Tag: Obama

Obama’s Afro-mance: A personal reflection by Irungu Houghton

Irungu is an old mate and a redoubtable activist (this post came in late because he ‘Was off school protecting‎’ – how cool is that?). He was also two seats away from The Man during Obama’s visit to Kenya last week. Here are some thoughts. The excitement began at least three months before Airforce 1 […]

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The Obama Doctrine – where is the US going on development and diplomacy?

Government reports don’t come with much less enticing titles than the US ‘Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review’ but as is often the way, a boring title signals important content, setting out big and in some cases excellent plans for US foreign and development policy. The director of the review, Anne Marie Slaughter, presented the review at […]

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The US gets serious on the Millennium Development Goals

Climate change legislation may have been blown out of the water in Congress, but Barack Obama is still moving forward on reforming the chaotic US aid system (see previous posts here). On Friday the Administration released the US plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, ahead of the UN’s September ‘high level event’ on the MDGs. […]

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What to make of the leaked US development strategy?

First the plug: I’m in the US at the moment (for quite a long time, if the ash cloud has anything to do it) and will be speaking at Oxfam America in Washington DC on Tuesday at 12 noon (1100 15th St NW, 6th floor). Subject: the UK elections and development policy. Co-speaker Jim Kolbe […]

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Links I liked: mobiles v coke; Obama’s Mandela moment etc

Are mobiles the new Coca Cola? Mobile phones are held up as the most promising aspect of new technology in terms of helping poor people improve their lives, but some new research suggests people are cutting back on food and other essentials to pay for the all important status symbol. See here for a summary […]

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What might Obama do on US Aid Policy?

By the time I got to the US (a week after the election), euphoria seemed to have given way to the strange interregnum between presidents. I found a vast gossip machine on who gets what job in the new administration (7000 jobs are up for grabs), and a lingering underswell of pride and anticipation, laced […]

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US elections: killer facts, what happens now? And Palin the poet

The December issue of my favourite current affairs magazine, Prospect, has some great analysis (laced with whimsy) of the election and transition. Top billing goes to an insightful assessment of Obama’s likely direction by Michael Lind. Lind cautions against euphoria, drawing on the already over-used comparison with FDR in predicting that Obama’s first term will mostly have […]

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How did the book go down in Obamerica?

Just got back exhausted from an intense two week tour of the US organized by the hyper-efficient Kristen Prince at Oxfam America. Highlights included an afternoon on Capitol Hill in West Wing Wonderland discussing the book with Congressional staffers, big and enthusiastic turnouts at the Gates Foundation, Northeastern, Georgetown and Brandeis Universities and the World […]

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What has Obama said about aid, development and climate change?

I’m in the US for a couple of weeks to promote the book round universities and thinktanks (details here). But an added bonus is to experience the new mood in Obamerica. I won’t add to the mountain of op-eds and blogs on the global and historic significance of seeing a black family in the White […]

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