These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Africa in 2030: drones, telemedicine and robots?
In 2000 the CIA’s national intelligence council made a series of pessimistic predictions about Africa. They suggested that sub-saharan Africa would become “less important to the international economy” by 2015; that African democracy had gone “as far as it could go”; and that technological advances would “not have a substantial positive impact on the African economies.” Clearly, predictions don’t always come true. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of mobile connections in Africa grew by 44%. In 2011, mobile operators and their associated businesses in Africa has a “direct economic impact” of $32bn, and payed $12bn in taxes. It made up 4.4% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP, according to a 2012 report. But the advances in communications are not the only element defining Africa’s future:
Good Governance: Well-Meaning Slogan Or Desirable Development Goal?
Corruption last year cost the world more than one trillion dollars. That is a trillion dollars we can’t use to get better health care, education, food and environment. And corruption is only part of the problem of poor governance – many countries are run ineffectively, lacking accountability, transparency and rule of law. Running countries better would have obvious benefits. It would not only reduce corruption but governments would provide more services the public wants and at better quality. It is also likely that economic growth would increase. In a recent UN survey of seven million people around the world, an honest and responsive government was fourth in the list of people’s priorities, with only education and healthcare and better jobs being rated higher. But how should we get better governance?
Reimagine your future: megatrends and international development
PwC has identified five megatrends – demographic and social change, the shift in global economic power, rapid urbanisation, climate change & resource scarcity and technological breakthroughs – which we see as the big forces that are disrupting the economy, business and society as a whole today – and which will still be important over the next decade. Developing and emerging economies are at the heart of an impending collision between these megatrends which will transform the role of international development, and the way that aid is delivered by donor organisations.
Build better roads in developing world to bolster food supplies: study
Billion-dollar investments in basic transport and electricity in developing nations are among the best ways to curb hunger by 2030 since a quarter of all food is now wasted after harvest, according to a report issued on Thursday. A total of $239 billion invested over the next 15 years, in road and railway connections to connect farms to markets and in electricity supplies to improve cold storage, would yield benefits of $3.1 trillion by safeguarding food, it said. Mark Rosegrant, lead author and a director of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, said that rural infrastructure was often overlooked by governments and investors as a way to cut food waste from rice to beef.
The Emerging Global Health Crisis: Noncommunicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Council on Foreign Relations
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster, in younger people, and with worse outcomes than in wealthier countries. In 2013 alone, NCDs killed eight million people before their sixtieth birthdays in developing countries. A new CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report and accompanying interactive look at the factors behind this epidemic and the ways the United States can best fight it.
Follow PublicSphereWB on Twitter!
Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite