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Réflexions insulaires sur Maurice et les Seychelles

Alex Sienaert's picture
Also available in: English

Ces dernières années, j’ai eu le bonheur d’exercer les fonctions d’économiste résident de la Banque mondiale pour Maurice et les Seychelles. Alors que ma mission se termine, je voudrais ici partager quelques observations sur les succès obtenus et les défis encore à relever par ces deux pays, observations qui, je l’espère, alimenteront de plus amples réflexions.  

“Notes from a small island”*: reflections on Mauritius and Seychelles

Alex Sienaert's picture
Also available in: Français

For the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to be the World Bank’s resident economist for Mauritius and Seychelles. With this now coming to an end, here are some especially striking impressions of these countries’ successes and challenges that I hope can provide food for thought more widely.

Devrions-nous payer nos enfants pour qu’ils lisent ?

David Evans's picture
Cette page en : English
Il y a quelques semaines, ma femme et moi relisions à voix haute le nouveau livre de Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie intitulé Chère Ijeawele, ou Un manifeste de 15 suggestions pour dispenser pour une éducation féministe. L’auteur conseille une amie sur la manière d’éduquer sa fille – Chizalum – pour en faire une féministe. Voici la quinzième suggestion : « Apprends à lire à Chizalum. Apprends-lui à aimer les livres. La meilleure façon pour y arriver est de montrer l’exemple de manière désinvolte. Si elle te voit lire, elle comprendra que lire est quelque chose de précieux. » Ceci semble tout à fait pertinent. Maintenant, passons à la fin du passage : « si toutes les autres méthodes échouent, paie-la pour lire. Récompense-la. Je connais une femme nigérienne extraordinaire, Angela, qui vivait aux États-Unis et élevait seule sa fille qui n’aimait pas lire. Elle décida de donner cinq centimes à sa fille pour chaque page lue. Une initiative coûteuse dont elle se remémorait en plaisantant mais somme toute, un bon investissement. » Intrigué après avoir lu ce passage, j’ai griffonné sur un coin de page, « me renseigner sur cette méthode. »



Africa's McTipping Point?

Borko Handjiski's picture
Three quarters of a century since the opening of the first McDonald’s, the fast food chain operates around 34,000 outfits in around 120 countries and territories across all continents. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), however, – a region of 48 countries and almost a billion people - only South Africa and Mauritius have been able to attract this global food chain.

This peculiarity cannot be explained only by the fact that the region is poor. The company has found a market in about 30 countries with GDP per capita of less than US$ 3,000 (in constant 2005 US$) at the time of their first McDonald’s opening. Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, and Big Macs are also on offer in a dozen of low-income countries as well. When the first McDonald’s opened in Shenzhen in 1990, China’s GDP per capita was less than US$ 500 per person. Of course, Shenzhen’s per capita income was several times higher, but the company has also found a market in Moldova since 1998 when the GDP per capita of the 3 million person country was less than US$ 600 per capita. There are many cities in SSA today that have higher income, population concentration, and tourists than what Chisinau had in 1998; yet they do not have a McDonald’s. As a matter of fact, 22 SSA countries today have higher income per capita than what Moldova or Pakistan had when the first McDonald’s opened there, and 15 of them have higher income per capita even than what Indonesia or Egypt had at their McDonald’s openings (see chart).

The King Baudouin African Development Prize

Kristina Nwazota's picture
The King Baudouin Foundation has just announced that it is accepting nominations for its 2014-2015 African Development Prize. The Prize awards innovative initiatives that help local communities take development into their own hands and that improve quality of life. The Prize is worth 150.000 Euros and is awarded every other year. Previous winners include women's rights advocate Bogaletch Gebre of Ethiopia and Dr.

Relaunching Africa Can and Sharing Africa’s Growth

Francisco Ferreira's picture

Dear Africa Can readers, we’ve heard from many of you since our former Africa Chief Economist Shanta Devarajan left the region for a new Bank position that you want Africa Can to continue highlighting the economic challenges and amazing successes that face the continent. We agree.

Today, we are re-launching Africa Can as a forum for discussing ideas about economic policy reform in Africa as a useful, if not essential, tool in the quest to end poverty in the region.

You’ll continue to hear from many of the same bloggers who you’ve followed over the past five years, and you’ll hear from many new voices – economists working in African countries and abroad engaging in the evidence-based debate that will help shape reform. On occasion, you’ll hear from me, the new Deputy Chief Economist for the World Bank in Africa.

We invite you to continue to share your ideas and challenge ours in pursuit of development that really works to improve the lives of all people throughout Africa.

Here is my first post. I look forward to your comments.

In 1990, poverty incidence (with respect to a poverty line of $1.25) was almost exactly the same in sub-Saharan Africa and in East Asia: about 57%. Twenty years on, East Asia has shed 44 percentage points (to 13%) whereas Africa has only lost 8 points (to 49%). And this is not only about China: poverty has also fallen much faster in South Asia than in Africa.

These differences in performance are partly explained by differences in growth rates during the 1990s, when emerging Asia was already on the move, and Africa was still in the doldrums. But even in the 2000s, when Africa’s GDP growth picked up to 4.6% or thereabouts, and a number of countries in the region were amongst the fastest-growing nations in the world, still poverty fell more slowly in Africa than in other regions. Why is that?