Emad Mekay

Starbucks-Ethiopia coffee deal hailed as model

A deal between Starbucks and Ethiopia that ends their trademark dispute and offers more benefits to Ethiopian coffee farmers has been hailed as a potential model for other poor nations seeking to better use the modern trading system, especially the often-controversial intellectual property rights provisions.

Wolfowitz strikes back

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is uncloaking new measures at the institution apparently designed to appease his critics and regain the initiative after weeks of fast retreat in the face of accusations of nepotism and an international downpour of criticism for his management style.

Wolfowitz contradicted on family-planning claim

Despite denials by World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz on Thursday, newly disclosed internal documents indicate that the bank may, in fact, have reversed a long-standing policy of promoting family planning on his watch. The contradictions could further intensify Wolfowitz's troubles at the bank.

World Bank chief accused of nepotism

A controversial raise for a World Bank employee who has been romantically involved with the bank's president, Paul Wolfowitz, was not the work of the bank's ethics committee, as originally alleged by Wolfowitz's office, according to the watchdog group that leaked the information.

Starbucks vs Ethiopian coffee farmers

The international advocacy group Oxfam is taking on United States coffee retailer Starbucks over the chain's reluctance to grant Ethiopian coffee farmers the right to control their coffee trademarks, something the company has promised to do earlier this year. Oxfam ran an ad in the Seattle Timesrecently urging the corporate icon to give Ethiopian farmers a greater share of the retail value of their coffees.

IMF’s role in Africa questioned

An independent review of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) operations in Africa says the lender's work is confused, vague, lacks transparency and suffers from a large gap between rhetoric and practice. "The fund should be clearer and more candid about what it has undertaken to do," says the report.

‘I thought Islam told us to do so’

Samar, a mother of four who works as a maid cleaning apartments and houses for a daily rate, was planning to circumcise her five-year-old daughter, Shaimaa, when she turns eight or nine. But an international conference in Egypt on female circumcision last week brought tidings she didn't expect.

Egyptian society divided over Islamic veil

The Islamic female veil has again become a bone of contention in this country after Egypt's long-time Culture Minister, Farouq Hosni, joined an international chorus decrying the practice, despite the growing number of Muslim women donning the attire. Hosni last week told a newspaper the veil represents a "step backward".

DRC’s mineral profits go to small, powerful elite

International companies and local elites in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are pocketing revenues from copper and cobalt production instead of sharing it with local communities or spending it to reduce poverty, a watchdog group charged this week.

Easing debt gives no relief

A new report by the self-auditing arm of the World Bank has painted a grim picture of the results of a decade-long plan by the bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to give the world's poorest nations debt relief.

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