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Delivering basic services in low-accountability environments

Shanta Devarajan's picture

In the midst of the very serious resumption of violence in Democratic Republic of Congo, an interesting debate has broken out between Paul Collier and Adekeye Adebajo on the question of who should deliver basic services in post-conflict societies. Paul suggests these services be provided by non-state actors, such as NGOs and church groups. Dr.

The impact of the financial crisis on the African financial system may be worse than we thought

The conventional wisdom that African financial systems have little to worry about in the wake of the global financial crisis needs to be challenged. In the attached note, I raise five* concerns:

How will the financial crisis affect remittances to Africa?

Marilou Uy's picture

Sub-Saharan Africa received almost $12 billion in remittances in 2007, and that was only the official number. With "informal" flows added the total amount can easily be double that number. Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Senegal, Uganda and South Africa received the highest volume of remittances, while in smaller countries such as Lesotho remittances represent up to a quarter of GDP.

More on financial crisis, market failures and government failures

Shanta Devarajan's picture

My earlier post on the lessons to be drawn (and not drawn) from the financial crisis for the balance between state and market in developing countries elicited a lively discussion on this blog. Many of the comments responded to other comments, which gladdens the blogger’s heart (and eases his workload). More seriously, I recently came across two papers that significantly deepened the points I was making in that original post. On t

A Mozambique Paradox

Shanta Devarajan's picture

There is widespread consensus that financial development is critical to economic growth, globally, and in Africa. Yet Mozambique, a country with very low levels of financial development (in a recent survey, only 13 percent of firms had obtained credit from the banking sector, rural credit is almost nonexistent), registered a GDP growth rate of over 8 percent a year over the last decade.

The African media and state accountability

Gözde Isik's picture

I attended a very interesting seminar today on the role of the media in governance and anti-corruption. Key speaker for the session was the first African-born winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Nigerian journalist Dele Olojede. Mr. Olojede talked about the information and communication revolution that has taken place in Africa in the last decade and how it has transformed the role of the media all across the continent.

Will the financial crisis reduce foreign aid?

Shanta Devarajan's picture

This question comes up frequently in discussions with policymakers, civil society and journalists. Two things need to happen for the crisis to lead to a significant reduction in foreign aid. First, the financial crisis has to lead to a major recession in donor countries. Second, the recession leads to such fiscal constraints that foreign aid is cut. Since the first is the subject of intense discussion among macroeconomists around the world (not all of whom agree) that a recession is inevitable, I loo

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