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East Asia and Pacific

Poisonous profit

The slime from a poisonous Brazilian tree frog has united Amazonian village elders and shamans with the Brazilian government. The story touches everything from biopiracy and the economics of the global pharmaceutical industry to the future of WTO trade talks.

China and India’s impact on Africa

New from the OECD: The Rise of China and India - What's in it for Africa? By the end they lean towards the conclusion that the “Asian Drivers’ rise in the world economy are largely positive for Africa.” The real determinant will of course be the wisdom of future policy decisions - this is where we need to focus. See a short summary or this policy insight note.

Emerging market firms positioned to lead

The Boston Consulting Group has a new report out, The New Global Challengers: How 100 Top Companies from Rapidly Developing Economies Are Changing the World.

Until recently, only a dozen or so companies based in rapidly developing countries could be described as emerging global challengers. Today there are hundreds, which is in line with the expectation that by 2050 China and India will be two of the world’s three largest superpowers…

Investment climate facility for Africa

The IFC has announced a $30 million grant to the Investment Climate Facility for Africa - a new public-private partnership for improving the continent's business environment.

Update: more on the Investment Climate Facility for Africa.

Afrobarometer

Over the past half decade though, the folks at Afrobarometer, which is run by Michigan State University, the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, and the Centre for Democratic Development in Ghana, have done a series of fascinating surveys on what Africans feel about some of the biggest issues they face.

A tape measure for microfinance funds

Microfinance... took another step toward becoming a distinct asset class with the advent of a mechanism for objectively rating microfinance funds. MicroRate, an independent company that already rates microfinance institutions (MFIs), has been working to develop a microfinance fund-rating tool for several years.

Aceh Diary: The staffing challenge

Staffing is one of the most serious challenges facing donors and aid agencies ramping up in Aceh. There’s no shortage of overqualified foreigners running around Aceh or the rest of Indonesia with the requisite passion to slave away for this worthy cause. The problem is, however, now that the volunteer/recovery phase is largely over and longer-term commitment becomes necessary to engage in the reconstruction effort, their services and dedication come with a very high price-tag.


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