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Youth essay competition

The World Bank has launched an international essay competition. Write about how you contribute to solving community problems or how you influence decision making. You must be 25 or younger and not a PhD student to participate. April 2 is the deadline.

Hot charities

Social Edge and Global Giving have teamed up to launch the Global Giving Index. They pitch it as “a unique tool to help Social Entrepreneurs around the world monitor their progress, adapt their messaging or launch new social ventures.”

Update: Social Edge will also be covering the 2006 Skoll World Forum live. 

Drying-up growth

The lack of clean water and basic sanitation that afflicts up to 40 per cent of the world’s population knocks at least $556bn (£317bn, €458bn) a year off the world’s potential economic growth, according to the World Health Organisation, equivalent to about 1 per cent of global gross domestic product.

Trip to Marzar-e-Sharif

A colleague, Samuel Maimbo, recently came back from a Bank supervision mission to Marzar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, where he visited a cotton factory. He shared with me his diary from the trip, with some great pictures. A snipet:

The biggest disappointment was the state of the roads. They were in a complete state of disrepair. Potholes everywhere, waterlogged roads, mud and a complete lack of maintenance. It almost reminded me of Bossaso in Somalia.

Roundtrip travels of a T-shirt

In the award winning book, ‘Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade,’ Pietra Rivoli tracked the making of T-shirts as it traveled from American cotton farms to Chinese factories, finally arriving on a showroom in Ft. Lauderdale – and all of the tariffs and protective barriers in between.

China’s investments in Africa

Between 1990 and 1997, Chinese investment into Africa amounted to about $20 million, but from 1998 to 2002 that increased six-fold to $120 million. Only about twenty percent of that amount came into South Africa, not as large a share as might have been expected. The report indicates that there are 450 Chinese-owned investment projects in Africa, of which 46 percent are in manufacturing, 40 percent in services and only 9 percent in resource-related industries.


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