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Making agriculture work for jobs

Obiageli Ezekwesili's picture

Woman farmer in Madagascar

There is a jobs cow waiting to be milked in Africa. It is agriculture and agri-business.

In its initial condition, Africa’s agriculture bears a striking resemblance to its telecom sector in the late 1990s. A decade on, a combination of right policies and strengthened  regulatory framework has seen the sector open up to free enterprise,  attracting about $60 billion in private investments and leading to today’s ICT boom: 450 million mobile phones in Africa, which is more mobile phones than Canada, Mexico and the USA combined.

Arab world unemployment: Relief in the short run?

Julia Ross's picture

On our Arab Voices and Views blog, Steen Jorgensen writes about high unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa, where governments are wondering how to provide immediate relief while keeping their economies growing.

"The answer for those with lower skills probably lies in providing government-funded contracts to small entrepreneurs for labor-intensive upgrading and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure such as roads and irrigation canals," he writes.

Experts debate solutions to food crisis at World Bank Open Forum

Donna Barne's picture



The problem of high and volatile food prices that have driven 44 million people in to poverty in recent months was debated at the World Bank’s Open Forum – a two-hour webcast event on the food crisis incorporating feedback from 3,000 participants in a 24-hour chat and more than 500 suggestions and comments that flooded in from people in 91 countries before the event.

Civil society talks food price volatility, support to farmers

Sarah Holmberg's picture



As the Bank reported earlier this week, global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world. Rising prices have pushed an estimated 44 million people into poverty since last June.

Dani Rodrik speaks on structural change

Julia Ross's picture

Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, visited the World Bank yesterday to deliver a lecture on "Structural Change and Economic Growth."

The Bank's Merrell Tuck-Primdahl has a nice summary of the speech and a video chat with Rodrik over on the Let's Talk Development blog.

Sierra Leone: Impressions from Moyamba and Fourah Bay

Ritva Reinikka's picture



As we head into Spring Meetings in Washington, Sierra Leone is very much in my thoughts, because it is a country that faces many serious challenges—especially those relating to the survival of women and children—and because I’ve just returned from there, and have seen firsthand some of the efforts that are being made to turn this situation around.

This was an opportunity to look at human development in Sierra Leone through the lens of our

Bangladesh: Mapping climate change and food security

Sarah Holmberg's picture

In a blog post by Molly Norris and Joshua Powell for the End Poverty in South Asia blog, they talk about Bangladesh as "ground zero" at the intersection of climate change and food security.

"The country is widely recognized as one of the places most vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate, which strains food systems alongside rapidly growing and urbanizing populations. Yet, despite these dual challenges, the World Bank expects Bangladesh will meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015," they write.

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Will Africa’s real leaders please stand up? A call to the continent’s ICT innovators

Nicole Amarteifio's picture


Browsing through the submissions from Africa for the ‘Apps for Development’ competition, I realized the solutions to my continent’s development challenges are not to be found in wordy policy papers; instead, the solutions are alive in the innovation of Africa’s ICT sector.

Zoellick Kicks Off Meetings with Opening Press Conference

Angie Gentile's picture


Speaking this morning at the Spring Meetings opening press conference, Bank President Robert Zoellick said high and volatile food prices continue to threaten the world's poor.

Already, 44 million people have fallen into poverty since June last year. “If the Food Price Index rises by just another 10%, we estimate that another 10 million people will fall into extreme poverty where people live on less than $1.25 a day,” Zoellick said. “The world can do something about this.”

Why Jane Goodall sees redd when she thinks of forest protection

Sarah Holmberg's picture

Today Benoît Bosquet writes about Jane Goodall's visit to the World Bank earlier this week.

"When Jane Goodall spoke Tuesday at the World Bank, she said she had recently begun to understand the exciting potential value of REDD – reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. For decades, Dr. Goodall and others have been fighting for the conservation of forests to preserve and protect animal habitat– in the case of Dr. Goodall, that of chimpanzees in Tanzania. And now, many people like Jane Goodall are making the connection between this battle and the fight against climate change," he writes.

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