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April 2006

African Plenary on National Strategies for Poverty Reduction and Implementation of the MDGs

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

Organized in Cairo by the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in collaboration with the UNDP (March 26-28).


UNECA's site has statements, documents and case studies presented during the conference.


In particular, one of the documents explores the Capacity Needs for the implementation of the PRSs and attainment of MDGs in Africa.

Some of the main ideas in the document:

Linking loans to press freedom?

Internews’ David Hoffman believes that media freedom should be a precondition for future World Bank loans.

The adoption of a media accountability index with common standards, to measure a country's compliance with basic media freedoms, would greatly reduce corruption in the developing world.

Land titling: a natural experiment

During a session on 'legal empowerment of the poor' at the PSD Forum, Ernesto Schargrodsky told a fascinating story about land titling in a Buenos Aires neighborhood. Due to the special circumstances of the area, he was able to analyze land titling as an exogenous variable in a study on the income, education and investment of poor squatters.

Is China eating Latin America’s lunch?

Probably not, according to panelists at today’s PSD Forum. Preliminary findings from a World Bank study indicate that while China does represent a competitive challenge to Latin America as far as economic growth is concerned, the picture is much less dramatic than the current level of discussion would indicate. Pravin Krishna of SAIS gave a close look at the data. To pick three findings:

The business of biodiversity

Rachel Kyte's picture

Chevron's recent announcement of its latest foray into wetland banking shows one mechanism, backed by legislation and regulation, that allows a value to be placed on biodiversity in situ that may act as a counter balance to the economic pressures to convert the land or use the resources unsustainably.

Learn to speak ‘economeze’

Anthropologist Keith Hart gave a wonderfully original presentation at the informality session at today’s PSD Forum. Among other things it sparked a very interesting debate on the relationship between informality, illegality and criminality.

First law of petropolitics

This was something Tom Friedman put forward during the first session of today’s PSD Forum. To paraphrase: the pace of freedom in oil producing countries and the price of oil move inversely. He backed this up with some interesting examples and facts. For these, and the other laws, see the next edition of Foreign Policy when it comes out. He only gave us a small peak.

Asian lessons for Africa?

The first session of today’s PSD Forum focused on ‘where the world is going?’ The conversation quickly turned to Asia and changing global dynamics. During the Q&A period Nigel Twose, a FIAS colleague bases in Johannesburg, very appropriately pointed out that none of the panelists had yet discussed Africa.

Facing up to the reality of climate change

According to CERES, which recently unveiled the "First-Ever Ranking of 100 Global Companies on Climate Change Strategies", after years of inaction a growing number of leading U.S. companies are confronting the business challenges of global warming, recognizing that greenhouse gas limits are inevitable and that they cannot risk falling behind their international competitors in developing climate-friendly technologies.