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Africa

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

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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:

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.

Tanzania Poverty and Human Development Report 2005

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The Research and Analysis Working Group (RAWG) of the Poverty Monitoring System, and its Secretariat REPOA (Research on Poverty Alleviation) have recently published the Poverty and Human Development Report 2005 for Tanzania.

This is the first report of the RAWG since the start of the new National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty, MKUKUTA in its Swahili acronym.

Roundtrip travels of a T-shirt

In the award winning book, ‘Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade,’ Pietra Rivoli tracked the making of T-shirts as it traveled from American cotton farms to Chinese factories, finally arriving on a showroom in Ft. Lauderdale – and all of the tariffs and protective barriers in between.

China’s investments in Africa

Between 1990 and 1997, Chinese investment into Africa amounted to about $20 million, but from 1998 to 2002 that increased six-fold to $120 million. Only about twenty percent of that amount came into South Africa, not as large a share as might have been expected. The report indicates that there are 450 Chinese-owned investment projects in Africa, of which 46 percent are in manufacturing, 40 percent in services and only 9 percent in resource-related industries.

The ‘Nescafé’ development model

Anyone who's ever spent time in Africa (and many other places - feel free to chime in) has run into the "Nescafe" phenomenon. I also like to refer to it as the "who do I have to kill to get a decent cup of coffee" kunumdrum. Rather than real coffee, most establishments, office coffee areas (if you are lucky enough to have one), etc. have Nescafe - instant coffee. It's just not that great. And rather than just recognize it's inadequacies and replacing it, it's just modified and jazzed up to appear better than it is.

Why poor countries are poor

We still don’t have a good word to describe what is missing in Cameroon and in poor countries across the world. But we are starting to understand what it is. Some people call it “social capital,” or maybe “trust.” Others call it “the rule of law,” or “institutions.” But these are just labels. The problem is that Cameroon, like other poor countries, is a topsy-turvy place where it’s in most people’s interest to take actions that directly or indirectly damage everyone else.


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