Every year around this time, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University makes waves with its Academic Ranking of World Universities. As always, North America dominates in the short list of top 100 universities, with the Ivy League universities occupying most of the top slots.
I've just run across a spate of items on the development of ICT in Africa; although it could just be coincidence, I suspect there's been a growing interest in this topic in the development community.
Of all sub-Saharan countries, Malawi comes dead last in the number of physicians per 1,000 inhabitants. According to the 2004 World Development Indicators (the last year for which data is available for most countries), Malawi had only .02 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants, tying Niger and well behind Uganda at .8 and Ghana at 1.5. Obviously, there is room for improvement.
While rising food prices threaten to increase poverty, they are not quite the unmitigated disaster that they are sometimes represented to be, at least according to Dani Rodrik. Rodrik points out that the effect of rising food prices on the world's poor depends on whether the poor are net producers or consumers of foodstuffs:
Just recently, the EU approved the extract of the baobab fruit as an ingredient in foods in the European market. If you're like me, until today you had never heard of the boabab fruit (pictured right).
For one, they can start a Google Africa Blog (Hat tip: Giulio Quaggiotto). Google announced the release of this blog earlier this month.
Collins Mbalo, resident blogger at A Nairobian's Perspective, complains about the lack of access to PayPal services in Kenya and Africa generally. While anyone can set up a PayPal account, Africans have no way to transfer this money into a bank account. PayPal has a list of the services it provides in countries around the world here.