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Aceh Diary: an Indonesian Esperanto

David Lawrence's picture

Indonesia has more than 300 languages spread over its 6,000 inhabited islands. But incredibly, there is a single, national language: bahasa Indonesia, which literally means the language of Indonesia. This is an amazing accomplishment. How did they manage to linguistically unite so many diverse people?

Oxfam report blasts private sector

The title of Oxfam's press release today, Public not private - the key to ending global poverty, sums up the subject of their brand-new report on how to provide health, education and water for the world's poor. From the release:

Bad news for African internet

This week, just 7 of 23 African nations signed the accord for the East African Submarine cable System (EASSy). EASSy is one of the best single initiatives that could attract investment to the telecom-starved region. From Reuters:

Fight poverty by shopping at Wal-Mart?

Even without considering the $263 billion in consumer savings that Wal-Mart provides for low-income Americans, or the millions lifted out of poverty by Wal-Mart in other developing nations, it is unlikely that there is any single organization on the planet that alleviates poverty so effectively for so many people.

$100 laptops: Nigeria's in, India's out

The Nigerian government says "yes" to $100 laptops. (Although probably more accurate to say that "the check is in the mail".)

Nigeria has officially ordered and paid for one million of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) devices, according to the Nigerian Vanguard newspaper.

Our effectiveness at improving investment climates

The World Bank’s internal Independent Evaluation Group has released ‘Improving Investment Climates: An Evaluation of World Bank Group Assistance.’ A review of the efforts and projects many of this blog’s authors work on.

A randomized experiment with cash transfers

One of the debates surrounding cash transfers is the importance of “conditionality” clauses. For example, see this new paper by Norbert Schady and Maria Caridad Araujo on “Cash Transfers, Conditions, School Enrollment, and Child Work: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador.”

Afghanistan’s banking laws lack teeth

Afghanistan’s banking laws are investor-friendly as long as contracts are followed, but there are scant provisions for enforcement in case of any default. Afghanistan lacks special courts for banking matters, and there is no recognition of foreign judgments. That was the main message at a presentation here Monday from attorney Mehmood Mandviwalla, whose Pakistani law firm has an office in Kabul.


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