by Michael Clemens and Gabriel Demombynes
The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) is an experimental anti-poverty interventionin villages across Africa. In October, we released evidence that the Project’s official publications were overstating its real effects, and we offered suggestions on improving its impact evaluation. On Tuesday the MVP, whose leadership and staff are aware of our work, continued to greatly overstate its impact.
My colleagues Justin Lin and Celestin Monga have proposed a six-step plan for identifying industries that could help developing countries industrialize.
The first step in the plan is to find countries that have a per-capita income that is roughly double yours and have a similar endowment, and observe what they are producing. These industries would then serve as the basis for possible government intervention to either protect or create, depending on the country’s situation.
However, the six-step plan seems to gloss over the fact that countries, even seemingly successful ones, produce certain goods for political rather than economic reasons.
Sexual transmission is considered to be the main source of the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa1.
Our third “Kenya Economic Update” – Kenya at the Tipping Point? – notes Kenya’s strong economic recovery in 2010 reaching 4.9 percent of GDP. For 2011, we forecast growth of 5.3 percent. The special Focus on the ICT Revolution and mobile money captures the economic momentum which is now spreading across Africa. Kenya now has 21 million phone subscribers, the vast majority connected by cell phones.
On October 26, we learned that Kenya’s rank in Transparency Interational's Corruption Perceptions Index dropped seven places since 2009. Kenya now ranks 154 out of 178 countries—well below most of its EAC neighbors. But how bad is it, in fact? Will the new Constitution do anything to make the situation better?
In Kenya, no one seriously doubts that corruption is a key constraint to greater growth and prosperity.
Corruption comes in two forms. Petty corruption occurs when citizens are asked for kitu kidogo (“a little something”): to get a document stamped, a service provided, or an infraction overlooked. The amounts are small, but hardly petty to the many victims living on less than $1 a day. Kenya also has large-scale corruption—public purchases made at inflated prices; public benefits handed out to people who are not entitled; fictitious companies being paid for contracts that they never executed.
Depuis ces dernières années, la région Afrique a été victime d’une série d’inondation répétitive, résultant de fortes pluviométries, qui non-seulement sont de plus en plus fréquentes mais dont l’ampleur s’intensifie. Pour ne citer que le cas du Togo, qui depuis 2007, ne cesse de subir les effets de fortes pluies tous les ans; à Madagascar, les fortes tempêtes tropicales Ivan et Jowke ont affecté une bonne partie de l’ile en 2008. En 2009, la Namibie, la République Centrafricaine, le Burkina Faso, le Mali, le Sénégal, et la Mauritanie ont consécutivement été touchées.
I am often asked whether Kenya's new constitution, approved in a referendum in August 2010, will actually improve governance in Kenya. There are many people who seem to believe that it will not. A prominent journalist was recently quoted in Nairobi's Daily Nation as saying that the constitution is just a piece of paper, and "a piece of paper can't transform society". I disagree.