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Africa

Aid to Africa: lessons from mistakes

In the current Economist there is an excellent (and long) article on what the development community has tried to do for Africa, the lessons learnt, and what is needed going forward. The article is a good synthesis of much of the recent academic research, but is also full of very telling concrete examples and tidbits. One of their stronger arguments is that size does matter in development, and that grand macro-solutions can often fail to address the nagging micro-foundations and constraints.

Wolfowitz stresses private-sector role in Africa

At last weeks US-Africa Business Summit in Baltimore, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz stressed the important role that the private sector can play in Africa’s future development and growth:

'Only the private sector will make Africa rich'

Moletsi Mbeki, the brother of South Africa’s President, believes that the private sector is key to Africa’s future development. In a recent paper of his he argues that the international donor community needs to concentrate on lending their expertise (especially regarding increasing access to finance) as apposed to their funds. He also believes that the power and voice of the private sector needs to be increased:

Investment and access to finance key for Africa

On Monday it was the Guardian, today it is the Financial Times where Kurt Hoffman, president of the Shell Foundation, criticizes current development efforts towards Africa and suggests where improvements need to be made: private sector development.

Innovative trickle-up economics

The current issue of Forbes Magazine profiles 71-year old Paul Polak and his organization, International Development Enterprises (IDE). The idea behind IDE is that providing affordable and effective irrigation and transportation is key to alleviating poverty.

The development power of cell phones

On June 1st the IFC announced a $40 million dollar loan to Scancom Limited to boost investment in Ghana’s mobile telecom sector. Such investments are among the most fruitful that institutions such as the IFC can make.

The importance of facilitating business registration: growth!

The World Bank has launched a new online discussion on “How to Streamline Business Registration.”

International public opinion, and research such as the World Bank’s Doing Business Project, have agreed to gripe about red tape and the fact that it takes over 200 days to incorporate a business in some countries. But what is the best way to go about this?

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