John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Employment"

Black and White Income Inequality in South Africa and the United States

by John Campbell
A fruit vendor waits for customers at an informal settlement in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, July 18, 2014. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) A fruit vendor waits for customers at an informal settlement in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, July 18, 2014. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

South Africa is notorious for having gross income inequality. Its GINI coefficient–a standard for measuring income inequality–is one of the highest in the world. The World Bank computed it at 63.1 in 2009, with zero being absolute equality and one hundred absolute inequality. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the GINI coefficient for the United States in 2012 was 47.7. When analyzing these two GINI coefficients, there is a danger of comparing apples with oranges. The GINI coefficients here cited were developed by two different institutions, no doubt with different methodologies. What GINI coefficients actually show is also a matter of debate. Still, they indicate income inequality was greater in South Africa than in the U.S. in recent years. Read more »

Africa’s Youth Bulge a Big Burden

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
People crowd on a road near Balogun market to shop, a day before Christmas in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, December 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) People crowd on a road near Balogun market to shop, a day before Christmas in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, December 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni. Diptesh is currently a consultant in UNICEF’s public advocacy section and a recent graduate of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his employer. You can follow him on twitter at @dipteshpsoni. Read more »

South Africa: What Does “Service Delivery” Really Mean?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Protesters take part in a service delivery protest in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, February 5, 2014. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) Protesters take part in a service delivery protest in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, February 5, 2014. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Le Chen, Janice Dean, Jesper Frant, and Rachana Kumar. They are Master of Public Administration students at Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs. They are working with Ambassador John Campbell on a graduate practicum project, which was made possible by faculty adviser Professor Anne Nelson. A version of this post appeared on the World Policy Blog. Read more »

Tapping into Africa’s Potential: Why the Marginalized Matter

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters) A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Lynn ElHarake, research associate for the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Africa is now the world’s youngest continent,” writes Makhtar Diop, vice president for Africa at the World Bank. “These young people have high expectations, and African policy makers are increasingly concerned about how to meet them.” Read more »

Unpacking Africa’s Growth Forecasts: Potentials and Risks

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Workers are seen in front the construction site of Eskom's Medupi power station, a new dry-cooled coal fired power station, in Limpopo province, June 8, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) Workers are seen in front the construction site of Eskom's Medupi power station, a new dry-cooled coal fired power station, in Limpopo province, June 8, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni. Diptesh is a master’s degree candidate at the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) studying economic and political development. You can read more by him at: https://dipteshsoni.contently.com/. Read more »

The Cost of Nigerian Governance

by John Campbell
General view of the Nigerian National Assembly as Chinese President Hu Jintao gives his address in Abuja April 27, 2006. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) General view of the Nigerian National Assembly as Chinese President Hu Jintao gives his address in Abuja April 27, 2006. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Oby Ezekwesili on August 19 in Abuja said that Nigeria spent over one trillion naira on National Assembly members since 2005. That is about U.S. $6.2 billion. Mrs. Ezekwesili is a former minister of education, former minister of solid minerals, and World Bank vice president for the African region. She went on to say that 82 percent of Nigeria’s budget goes for “recurrent expenditure;” essentially keeping the doors open. She noted a recent UK report that identified Nigerian legislators as the highest paid in the world. Read more »

The Underside of “Africa Rising”

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
General view of Alexandra township, commonly known as Alex, a slum
overlooking the Sandton sky scrappers in Johannesburg August 23, 2002. (Juda Ngwenya/Courtesy Reuters) General view of Alexandra township, commonly known as Alex, a slum overlooking the Sandton sky scrappers in Johannesburg August 23, 2002. (Juda Ngwenya/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

Occasionally, the financial press experiences a twinge of conscience, or so it seems. News of Africa’s economic progress, in particular the growth of its middle classes, thrums almost daily though a range of papers. But this spring the Financial Times’ Simon Kuper slammed on the brakes. Read more »

South African Land Reform: A Conundrum

by John Campbell
Harvesters transport a load of wild Rooibos tea by donkey cart in the remote mountains of the Cedarberg region, about 300km (186 miles) north of [Cape Town], March 30, 2006. (Mike Hutchings/Courtesy Reuters) Harvesters transport a load of wild Rooibos tea by donkey cart in the remote mountains of the Cedarberg region, about 300km (186 miles) north of [Cape Town], March 30, 2006. (Mike Hutchings/Courtesy Reuters)

The Africa Research Institute has published a succinct Briefing Note that outlines the problems of land reform in South Africa and the inherent contradictions in the government’s approach. The Briefer also includes an excellent map of the agricultural regions in the country from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Read more »

Optimism Opens the New Year in South Africa

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus shows off South Africa's new banknotes before conducting the first transaction in Pretoria 06/11/2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus shows off South Africa's new banknotes before conducting the first transaction in Pretoria 06/11/2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by John Causey, a private equity consultant based in Cape Town, South Africa. He specializes in sub-Saharan Africa transactions, with investors mainly from the EU and US.

Last year, the rainbow nation further solidified its status as an asterisk to the Africa growth story. Read more »

Revitalizing Africa’s Rural Future

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman works in a rice mill in Aliade community in the Gwer local government area of the central state of Benue 05/10/2012. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) A woman works in a rice mill in Aliade community in the Gwer local government area of the central state of Benue 05/10/2012. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Owen Cylke. Mr. Cylke is a development professional and a retired senior foreign service officer with USAID.

Dr. Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki, Executive Secretary of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), this week declared his organization’s intent to “revitalize” development efforts in Africa. Recognizing the successful and well-supported efforts of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which has been the foundation for development efforts in Africa since its launch in 2003, Dr. Mayaki was careful to describe his intention as a natural next step in the CAADP process. Read more »