Road accidents claim the life of Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, and another 1.3 million people this year

I read with sorrow but no great surprise about the death of yet another outstanding activist in a road crash. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, a renowned pan-Africanist, journalist and campaigner, died in a car crash in Nairobi, Kenya on 25 May – Africa Day. For an obituary and hundreds of affectionate farewells see Pambezuka News. Tajudeen (pictured),…

By admin June 1, 2009 2

Climate change gets real in the US; flights v steaks; good governance isn't all it's cracked up to be; the future of capitalism and why clean stoves can save 1.6m lives a year: links I liked

Climate change becomes real politics in the US, according to Paul Krugman (is he the only Nobel laureate economist with his own tribute song on youtube?)    Cut out meat or air travel asks Owen Barder? You decide (unfortunately I’m addicted to both – any other options?) Dani Rodrik argues that the crisis proves that good governance isn’t…

By admin May 29, 2009 0

What's different about the current spate of land grabs in poor countries?

This week’s Economist has an excellent overview of the issues surrounding what it calls ‘outsourcing’s third wave’ (the first two were manufacturing and services) – deals in which foreign investors are buying up huge tracts of land in poor countries to produce food to ship back home (see map). Some highlights: Saudi investors are spending $100m…

By admin May 27, 2009 7

What are African leaders saying about the impact of the crisis? Latest overview

The African Development Bank is doing some excellent analysis and has just updated the paper submitted to the April G20 Summit by African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (new paper here, original paper for G20 here). Main points: ‘For the first time since 1994, per capita income will contract in 2009 for the continent…

By admin May 26, 2009 0

Fire brigades or arsonists? A UN debate on the economic crisis

I spoke at an UNCTAD symposium on the global crisis in Geneva this week (Oxfam’s pre-conference submission is here). A laudable attempt to get a conversation going with civil society organizations, but a classically frustrating UN event – dozens of developing country delegates mingling with NGOs and others, but any real exchange was deadened by…

By admin May 22, 2009 0

US aid reform takes off

Shortly after the US election, I blogged about the promising discussions on US aid reform in Washington. Those are now starting to bear fruit. In late April, Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill (The Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009–HR 2139). Here are some of his covering remarks:…

By admin May 21, 2009 0