Richard North, 02/04/2006  

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-ZumaThere are times when we can understand why the media retreats into itself and feeds off a diet of trivia. Too much reality is almost insufferable and, speaking personally, it is highly corrosive on the morale.

Compare and contrast, for instance, the hype on Live 8 and the orgy of press coverage, with a snippet from the South African online SABC News, which records a despairing plea from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South African minister of foreign affairs.

She is asking the EU to reduce its legislative burden on trade which, she says, is crippling the developing countries. This was after a meeting of the India, Brazil and South Africa Commission which noted that the REACH directive alone would cost them billions of dollars.

Dlamini-Zuma estimates that the European Union's new trade laws will cost developing nations more than £5 billion and restrict growth among poor countries, adding, "If you look at the amount Africa will need to comply it is almost double of what the EU gives in aid, so it is going to be a big problem."

This is an issue we have addressed on this blog from time to time, as in here, here and here.

A grown-up newspaper could may hay with Dr Dlamini-Zuma's comments – imagine the headline: "EU red-tape costs Africa twice more than aid". But, like so many with which this blog deals, this is yet another issue that has not taken off in the MSM. Perhaps the Dalai Lama has it right.


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