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Can beer bottle caps green Africa?

Beer bottle tops 'make ideal measuring pots for "micro-dosing", a technique that lets farmers focus precious nutrients where they are needed rather than wasting them. The results so far are encouraging… Steve Twomlow of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISCAT), based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, established that about 5 grams of ammonium nitrate is enough to feed three plants: That’s one beer cap full. Conventional scattering of fertilizer uses five capfuls for every three plants…'

Mobile phone banking takes off

Man_on_phoneThe positive impact of mobile phones on development has passed into the realm of conventional wisdom. So what’s next for the tiny, powerful gadget? The provision of basic financial services via mobile phone.

More on China in Africa

In a pattern replicated across the world, China's voracious appetite for raw materials is helping push sub-Saharan economies to their fastest growth in three decades, and inexpensive Chinese-made products are suddenly available across the continent. Yet many Africans say the influx, while offering consumers more affordable goods, has not improved their economic situation and has hurt local companies.

Easterly: no fan of MDGs

EasterlyThe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are “the worst designed incentive scheme for public policy seen in my lifetime,” according to William Easterly. His harsh words came at last week’s World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

World Bank launches the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

The World Bank launched recently the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund (ACGF). Its goals:


To provide rapid, targeted support to countries with credible programs to accelerate growth, poverty reduction, and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


The fund is designed to complement efforts by African leaders and Africa’s international partners to respond to the diversity of experience across the continent, using an innovative approach.


Desmond Tutu on development

I’m of the attitude that, like in politics, development is local. You can have the grand view but if you don’t infuse the people at a grass roots level you’re playing marbles. I think what this shows is you’ve got the people, and if you just have enough confidence in them people are almost always amazing. And they’re amazing also in their resilience.

That’s Nobel peace prize-winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu on development assistance to Africa. He continues, discussing how large donors and private companies can, and can't, help:

A development lottery

Malawi is the latest country to set up a national sweepstake, aiming to use some of the proceeds to fund development projects, but do state lotteries really work?

That’s what the BBC is asking you. Doesn’t make sense to me.

I don’t know much about this, but this sounds like a terrible idea because: