Tag: Africa

Governance for Development in Africa: Solving Collective Action Problems: Review of an important new book

The last year or so has been a bit quiet in terms of big new books on development, but now they are piling up on my study floor (my usual filing system) – Angus Deaton, Deepak Nayyar, Ben Ramalingam, Nina Munk etc etc. I will review them as soon as I can (or arm-twist better […]

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What do African civil society organizations think of the rise of China and South-South cooperation?

The Belgian NGO coalition 11.11.11 has published an interesting paper summarizing the views of 58 African civil society organizations in 11 different countries on ‘South South Cooperation’ (SSC) – mainly China’s growing role in Africa (see Economist stats, right – keep clicking to expand). It’s nuanced and an excellent counterweight to the simplifications of the […]

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What can DFID learn from Chinese and Brazilian aid programmes?

IDS researcher Henry Tugendhat (right) wonders whether UK aid is following in the path of China and Brazil Two weeks ago at the London Stock Exchange, Justine Greening announced her new policy of supporting UK businesses to invest in developing economies for the mutual benefit of both sides. According to the UK’s Secretary of State […]

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The state of Africa – report from a 23 country road trip (and I’m in South Africa for a couple of weeks)

I’m in South Africa this week, speaking at various events, including a panel on the developmental state and inequality at Wits in Johannesburg (Tuesday 12th), a book launch in Durban on Thursday 14th, a panel on active citizenship and food justice at the Sustainability Institute in Cape Town on Monday 18th and a lecture on […]

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What have we learned from 5 years of research on African power and politics?

The Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP) is winding down as its five year funding from DFID comes to an end, and I’ve been wading through the 120 page synthesis report as well as the strictly-for-wimps Policy Brief. Both are entitled ‘Development as a collective action problem: Addressing the real challenges of African governance’. Like […]

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Why don't Africa's politicians invest more in small farmers? The political economy of ag policy.

Interesting if rather impenetrable new(ish) paper from the Future Agricultures consortium on the political economy of Africanagricultural policy. It seeks to answer an important question – why hasn’t the spread of democracy produced more investment in the smallholder farmers that form the majority of the electorate in many countries? Here’s the summary: “Theories of policy neglect […]

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African techno-euphoria and the origins of Kenyan mobile exceptionalism

I’m struck by one of those periodic waves of Africa techno-euphoria as I catch up on my post holiday reading (Google Reader, twitter, email, random subscriptions – is there no end to it?). The Guardian has pieces on how the web is changing Africa and 15 innovations that are transforming the continent. Meanwhile the Economist […]

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What can political economists tell us about Africa, aid and development?

This post also appeared on the World Bank’s ‘People, Spaces, Deliberation’ governance blog There’s a clutch of different research initiatives trying to understand Africa’s political economy and its impact on development and aid. Often, the tone of the political economists can be quite discouraging – Alex Duncan gives a tongue-in-cheek definition of a political economist […]

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What does the UN’s first Africa Human Development Report say about food security?

A guest post from Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (right), who is taking over from me as head of research at Oxfam in a couple of weeks, (I’m not leaving, just changing jobs within Oxfam – more on that later). Over the past two years, I spent most of my time working on the first Africa Human Development […]

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Jobs, Justice and Equity: excellent new overview of Africa's progress

Jobs, Justice and Equity is the title of a new report published today by the Africa Progress Panel, a high powered group of ten luminaries including Kofi Annan and Graca Machel. And Bob Geldof. The report does an excellent job of assessing the cup half empty v half full narratives on Africa, and has some […]

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Why sub-Saharan Africa needs Universal School Meals. Guest post from Swati Narayan

128 million children are enrolled in primary schools across Sub-Saharan Africa. But few of them get anything to eat while they’re in school. Many go to school hungry each morning without any breakfast. 13 year old Sylvester is one of them. He lives in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, where children are […]

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The Chinese in Africa – is there a backlash?

The debate in aid circles on China’s expanding role in Africa is often pretty crass – the demonisers v the rose-tinted spectacles. What has always struck me most in the past is how many Africans, both in government and elsewhere, prefer the businesslike approach of China to the finger-wagging of the ex-colonial powers. But China’s […]

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