This is the first blog in a series on forests and livelihoods.
Africa’s forests, landscapes, and ecosystems have many contributions to development. They contribute directly to the well-being and food security of poor people. According to the World Bank Forest Action Plan, the impact of forests on poverty is greatest in Africa, with forest-related income lifting 11% of rural households out of extreme poverty. Forests also supply critical raw materials needed to grow the economy, provide habitat to rich flora and fauna, regulate hydrology, and sequester carbon.
In 2016, World Bank Ethiopia launched a Blog4Dev contest inviting students to share their ideas for how Ethiopia can reach middle-income country status without leaving anyone behind. This is the first of three winning entries.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is currently striving to achieve a better economic and political development. I believe we can achieve the middle income country status within short period of time if we implement people centered and inclusive policies. Ethiopian government has been working towards this goal by setting 2025 as a deadline. We have achieved a lot so far, but not to the level we planned. So, it is better to notice the daunting challenges for our country’s development.
Last week, I wrote about my field visit in October to the agriculture support project in Togo financed by International Development Association (IDA) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). The visit to a rice field and the discussions with rice farmer Komlan Souley and his family revealed some early successes made possible with Bank support, but also underscored the many challenges that remain to help small farmers move out of poverty in a sustainable way and to help Togo’s agriculture become more productive and competitive.
Despite a challenging global economic climate, Ethiopia has managed to pull off one of the most remarkable growth narratives of the past decade. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 10.9% between 2004 and 2015, but the growth slowed down to 8.0% in FY2016 on account of El-Nino-driven drought that affected agricultural production and its spillover effect on industry and service sector. In general, the growth exceeds that of many Sub-Saharan African and other low-income countries. The positive growth and related poverty reduction has put Ethiopia on the right trajectory to reach middle income status by 2025.
Can a shift towards a sustainable forestry ecosystem help to deliver the jobs and diversity that Angola’s economy needs?
The timber industry offers enormous developmental potential. According to the Centre for International Forestry Research, domestic wood or community logging markets in Sub-Saharan Africa (as opposed to large-scale commercial felling) employ hundreds of thousands of people. It is an industry that provides employment and wages for entire communities and that has huge socio-economic and environmental importance.
On a hot and dusty day in mid-October, I drove out some 70 to 90 kilometers outside of Togo’s capital city of Lomé, leaving the bustling urban center behind to meet with some of the country’s hard working small holder farmers in their fields.
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Six years ago, a revolution started in Tunisia with an unemployed young Tunisian in a secondary city desperate to make his voice heard. This revolution reshaped the country’s development agenda and triggered a decentralization process to give more say to local governments in policymaking. Since then, the World Bank’s work on local governance in Tunisia has expanded from equipping municipalities with basic services into tackling the diverse challenges of decentralization: institutional reform, participatory processes, transparency and accountability, capacity building, and performance assessment.
Mental health has a crucial role in the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. However, to date most research and practice has focused on the role of mental health post-violence, and intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention is relying on public health models that do not explicitly include mental health. Yet, key concepts, processes, and competencies in the mental health field appear essential to successful IPV primary prevention.
A good number of African governments have shown how technologically-forward thinking they are by announcing one-tablet-per-child initiatives in their countries. President John recently announced that tablets for Ghana’s schoolchildren were at the center of his campaign to improve academic standards. Last year, President Kenyatta of Kenya abandoned a laptop project for tablets.