Or, à Madagascar, seule 1/5 de la population déclare faire entièrement confiance à la Présidence et les taux sont encore plus faibles pour des institutions comme l’Assemblée nationale (6%) et les Tribunaux (4%).Comment s’attendre à ce que le Gouvernement puisse être performant, à travers sa politique budgétaire, si la vaste majorité des Malgaches ne font confiance ni à leurs institutions, ni à leurs dirigeants ?
Photo: A line of “boda bodas” queuing for fuel along the main road in Juba town
For the past three weeks I have been working in Juba, South Sudan. In a meeting with the government last week, an official said to me, “…we are dreaming, but come July 9th everything will change and our dreams will become reality.”
On July 9th South Sudan will become an independent country, following the longest civil war in African history.
Driving through Juba, one cannot fail to notice the preparations taking place; from the exceptionally clean streets and banners spread across public buildings to the soon-to-be national anthem on repeat on the radio. There is a sense of excitement, longing and hope.
However, tension surrounding the conflict in South Kordofan casts a cloud on celebrations and underscores the risks ahead.
Mineral revenues typically go from the extracting company to the government without passing through the hands of citizens. As a result, citizens do not scrutinize the expenditure out of these revenues as much as they would if it were financed by tax revenues. The net result is misallocation of public spending, slower growth and even slower poverty reduction in many of these mineral-rich countries, such as Cameroon or Nigeria.
Each year the mass media and many governments look keenly at the country rankings by the Human Development Index (HDI). In the 2010 Human Development Report, Zimbabwe has the lowest HDI in the world at 0.14 on a (0,1) scale (UNDP, 2010). The next lowest is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with 0.24. (Norway is highest, at 0.94.)
It is natural to ask: what would Zimbabwe need to do to get its HDI up to the level of the DRC or better? Zimbabweans will no doubt have a strong interest in knowing the answer, as will those interested in the HDI in general.
There are three components to the HDI, for life expectancy, schooling and income. Let’s look at these in turn.
“Shanta, are you against human rights?” a colleague asked when she saw that I was arguing for the negative in a debate on “Is a concern for human rights needed to achieve human development outcomes?”
Needless to say, my debate partner, Varun Gauri and I are not against human rights (Varun has written extensively on the subject), but we did argue—based on the evidence—that a concern for human rights was neither necessary nor sufficient to achieve health and education outcomes.
Every day, Kenya’s capital Nairobi is facing endless traffic jams. Our colleagues spend hours every day to commute to and from work. One Kenyan colleague escapes traffic by leaving home at 4.30am, others by leaving the office as late as 9pm. Given this congestion, escalating costs of living and high crime, why are Kenyans moving into cities more rapidly than ever – more 250,000 every year?
In March at Oxford, I had the opportunity to debate John McArthur on the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) evaluation, which is the subject of a paper I co-authored with Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development.
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.
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.
In the two years since the Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed and Zimbabwe dollarized fully, there have been encouraging developments on the economic front.