Africa's academics and new middle class; Ugandan Spring?; a year of free healthcare in Sierra Leone; tax property not people; the $300 house; this year's WDR; existentialist Star Wars: links I liked
Mahmood Mamdani worries that academic research and higher education in Africa are dominated by a “corrosive culture of consultancy.”
Africa’s emerging middle class now at 34% of the continent’s population, or about 313m people – up from around 111m (26%) in 1980 and 196m (27%) in 2000.
[Update: Andy Sumner thinks the definition of ‘middle class’ (>$2) is a bit silly]
“Everyone I speak to in Uganda mentions two problems: the current “chaos” and the rising prices.” Is the Arab Spring spreading?
What has its first year of free health care done for Sierra Leone? Lots. Photo story
Tax property not people: a Guardian piece on wealth taxes in the UK, but why not in developing countries too?
Frugal design continued, after the $2000 car and the $100 laptop, a competition to design a $300 house, including solar panels and water filter
Good summary + comments by Martin Wolf on this year’s World Development Report on conflict, security and development
And yes, I know it’s completely irrelevant to development, but it’s funny. French existentialism meets Star Wars [h/t the Grandiloquent Bloviator, c/o Chris Blattman]