We had a fascinating seminar on this topic yesterday. Goolam Ballin of Standard Bank said that Africa today looks like Asia did 20 years ago--poised to grow rapidly over the next two decades. At the same time, he was worried about the next two years because of Africa's dismal experience in adjusting to the external shocks of the 1970s. Nigerian central bank governor Chukwuma Soludo struck a distinctly more optimistic note, pointing out that, for example, Nigeria's non-oil sector was growing even
Chris Blattman is right to question my enthusiasm for information as the solution to seemingly intractable development problems. (By the way, thanks for the complimentary plug for AfricaCan, Chris). Information by itself is not useful unless people can do something with it.
1. Migration is an exception rather than the rule. Only 200 million or 3% of world population are international migrants; 97% are not. Most people like to be rooted where they are born, unless they are uprooted by economic factors.
My colleagues and I are trying to think through the implications for Africa of the recent turmoil in global financial markets. Here are four propositions.
|Ten years after the Asian Financial Crisis, Indonesia has re-emerged as a growing and confident middle-income country with increasing regional and global standing.|
Blog Action Day is a global nonprofit event that wants to unite bloggers, podcasters and videocasters around a common issue, on a specific day, to raise awareness about the topic and trigger a worldwide discussion. This year the issue is poverty and the date is October 15.
The international community has endorsed the Millenium Development Goal of reducing the poverty rate in the developing world by 50% over the 25 years, 1990-2015. While the target is arbitrary, it is nonetheless important to have a stretch goal like this to challenge us all to make the world a better place. To measure progress, naturally we need pretty good estimates of global poverty. The World Bank is the leading bean counter in this exercise. It just today released new estimates of global poverty that have the potential to illuminate the progress, but also the potential to confuse a lot of people. The research department of the World Bank has changed its global poverty line from $1 per day to $1.25 per day and has found about 468 million more poor people than it had previously estimated. About 135 million of these newly found poor are in China. How does one make sense of these new numbers? Here are some pointers:
The World Food Programme launched a video competition a few months ago to raise awareness about hunger, and a jury has selected five out of the 70 submissions received. Now it's your turn to weigh in and help declare a winner for the first HungerBytes contest.
The impact of sea level rise from global warming could be catastrophic for many developing countries. The World Bank estimates that even a one meter rise would turn at least 56 million people in the developing world into environmental refugees.
Not only do countries need to start planning and implementing measures for adaptation, but the international community and some countries will need to devise an immigration strategy how to deal with populations who will be forced to resettle due to climate change.
The July/August issue of Foreign Policy has a short feature highlighting the "dark side" of remittances. It cites an IMF study which argues: