Top of the Morning: ECOWAS Puts the Squeeze on Mali; Forget the World Bank, BRICS Will Start Their Own Own

Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service–DAWNS Digest.

Forget the World Bank, BRICS to Start New Development Bank

The more development banks, the better, right?! “Accusing current international institutions of failing to lift up poor countries, the BRICS group — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — asked their finance ministers to investigate setting up a development bank like the World Bank or Asian Development Bank that they would back. They also agreed to boost business and trade in their own local currencies. ‘Institutions of global political and economic governance created more than six decades ago have not kept pace with the changing world,’ India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the gathering. ‘Developing countries need access to capital.’ The five countries represent 45 percent of the world’s population, a quarter of its land mass and a quarter of its economy at $13.5 trillion. World Bank President Robert Zoellick, underscoring the importance of the emerging world’s biggest economies with his own trip to India, welcomed the idea of a new development bank.” (AP

ECOWAS Puts the Squeeze on Mali, Big Time

This is kind of reminiscent of the measures taken by the West African group during the heights of the Cote D’Ivoire crisis of 2010/2011. “West Africa’s regional bloc announced late Thursday that it is closing all land borders with Mali and freezing the nation’s bank account in an effort to force mutinous soldiers from power who seized control in a coup last week. The financial sanctions are among the harshest imposed in recent years on a nation in West Africa and are likely to strangle impoverished Mali, which imports nearly all of its gasoline from neighboring Ivory Coast. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the president of the commission of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, told reporters in Ivory Coast that the sanctions will go into effect in 72 hours. He said that in addition to the closure of the borders, all countries belonging to the 15-nation bloc will stop allowing Mali from using their ports. And in addition to the central bank freezing the country’s account, Ouedraogo explained that the bloc will instruct the central bank not to transfer money to any of the Malian government’s commercial bank accounts.” (ABC

More on Mali: From Coup to Political Standoff

Mali’s opposition party is joining the calls for the coup leaders to give up power over the country. (Al Jazeera

A bit of history on coup leader Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo. (Think Africa Press