BRICS leaders often state their vision of establishing alternatives to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Indeed the NDB leadership began with environmentally-oriented loans last year, and in 2017 wants to add $3 billion in new credits.
But looked at from South Africa, questions immediately arise about key personnel, as well as the willingness of the only local NDB borrower so far – the electricity parastatal Eskom – to support renewable energy, and perhaps most importantly whether the country and the continent can afford more expensive hard-currency loans.Read More »
By the 1880s the post-slavery institutionalization of national oppression and economic exploitation of people of African descent was well underway in the United States.
Although a series of presidential orders, constitutional amendments and legislative measures enacted during 1862-1875 sought to breakdown the legal basis for the enslavement of African people, these actions were restricted by the entrenched interests of both the militarily defeated Southern planters and the emerging Northern industrialists, the two factions of the American ruling class which fought bitterly between 1861-65 for dominance over the economic system which would determine the future of society for the remaining decades of the 19th century.Read More »
Large numbers of persons fleeing war and famine in sub-Saharan Africa are transiting through Libya in a desperate effort to reach Europe, UNICEF reported last week.
An estimated 80,000 refugees, including 25,000 children, left Libyan ports in an effort to cross the Mediterranean Sea and enter southern Europe last year, with 4,000 of them dying during the crossing.
Another 320 refugees died attempting the crossing during the first two months of 2017 alone, a 300 percent increase from the same period in 2016. Some 16,000 African refugees have crossed from Libya to Italy so far this year, nearly double last year’s figure for the same period. Twenty-two refugees from sub-Saharan Africa were killed and 100 wounded during clashes between smugglers along Libya’s Mediterranean coastline on Tuesday.Read More »
For four years, IMF head Christine Lagarde has taken a lead in stressing that inequality reduces economic growth, most recently speaking at Davos in January. This triggered articles such as “The IMF is showing some hypocrisy on inequality” by Christopher Sheil and Frank Stilwell, who argue that “IMF leaders should practise what they preach when it comes to inequality.” One response is an IMF blog by Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry, entitled appropriately “Bridging Research and Reality”.Read More »