Nov 30 2006

Half Full or Half Empty

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 11:05 PM

African affairs are a mixture of good and bad news, raising the question over and over whether the glass is half full or half empty? In a breakthrough deal brokered by the foundation headed by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, the price for a combination of 19 different drugs used by children with HIV/AIDS was driven down to a mere $60 a year, or about five-times less than the current cost. The ability to drive down the cost of these and other HIV/AIDS therapies is remarkable, a credit to the improvisational skills of reformers. There is probably no bigger “market failure” in global capitalism than the mis-match between those who need pharamaceuticals and those who make and sell them for a profit. At least within the narrow but significant arena of HIV/AIDS, new partnerships between producers and enlightened consumers are doing what was considered impossible only a few years ago. Three cheers.
At the same time, violence continues to stalk Africans who have worked hard to sustain a fragile peace in Southern Sudan. The BBC reports violence between Southerners and the forces deployed in the region by the government in Khartoum. What this means for the uneasy peace between north and south Sudan is anyone’s guess. A resumption in fighting between north and south is a scenario to be feared, however, with the violence likely to rival that being seen in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

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