commitments
  • Ranking of the worlds Gross Domestic Products
  • OPEC fund Grameen Bank and funding development
  • World Campaigns for the living wage
  • Debt Forgiveness for developing nations
  • Noel Prize winning alternative to
  • World Cotton Trade, WTO, Cooperatives
  • Other national and international cooperatives
  • Overview of Romania and ASEAN bloc

Nigerian candidates slam government in TV
debateFri 6 Apr 2007, 734 GMT
  • LAGOS, April 6 (Reuters) - Nigerian presidential
    candidates berated the government for
    incompetence, corruption and non-performance in a
    televised election debate on Thursday night that
    was shunned by the ruling party.
  • Umaru Yar'Adua, candidate for the ruling People's
    Democratic Party (PDP), declined the invitation
    to participate in the live show on
    privately-owned African Independent Television,
    and his place at the podium was left empty.
  • Former army strongman Muhammadu Buhari of the All
    Nigeria People's Party, the main challenger to
    the ruling party at this month's election, and
    Pat Utomi, candidate for the fringe African
    Democratic Congress, took to the stage.
  • "The truth is that most Nigerians will not be
    able to see us because Nigeria is almost in total
    darkness," said Buhari, in reference to a
    collapse in power generation over the past few
    months which has left most Nigerians with only a
    few hours of mains electricity per week at most.

Nigerian Elections next week
  • In his quest for a stronger alliance against the
    Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 21
    presidential election, former Head of State and
    presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples
    Party (ANPP), General Muhammadu Buhari, has
    invited presidential candidates of other parties
    to a meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.
  • He hit back at the President Olusegun Obasanjo
    administration and the Independent National
    Electoral Commission (INEC) saying that the
    manner the administration was handling the
    preparation for the elections smacked of criminal
    neglect of democratic principles of equity in the
    treatment of political parties.
  • The former head of state said that the conduct of
    INEC and the Federal Government over the
    elections was subversive of the constitution.
  • In an invitation letter to Vice President Atiku
    Abubakar and 22 presidential candidates of other
    political parties, minus PDP presidential
    candidate, Alhaji Umar YarAdua, which he
    personally signed, Buhari said "The Nigerian
    democracy is therefore, in a state of flux,
    sliding dangerously into fascism, that the falcon
    can no longer hear the falconer and that things
    are falling apart, is the bitter truth."

Umaru Yar'Adua
  • His father was a minister in Nigeria's first
    post-independence government. His older brother,
    Shehu, was a soldier and leading force in the
    coup that put Mr. Obasanjo in power in the 1970s,
    and worked as Mr. Obasanjo's right-hand man
    throughout his time as military ruler.
  • While his older brother worked alongside Mr.
    Obasanjo, Yar'Adua was a chemistry teacher at his
    local polytechnic.
  • But he has long been active in politics, and for
    the last eight years, he has been governor of
    Katsina State, where he has adopted Islamic
    Sharia Law. In total, 12 northern Nigerian states
    have adopted Sharia since 1999.

General Muhammadu Buhari
  • Buhari was born on December 17, 1942, in Daura in
    present Katsina State, Nigeria. He had his
    primary school education at Daura and Maiadua,
    from 1948 to 1952. He attended Katsina Middle
    School, from 1953 to 1956 and Katsina Provincial
    Secondary School from 1956 to 1962. He joined the
    Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna in
    1962. He attended Mons Officers Cadet School,
    Aldershot, England, from 1962 to 63 Nigerian
    Military Training College Kaduna, from 1963 to
    1963 Army Mechanical Transport School, England,
    May-June 1965. He was also trained at the Defence
    Services Staff College, Wellington,
    January-November 1973 and Army War College, USA,
    1979 to 1980.

Embracing Pat Utomi
Nigeria is a country of faith.  Regardless of
religion, Nigerians embrace God and frequently
seek solace in His infinite mercies when their
country is distressed, which is more often than
not.  Even Nigerian agnostics invoke their
various deities.  Correspondingly, Gods love for
Nigeria has been steadfast, compassionate, and
infinite.  If not, how else does one explain the
nations uncanny survival of forty-seven years of
muddling through dismal, ineffectual,
retrogressive and corrosive leadership? 
Whilst some may deem Dr. Utomi to be an unknown
quantity, he is not bereft of ideas nor shy in
expressing his views, which he does so frequently
and eloquently.  In contrast, some of his
opponents have not uttered any policy
prescription of note.  Utomis views on
governance matters, though not the only
prerequisite for purposeful leadership, are quite
insightful.  Essentially, they are well thought
out and visionary. Soyinka Endorses Utomi The
nobel laureate presents Prof. Pat Utomi as the
presidential candidate of his party, Africa
Renaissance Party (ARP), appealing to Nigerians 
to  defend their votes, before, during and after
election and urged the "youths" to brace up for
mass mobilization that will lead to the recovery
of the country from the hands of the people he
addressed as "profligate of murderers."
  • In his piece, Is collapse here?
     (http//www.patutomi2007.com) which dealt with
    the fundamentals of democracy, Utomi noted
  • Democracy matters because constituents keep the
    pressure on those they have elected to deliver on
    certain promises. The general impression of
    Nigeria is that its politicians do not think the
    people count so they invest their energies in how
    to get to power ignoring the will of the people.
    That done constituencies are considered a joke
    and accountability to the people, an occasional
    matter for justification of claims to legitimacy.
    The very dear price we have paid for the
    termination of constituency politics is the
    demise of accountability, and systems failure.
  • In the context of Nigerian politics and matters
    of accountability, he asked pointedly 
  • Who are our political leaders accountable to? How
    much legitimacy do they have to hold civil
    servants accountable? Do they, the power elite,
    know enough about influence and public
    performance to realize that deploying power, by
    public brutalisation of the dignity of others,
    like civil servants, does not really
    institutionalize seamless accountability first
    to the political leaders and ultimately to the
    Nigerian people.

Coloured world map indicating Human Development
Index (as of 2003). Countries coloured darker
shades of green exhibit very high human
development and are generally recognised as
heavily developed countries.
The 0.7 target An in-depth look
  • 0.7 refers to the repeated commitment of the
    world's governments to commit 0.7 of
    rich-countries' gross national product (GNP) to
    Official Development Assistance.
  • First pledged 35 years ago in a 1970 General
    Assembly Resolution, the 0.7 target has been
    affirmed in many international agreements over
    the years, including the March 2002 International
    Conference on Financing for Development in
    Monterrey, Mexico and at the World Summit on
    Sustainable Development held in Johnannesburg
    later that year.

UN Millennium 5 Summit Neither a Review Nor an
Expression of Political Commitment
  • Five years after the UN Member States signed the
    Millennium Declaration and adopted the Millennium
    Development Goals, it is clear that the majority
    of countries are in grave danger of failing to
    achieve these targets. Our concern is that if the
    negotiations continue in the current form and
    structure, the cost to Africa will be

G-8 Leaders at last summit
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Gross Domestic Product (nominal) per capita in US
dollars for the top 25 countries. Based on data
for 2005 provided by the International Monetary

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Map of countries by external debt based on 2005
CIA factbook figures

  • OPECOrganization of Petroleum Exporting
    Countries (OPEC) members include Algeria,
    Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria,
    Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and

Top World Oil Net Importers, 2005 Country Net
Oil Imports (million barrels per day)1) United
States 12.42) Japan 5.23) China 3.14) Germa
ny 2.45) South Korea 2.26) France 1.97) India
1.78) Italy 1.69) Spain 1.610) Taiwan 1.0
Total World about 35 million barrels/day
OPECTable includes all countries that imported
at least 1 million bbl/d in 2005.
Just how much investment could come from OPEC
BP Statistical Review2 Oil Gas
Journal3 World Oil4 World Total ww 1,201.332
1,317.447 1,119.615 Billion Barrels
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A Modest Proposal
  • Assume 4 of Overcharge for oil goes to
    development resources of OPEC Development Fund
  • Assume overcharge is 50 - 25 25/barrel
  • i.e. 1/barrel for development funds
  • 35 Million barrels/day imports gives 35x106x365x
  • 12.8x109 12.8 Billion/yr
  • Worlds Poor population gt 1.6 Billion1.6x109
  • Annual investment for poor 8/year
  • Typical Rural Community of 10,000 would get
    80,000 investment /year from OPEC surcharge

"Proven Oil Reserves - End of 2003 Source
International Monetary Fund
Can the prices to be received by former colonial
nations for Oil and Gas be used to buy freedom
from neo-liberalism in the next 40 years?
Lets check out the forming trade
Global Natural Gas Reserves by Country" Source
Energy Information Agency
One generation to go before alternative fuels
  • How long is remaining at current consumption of
    80 million barrels/day?
  • Total reserves estimate 1,300 billion barrels.
  • 1300x109/80x106x365 44 years
  • With 118 million barrels/day.. 30 years

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Business training is completed before making
  • Together with the home building skills the poor
    are taught principles of running a small business
  • This training must be complete before a microloan
    is made.
  • The combination of home ownership and business
    skills help the poor raise themselves from

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How are countries doing for their Citizens?
  • Gini coefficients for the United States at
    various times, according to the US Census Bureau
  • 1970 0.394 1980 0.403 1990 0.428
    2000 0.462 2005 0.469
  • Country UN Richest 10 to poorest 10 UN Richest
    20 to poorest 20 UN Gini index  
  • Bangladesh 6.8 4.6 31.8
  • People's Republic of China18.4 10.7 44.7
  • Ecuador 44.9 17.3 43.7
  • Haiti 71.7 26.6 59.2
  • India 7.3 4.9 32.5
  • Japan 4.5 3.4 24.9
  • Morocco 11.7 7.2 39.5
  • Nigeria 17.8 9.7 43.7
  • France 9.1 5.6 32.7
  • Russia 12.7 7.6 39.9
  • United States 15.9 8.4 40.8

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Living wageFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • The term "living wage" is used by advocates to
    refer to the minimum hourly wage necessary for a
    person to achieve some specific standard of
    living. In the context of developed countries
    such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland, this
    standard generally means that a person working
    forty hours a week, with no additional income,
    should be able to afford a specified quality or
    quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport,
    health care, and recreation. This concept differs
    from the minimum wage in that the latter is set
    by law and may fail to meet the requirements of a
    living wage.

  • ACORN and Living Wage
  • The Association of Community Organizations for
    Reform Now, or ACORN, is the nation's oldest and
    largest grassroots organization of low and
    moderate income people with over 200,000 members
    in over 90 cities. For 35 years, ACORN members
    have been organizing in their neighborhoods
    across the country around local issues such as
    affordable housing, safety, education, improved
    city services, and have taken the lead nationally
    on issues of affordable housing, tenant
    organizing, fighting banking and insurance
    discrimination, organizing workfare workers, and
    winning jobs and living wages.
  • Over the last decade, ACORN chapters have been
    involved in over fifteen living wage campaigns in
    our own cities, leading coalitions that have won
    living wage or minimum wage ordinances in St.
    Louis, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Boston, Oakland,
    Denver, Chicago, Cook County, New Orleans,
    Detroit, New York City, Long Island, Sacramento
    and San Francisco.

Purchasing Power Parity fromThe Jus Semper
Global Alliance!
    (Updated from 1975 up to 2004)Wage gaps between
    developed and emerging economies keep widening.
    While, wage gaps between the U.S. and the EU,
    Japan and South Korea disappear or narrow
    significantly, wage gaps between the U.S. and
    Singapore, Hong Kong and Mexico keep getting
    wider, only Brazil shows a slight improvement. In
    dire contrast, Mexico's wage gap moves in the
    opposite direction and consistently keeps getting
    worse, for in 2004 it keeps showing the worst
    wage gap, now at 85 in purchasing power parities
    (PPPs) terms!

US Universal Living Wage (ULW)
Finally, the formula establishes a "continuum of
flexibility" from which each individual community
can designate whether it wishes to pay a wage
that gets its minimum wage workers off the
streets and into housing (efficiency apartment).
Or, if it chooses, each community can make a
decision to pay a wage that will ensure that a
single woman with a child can afford a one
bedroom apartment. Each community can either
start at the efficiency level or at the one
bedroom level using the same national formula
which embraces the same national guidelines but
is related to the local cost of housing. Clearly,
one size does not fit all.
Cost of living in major citiesWith New York as
the base city scoring 100 points, Moscow scores
123.9 and is nearly three times costlier than
Asuncion, which has an index of 43.5. 
Comparative Purchasing Power Parity
Comparison of minimum and living wage
The "Living Wage" Clause in the ETI Base Code-
How to Implement it?By David Steele, ETI
Information OfficerJune 2000By David Steele, ETI
Information OfficerJune 2000Ethical Trading
Initiative (ETI)
Indian NGOs Living wagehttp//www.indianngos.com/
  • Recently, stakeholders such as socially
    responsible investors, non-governmental
    organizations (NGOs), churches and labor unions
    have called upon companies to pay their
    employees, contractors' employees and
    agricultural workers a living wage, which
    generally refers to a wage that is sufficient for
    workers to meet their basic material needs, plus
    some discretionary spending.
  • 1). Poverty line assessment The first method is
    a calculation based on poverty line data for a
    given country and uses statistics that are often
    generated by the local government, United Nations
    Agencies or the International Financial
    Institutions. This method compares workers' wages
    to the amount needed to ensure that at least half
    the average household can live above the local
    poverty line. A simple, commonly used formula is
    The cost of the basic food basket (based on a
    2100 caloric minimum) X a multiplier for non-food
    essentials (based on 1/ of avg. household income
    spent on food) X .5 x avg. household size 10
    of the total WAGE RATE
  • 2). Market Basket Survey The second method is a
    market basket or 'consumption needs' survey
    conducted by an independent and reputable
    institution. SAI (formally CEPAA) recommends that
    Certification Bodies seek to subcontract out such
    a survey, especially in countries or regions
    where the data are insufficient or inadequate to
    allow for the application of the first method.

Welcome to Jubilee Debt Campaign, demanding an
end to the scandal of poor countries paying money
to the rich world. We are calling for 100
cancellation of unpayable and unfair poor country
debts. The world's most impoverished countries
are forced to pay over 100 million EVERY DAY to
the rich world in debt repayments, while poverty
kills millions of their people. Together we can
change this. Already, campaigner pressure has
forced rich countries to cancel some debts. But
more needs to be done.
While more than 80 million Nigerians live on less
than 1 per day, in 2005 Nigeria agreed to pay
over 12 billion to the Paris Club of creditors
in exchange for partial debt cancellation.
  • Africa's over 200 billion debt burden is the
    single biggest obstacle to the continent's
    development. Most of this debt is illegitimate,
    having been incurred by despotic and
    unrepresentative regimes. African countries spend
    almost 14 billion annually on debt service,
    diverting resources from HIV/AIDS programs,
    education and other important needs. The U.S. and
    other rich countries have resisted calls to
    cancel this debt, instead proposing partial
    solutions that are inadequate and impose harsh
    economic policies on indebted countries. Africa
    Actions Campaign to Cancel Africas Debt
    mobilizes pressure on the U.S. government to push
    for 100 debt cancellation for all impoverished
    African countries without harmful conditions.

Forgive us Our Debts ! ! ! !
  • Much of the current levels of debt were amassed
    following the 1973 Oil Crisis when the western
    members of OPEC pushed the price of oil up making
    the Arab nations very wealthy. They decided to
    deposit this money in large Western banks. The
    banks didn't want all of this money lying around
    so it was lent to the third world countries.
    Banks lent large amounts of money to developing
    countries without much attention to where the
    money would be spent or whether countries would
    be capable of repaying the amount. While some of
    this money went towards trying to improve the
    living standards for those in the countries, most
    of the loans never reached the poor of the
    country either going towards large-scale
    development projects, some of which proved of
    little value, or to the private bank accounts of
    dictators. Overall, about one-fifth of loans went
    to arms.
  • Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, a former
    World Bank consultant alleges that the debt
    burden was intentionally created as a means of
    exerting political power.

UK pushing for Africa debt plan Friday, 3 June,
  • The UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has put forward a
    bold plan to tackle poverty in Africa ahead of
    the G8 Summit of rich countries in Scotland next
    month. He called for a doubling of European aid
    by 2010 and 100 debt relief, as well as an end
    to many trade subsidies.
  • But the plan is facing opposition in the US - and
    particularly from President George W Bush.
  • Mr Bush's stance sets up a possible clash with UK
    Prime Minister Tony Blair, due in Washington next
  • Mr Bush said on Wednesday that a key part of the
    plan did not fit with the US budget process.
  • The UK is pushing hard for major debt relief and
    a doubling of aid to Africa, and Chancellor
    Gordon Brown laid out a set of ambitious plans on

Chavez, Morales, Correa bypass US in deals with
Iran, ChinaBloomberg 30 January 2007
  • The region is responding to the overtures
    Presidents including Correa, 43, Venezuelas Hugo
    Chavez and Bolivias Evo Morales are bypassing
    the U.S. in reaching trade accords and
    strengthening diplomatic and commercial ties with
    nations that compete with, or are hostile toward,
    U.S. interests.
  • President George W. Bush, who entered office in
    2001 saying Latin America would be
    fundamental to his presidency, has so far
    failed to achieve two cornerstones of his agenda
    a free- trade agreement of the Americas and new
    immigration laws that would allow undocumented
    residents to obtain legal status.
  • The administration, which has directed almost
    400 billion toward Iraq since the 2003 invasion,
    sought 822 million to fund U.S. Agency for
    International Development programs in Latin
    America and the Caribbean in the current fiscal
    year. Thats 8.3 percent below the 2003 budget,
    according to figures from USAid, the main
    pipeline for non-military U.S. foreign aid.

Global Debt and Third World Development by
Vincent Ferraro and Melissa Rosser BLUE ADDED
El Presidente electo del Ecuador, Rafael Correa,
acompañado de los ministros designados de
Relaciones Exteriores, Gobierno, Economía,
Energía, secretario de la Administración y
subsecretaria de Competitividad, se reunieron hoy
con una delegación de alto nivel del Congreso de
los Estados Unidos conformada por seis senadores,
la embajadora de los Estados Unidos y presidida
por el líder de la mayoría del Senado, Harry

Prof Stiglitz, a Nobel prizewinner in economics,
occupied a high position in President Clinton's
government before becoming Chief Economist at the
World Bank(1997-2001). Here are a few paragraphs
from the preface to this landmark book-"I
believe that globalization the removal of
barriers to free trade and the closer integration
of national economies can be a force for good
and that it has the potential to enrich everyone
in the world, particularly the poor. But I also
believe that, if this is to be the case, the way
globalization has been managed, including the
international trade agreements that have played
such a large role in removing those barriers and
the policies that have been imposed on developing
countries in the process of globalization, need
to be radically rethought ... The IMF's policies,
in part based on the outworn presumption that
markets, by themselves, lead to efficient
outcomes, failed to allow for desirable
government interventions in the market, measures
which can guide economic growth and make everyone
better off."
  • Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz was
    awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics on Wednesday
    (10-10-01) by the Royal Swedish Academy of
  • Officially named the Bank of Sweden Prize in
    Economic Sciences, Stiglitz won the award with
    George Akerlof of the University of California,
    Berkeley and A. Michael Spence of Stanford
    University. The Academy selected the trio for
    "their analyses of markets with asymmetric

Flow chart for trade in cotton (avg 2000-2004)

Monday, 07 March
2005Brazil should increase cotton exports with
the end of North American subsidies to farmers.
"Our current yearly foreign sales may grow up to
20," stated João Luiz Ribas Pessa, the president
of the Association of Mato Grosso State Cotton
Producers (AMPA).According to figures supplied
by Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers
(Abrapa), if the United States eliminates all its
cotton subsidies, following the World Trade
Organization (WTO) decision, announced last week,
US exports should fall 40.This market,
theoretically, may be disputed by Brazil. Last
year, the USA exported around 2.7 million tons of
cotton, 40.7 of world exports of the product.
Brazil traded just 371,000 tons on the foreign
market."The impact of the decision in the
country should start being felt at the 2006
crop," stated Pessa. The reason is that the North
Americans have a grace period so as to adapt to
the WTO resolutions. Up to July 1st they will
have to remove the direct export subsidies. They
will then have a period of approximately 15
months to reduce the other incentives.
Nigeria Accelerates Cotton Production.Qasim
Akinreti, Lagos
  • The Nigerian Government is planning to prepare
    more than 1,800 of land for cotton cultivation
    across the country this year. This is being done
    to revive cotton production as a major foreign
    exchange earner for the country.
  • Speaking at a sensitisation forum organized for
    cotton farmers in Minna, Niger state in the
    northern part of the country, the chairman of the
    publicity sub-committee on cotton, Mr. Labaran
    Maku, said that the measure was also aimed at
    reviving Nigeria textile industries.
  • He said that the prepared lands would be used to
    cultivate improved varieties of cotton seeds that
    could be regenerated and distributed to all
    cotton farmers in the country for accelerated
    production of the commodity in the next few
  • According to the Nigerias Minister of
    Agriculture, apart from the high yielding
    seeds, insecticides and other inputs had been
    procured and will be distributed to farmers at
    highly subsidised rates as special incentives
    aimed at encouraging cotton production in the

Allaying Farmers Fears. Maku allayed the fears of
farmers that the value of cotton was depreciating
due to lack of available market. According to
him, the committee had effectively addressed the
issue to ensure that markets would be readily
available before the commencement of every
harvest season.
The 24 cotton-growing states in the country have
been urged to embark on a mass mobilization and
sensitization campaign for accelerated cotton
growing. Cottton Production in Nigeria.
Nigeria's lint production for 2002/03 is
estimated at 450,000 bales, up from 390,000 bales
last year. Area planted increased from 340,000 to
375,000 hectares this year due to better cotton
prices relative to competing crops such corn and
sorghum. Seasonal rainfall has been near average
within Nigeria's cotton belt. The northern cotton
zone (Kaduna, Katsina, Bauchi, and Sokoto States)
typically accounts for 80 percent of cotton
production and the eastern zone (Kano, Borno,
Plateau, and Niger) accounts for approximately 15
percent of production (Nigeria Cotton Region).
Long-term price developments for cotton (Cotlook
A-Index, 1973/74-2004/05) andSource UNCTAD
secretariat (Data UNCTAD Commodity Price
world cotton stocks
Our target is to make Nigeria the world largest
producer of White Gold - Dr. Yoriyo Dr. J.
Lazarus Yoriyo,Dep. Gov., Gombe State By Seye
  • An appeal has therefore gone to the governments
    of all the 19 Northern states, all the states in
    the South-Western region of the country, except
    Lagos State as well as individual cotton farmers
    across the country to, as a matter of sustaining
    large production of the cash crop, raise
    awareness and stimulate the demand for quality
    cotton seed and cotton lint. If this is done, it
    will raise the public profile of cotton and act
    positively to encourage sustainable cotton
    production practices in the country and this
    would make Nigeria a major producer of cotton in
    the world.
  • Mr. President also dwelt on the serious decadence
    that had attended the cotton textile/garment
    industry and lauded the effort of the Cotton
    Development Committee towards addressing the
    problems. He also announced the establishment of
    N50 billion Nigerian Textile Rehabilitation Fund
    to support the industry, Dr. Yoriyo told Tribune

The insignia of the Republic of Angola shall be
formed by a segment of a cogwheel and sheaves of
maize, coffee and cotton, representing
respectively the workers and industrial
production, the peasants and agricultural
production. At the foot of the design, an open
book shall represent education and culture, and
the rising sun shall represent the new country.
In the center shall be a machete and a hoe
symbolizing work and the start of the armed
struggle. At the top shall be a star symbolizing
international solidarity and progress. In the
lower part of the emblem shall be a golden band
with the inscription 'Republic of Angola'.
Source Constitution of Angola.

"Currently, we practice prices that many people
who like also African fashion cannot afford, due
to high cost of the material, a fact that
prejudice all designers of African clothes"- she
underlined. According to her, lack of textile
industry in Angola forces the creators to turn to
the markets of the Western African countries, in
order to get the necessary material for the
execution of their activities.
  • ANGOLA African fashion designer on rehabiliation
    of textile industry
  • The Angolan fashion designer Doroteia Carvalho
    appealed today, here, for the rehabilitation of
    the textile industries of the country, with a
    view to stimulate the fashion market in Angola
    and open new horizons of choices to consumers of
    African clothes...
  • Re-Launch of Cotton Production Feb 03, 2004 In
    the next few days cotton production will be
    re-launched in lower Kassanje. The re-launch of
    cotton production, cattle-raising...Country

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Cotton faces a world of criticism By JANE
ROBERTSFebruary 22, 2007
  • The U.S. cotton industry, beleaguered by price
    and world opinion, feels it's about to be kicked
    again in a high-level WTO session that will give
    its detractors the floor.
  • A mid-March meeting, called by WTO Director
    General Pascal Lamy, is scheduled two weeks after
    the United States defends itself in Geneva
    against Brazil's allegations that the United
    States has not adequately reduced cotton
    subsidies as required by a 2005 WTO ruling.
  • The "high-level" March meeting will focus on the
    economics of West African cotton production.
  • Lange and others in the industry expect the
    discussion to galvanize sentiment against U.S.
    cotton and the subsidies that protect it.
  • Among them are the tariffs China imposes on
    cotton imports to protect its own production, in
    effect granting its cotton producers sizeable
    subsidies through improved prices.
  • The issue came to a head last week when French
    President Jacques Chirac called for the
    abolishment of U.S. cotton subsidies, blaming
    them for poverty in West African nations, many of
    which were colonized by France.

Farmers, ginners objectJohanns farm bill
proposal draws boos from cotton industry
But Johanns' background in farming and politics
seems to have served him well so far. The son of
an Iowa dairy farmer, Johanns was governor of
Nebraska when he was named agriculture secretary
by President Bush.

In it, Johanns would drastically reduce producer
payment limits, eliminate the cotton-friendly
three-entity rule that allowed a farmer to create
up to three different corporations on a farm that
each would be eligible for subsidies, and lower
price floors for cotton and other major
crops. We dont need to get alarmed yet, because
that is merely a proposal. Were going to get a
lot of proposals, said Colquitt County farmer
Louie Perry, president of the Georgia Cotton
Commission. Perry is the only Georgian on the
National Cotton Council. Hes just back from a
meeting in Austin, Texas, where the council has
come up with proposals of its own. This years
shift in Congress likely will benefit Georgia
cotton in the U.S. House but not so much in the
Senate, Perry said. In the House, Colquitt
Countys congressman, Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Macon,
plus David Scott, D-Atlanta, and John Barrow,
D-Savannah, represent Georgia on the agriculture
committee. Also, Colquitt Countys former
representatives Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany,
and Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, serve on the
powerful appropriations committee.
Angola to host world diamond summit
  • Luanda, Feb 24 (NNN-Prensa Latina) Angola will
    present the details of a World Summit of Diamonds
    (2008) during a Conference of gold prospectors
    and investors foreseen for March in Toronto,
  • The Angolan government and the National Diamond
    Enterprise (ENDIAMA), invited to the Canadian
    meeting, will formally make the notification.
  • Organizers predict the participation of about 15
    thousand delegates, and the African
    representative will speak about the local
    industry and refer to the recently created
    Association of Diamond-producing Countries (ADPA)
    in November, aimed at changing the current
    international marketing formula.
  • Although the great majority of producers are
    found in Africa they must comply with the
    decisions coming from Europe or North America,
    the nations leading this profitable sector.
  • US market owns almost half of world sales and its
    measures affect the rest of the producers and

African Countries Diamond Producers Association

African Countries Diamond Producers Association
(ADPA) is an international organization in Africa
designed to strengthen influence on the world
diamond market as well as harmonize legislation
and encouraging foreign investment in the
industry. One of it's main concerns is the
continued illegal sales of blood diamonds. The
organization was formed on 4 November 2006 as
part of an initiative spearheaded by Angolan head
of State, President José Eduardo Dos Santos.
Angola is the interim executive secreteariat as
well as home to the organization's headquarters.
Diamond polishing and treatment plants opened
  • President José Eduardo dos Santos inaugurated the
    first diamond polishing plant in Angola on 3
    November. Representing an investment of US10
    million by the national diamond company, Endiama,
    it will substantially increase diamond industry
    revenue.  It employs 600 workers, most of them
    women and physically handicapped people.
  • The new plant is a result of a partnership
    between Sodiam, the national diamond marketing
    company, with a 48 percent interest, and LLD
    Diamonds of the Lev Leviev group, the biggest
    diamond polisher in the world, with 47 percent. 
    The remaining five percent is held by the Projem
    consortium formed by a number of Angolan
  • The plant, in the south of Luanda, has a capacity
    to process about US240 million worth of diamonds
    a year, and is especially important in that it
    will enable Angola to stop exporting only rough
    diamonds and to sell polished gemstones abroad. 
    According to official estimates, after polishing
    the stones, foreign buyers have made US56
    million dollars out of every US9 million worth
    of rough diamonds exported by Angola.
  • The volume of Endiamas exports in 2004 amounted
    to more than 6.63 million carats, worth an
    estimated US763.66 million.  
  • Observers noted that the plant would help to
    increase the diamond industrys contribution to
    Gross Domestic Product, as well as encouraging
    the coming into being of new companies to provide
    services for the diamond industry.

Introducing Agnes Abrafi and Erica Kyere, Kuapa
Kokoo Fairtrade Cocoa Producers Cooperative, Ghana
The message I have for our guys in New Zealand
is to patronise the Fair Trade chocolate. They
should buy a lot of Fair Trade chocolate so that
we farmers here will get premium to support our
income. Through this we can send our children to
school through this we can live in good houses
through this we can take care or ourselves and
our family and through this we can contribute to
the development of the world. This is the message
I have for our friends in New Zealand   Eli
Santana, cocoa farmer, Ghana
Industry unites to aid cocoa growersMembers of
the World Cocoa Foundation have extended their
five-year plan to help 150,000 cocoa farming
families in Ghana and the Ivory Coast
protecting the supply chain and ensuring ethical
practices are in place. African cocoa producing
countries account for around 80 per cent of the
bean's global exports and the worldwide chocolate
market is worth 75 billion (58.5bn) annually
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  • Bucharest. The Romanian troops in Iraq will
    continue their missions in accordance with the
    existing calendar, but their presence wont be
    long-term, Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu
    Tariceanu said during an inauguration ceremony of
    the new Minister of Defense Teodor Melescanu, the
    Romanian agency Mediafax reported. The Prime
    Minister reaffirmed that a decision on the
    troops withdrawal would be taken after talks
    with Romanias coalition allies. Melescanu added
    that the Romanian troops would fulfil their NATO,
    EU and UN missions. He stated that Romanias
    Supreme Defense Council should discuss the
    Romanian troops withdrawal from Iraq.
  • Romanias Chamber of Deputies and Senate might
    assemble next week twice in a joint session, once
    to debate on the issue of suspending president
    Traian Basescu, and second to debate on the
    presidents request to organize a referendum for
    the uninominal vote.

  • GDP (PPP)
  • 218.9 billion (IMF 2007 est.)1197.3 billion
    (CIA Factbook, 2006 est.)2(48th 1)
  • GDP growth
  • 7.1 (IMF, 2006 est.)6.4 (CIA Factbook, 2006
    est.)7.7 (National Institute of Statistics,
    2006 est.3)
  • GDP per capita
  • 10,1524 (IMF 2007 est.)8,800 (CIA Factbook
    2006 est.)
  • GDP by sector
  • agriculture (10.1), industry (34.7), services
    (55.2) (2006 est.)
  • Inflation (CPI)
  • 4.87 (20065)

  • Pop below poverty line
  • 25 (2003 est.)
  • Labor force
  • 9.33 million (2006 est.)
  • Labour force by occupation
  • agriculture (31.6), industry (30.7), services
    (37.7) (2004)
  • Unemployment5.1 (November 20066)
  • Main industries
  • textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto
    assembly, mining, timber, construction materials,
    metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum

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  • GTC Romania to build three centres for Galleria
  • The Globe Trade Centre (GTC) group has begun
    developing a network of Galleria shopping centres
    in Romania and intends to complete the first
    three outlets before the end of the present year.
    Some 10-12 Galleria centres are to be opened in
    Romania over the next four years. GTC Romania
    plans to develop the Galleria shopping centre
    brand in medium-sized Romanian towns. These
    stores will provide total shopping space of
    around 50,000 m² by the end of the year. The main
    tenants for the centres will be grocery
    supermarkets, interior furnishings stores,
    household appliance and electronics stores and
    clothing, footwear and cosmetics outlets. GTC is
    building the network in collaboration with the
    Aura Group. Both partners will control 50 of the
    shares in the undertaking.

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations
    (ASEAN) was founded on 8 August 1967 by  five
    leaders - the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia,
    Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and
    Thailand. The important document for the ASEAN
    was signed by the five Foreign Ministers - Adam
    Malik of Indonesia, Narciso R. Ramos of the
    Philippines, Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S.
    Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of
    Thailand - who would subsequently be hailed as
    the Founding Fathers of probably the most
    successful inter-governmental organization in the
    developing world today. And the document that
    they signed would be known as the ASEAN
    Declaration. Currently, the ASEAN consists of 10
    Nations - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,
    Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Singapore,
    Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam

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  • French Indochina
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