'Inter-Africa trade will beat recession'

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma says the world's financial system can no longer be trusted to manage itself, and that developing countries need to work together to benefit their people.

Speaking at the opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town last night, Zuma said the global economic meltdown showed that the world needed a "transformed global financial system".

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund needed "comprehensive reforms", he said.

"For most African countries, still highly indebted and dependent on aid for their revenues, the current crisis will mean increased starvation, poverty and child mortality."

Zuma also was alarmed at "protectionist measures" being taken by developed countries who gave huge subsidies to their farmers to produce food at low prices - instead of importing food from Africa.

He said countries in Africa must do "more trade" with each other - and with other countries in the southern hemisphere - if they were to survive the present recession. - Sapa