Syndicate content

Africa should follow China online

Website effectiveness consultant David Bowen reflects on all the recent discussion about how Africa’s entrepreneurs can play a key role in changing the continent’s future. However, when he goes online to find evidence of African IT-entrepreneurship he finds very little to be optimistic about:

Aid and the resource curse

Martin Wolf asks: is aid petrol on a fire, or water on a plant?

There are at least two negative views of aid (needless to say there are many positive ones, too). Both parallel views on the famous 'resource curse': few resource-rich developing countries have grown strongly over the past four decades, while many resource-poor countries have done so. Angola, Nigeria and Venezuela compare poorly with China, Mauritius and Thailand.

Aligning private sector development instruments

The Emerging Markets Group, a consulting firm, organised a recent workshop on Aligning Private Sector Development Instruments with the focus on Africa; I attended. The report is here.

Most of the 'instruments' were cheap money. 'Aligning' them seems to mean, for example, making sure that private firms don't get cheap money when they're small and then run out of cheap money as they start to grow, or making sure the cheap money is spread around equitably.

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.

Pages