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Poverty

Seeds for Higher Growth in Rwanda

Birgit Hansl's picture

Rwanda’s economy is growing at a healthy rate--7.5 percent in 2010, two percent higher than the East African Community (EAC) and even more than Sub Saharan Africa (SSA).

During 2010, the services and industrial sectors progressed in their recovery, while growth in the agricultural sector slowed down marginally.  The country’s macroeconomic framework was remarkably stable, given the difficult external post-crisis environment and Rwanda’s position as a highly import-dependent, land-locked country. This was mainly achieved through a prudent fiscal stance with strong focus on priority expenditures, assisted by continued grant financing from donors.

After the long walk to freedom, an affordable bus ride to work

Sandeep Mahajan's picture

Almost two decades after Nelson Mandela's globally-inspiring long walk to freedom, millions of his compatriots find it prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to simply get to work. Millions more have no work, and the geographical separation of the poor from centers of economic activity has a lot to do with it.

Take the case of Lydia (pictured here), who is a soft-spoken, gentle mother of two boys -- a one-year old baby and a fifteen-year old teenager. Each in his own way needs his single mother's attention and time. Time that she has very little of, because she has to spend close to five hours commuting to and from her place of work, the World Bank office, where she is one of the housekeeping and cleaning ladies.

Six non-obvious points about conflict, security and development

Shanta Devarajan's picture

Launched today, the 2011 World Development Report is on “Conflict, Security and Development.”  In making a presentation on its relevance to Africa to my World Bank colleagues, I counted six messages that are new and different.

1. 21st century violence is different from 20th century violence.
2. Conflict and violence are caused by a combination of weak institutions and external stresses.
3. Build good-enough coalitions to break the cycle of repeated violence.
4. Create jobs, even with second-best approaches that are inefficient and likely not sustainable.
5. Address external stresses alongside institution building.
6. International partners should do more good than harm.

More on each on them:

Kenya and economic turbulence: Time to prepare, not panic

Wolfgang Fengler's picture

The world is in turmoil.  The combination of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, the conflict in Libya and the European debt crisis, may change the way we look at the world.  Newsweek put it most dramatically last week in its headline: “Apocalypse Now”

The perspective of developing countries is different. They appear to be a beacon of stability in these turbulent times.  Africa is set to grow again by more than 5 percent in 2011--for the 7th time in 8 years.

Madagascar Economic Update

Jacques Morisset's picture

In Madagascar, donors have traditionally counted for almost half of the Government’s budget and have been, by far, the main source of funding in social sectors. 

Since the beginning of the crisis, official aid toward education, health and social protection surged, reaching almost US$260 million in 2010 against US$180 million in 2008.  Nonetheless, this increase failed  to improve significantly social indicators. 

2011: South Africa's Year of Job Creation?

Fernando Im's picture

The latest figures from the Quarterly Labor Force Survey (QLFS) indicate that the unemployment rate has fallen from 25.3% in 2010Q3 to 24% in 2010Q4.

After shedding 86,000 jobs between 2010Q2 and 2010Q3, employment increased by 1.2% q/q, adding 157,000 jobs between 2010Q3 and 2010Q4. Although these figures are encouraging, unemployment has been persistently high over the past decade.  Unemployment has not fallen below 21% since 2001. Moreover, as a result of the global financial crisis, over 1,000,000 jobs were lost.

Can randomized control trials reduce poverty?

Shanta Devarajan's picture

If you give milk to schoolchildren and they perform well in school, how do you know it’s because of the milk, or because the children were high achievers anyway, or went to better schools? 

By randomly choosing the children who receive the milk, and comparing the outcomes of this “treatment group” with a “control group” (those that didn’t receive milk), we can get a more accurate measure of the program’s impact than if we were to simply compare the children’s performance before and after they drank milk. 

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