Tag: Africa

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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Africa Power and Politics – David Booth responds

ODI’s David Booth responds to my post on the ODI’s Africa Power and Politics Programme “The APPP could hardly have hoped for a more encouraging reception for its first policy brief than the one provided by Duncan’s blog of 15 April. Encouraging and suitably challenging! The point of a policy brief is to be, well, […]

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Africa Power and Politics – a great new research programme, with lots to argue with

It’s a while since I’ve been as excited, intrigued and alarmed by a four page briefing as I was by the first policy brief of ODI’s Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP). If you’re interested in the politics of development, drop everything and read it, and the accompanying (but gated, although the introductory overview is here) […]

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Africans and food security: what do opinion polls tells us?

I don’t normally associate opinion polls with development (apart from the exhaustive UK and other market research conducted by our campaigners) but in recent weeks a couple of powerpoints have swum in front of my glazed eyes showing some interesting results from opinion polls in large numbers of poor countries, conducted by Gallup and Globescan, […]

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African public opinion on food security and the MDGs

I heard a really interesting presentation by Andrew Rzepa of the Gallup opinion poll company recently, sampling public views in 2009 in 18 Sub-Saharan African countries with the following questions: · Could you please rank the following elements on this card in order of importance for you as an individual? 1 being the most important and […]

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Some good news from Africa: Burkina Faso's farming miracle

Just been reading ‘Helping Africa to Feed Itself: Promoting Agriculture to Reduce Poverty and Hunger’, a paper by Steve Wiggins and Henri Leturque, both of the ODI. It’s a brilliant and to my mind, very fair overview, with one of its main messages being that regional generalizations about Africa are usually misleading – some subregions […]

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Africa's four different kinds of economies

I’m a sucker for typologies. I guess they’re a wonk’s equivalent of those ‘what were the ten best punk/ska/heavy metal albums of all time?’ discussions in the pub. Here’s a nice one from ‘Lions on the Move’, a breathlessly upbeat new McKinsey report on Africa. It finds four clusters of African economies + a few […]

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