What We’re Reading 8/7/09

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Secretary Clinton in Africa

Bloomberg News: Clinton Presses South Africa on Zimbabwean Crisis
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a meeting with South Africa’s Foreign Minister today, during which she encouraged South Africa to take a leadership role on the political crisis in neighboring Zimbabwe. She said that the government must be aware of the challenges posed by Zimbabwe because 3 million refugees have crossed over the border into South Africa. US officials say that Clinton’s meeting with President Jacob Zuma tomorrow will have the same message. Zuma recently said that he will contact Robert Mugabe over delays in implementing a power-sharing accord signed in Zimbabwe in February.

New York Times: Clinton Offers Assurances to Somalis
Yesterday the Secretary of State met with Somali President Sharif Sheik Ahmed, whom she praised as “the best hope we’ve had for some time.” Clinton said the battle for Somalia is deeply connected to American interests. She strongly warned Eritrea to stop supporting insurgents within the country, and promised President Ahmed more aid, training and equipment, in addition to the millions of dollars’ worth of weapons the United States has recently shipped to his government.

Other news

Reuters: China, Others Shove US in Scramble for Africa
Reuters writes that China has overtaken the United States as Africa’s top trading partner, and that this is one of the main problems facing Secretary Clinton on a trip meant to spread a good governance message and shore up relationships with key oil suppliers on the continent. African investment correspondent Ed Cropley notes that in contrast to President Obama’s one day, one country trip to Africa last month, in February Chinese president Hu Jintao was in a number of African countries — none of them rich in oil or minerals — offering a shoulder to lean on as world recession started to affect the continent.

AFP: Drugmakers to Supply Cheap HIV Treatments
Former president Bill Clinton has announced a deal with two major US drug companies to supply cheap HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis treatments to developing countries. Under the agreement, Mylan will make available a second-line therapy of four antiretroviral drugs for less than 500 dollars annually. In addition, Pfizer is to reduce the price and expand availability of a drug used to treat tuberculosis in patients taking second-line antiretroviral drugs. The discount will translate to 400 million dollars in savings over the next five years compared to prices usually paid for alternative regimens, the Clinton Foundation said.

Reuters: Global Fund Grants Zimbabwe $37.9 million to Fight AIDS
The Global Fund today granted Zimbabwe $37.9 million, resuming support after getting assurances from the new unity government that the money would not be misused. The head of the Global Fund’s Africa Unit said the funds, previously managed by the state-appointed National Aids Council, would now be overseen by the United Nations Development Program in Zimbabwe. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the grant showed increasing confidence in the country’s unity government.

Grace Lamb-Atkinson

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