South African newspapers have been remarkably quiet about the Zoellick visit over the weekend. This from the Sunday Times:
Nominee to be World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, said his meeting with SA’s Finance Minister Trevor Manuel today was “very cordial and very helpful. He has considerable experience in Africa and globally. We talked about some of the issues here.” Zoellick said that Manuel had informed him about regional groupings like the Southern African Development Community, as well as pensions and savings in Africa. “We also spoke about issues related to Chinese investment in the region,” added Zoellick. “I got a sense from him of the World Bank’s role in SA – he was very helpful,” concluded Zoellick.
AFP quotes Zoellick as saying “one of the things that is striking about dealing with sub-Saharan Africa now is that … the new generation of leaders are taking the sense of responsibility for their countries (in areas of) growth and wealth-generation, overcoming poverty, jobs creation.” Zoellick said that he also discussed with officials energy problems, development of financial market, trade, accountability, corruption, transparency, debt relief, climate change, poverty, HIV-AIDS and other diseases, democracy, investment, telecommunications, education, human resources, agriculture and infrastructure. Well, that’s everything then.
Reuters reports that Zoellick was due to speak with some NGOs before leaving South Africa Saturday afternoon to head to Europe – Britiain, France, Belgium, Germany and Norway. Any word on those discussions?