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Multimedia fun: 5 infotainment options

Podcasts. Amplitude is a new podcast series on marketing in South Africa. Great idea. (via Digital Africa)

Video. A promo piece from the Center for Global Development, this 15 minute video starts with a nice segment on advance market commitments for vaccines.

2007 Index of Economic Freedom - few surprises

The Heritage Foundation/WSJ 2007 Index of Economic Freedom is out. You'll see familiar faces on the rankings - both at the top (Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia) and at the bottom (North Korea, Cuba, Libya). You might notice the new methodology, which they've helpfully applied to prior year data as well.

Feel-good T-shirts for college students

Enthusiasm for social entrepreneurship has trickled from business schools down to the undergraduate level. BusinessWeek tells the story of T-shirt company Edun and Miami University of Ohio.

The idea: create sustainable employment in sub-Saharan Africa, get college students interested in social entrepreneurship, and keep making lots of fraternity and sorority T-shirts. Oh, and there's a Bono connection, of course.


EwomanshelldressWe've been evacuated from Chad again. I didn't get rushed out of the country, I was already abroad, but that doesn't make it any easier. Rebels approaching N'Djamena, streets swarming with military, continued reports of battles in the east, the future like a knife about to break skin.

Why isn't Africa attracting portfolio investment?

Why do the global emerging market funds ignore African-listed securities? Are mutual funds discriminating against Africa?

Not at all, said Todd Moss from the Center for Global Development in a presentation on his recent work to Bank staffers yesterday. Turns out there's no market failure at all. The problem lies with the African stock exchanges themselves.

Making public policy issues sexy

I spent Wednesday in a training session on communication strategies to promote government reform. In development jargon - "policy advocacy". You might think business environment issues like small business tax rates, construction permit simplification, and customs clearance procedures are so sexy that they sell themselves. As it turns out, they do not. Hence a concerted effort across the IFC to get better at explaining why this stuff matters - to politicians, the media, the business community, and the average citizen.