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.
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:
In light of this week’s release of the 2005 African Development Indicators, here is an online quiz on Africa to test your knowledge.
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:
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 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?