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Africa

Hotel Ghana, a home away from home: Strengthening support for vulnerable refugees in Ghana

Mawunya Etsa Amanda Kudu's picture
More than 30,000 Togolese sought asylum in Ghana and other neighboring countries following the 2005 election results. Photo: UNHCR/D. Kamphuis


As of the end of 2016, thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers were registered in my home country of Ghana, with more than half of them girls, women and persons with disabilities.

The inaugural World Bank Group Law, Justice and Development Week 2018 Law Student Contest for Development Solutions, was  a great opportunity to contribute to the timely discussion on rights, protection and development of vulnerable groups, particularly refugees.

Legal initiatives for refugees in Uganda

Colman Ntungwerisho's picture
Children make up more than half of the refugee population in Uganda. Photo: Jay Hsu, flickr


According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the refugee population in Uganda is estimated at 1.15 million people. This makes Uganda one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in the world. South Sudan alone is the source of more than one million refugees, with 86% of these comprised of women and children. They occupy settlements in rural districts in Northern Uganda such as Adjumani, Moyo and Arua. It is also the home to one of the world’s biggest refugee camp, Bidi Bidi, which hosts a quarter of a million refugees.

Five ways for Cameroon to align public spending with its 2035 vision

Rick Emery Tsouck Ibounde's picture



By 2035, Cameroon aspires to join the ranks of industrialized, upper-middle-income nations with low poverty rates, strong economic growth, and a functioning democracy. To realize that goal, the government’s strategy (Document de Stratégie pour la Croissance et l’Emploi, DSCE) envisions annual GDP growth rates of 5.5 percent and the creation tens of thousands of formal jobs each year. With a relatively more diversified economy than its more oil-dependent peers in the CEMAC region, the country seemed well-poised to achieve its objectives until at least halfway through the decade. However, Cameroon has been facing a combination of external headwinds and internal constraints that present challenges to its development aspirations, poverty remains high at 37.5 percent (in 2014).

Digital School Census in 10 Weeks? How it was done in Sierra Leone

Kabira Namit's picture
Data being collected from students in Port Loko, Sierra Leone. (Photo: Kabira Namit/World Bank)
Les données concernent entre autres les élèves de Port Loko, Sierra Leone. (Photo: Kabira Namit/Banque mondiale)

Note: This blog is specifically about Sierra Leone’s successful transition to a digital school census but has broader implications for other countries who plan to adopt digital tools at a wider scale to collect data and monitor education and healthcare facilities in their countries. 

In April of last year, the new Minister of Finance of Sierra Leone approached the World Bank with a strong commitment to prioritize education and an intriguing request.

An effective legal and referral system is critical to addressing gender-based violence

Margarita Puerto Gómez's picture
Nkingo Girls’ Club members enjoy each other’s company after their weekly meeting to discuss reproductive health and receive life skills and leadership training. Photo: World Bank/Globe Video

For the World Bank’s partner governments, investing in roads and other infrastructure development is critical to driving growth and reducing poverty. At the same time, adverse social impacts can occur if social risks are not properly assessed, mitigated and managed. In particular, projects that involve large labor influxes—such as road construction projects in rural areas—can contribute to an increased risk of gender-based violence in the local community, including sexual exploitation and abuse of women and adolescent girls.

Preventing conflict through human rights-based early warning in Africa

Dan Owen's picture
© UN PHOTO/Clara Padovan


The nature of conflict is changing. Fighting has taken on new forms, often involving a burgeoning constellation of armed groups operating in increasingly complex threat environments that feature not only state armies, but non-state armed groups, criminal gangs, drug-traffickers, and groups designated as terrorist organizations. These actors employ new communications and weapons technologies, and frequently operate across national borders.

Zimbabwe: public procurement reform to catalyze greater transparency and development

Nazaneen Ismail Ali's picture
Children in Zimbabwe. Photo: CECIL BO DZWOWA / Shutterstock.com

During fiscal deficits and recessions, when the pressure on the economy is profound, governments face budget shortfalls. The negative impact of a recession can also be amplified when a country, like Zimbabwe, faces overvalued exchange rates that mask the extent of underlying price pressures. Furthermore, a recently elected government has created substantial public expectations of change, and demand for greater transparency and accountability.

Scaling up innovations in agriculture: Lessons from Africa

Simeon Ehui's picture
The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program is building a sustainable and nutritious food system in Nigeria that creates jobs for youth. Photo: Dasan Bobo/World Bank

For too long the narrative surrounding Africa’s agri-food sector has been one of limited opportunity, flat yields and small farms. It’s true that Africa is still producing too little food and value-added products despite recent efforts to increase investment, and that agricultural productivity has been broadly stagnant since the 1980s as shown in the 2018 African Agriculture Status Report.

Confronting tobacco illicit trade: a global review of country experiences

Sheila Dutta's picture



Illicit trade in tobacco products undermines global tobacco prevention and control interventions, particularly with respect to tobacco tax policy. From a public health perspective, illicit trade weakens the effect of tobacco excise taxes on tobacco consumption - and consequently on preventable morbidity and mortality - by increasing the affordability, attractiveness, and/or availability of tobacco products. Furthermore, tobacco illicit trade often depends on and can contribute to weakened governance.

World Bank guarantees help Benin refinance expensive debt & address health, education needs: a win-win

ARNAUD BRAUD AND VINCENT LAUNAY's picture



While the World Bank’s resources for low-income countries have never been greater, they still pale in comparison with these countries’ needs. Governments always need to make hard choices between infrastructure needs, social programs, and fiscal discipline. One country was recently able to strike the right balance with the support of World Bank guarantees: Benin.


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