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

May 9, 2011 1 By admin

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 Free-healthcare-007spreading?

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]