What We’re Reading 7/1/09

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Huffington Post: Nandini Oomman: Can HIV/AIDS Donors be the Lead ‘Gender Bender’ of Global Development?
Nandini Oomman writes that despite the billions of global HIV/AIDS dollars invested to help countries around the world to fight the epidemic, women and girls still suffer disproportionately. She says that now is a good time to change this because the current administration has made women and girls a high priority, and so organizations have all the political backing they need to make changes. Therefore, according to Oomman, the combination of this political commitment and the budget squeeze from the economic crisis creates an opportunity for PEPFAR, the Global Fund and the World Bank to support development programs for women and girls.

NY Times: Zimbabwe Says China is Giving it Loans
Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said that one of his appointed officials has negotiated a deal with China, securing credit worth $950 million. China has historically been an ally of Robert Mugabe. Mugabe’s party has publicly mocked Tsvangirai for failing to bring back much aid from his tour of the United States and Europe. Although many Western governments have been wary of giving Zimbabwe money, China has maintained a close relationship with the country as it extends financial ties to other African countries.

Voice of America: US Looks to Expand Development Aid to Strategic Partner Ethiopia
The Obama administration is seeking to expand development assistance to Ethiopia, despite concerns aobut the country’s slide toward authoritarianism. The administration is forming aid policies towards African countries it considers strategic partners. For example, last week the US announced it had sent a $10-million shipment of weapons to help shore up the besieged government of Somalia. The United States last year gave more than $1 billion in aid to Ethiopia, most of it in emergency food assistance, and practically all the rest in programs to fight HIV/AIDS and Malaria. The Obama administration is looking to broaden the program to include development aid.

Africa Today: What America Wants from Ghana
An article in Africa Today discusses the significance of President Obama’s upcoming visit to Ghana. It says that the trip is incredibly important for Ghanains and Africans in general and has garnered extensive media coverage in Africa, because “Not since the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president of a free South Africa has the election of a national leader generated so much global interest and excitement.” The piece also question’s America’s interest in Africa and Obama’s reasons for visiting, surmising that top on the list is the United States’ military and energy security agenda.

-Grace Lamb-Atkinson

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