12 April 2012A group of 39 former World Bank managers and economists – including Francois Bourguignon, the development lender’s chief economist from 2003 to 2007 – have endorsed Africa’s candidate to lead the institution, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.In an open letter published on Wednesday, the group called on the Bank’s executive board to make their decision on merit, when the board for the first time considers more than one candidate for the job.“We believe that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala has outstanding qualifications across the full range of relevant criteria,” they said.Competition for US nomineeOkonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank managing director, and Jose Antonio Ocampo, a former finance minister of Colombia, are competing with the US nominee Jim Yong Kim, a public health expert and president of Dartmouth College.Under a tacit agreement, the US picks the World Bank president, always an American, and Europe puts a European at the helm of the International Monetary Fund, the Bank’s sister institution.Writing in their personal capacity ahead of the candidate interviews next week, the ex-Bank officials said “we care too much for the institution and for its historic development mission not to speak up.”The letter was signed by a number of Europeans, including Bourguignon, as well as Barbara Kafka, an American who served over 33 years at the Bank in a range of posts.Candidate ‘the times call for’Tunisia’s central bank chief, Mustapha Nabli, a former head of the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region, also signed. His country has not endorsed a candidate.Okonjo-Iweala “would bring the combination of her experience as finance and foreign minister of a large and complex African country with her wide experience of working at all levels of the Bank’s hierarchy in different parts of the world, from agricultural economist to managing director.”While the other two candidates also have strong qualifications, “she would be the outstanding World Bank president the times call for.”The World Bank plans to select the successor to outgoing president Robert Zoellick by 20 April, the start of its spring meetings with the IMF.South Africa’s backingNigeria, South Africa and Angola jointly announced Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination in Pretoria on 23 March, ahead of a World Bank constituency meeting between the three countries.“We are very proud as Africa and certainly this constituency to confirm that the Minister of Finance of Nigeria is going to be a candidate for the president of the World Bank,” Gordhan said.“She would be a candidate of choice not just on the African continent but well beyond as well.Gordhan added that the G20 had made a decision that future processes for the selection of heads of international finance institutions like the World Bank needed to be open, transparent, democratic and merit-based.“We believe that the candidature of Minister Okonjo-Iweala enables those that are going to make this decision in Washington to have before them an eminently qualified individual who can balance the needs of both developed and, importantly, developing countries,” Gordhan said.Okonjo-Iweala would also “provide a new vision and sense of mission to the World Bank and its relevance, particularly to developing countries across the globe”.Sapa, with additional reporting by SAinfo
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University will offer a July 28 field day focusing on the needs of fresh-market vegetable producers that will offer farmers the latest information on diseases facing muck crops.The Muck Crops Field Day is from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s Muck Crops Agricultural Research Station, 4875 state Route 103 S in Willard.The station covers 15-plus acres of high-organic-matter muck soil in Huron County’s productive “salad bowl” region, said Bob Filbrun, the station’s manager.The workshop will also offer growers information on several research trials being conducted at the station, including a look at herbicides used on nurse crops such as barley and oats, Filbrun said.“The field day will include a session that focuses on what issues local muck crop growers are facing this year on their farms and how things are going for them in production so far this season,” he said. “The second half of the morning will focus on plant pathology, including club rot issues in greens as well as a look at the use of a new fungicide, Orondis, which is used for control of root rot in cucurbit crops.“We will also look at the latest research on carrot weevil control.”The event will also offer updates on the station’s latest research findings on managing weeds, insects and diseases in muck-soil vegetable crops, Filbrun said.The event is being held in collaboration with the Huron County office of Ohio State University Extension. OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms, respectively, of the college. The program is free and open to the public and will include a catered brunch.For more information or to RSVP for the program, visit the station’s website at go.osu.edu/MuckCropsStation or contact Filbrun at 419-935-1201 or [email protected]
Andrew T. WeilANDREW T. WEILPHYSICIAN, AUTHOR & PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA Despite the undeniable advances in medical science in the past 100 years, we are facing a global crisis in healthcare today. And it has the potential to disrupt the economic growth surging through much of the world. The good,Andrew T. WeilANDREW T. WEILPHYSICIAN, AUTHOR & PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA Despite the undeniable advances in medical science in the past 100 years, we are facing a global crisis in healthcare today. And it has the potential to disrupt the economic growth surging through much of the world. The good news is that there are solutions to this predicament. But some of the most effective ones may require out-of-the-box thinking and the development of new paradigms in healing and healthcare. I firmly believe that India is uniquely positioned to address the health challenges of the future.The moot problem is the spiralling cost of healthcare. There are several reasons for this. First, modern medicine has changed the very nature of illness. The rolling back of infectious diseases, the primary cause of disability and death till early 20th Century, has left us saddled with chronic degenerative illnesses, that are much more difficult to treat and much more expensive. Medical advances are also enabling people to live longer. Never before in human history has such a large percentage of population been in the ranks of the old and the oldest-old. This, obviously, has enormous political, economic and social consequences. But the immediate effect is an enormous escalation in healthcare costs.In the US, the healthcare system is on the verge of total collapse. Smaller and community hospitals are going bankrupt. At one end of the age spectrum, there is a huge population of senior citizens. At the other end, there is a generation of unhealthy children, victims of morbid obesity, type-II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Modern allopathic medicine has also become far too dependent on technology, which is inherently expensive. In addition, over 40 per cent of the population is uninsured. The problem is that the US spends money not on the promotion of health, but on the intervention of established diseases, a losing proposition. We need to spend money in ways that educate people about health. Our physicians are not trained in simple low-tech, low-cost interventions. A glaring omission is that basic nutrition is still not taught in medical schools. The total instruction I got in nutrition in my four years at Harvard was 30 minutes. The nutritional illiteracy of the medical profession allows the pressure of corporations that make food and the stupidity of governments that should be doing something in this area, to just run rampant over good sense.advertisementFor the past 35 years, I have been working to develop a new paradigm: ‘integrative medicine’. It is the intelligent combination of ideas and practices of conventional medicine and alternative medicine. It begins with the recognition that conventional medicine does some things extremely well. If I were in an automobile accident, I would not want to be taken first to the practitioner of Ayurveda or Acupuncture. If I have acute bacterial pneumonia, I would want to be treated with antibiotics. But in many kinds of other illnesses, and especially the diseases of lifestyle, allopathic medicine is much less effective. Integrative medicine may take longer to work and the effect may be less dramatic, but over time it can produce as good or better results. It also makes economic sense because it is simpler, natural and cheaper.DISEASE IS NOT NECESSARILY A CONSEQUENCE OF AGEING. WORK TOWARD DELAYING THE ONSET OF DISEASES. Integrative medicine means a true marriage, a system that draws on the best aspects, ideas and practices of all systems of healing. It is much more than simply bringing new therapies into the mainstream. Its main purpose is to restore the focus of medicine on health and healing and not solely on disease management. It also insists that people are more than physical bodies. We are mental, emotional, spiritual entities, active in our communities. Unless medicine takes those into account, it cuts itself off from large areas of intervention in which many kinds of disease can be modified. Especially, in mind-body medicine, which is now well researched with scientific foundation to it. Integrative medicine insists that we look at aspects of lifestyle, how people eat, how they exercise or don’t, how they rest, what they do for fun and how they handle stress. All of this is relevant to the equation of health and illness.Integrative medicine insists that the interaction between doctors and patients is very relevant to the healing process. One of the great tragedies of conventional medicine is that the amount of time doctors spend with patients has come down drastically. In some countries like Japan, this is even worse where doctors now see 30 patients in an hour and are called ‘two-minute doctors’.advertisementI feel strongly that integrative medicine is the way of the future. In North America, it is now an established movement. It is also quite strong in Scandinavia, China and in Japan. But I am fascinated by India. It is a unique example in the world, of a country in which a number of different traditional medical systems have had long illustrious history. At the moment, the integration of these systems has still not really happened here. But I can envision that it is in this country that models of integrative medicine can be developed both for in-patient and out-patient care. And that will serve as models to be replicated around the world.DiscussionQ. How does integrative medicine add to our knowledge of all those lifestyle risk factors that lead to chronic diseases like heart attack? Weil: In cardiology, the biggest omission is in the mind-body area. Recommendations are rarely made on how to change one’s mental health-something that has a very damaging effect on the heart. There are technologies-ancient ones like Pranayam and meditation or modern cognitive and behavioural therapies-that can efficiently show how to identify and change negative patterns of thinking.Q. What’s the key to a good diet? How do you manage yours? Weil: The problem in modern diet is the extent to which manufactured and fast food have displaced natural home-cooked food. Today the percentage of American families that sit down to even one meal together is astonishingly and depressingly low. For many, the idea of preparing a meal from fresh ingredients seems very old-fashioned. They either don’t have the time, or they don’t know how to do it, or find it too labour-intensive. I have always tried to show that it is possible to make foods that are delicious, healthy, easy and quick. I enjoy food, I grow a lot of my own food and I like to prepare food for myself and others. I grew up eating a mainstream American diet. But I became a vegetarian when I was 28. For many years, I was a lacto-vegetarian. And then for a variety of reasons I began eating fish. I am convinced that Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely essential to optimum health. I do not eat meat or poultry. I eat some diary products. I eat fish and also take a supplement of fish oil. If you choose for vegetarian reason not to eat fish, I would really urge you to think about maximising your intake of vegetarian sources of Omega-3, like algae.Q. The goal of integrative medicine, you have said, is to live longer and live better. What’s the best way of ageing? Weil: Acceptance of the ageing process. The very concept of antiageing medicine bothers me. Ageing is a universal process, written into the laws of the universe. To set your goal as anti-ageing is to put yourself into a wrong relationship with nature. But if anti-aging is not the legitimate goal, then what is? I call it ‘healthy aging’. Focus on maintaining health. At any age, you should have the energy and capability to enjoy life. As people get older, diseases become more frequent. Are these necessary consequences of aging? My answer to that is ‘no’. It is possible to separate aging from age-related diseases. The legitimate goal to me is to work toward reducing the risk and delaying the onset of these diseases. There is a lovely term for it: ‘compression of morbidity’. You try to squeeze the time of disability and decline at the end of life into as short a period as possible. You live long and well and then have a rapid drop-off at the end.advertisementQ. Which form of Pranayam or meditation should we practice? Weil: The first principle of breath work is to try to make breathing deeper, slower, quieter and more regular. If done regularly, breathing would unconsciously tend to move in this direction.
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced a cash award of Rs 10 lakh and a job for hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki, one of the stars of the team that won the Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, this week.The youngster was on target during the tiebreaker which decided the final against Pakistan.Walmiki’s family lives in a small garage in a building compound in Mumbai and after a news report highlighted this fact, the state government said that it will provide them a decent home while announcing a cash award and a job for the player.Walmiki’s home doesn’t family has to go to neighbouring buildings for their ablutions. The family also doesn’t have an electricity connection.In fact, the dwelling is so small that Walmiki’s medals have to share space with family utensils that lie on the floor.On Wednesday, however, things began to change as the state government announced the cash award for Walmiki.The opposition Shiv Sena, which controls BEST – the energy supplying utility – then also got in to the act and asked it to provide the family a electricity connection.Later in the day, Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya felicitated Walmiki at their Bandra residence ‘Matoshree’.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, is leading a delegation in Europe, where he is slated to engage in a series of meetings with financial institutions.The talks are intended to apprise agents in the international capital markets of developments on the government’s economic reform programme and the growth agenda.This was disclosed by Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, at a Jamaica House press briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister on June 6.Miss Falconer said the meetings will involve, primarily, representatives from investment banks, pension funds and insurance companies.“Discussions will include the four-year Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The team will also articulate the macro-economic and fiscal path that Jamaica intends to pursue in order to realise economic growth and development,” she said.Minister Phillips is accompanied by Bank of Jamaica Governor, Brian Wynter; Financial Secretary, Devon Rowe; Senior Director, Debt Management, Pamela McLaren; and Technical Advisor to the Minister, Helen McIntosh.Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker