Latest articles on International Bank For Reconstruction And Development

Turmoil as tobacco prices fluctuate in Malawi

Malawi's tobacco industry has been in turmoil after wildly fluctuating prices led protesting farmers to force the closure of the auction floors. This year's tobacco sales started on a very high note with prices reaching the phenomenal price of $11 per kilogramme. The high prices did not last, however.

Ramos joins SABMiller board

SABMiller announced on Wednesday that Transnet head Maria Ramos has joined their board as an independent non-executive director. "During her career, Ms Ramos has won a multitude of accolades, including being named as South Africa's Businesswoman of the Year in 2001, and <i>Sunday Times</i> Business Leader of the Year 2005," said SABMiller.

Drug patents are beside the point

This week Switzerland will become ground zero for the future of health policy in Africa. The World Health Organisation's intergovernmental working group is meeting in Geneva to discuss public health, medical innovation and intellectual property. Many participants are expected to express their support for efforts to undermine patent protections for drugs.

Food crisis: ‘We are paying for 20 years of mistakes’

The United Nations's new top adviser on food blamed two decades of wrong-headed policies by world powers for the food crisis sweeping the globe in a stinging interview published on his first day in office. Frenchman Olivier de Schutter told <i>Le Monde</i> newspaper the world needed to prepare for the end of "cheap food".

It’s class apartheid, stupid

Official data tell us that class apartheid, born in April 1994 with features that include durable racism and patriarchy, is now a malevolent juvenile delinquent.As with racial apartheid two decades ago, the chains of class apartheid have growing cracks and, with enough pressure from below, can also be broken.

IMF: With US in crisis, global economy in peril

The global economic outlook is becoming increasingly grim as the United States appears unable to escape recession from a housing meltdown, the effects of which are still spreading, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday. Global expansion is set to slow to 3,7% in 2008 amid an unfolding crisis that began in the United States, the IMF said.

Bush visit to Africa to centre on Tanzania

United States President George Bush will spend most of his time during a five-nation tour of Africa later this month in Tanzania, to spotlight development gains in the East African nation. "This is a success story," said US embassy public affairs officer Jeffery Salaiz of Tanzania, during a press conference held in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

A bank in every African pocket?

With most formal banks inaccessible to many Africans, the service of cellphone banking is expanding to the poor on the continent. Mary Kimani examines how financial institutions are extending their services through the ubiquitous usage of cellphones in rural areas.

Indonesia reports 97th bird-flu death

An eight-year-old Indonesian boy has died of bird flu, the Health Ministry said on Friday, bringing the toll to 97 in the nation worst hit by the H5N1 virus. The boy was the seventh person from the Jakarta satellite city of Tangerang to die of the disease since October. He died at 4am local time in a Jakarta hospital, the ministry's bird-flu centre said.

Concerns raised over press freedom in Niger

Press-freedom groups agree that an increase in arrests, intimidation and harassment of journalists in Niger is impeding development in one of the poorest countries in the world. At least 14 journalists were arrested in Niger in 2007. Four of them are still in prison awaiting sentencing.

Economists in search for keys to happiness index

President Nicolas Sarkozy's talk of creating a new growth and well-being index for France is part of a mounting global campaign that many economists believe will shape civilisation and democracy in the 21st century. Sarkozy presented his recruitment of Nobel prize-winning economists Jospeh Stiglitz and Amartya Sen to work on a quality-of-life index.

Africa to get together to solve tax problems

Tax collectors from 39 countries around the world meeting in an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development-sponsored conference on Friday agreed to support a further conference specifically on taxation in Africa. The conference will be hosted by the South African Revenue Service, and will take place in May this year.

Niger tries, belatedly, to curb population growth

"A child if I want and when I want," reads the sign at the family-health centre in Niamey where dozens of Niger women come to get free contraceptives. "I was taking the pill without my husband's knowledge," said Zahratou Amadou, a 38-year-old mother of 10. "When he found out he repudiated me."

Emerging equity markets increasingly attractive

Equity markets in the emerging world have weathered the subprime credit crunch in developed markets more easily than any previous market turmoil, and are expected to remain a sought-after investment destination -- if not a safe haven -- for many years to come, according to the head of equity research at Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa.

Africa seeks to ‘get connected’ at Rwanda meet

African leaders and technology experts met on Monday in Rwanda to discuss plans to boost the continent's development by securing universal internet access by 2012. Several heads of state attended the Connect Africa gathering, organised by the International Telecommunication Union and supported by international bodies including the African Union.

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