Tag: Africa

Social protection – have aid agencies got it wrong?

‘Has social protection in sub-Saharan Africa lost its way?’ asks a brilliant new paper from a consortium of thinktanks, including IDS and ODI. Their overall finding is that donors’ preference for evidence and pilots, and lack of engagement with national political realities, have undermined their impact. Hard to summarize – it’s a treasure trove – […]

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Are renewables the answer to Africa's energy deficit?

Thanks for the feedback on yesterday’s post – let’s continue this mini-series of posts on energy. A new paper from the energy wonks at the World Bank. ‘The Economics of Renewable Energy Expansion in rural Sub-Saharan Africa‘ asks whether renewables (solar, hydro, wind and so on) are mainly an issue for the rich north, or a […]

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The World Cup – with a development twist

I’m not even a great football fan, but as I settle down for a few weeks as a couch potato, here are some of the more interesting (from a development point of view), things I’ve seen on the World Cup. Will the coverage end up reinforcing bizarre Western stereotypes of Africa? You bet. This has […]

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Alcohol in Africa – more illegal, but not more deadly

Today is election day in the UK, so there’s a fair chance that politically active people of all stripes will be hitting the bottle in celebration or regret this evening – or just drowning their sorrows at the prospect of weeks of haggling/constitutional crisis over a hung parliament. So spare a thought for the boozers […]

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The World Bank breaks its promises on Africa's voting power

The World Bank went backwards in Washington last week, when it announced a set of reforms on ‘voice’ (the different countries’ share of voting power at the Bank) that reversed many of the gains for African countries from the previous voice reform, at the Bank’s last Annual Meeting in Istanbul in September 2009. In last […]

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Cleaning up Dirty Elections – what works?

The Centre for the Study of African Economies in Oxford (home to Paul Collier, among others) is putting out some fascinating two pagers on its work, including two recent papers on ‘dirty elections’. In ‘Cleaning up Dirty Elections’ Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler go to work  on a new data set spanning nearly 30 years […]

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Game on (finally) in climate change talks

After months of futile and wearying paralysis, marked by interminable meetings full of little more than posturing and the endless repetition of fixed positions, the climate change talks seem to be entering full negotiating mode, and not before time, with the Copenhagen climate summit only 3 months away. For the ‘glass half full’ optimistic version, […]

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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 […]

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How are effective states going to emerge in Africa?

[Sorry to anyone who got a premature alert yesterday – hit the wrong button!] There’s nothing like a visit to Africa – in this case ten days of book promo and financial crisis impact interviews in South Africa and Zambia, to get you thinking about the role of the state. In Southern Africa, as on […]

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Another 100m in poverty; 700,000 dead children in Africa: the latest World Bank predictions on the crisis

Chilling new numbers from the World Bank on the human impact of the global economic crisis. New estimates for 2009 suggest that lower economic growth rates will trap 46 million more people on less than $1.25 a day than was expected prior to the crisis. An extra 53 million will stay trapped on less than […]

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Promises v Reality: The Widening Credibility Gap on Aid

The backsliding began almost as soon as the ink was dry on the promises of increased aid made at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles. Have a look at the graphic, based on the latest figures.     It comes from a recent analysis of the latest aid numbers by ace crunchers, Development Initiatives, by […]

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aid pessimists v aid optimists: watch 'em slug it out

Last week’s ‘high level forum on aid effectiveness’ in Accra, Ghana (see here for a good NGO analysis of the results) has motivated some of the big beasts of the aid world to lock antlers in an intriguing debate on the pros, cons and limits to aid. Adrian Wood, former DFID chief economist kicked off […]

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