Patrick Bond

If the Washington Consensus was the ideology of the late 20th century, can ecological economics and a genuine recognition of market failure for most of the earth's human inhabitants inform heads of state negotiating a grand deal in Johannesburg? If so, they will have to change direction rather dramatically.

At the same time the Treatment Action Campaign (Tac) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) were holding a massive people's conference in Durban to fight HIV/Aids last week, Thabo Mbeki begged for increased commitments for Africa from G-8 leaders in Kananaskis, Canada.

Included amongst those commitments is the UN Global Fund, which according to Kofi Annan should logically reach $10 billion annually to meet Third World demands for inexpensive medicine, more health workers more

Thabo Mbeki is seen as Africa's most legitimate, self-confident and fundamentally pro-Western leader. If anyone can shake down the World Bank in Washington for debt cancellation, or the WTO in Geneva for trade concessions, it's the primary architect of the miracle transition in recently-liberated South Africa.

Africa needs enormous concessions, thanks to what Mbeki has termed "global apartheid" and what Washington/Geneva technocrats prefer to laud as the "Washington Consensus"--or more